Seton Hall Prep football team defeats Delbarton, 34-21

Jalil Bowen dives with the ball during the win over Bayonne this season.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, Oct. 16, the Seton Hall Prep football team defeated Delbarton, 34-21, at William O. Regan Field in Morris Township. 

On Seton Hall Prep’s first possession of the game, the Pirates drove 69 yards in seven plays and senior Nick Conforti connected on a 30-yard field goal with 7:32 left in the first quarter to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead. In the second quarter, after taking over on downs, the Pirates drove 68 yards in 11 plays with senior Myles Thomason running it in from 4 yards out while Conforti added the first of four extra points for a 10-0 lead with 9:09 left in the quarter. 

After forcing Delbarton to punt on its next possession, Seton Hall drove 56 yards in nine plays, and senior quarterback Jaden Craig found junior Mason Mac in the back of the end zone from 34 yards out to give the Pirates a 17-0 lead with 7:07 left in the quarter. Delbarton scored a touchdown on its next possession to cut the Pirate lead to 17-7 with 3:36 left. On their next possession, the Pirates drove 80 yards in four plays, with Craig hitting senior Nick Dunneman on a 41-yard scoring pass for a 24-7 lead with 2:21 left. A big play during the drive was a 37-yard pass from Craig to Thomason. 

After a strong Pirate defense forced another Delbarton punt, they drove 69 yards in three plays with Craig hitting Mac with a 16-yard scoring pass for a 31-7 lead with just 1:09 left. During the drive, Craig hit Dunneman on a 45-yard pass. On their first possession of the third quarter, the Pirates drove 76 yards in 11 plays, with Conforti connecting on a 22-yard field goal for a 34-7 lead with 6:40 left. Delbarton scored touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters to make the final 34-21. 

Following the game, Craig said, “We were looking to air it out today and, with their defensive coverages, we could take advantage of them and we did.” 

Mac added, “We watched a lot of film this week, and we picked up on some of their weaknesses and attacked.” 

Dunneman commented, “Their corners played back today, and I was just trying to get open. I was looking for Jaden to find me, and he did a great job.”

SHP head coach Bill Fitzgerald said, “We are seven games in and we are 6-1. We executed our game plan today, especially in the first two-and-a-half quarters. We did everything we wanted to do that we had talked about. This is a very attentive team, and we are where we should be this time of the season.”

Game stats: 

  • Craig: 15–25 passing, 274 yards, 3 touchdowns. 
  • Rushing: Thomason, 26 carries, 102 yards, 1 touchdown. 
  • Receiving: Dunneman, 8 catches, 153 yards, 1 touchdown; Mac, 3 catches, 56 yards, 2 touchdowns. 
  • Defense: senior linebacker Jackson Dowd, 13 tackles, 1 sack; senior linebacker James Palaia, 12 tackles, 2 sacks; junior linebacker Kelvin Williams, 8 tackles.

SHP rankings: 

  • Star–Ledger, No. 3 in New Jersey.
  • Super Football Conference, No. 2 in conference.
  • MaxPreps, No. 5 in New Jersey.
  • USA Today Network NJ Top 25, No. 3.

Notes: The Pirates will host the No. 1 team in New Jersey, nationally ranked Bergen Catholic, at Brendan P. Tevlin Memorial Field in West Orange at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23. The Pirates hold a 19-15-1 lead in the all-time series and have not defeated the Crusaders since 2005, when they won in the state playoffs, 42-21.

Photo Courtesy of Rich Morris/SHP