Don Bosco Prep will face arch rival Bergen Catholic Friday night. Thanks to the Crusaders three regular season losses that dropped them several points, the two will meet in the tournament's semifinal round this year, not the finals.
The Ironmen will get a shot at Friday night's game to go to MetLife Stadium for the Non Public Group 4 group title.
For the past few years, Bergen Catholic and Don Bosco have battled each December for the Non Public Group 4 title and now these arch rivals will have to settle the score in the semifinal round.
The Ironmen edged past the Crusaders 20-17 in the regular season and another close game is expected on Friday at Granatell Stadium. But Bergen Catholic is coming into the match on a high note after blowing past Notre Dame 63-0 in the opening round and then again on Thanksgiving 35-21 over top-seeded Paramus Catholic.
The Crusaders will once again turn to senior quarterback Jon Germano, running back James Dawson, and wide-recievers JJ Kulcsar and John Feaster to lead the explosive offense while Kyle Quiero, Danny Grasso and Parker Tobia seek to slow the Ironmen on defense.
The second-seeded Ironmen may have started their postseason off with a 42-14 victory over St. Augustine, but they were upset in their annual Thanksgiving Day game with St. Joseph of Montvale ending a 61-game, in-state win streak.
Unlike prior years where the Ironmen have put up big numbers, Don Bosco is currently averaging 109 passing and 131 rushing yards. Junior quarterback Frank Nutile has thrown for 527 yards and run for 34, letting teammates Elijiah Ibitokun-hanks (440 rushing) and Kyle Phipps (118 rushing) lead the offense on the ground.
Kickoff is Friday, 7 p.m. at Don Bosco Prep, 492 North Franklin Turnpike, Ramsey.
Locals are expecting large crowds for the games. Some Ramsey businesses plan to stay open late to accomodate hungry fans. The new Five Guys on Route 17 in Ramsey, for example, announced it will stay open an hour later than usual, until 11 p.m., to serve crowds after the game.