Seton Hall Prep football team tops Pope John; to host St. Augustine Prep in playoffs

Pirates extend win streak to seven games; improve to 8-1 on season

Photo by Rich Morris/Courtesy of SHP.
The Pirates celebrate their 28-27 win over St. Joseph of Montvale on Saturday, Oct. 26.

SPARTA, NJ — The Seton Hall Prep football team completed a great regular season with a 28-10 road victory over Pope John XXIII of Sparta last Saturday, Nov. 2.

The Pirates this season have posted a record of 8-1, which is the most wins since 2012 when they were 8-2. They also have won seven consecutive games which is the most since 2010 when they won 10 in a row. The Pirates captured the Super Football Conference-United White Division title, the first title that the football team has won since 2015 when they won the Super Essex Conference – American Division title.

On Sunday morning, Nov. 3, it was announced by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association that Seton Hall Prep received the fourth seed in the upcoming Non-Public Group 4 playoffs and will host St. Augustine Prep (Richland) on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 1 p.m. at Brendan P. Tevlin Memorial Field in West Orange.

The only other time that the Pirates faced the Hermits was in the 2009 playoffs. SHP won, 49-14, in Richland. The fourth seed is the highest seed that Seton Hall has received since 2010 when they were the second seed.

In the win over Pope John, the Pirates trailed, 3-0, early in the second quarter when linebacker Tyler Cook caused a Lion fumble that Jacob Maurice recovered. Seton Hall went 57 yards in three plays with Myles Thomason scoring on a 12-yard run and Austin Kuterka adding his first of four extra points, making the score 7-3 with 10:44 left. The big play in the drive was a 41-yard completion from Zander Zebrowski to Nicholas Gullace.

Later in the quarter, Giye Jenkins intercepted a Pope John pass. SHP drove 56 yard in five plays before Matt Colantuono scored from the two-yard line off tackle to make the score 14-3 with 5:50 left. Again, the big play of the drive was a Zebrowski to Gullace pass that went 26 yards. During the drive, Colantuono rushed up the middle for 15 yards which gave him over 1,000 yards on the season. He is the first Pirate runner to reach 1,000 yards since 2010 when Kevin Monangai accomplished that great feat.

In the third quarter after a Pope John punt, the Pirates drove 48 yards in four plays as Colantuono scored from the four-yard line with 7:41 left. The big play of the drive was a Zebrowski to Dominic Busby pass of 36 yards.

In the fourth quarter, Andrew Mitzak intercepted a Pope John pass. Seton Hall then went 84 yards in seven plays as Thomason ran it in from the 13-yard line to make it 28-3 with 5:37 left. Thomason rushed for 73 yards during that drive. Pope John scored a touchdown on its next possession to make the final 28-10.

Following the game, Colantuono commented on his feat: “This was a testament to the offensive line (Jack Michelotti, Matthew Siegel, Thomas Grippo, Lucas Giordano, and Anthony Liebig) who put in the work in the offseason. Coming into the season, I never played running back, but I knew that I could do it. Now we have to prepare for the post season.”

SHP game stats:

Passing: Zebrowski: 6 of 9 attempts for 101 yards

Rushing: Thomason: 12 carries, 119 yards, 2 TDs. Colantuono: 15 carries, 2 TDs.

Defense: Ryan Monteleone and Cook: 11 tackles apiece.            John Nicosia: 10 tackles. Jenkins: 9 tackles and 2 interceptions.

NOTES: Last week, SHP head coach Bill Fitzgerald was named Coach of the Week by Catholic Athletes For Christ presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football. They also rank the Top 25 Catholic high school football Teams in the country.