After the two schools battled all day to reach the championship game, played just before 5 p.m. in front of the entire Rutgers football coaching staff and a handful of faithful fans, neither school could break away in the regulation 25-minute period. Both scored early with goal line touchdown passes and failed conversions before St. Joe's made it 12-6 with a second touchdown and five minute to play. Then on a last minute drive, St. Peter's wide receiver Corey Davis pulled down a spectacular catch to force overtime and an eventual win after a dropped extra point attempt.
The overtime rules for the event were quite simple: each team gets one play, whoever gains more yards wins. It may be simple, but he created a lot of excitement when St. Joe's opened the period with a 31-yard out-rout completion to Blair.
But Prep's standout receiver Sheldon Royster took the poker approach to Blair's big catch, seeing his 31 yards and raising him a touchdown for the win as ‘We are the Champions' blared through the under construction stadium.
"This is a really rewarding experience as a whole," Royster said earlier in the day. "It's cool being out here, at Rutgers, getting people to notice and playing all of the best competition in the state."
After the game, Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano addressed both teams, complimenting them on the way they played, and awarding both with T-shirts and a trophy for St. Joe's.
To get to the championship game, Prep manhandled Paramus 20-6 and St. Joe's edged out LaSalle 18-13 behind a pair of touchdowns for star receiver and running back Kamal Hogan and a last-second interception with LaSalle driving.
"We just took it to everyone we went up against," Hogan said, a three-star recruit on Scout.com. "We played hard until the end, played as a team and basically made plays when we most needed. We just came together."
In the quarterfinal rounds, both St. Peter's and St. Joe's impressed against tough competition with wins over Plainfield, Bergen Catholic and Don Bosco.
"It's always going to be intense playing Bosco," Hogan said after catching two touchdowns in his team's win. "It wasn't going to be a joke. We came out here and did what we had to do."
The most exciting game in the quarterfinals, however was the 14-8 win by St. Peter's over big time quarterback recruit in the Class of 2011 T.J. Johnson and his Plainfield squad.
Johnson, who will likely be a Division I player for his quarterback skills and his point guard skills, put on pretty pass after pretty pass, but his receivers struggled to handle them as Prep overpowered them.
"It's a good look for everybody, letting coaches get a sense of what we can do," Johnson said about the experience. "It helps in recruiting."
The star of the opening rounds, despite an early exit thanks to St. Joe's, was Don Bosco who tore through the competition at Rutgers Stadium, dropping teams like Monroe Township and Sayerville with ease. In fact safety Christopher Brady needed two hands to count the number of interceptions he made (literally … he had eight picks by the time I moved on to another series of games).
St. Peter's Prep Wins Schiano Shootout
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