St. Joseph refuses to lose, beating Egg Harbor Township 20-7 - High School Football

St. Joseph refuses to lose, beating Egg Harbor Township 20-7 - High School Football

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The Boys Basketball Elite 11

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

2. Holy Spirit (3) 4-1

3. Atlantic City (5) 2-1

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6. Bishop Eustace (8) 5-1

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8. Pitman (2) 3-1

9. Eastern (UR) 4-0

10. St. Augustine Prep (10) 4-0

11. Wildwood Catholic (11) 4-2

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St. Joseph refuses to lose, beating Egg Harbor Township 20-7

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Posted: Sunday, November 7, 2010 12:45 am | Updated: 12:46 am, Sun Nov 7, 2010.

HAMMONTON - In a matter of seconds, St. Joseph High School's Phil Paulhill was reminded of a game from last season in which the Wildcats trailed early and lost.

He felt uneasy when he realized in the second quarter that the score was almost the same Saturday as it had been a year ago. So the St. Joseph senior did the only thing he could to get rid of that pit in his stomach.

Paulhill ran for an 89-yard kickoff return touchdown to give St. Joseph (7-1), the No. 6 team in The Press Elite 11, the lead and spark the Wildcats to a 20-7 win over Egg Harbor Township (5-3).

St. Joe earned the third seed in the state Non-Public II playoff bracket and will play No. 2 St. Anthony of Jersey City this week at a time to be determined. EHT likely will be the fourth seed in South Jersey Group IV and host Shawnee in a first-round game.

The playoff matchups will be released officially on Monday.

The Wildcats trailed 7-6 in the second quarter Saturday before Paulhill's return.

"I thought about Hammonton last year, and it was (a similar score) in the second quarter too," Paulhill said, referring to a 16-14 loss to the Blue Devils last Thanksgiving. "I couldn't let that happen again."

Saturday was the first time St. Joseph trailed in a game this season besides its loss to unbeaten Holy Spirit. This was unfamiliar for many of the Wildcats, but junior Eli Pogue wasn't going to allow his teammates to lose focus.

After EHT's touchdown, Pogue pulled together the starters on the sideline.

"I told them, 'We only have a couple of minutes to go,' " Pogue said.

" 'We have to do this for the seniors. We have to put it away for our seniors' last moments on this field' (in St. Joseph's home finale)."

Paulhill and the others remembered what Pogue said and went out with a renewed vigor. Paulhill's touchdown put the Wildcats ahead, and the defense shut out EHT the rest of the way.

The Eagles had taken the lead moments before Paulhill's return when senior Stephan Thomas ran in a 1-yard touchdown with 3 minutes, 19 second to go in the first half.

Two big plays went against St. Joe in that drive. First, EHT quarterback Jon Kopistecki hit Dom Moody on a screen pass. Moody gained 53 yards on the play, putting the Eagles on the 6-yard line. Kopistecki completed 7-of-15 passes for 104 yards.

Two plays later, St. Joe was called for offsides, moving EHT closer to the goal line to set up Thomas' score.

"You can't have little things like that happen," St. