By Jeff Moeller
Wayne Hills Keeps Rolling
It was billed as one of the top games in North Jersey as well as the state, but it didn't live up to its billing.
No. 6 Wayne Hills entered its contest against Old Tappan not only with a formidable foe on the road, but also with a 32-game winning streak on the line. When the smoked cleared, the Patriots answered their critics on both accounts with an impressive 24-7 victory Friday night.
It loomed as a showdown between running backs, Wayne Hills' Dan DeCicco and Old Tappan's Jamie Rowe, but instead a quarterback stole the show - Wayne Hills Mike Giampapa.
The senior signal caller, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, completed 8 of 11 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. He also scored on a 1-yard plunge that pushed Wayne Hills ahead 17-7.
"I worked real hard to get back to where I can lead this team and this was a huge game for me, the biggest of our season," Giampapa said. " I had something to prove."
Rowe was held to 56 yards on 16 carries.
St. Joseph's Returns the Favor
St. Joseph's, No. 3 in the MaxPreps poll, had little trouble with Teaneck, rolling to an impressive 49-14 victory Friday night after earlier trailing 14-0.
Quarterback Gabriel Hernandez was instrumental in three of his team's four scores in their 28-point second quarter. Hernandez fired a pair of 32-yard scoring strikes and added a 22-yarder during the span. Fullback Ryan Dinnebeil started the scoring with a 1-yard plunge.
St. Joe's (5-0) defense shut down Teaneck's Rashad White, who ran for 325 yards in last season's game. St. Joe's avenged last season's defeat to Teaneck, a loss that began a winless streak the remainder of the season last year.
Mt. Olive's Branches Broken
Mount Olive's Kenny Little, who has been one of the leading rushers in the western part of the state through the first four weeks of the season, appeared to be headed for another big night when he scored on a 66-yard run on his team's first play from scrimmage.
But it was Seton Hall Prep's John Merklinger who stole the show with 295 yards rushing and five touchdowns, leading his team to a convincing 44-14 victory last weekend. The defeat snapped Mt. Olive's four-game winning streak.
Seton Hall Prep's Robert Paxson added 117 yards on 20 carries in the victory, as the Pirates took advantage of their size. They average nearly 250 pounds on both sides of the lines.
Holy Spirit Sets New High
No. 4 Holy Spirit (4-0) continued to be a dominant force in the south with a 70-13 pasting of Lower Cape May Friday. The 70 points broke the old school record of 58 set against Egg Harbor Township in 1984.
Running ball Nick Hall scored three touchdowns and accumulated 321 all-purpose yards. Teammate William Washington scored twice and rushed for 148 yards on 11 carries.
Don Bosco, St. Peter's Prep Stay on Top
No.1 Don Bosco routed Montclair, 40-7, Saturday afternoon. The Ironmen (4-0) have bristled through their first four opponents, but they have St. Joseph's and rival Bergen Catholic down the road. Don Bosco also recently received the Shoprite Cup, a honor from the grocery giant as the most overall successful program in the state. They previously received a similar honor from SI.com.
St. Peter's (4-0) also had an easy time with Hudson Catholic, posting an impressive 35-7 victory. The Prep's Will Hill rushed 10 times for 101 yards and scored four touchdowns, three of which came in the first half as St. Peter's built a 21-7 advantage.