|VIDEO: Paramus Catholic staves off upset bid from Pope John|
Pope John made a number of big plays as it staged an unlikely rally in a bid to upset Paramus Catholic on the football field. But the Lions couldn't finish the job, allowing the Paladins to hang on for a 33-28 victory.
The Paramus Catholic defense came up with a crucial stop in the final minutes, capped by Jordan Watson's sack on fourth down. Pope John did get the ball back with seconds left but ran just one play before the game ended.
Before the big stand, Pope John had rallied from a 26-7 third-quarter deficit to make things interesting. Quarterback Ty Hranicka threw three touchdown passes for the Lions in the second half in the comeback. Hranicka had 113 passing yards while running for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Brian Dolan caught five passes for 71 yards and a touchdown for Pope John. Taj Jones and Christian Izien also had TD catches.
Paramus Catholic built its big lead behind a balanced offensive attack. Jonathan Clark ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns, while Alijah Jackson also had a pair of touchdown runs.
Andrew Brito threw for 246 yards for the Paladins, including what proved to be the winning touchdown after Pope John cut the lead to five points. Brito hit Javon Turner for a 64-yard touchdown pass to reestablish a 12-point lead, which proved to be just enough.
Turner had four catches for 109 yards, while Henry Pearson made five grabs for 61 yards.
Paramus Catholic improves to 5-1 and, after a bye week, has a huge game with Don Bosco Prep.
Pope John takes its first loss against a New Jersey opponent to fall to 4-2.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey and North Jersey Super Football Conference high school football game, click play in the box at left.