Gordon Hill runs for 3 TDs as St. Joseph crushes St. Mary's 40-0 for 13th state title - pressofAtlanticCity.com: High School Football

Gordon Hill runs for 3 TDs as St. Joseph crushes St. Mary's 40-0 for 13th state title - pressofAtlanticCity.com: High School Football

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A ranking of teams in the Cape-Atlantic League; Colonial Conference; Burlington County League; Olympic Conference and Tri-County Conference. Also ranked are Shore Conference teams that compete for South Jersey titles. Rankings selected by The Press high school sports staff based on staff observation, research and interviews with players and coaches.

1. Paul VI (1) 4-0

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Gordon Hill runs for 3 TDs as St. Joseph crushes St. Mary's 40-0 for 13th state title

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Posted: Saturday, December 4, 2010 1:30 am | Updated: 3:36 am, Sat Dec 4, 2010.

PISCATAWAY - St. Joseph High School's football season ended Friday night just like so many others had in the last two decades or so - with the Wildcats winning a state championship.

They earned their 13th state title since the current playoff format was established in 1993. And they won it in emphatic fashion, dominating from start to finish en route to a 40-0 victory over St. Mary's of Rutherford in the Non-Public II final at Rutgers Stadium.

"We wanted to play hard for all 48 minutes and we did," St. Joseph junior defensive lineman Kaiwan Lewis said. "We didn't want anyone to have any questions about who was the best team on the field tonight."

When it was over, the Wildcats (10-1) gathered around coach Paul Sacco for a celebratory hug and then jogged over to the bleachers to join the hundreds of fans who made the trek from Hammonton and other towns in a loud round of cheers.

Minutes later, while his players carried yet another championship plaque to the parking lot, Sacco stood near the bench and fought back tears.

"I've got to say this one means a little more to me than the others because of my situation," said Sacco, who missed one game and was hospitalized last month with bleeding on the brain. "Just to be standing here is a blessing. I never thought I would have the opportunity to coach this team tonight. I was given a gift and it means a lot to me."

The Wildcats, buoyed by Sacco's presence on the sideline, delivered a terrific performance on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, St. Joseph stormed up and down the field, amassing 474 yards. Senior running back Gordon Hill led the attack, rumbling for 209 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries. He opened the scoring on a 55-yard scamper on the Wildcats' fourth offensive play, bursting through a hole on the right side, running over a St. Mary's defender and outrunning five Gaels to the end zone.

Hill added a 3-yard TD in the second quarter and then blew through St. Mary's defense for a 47-yarder early in the fourth. He finished the season with 1,188 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.

"We knew St. Mary's was a good team or they wouldn't be playing us for a state title," Hill said. "We thought it was really important to come out and get on top of them early. When we're able to do that to teams, we can see their confidence level go down."

Wildcats sophomore running back/defensive back Zach Grant followed Hill's initial TD with an 80-yard dash to the end zone on the second series. Grant turned the corner and raced up the right sideline. Sophomore Kaheem Reynolds, who later scored a 34-yard TD, escorted Grant to the end zone with a crunching block at the 5-yard line.

Junior wide receiver/defensive back Phillip Paulhill closed the scoring with a 75-yard TD on a reverse in the fourth quarter.

Hill, Grant, Reynolds and Paulhill were seldom touched during their touchdowns, thanks to a St. Joseph offensive line that overpowered St. Mary's defensive front seven.

"We wanted to win this one for coach Sacco because of what he's been through," Wildcats senior tackle Nick O'Brien said. "We wanted this really bad."

St. Joseph, No. 4 in The Press Elite 11, was equally impressive on defense.

St. Mary's managed 176 yards and committed four turnovers. Grant, Paulhill and Anthony Giagunto each snared an interception and defensive end Mike Earling forced a fumble.

Most importantly, St. Joseph stymied Q'uadree Hubbard, St. Mary's star running back. Hubbard, who entered the game with 1,383 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, was held to 26 yards on 16 carries by a swarming St. Joe defense led by Lewis, O'Brien and senior linebacker Josh Moore.

After the game, the team posed for pictures and then headed to the parking lot for the drive back to Hammonton for a celebration that was supposed to include fireworks and a parade through town.

"We wanted to make sure our seniors went out on top," Sacco said. "What a great bunch of kids. They've done everything we've asked of them for four years and they deserve it."

So did their coach.

Contact David Weinberg:

609-272-7186

DWeinberg@pressofac.com

St. Mary's 0 0 0 0-0

St. Joseph 14 8 6 12-40

FIRST QUARTER

SJ-Hill 55 run. (Run failed)

SJ-Grant 80 run. (Grant pass from Giagunto)

SECOND QUARTER

SJ- Hill 3 run. (Hill run)

THIRD QUARTER

SJ-Reynolds 34 run. (Kick failed)

FOURTH QUARTER

SJ-Hill 47 run. (Kick failed)

SJ-Paulhill 75 run. (Kick failed)

TEAM STATS SM SJ

First Downs 9 16

Team Rushing 38 452

Team Passing 138 22

Turnovers 3 0

INDIVIDUAL STATS

Rushing-St Mary's, Hubbard 16-26, Rutty 2-16, Harvey 1-(-4). St. Joseph, Hill 22-209, Grant 3-92, Pauhill 1-75, Reynolds 6-52, Pogue 6-34, Giagunto 1-(-6).

