MONTVALE- The Green Knights needed a big game from their quarterback Nick Patti if they had a chance to beat the talented and dangerous Paramus Catholic Paladins.
The coaches from St. Joes couldn’t wait for Nick Patti to come out and party, to really establish himself as leader of the team. Patti gave the performance of his life with his play and control of the offense.
The break out play of the game came early in the fourth quarter, with the score tied 21-21, on a quarterback replay. Patti eluded one defender, juked the inside linebacker and ran down the left hash mark for a 54-yard touchdown run.
The score put the Green Knights up 31-21 for good. The Paladins moved the ball down the field but it was St. Joseph’s defense that came up big in a clutch situation.
“I think that was the third or fourth time we ran that play. I read the end, the end bent, so it was one on one between me and the linebacker. I pump faked him to the outside and I just went up the seam. We made some halftime adjustments and got the look we wanted.” Said St. Joseph quarterback Patti.
With 11:49 left in the game the Green Knights kept the Paladins offense off balance with some of their blitz concepts leading the way for Dorian Hardy and Marc Doran who had two sacks for losses.
With a little over seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Green Knights were driving the ball and on fourth down, Coach Huffman had a decision to make. Either go for it or put some points on the board. Huffman elected to bring in the sure thing “The Shoe” Angelo Guglielmello for the 35yard field goal kick.
Guglielmello booted it right down the middle to give the Green Knights a 31-21 lead. A lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“He’s ice cold man. He did this as a freshman for us and he has come out this year and done a great job. We spoke before the game and I asked him where he’d be good from. He told me he was good from the 25 and the 30. We were on the 22-yard line for the kick and we’ll take that to the bank with him. He’s a good player.” Said Augie Huffman.
The Paladins offense seemed to be clicking early holding a 14-7 advantage going into the halftime. On its opening drive, Paramus Catholic took a 7-0 lead following a one-yard dive play touchdown by senior tailback Alijah Jackson. Jackson finished with over 100 yards and was highlighted by a 56-yard run which set up the Paladins third score.
In the first quarter, the Green Knights found a winning formula with senior Louis Acceus tying things up at 7-7 with a three-yard touchdown plunge. The jubilation was short lived for the Green Knights. The Paladins retook the lead when quarterback Andrew Brito hit tight end Henry Pearson for a 25-yard over the middle for a score.
SJR tied the game up at 14-14 when Patti ignited on a 22-yard touchdown catch to Yasir Berry. Brito returned the favor hitting Javon Turner and connected for a six-yard touchdown to give PC its 21-14 halftime lead.
The second half belonged to SJR. They came out of the halftime break with a new and improved attitude. Louis Acceus tied things up at 21-21 on a one-yard touchdown run with 3:44 left in the third quarter. But the storyline was how effective Patti had command of the SJR offense.
“The bottom line is that we played a better second half than we did in the first half. I thought we played a more inspired second half. This is a team that’s in shape. We’re built for the long haul, that’s for sure.” I’m proud of what we have accomplish so far but we still have a lot of football to play in this conference.” Said Augie Huffman.