Holy Spirit High School is No. 1 in The Press Elite 11. The Spartans beat Bishop Ahr 42-0 in last week's quarterfinals.

The Spartans have five shutouts and have outscored opponents by the combined margin of 345-27 this season.

Pope John (Sussex County) beat Delbarton 21-13 in last week's quarterfinals. Pope John coach Vic Paternostro is the state's leader in career victories with 373 victories.

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Both teams feature standout running backs.

Holy Spirit relies on Donta Pollock and Nigel Jones, while Pope John counters with Cory Bell and Kyle McGrath. McGrath rushed for 243 yards in a 34-3 regular-season win over Delbarton on Nov. 6.

Spirit has outscored opponents 345-27 this year.

Playoff histories: Spirit won the state Non-Public III title in 2007. The Spartans are 19-17 in 25 playoff appearances. They have won seven championships.

Pope John is 44-15 in 34 playoff appearances. The Lions have won 18 titles. Pope John beat Spirit 21-12 in the 2005 Non-Public III quarterfinals.

Key players for Holy Spirit: Joe Callahan, QB, 54-of-100 for 891 yards and 11 touchdowns; Donta Pollock, RB, 183 carries for 1,379 yards and 22 touchdowns; Nigel Jones, RB, 95 carries for 702 yards and eight touchdowns; Joe Sarnese, WR/S, 16 catches for 273 yards and 70 tackles; Anthony Sarao, LB, 58 tackles, six sacks; Rocky Figueroa, LB, nine sacks.

Key players for Pope John: Mickey Curran, OL/LB; Kyle McGrath, RB; Corey Bell, RB; Patrick Thomas, S.

Keys to victory: Pope John must take a three-hour ride down the Garden State Parkway for the game. Spirit should try to jump on Pope John early and then control the game behind the running of Jones and Pollock.

Michael McGarry

Who: Third-seeded Pope John XXIII (10-0) vs. second-seeded Holy Spirit (9-0)

What: State Non-Public III semifinal

When/where: 7 p.m. today at Holy Spirit inAbsecon

What's next: Winner advances to the state Non-Public III final the weekend of Dec. 3-5 against the winner of Saturday's semifinal between fourth-seeded DePaul (7-2) and top-seeded St. Joseph Montvale (7-2).

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