Seton Hall Prep football team falls to Pope John; gears up for playoffs

Photo by Rich Morris/courtesy of SHP.
The Seton Hall Prep defense looks to block the Pope John kick attempt.

WEST ORANGE, NJ – On Friday afternoon, Oct. 26, the Seton Hall Prep football team hosted Pope John XXIII (Sparta). The game was moved from Saturday, Oct. 27 because of the forecast that a nor’easter was going to hit New Jersey on Saturday. Pope John won, 30-20, scoring 22 points in the second half.

Pope John scored a touchdown to take a 8-0 lead in the first quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, the Pirates drove 75 yards in seven plays and scored a touchdown on a rare play. Quarterback Aidan Gilman handed off to running back Matt Colantuono, who threw a pass back to Gilman for a 9-yard touchdown. Gilman hit Dominic Busby for the conversion pass to tie the score at 8-8 just 8 seconds into the second quarter.

On the next Pope John drive, defensive tackle Niko Diakides tackled the Pope John quarterback in the end zone for a safety and a 10-8 lead for Seton Hall. Later in the quarter, a Pope John fumble, caused by Elie Maurice, was recovered in the air by defensive tackle Tom Callahan on the Pope John 30-yard line and returned to the 3-yard line. On the third play, Gilman bulled his way in from the one-yard line for a touchdown. Zach Hoban’s extra point gave SHP a 17-8 lead with 4:36 left in the second quarter.

The score remained the same until Pope John scored two touchdowns late in the third quarter to take a 23-17 lead.

Hoban connected on a 45-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 23-20 with 8:48 left in the fourth quarter. Pope John scored on its next drive to make the final 30-20.

SHP stats: Gilman – 17 of 29 passing 147 yards; 17 carries for 29 yards.

Giye Jenkins: 6 catches for 61 yards.

Diakides: 9 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 blocked field goal. Maurice: 9 tackles, 1 fumble caused, .5 sack. Andrew Mitzak – 9 tackles. Vincent Henrich – 9 tackles.

On Sunday at the NJSIAA building in Robbinsville a committee made up of coaches and athletic directors seeded the Non-Public Group 4 playoffs. Seton Hall Prep was seeded 8th and they will host 9th-seeded Paramus Catholic on Saturday, November 3 at 1 p.m. at Brendan P. Tevlin Memorial Field in West Orange in the first round. The winner of that game will travel to Oradell to face top-seeded Bergen Catholic on Saturday November 10 at 1 p.m. in the quarterfinal round.