The Donovan Catholic Griffins picked up a huge 23-20 Class B South victory in overtime against the Barnegat Bengals. Gian Carlo Stigliano kicked a 22 yard field goal in the second series of overtime.
After the kick, it was Jared Giamo that stripped the ball away from the Bengals to clinch the win. After the game, Stigliano could not be more excited after making such a clutch kick. He talked about the challenge of executing in tough weather conditions.
“Weather always has an impact on the game, especially with the wind and how slippery the ball is. However, I was able to look past those conditions and focus on what I needed to do”, added Stigliano
Defensively, the Griffins were able to set the tone in the first half by forcing two turnovers. The first big play of the game came from Alex Rosario. Rosario picked off a pass and returned the ball all the way up to the Barnegat 24 yard line.
Two plays later, Desmond Hunter powered his way into the end zone for a 6 yard touchodown to give the Griffins a 7-0 lead.
“Our defensive line was getting pressure. Alex is a great player. He knew how to take advantage of a mistake which gave us momentum and confidence to finish the game strong”, added Defensive End Kyle Schremmer.
Barnegat would finally get the offense going late in the Second Quarter. Running Back Josh Bowen was able to pick up a few first downs. Quarterback Joe Monaco then hit Wide Receiver Paul Wickwire with a 20 yard touchdown pass. After a missed PAT, Donovan Catholic went into the locker room with a 7-6 advantage.
It was the running of Alex Rosario and Desmond Hunter that would lead the way for the Griffins in the second half. Rosario would put the Griffins back on top with a 32 yard touchdown run Donovan Catholic trusted their 1-2 punch to carry the load and pace the offense all day long.
“Both Hunter and Rosario were great! They had a great week of practice by taking ever rep. It really showed tonight. After the first quarter, we began to feed off of our defense to give us momentum. We got some good blocks up front, and our guys were able to get into the end zone”, added Quarterback Teddy Gulobowski.
The Bengals were not ready to quit yet. Quarterback Joe Monaco was hitting his stride down the field. Monaco hit Nick Cammarato for a 42 yard play to put the Bengals in scoring position. This would setup a 1 yard TD plunge from Josh Bowen. Barnegat would end the third quarter only trailing 13-12.
In the 4th, the Barnegat passing game was rolling. Nick Cammarato would once again make a huge impact. The Wide Receiver caught a 31 yard pass down the left side of the field. Two plays later Cammarato made an 11 yard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone.
Paul Wickwire ran in the two point conversion and Barnegat had a 20-13 lead with 4:16 left in the game. All the momentum seemed to have shifted to the Bengals, but Teddy Golubowski and Donovan Catholic were not done yet!
The Griffins offense came back out on the field determined to get into the end zone. Golubowski would again lean on Hunter and company to get into scoring position.
Golubowski hit Marcus Rosario for a 23 play and Donovan Catholic was threatening. Alex Rosario finished off the scoring drive with a 25 yard touchdown run. The Griffins offense showed a great ability to fight through adversity. Now Barnegat was facing the pressure again.
“As soon as they scored, we knew what we had to do as a unit, and had very little time. There was no doubt that we had to go out there and give it everything that we had. That’s exactly what we did, added Golubowski on the final touchdown in the 4th.
“We have been down before. After being in those situations, our heads were never out of it. This time we were able to put together a scoring drive. We play the whole game like its ours to win whether we are up or down. Our mindset never changes”, said Kyle Schremmer after the game.
In the overtime period, both teams were able to keep each other from scoring. This was a war that was being fought in the trenches. Both teams were trying to keep their hope alive in Class B South.
Donovan Catholic would finally get a break in the second series of overtime. A facemask penalty would pull the Griffins all the way inside the 10. This would set the stage for Stigliano. On 4th and goal from the 5, Stigliano came up huge in the moment, booting the 22 yarder to put Donovan ahead.
Defensively, the Griffins would finish the game off by forcing their third turnover. Jared Giamo came up with the huge strip right near the goal line to deny Barnegat a victory. Donovan Catholic improved to 2-2 on the season, and 2-1 in Class B South. The team will now face Jackson Liberty in another divisional matchup.
“This win was huge for our team. It really boosted our confidence going into Jackson Liberty next week. We just kept pushing and working hard. We all deserved this win. added Stigliano again after the game.
Quarterback Teddy Golubowski also talked about the upcoming matchup. “We just need to keep practicing hard this week. Jackson Liberty is going to come out fighting. This win gives us a lot of confidence. We will be ready to go next week”!
The Griffins got great production out of the running attack. Alex Rosario rushed for 108 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Desmond Hunter also added 64 yards and two scores. Donovan Catholic will need both backs to play well next week. The Griffins have a chance to get back in the Class B South race.
Passing – DC: Golubowski 5-11-1-39, Collins 0-1-0-0, BG: Monaco 5-13-1-108
Rushing – DC: Rosario 15-108, Hunter:11-64, Baltuskonis 10-13, Golubowski 7-12. BG: Wickwire 12-96, Bowen 12-48, Cammarato 2-4, Smith 1-1.
Receiving – DC: A Rosario 2-0, M Rosario 1-23, Schremmer 1-19, Hunter 1- -3. BG: Cammarato 3-84, Wickwire 1-20, Bowen 1-3.
DC – Desmond Hunter 6 yard TD run. ( Stigliano kick)
BG – Paul Wickwire 20 yard pass from Monaco. ( PAT failed)
DC – Desmond Hunter – 32 yard run. ( PAT failed)
BG – Josh Bowen 1 yard run. ( PAT failed)
BG – Nick Cammarato 11 yard pass from Monaco. ( Wickwire Run)
DC – Alex Rosario 25 yard run. ( Stigliano kick)
DC – Gian Carlo Stigliano 22 yard field goal.
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