Big day by Langan propels Bergen Catholic to 41-14 win over St. Peter’s Prep
During a bye week, Bergen Catholic (4-2) Head Coach Nunzio Campanile gave his team four days off but for the other three days practices were like World War III. Campanile said his message was to get more physical and a lot better. The Crusaders answered the bell on Saturday against number one ranked St. Peter’s Prep (4-2) at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, dominating both lines of scrimmage amassing 450 total yards on offense, 300 of them on the ground.
“The kids did a pretty good job of responding to that today and emphasis for us,” said Campanile. “Playing with a chip on our shoulder, we made great strides in our physicality department, our offensive line, defensive line, secondary and out backs are hard to tackle and bring it on every down. We’re a really well conditioned team and take pride it in and over 40 snaps on offense in the first half.”
“They (St. Peter’s Prep) got possibly the best three defensive players in the state and really hard to block. The more snaps you can get, the more drives you can sustain and better chance of blocking them. Proud of the effort and toughness, last year these guys ran over us in both games we played. Taken a team effort to develop that and we want to be number one at the end and I like to think we are the best team in the state.”
Bergen Catholic was led by a stellar performance from quarterback Johnny Langan carrying the ball 20 times for 99 yards and three touchdowns and completing 13 of 19 passes for 148 yards and one score. Running back Josh McKenzie churned out 104 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown.
After the Marauders narrowed the score to 21-14 with 7:31 in the third quarter on 37-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Massai Maynor to wide receiver Mark Maynor, Langan engineered an 18 play, 77-yard drive that consumed 6:10 of the clock resulting in Langan’s three-yard QB keeper score.
“All of our success I owe to the offensive line who have been working hard during the bye week and giving us the push we need and opening up holes for the runs we need to make,” said Langan. “We used the bye week as an advantage to get healed up and watched tons of film to get prepared and knew what we were looking at.”
“We wore them out and they are not conditioned as well as we are. We have a tough road ahead, playing a lot of top five teams in the state and have to stay focused on every single game. ”
Meanwhile, Bergen Catholic’s defense unleashed a heavy dose of pressure on Maynor as Jevontae Jean-Baptiste, John High and Marquis Morris combined on sacking him for a 13-yard loss deep inside St. Peter’s Prep territory. Forced to punt the ball away, Crusaders wide receiver Dylan Classi returned the ball 17 yards setting up excellent starting field position.
Jean-Baptiste electrified the home crowd scooping up a fumble in the second quarter caused by a crunching sack of Maynor by Jordan Morant and returning it 45 yards for the score, extending the Crusaders advantage to 21-7 with 2:22 left. Maynor was not finished making an impact on defense picking off Maynor on St. Peter’s Prep ensuing possession.
“We knew we had to run a corner blitz and Jordan (Morant) came up with the big hit. We have been waiting for this game after last year with the two losses and they ended our season so we knew we had to get after them.”
“Jordan Morant is a really special player and is going to be one of the premier players in New Jersey and coming out party and will hear that name a lot,” Langan said.
Starting at the Marauders 17, Langan made it two scores in a span of 1:50 as the entire Crusaders offensive line pushed the pile into the end zone. Langan capped off his big day with his third rushing score with 5:36 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“We had a couple of key drives where we had to make some big plays,” Campanile said. “We really played off each other and our kids came back in the second half on offense and went right down and scored. Getting that touchdown in the third quarter I thought was the key drive in the game and one that opened it up for us.”
“No doubt we will play them again in the coming weeks and pretty tight for awhile but to go up by 21 was big. It’s says what we are capable of and difference between us and them is a coin toss. It kind of went our way today.”