Passing-St Mary's, McPherson 13-25-138-3, Hubbard 0-1-0. St. Joseph, Giagunto 4-6-22-0.

Receiving-St Mary's, Cuccinelli 4-75, Thomas 3-29, Godsil 3-21, Hubbard 3-13. St. Joseph, Valles 2-12, Paulhill 1-11, Wright 1-(-1).

Records: St. Mary's 7-4; St. Joseph 10-1.

© 2014 pressofAtlanticCity.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Cape-Atlantic League National Conference

School Conference Overall
St. Augustine Prep 7-0 8-2
Bridgeton 7-1 8-3
Cedar Creek 6-1 7-2
Buena Regional 5-3 5-5
Ocean City 3-4 4-5
Middle Township 2-5 3-6
Vineland 2-6 2-7
Pleasantville 1-6 2-7
Lower Cape May Regional 0-7 0-8

Cape-Atlantic League American Conference

School Conference Overall
Holy Spirit 7-0 10-0
St. Joseph 6-1 9-1
Millville 6-2 7-3
Hammonton 5-2 6-3
Atlantic City 3-4 4-5
Absegami 2-5 4-5
Oakcrest 1-6 2-7
Mainland Regional 1-6 3-6
Egg Harbor Township 1-6 2-7

Shore Conference A South

School Conference Overall
Jackson Memorial 6-1 7-3
Brick Township 5-2 8-3
Toms River South 5-2 7-3
Brick Memorial 4-3 6-4
Lacey Township 3-4 5-5
Southern Regional 3-4 4-5
Toms River East 1-5 3-6
Toms River North 0-6 1-8

Shore Conference B South

School Conference Overall
Barnegat 5-1 9-1
Central Regional 5-2 5-4
Monsignor Donovan 4-2 4-5
Lakewood 4-3 6-3
Jackson Liberty 3-4 4-5
Manchester Township 3-3 3-6
Pinelands Regional 1-5 1-8
Pt. Pleasant Boro 1-6 1-9

West Jersey Football League Royal Division

School Conference Overall
Camden 4-0 9-1
Delsea Regional 4-1 9-2
Woodrow Wilson 3-1 4-5
Bishop Eustace 1-4 5-4
Cumberland Regional 1-4 1-8
Deptford 1-4 1-8

West Jersey Football League Classic Division

School Conference Overall
Pennsville 5-0 8-2
Salem 4-1 5-5
Gloucester 3-2 3-6
Clayton 1-3 3-6
Pitman 1-3 2-7
Wildwood 0-5 2-5

Scoring leaders

Name School Total points
Lamont Harris St. Augustine Prep 126
Stefon Bowman Bridgeton 110
David Hood Absegami 108
Christian Tutela Lacey Township 100
Taalib Gerald Holy Spirit 96
Cappadonna Miller Bridgeton 92
Ryquell Armstead Millville 90
Rob Ennis Millville 90
Cody Sampson St. Joseph 84

Rushing touchdowns

Name School TDs
Lamont Harris St. Augustine Prep 21
Stefon Bowman Bridgeton 16
David Hood Absegami 15
Taalib Gerald Holy Spirit 14
Ryquell Armstead Millville 13

Passing touchdowns

Name School TDs
Tom Kelly Lacey Township 19
Jose Tabora St. Augustine Prep 19
Jamir Prevard Atlantic City 16
Ty Mindish Mainland Regional 13

Receiving touchdowns

Name School TDs
Christian Tutela Lacey Township 14
Austin Francisco St. Augustine Prep 12
Alex Padovani Hammonton 7
Isiah Graves Atlantic City 7
Jim Brennan Mainland Regional 7
LaDarrell Dixon Oakcrest 7

Field goal leaders

Name School Number Longest in yards
Jon Kubricki Pinelands Regional 5 36
Ryan Ulrich Barnegat 4 37
Joe Stadnicki Ocean City 4 38
Franco Rifici Holy Spirit 4 27
Alex Padovani Hammonton 3 30
Ryan Davis Cumberland Regional 3 47
Kyle Snow St. Augustine Prep 3 32
Mike McGarry
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James Clark
  • James Clark
  • Assistant Soccer Coach at St. Augustine Prep
  • James Clark has been writing about soccer for various media outlets, including The Press of Atlantic City, for 15 years. The Northfield resident coached travel teams in the South Jersey Soccer League for a decade and is currently an assistant soccer coach at St. Augustine Prep. Clark's blog will appear three times a week and daily during this summer's World Cup.