Covering High School Sports in America
Photo by Dan Coppola

Bergen Catholic cleared a huge barrier when it defeated longtime rival Don Bosco Prep on Friday night.

Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) used a fast start to stun Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 28-14 in the semifinals on the non-public Group IV playoff bracket.

The Crusaders scored 21 points before Don Bosco Prep had an offensive possession to defeat the Ironmen for the first time since 2004. The loss eliminates the Ironmen from a playoff bracket that they have won each season since 2005.

Thanks to some impressive drives and three early fumbles by Don Bosco Prep, Bergen Catholic raced to an early 21-0 lead. Showing resiliency, Don Bosco Prep scored before the half to narrow the gap to 21-7.

Both teams went scoreless in the third quarter, but Frank Nutile found Mike D'Alessandro in the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown to make it 21-14 early in the fourth.

Following a missed field goal by Bergen Catholic, Don Bosco Prep got the ball back with two minutes to play and a chance to tie the game. However, Bryan Smith intercepted Nutile to seal the victory.

Bergen Catholic went on to add another touchdown for a 28-14 victory, the team's first win over Don Bosco Prep since 2004 and the first victory for head coach Nunzio Campanile over his former team.

With the victory, Bergen Catholic (8-3) seeks its first section title since 2004, when Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing carried the team to victory by rushing for 187 yards in a 13-10 victory over Don Bosco Prep. It awaits the winner of the Paramus Catholic versus St. Peter's Prep game scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.

Image for MaxPreps Video.