WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Seton Hall Prep football team traveled Nov. 16 to Sparta to take on Pope John XXIII Regional High School. The Pirates shut out the Lions 7-0 behind an outstanding defensive effort that produced eight sacks.
In the opening quarter, following a short Pope John punt, the Pirates went 38 yards in six plays as senior running back Jermaine Jackson ran it in from the 1-yard line with 1:45 left and junior kicker Nick Conforti added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Head coach Bill Fitzgerald said after the game, “Our defense had a tremendous performance and put great pressure on their quarterback. It’s a real compliment to our coaching staff and our players who kept a strong focus throughout our time away and remained ready once we were able to return to the field.”
Seton Hall had not played since an Oct. 24 victory over Union City, 49-22, or practiced as a team, only being able to communicate virtually with their coaches until they were able to return to the field on Nov. 12.
Senior defensive tackle Declan Kazan — six tackles, 1/2 sack — said after the game, “The win we had today we will never forget because the team had to overcome a lot considering we did not play for three weeks.”
Junior linebacker Jackson Dowd — 15 tackles, two sacks — added, “We fought hard today and it wasn’t pretty but I am proud of the way we handled adversity.”
Junior linebacker Jackson Collins — 10 tackles — said, “The reason for our great game today was the way we approached the three weeks working on our own to get better.”
Final states: Junior quarterback Jaden Craig, 9-12, 70 yards; junior running back Myles Thomason, 20 carries, 72 yards; and junior Nick Dunneman, four catches for 24 yards. On defense: senior Jack Larsen, six tackles, two sacks; junior Matthew Monteleone, 10 tackles, 1/2 sack; and senior Aeneas Robinson, seven tackles, one sack.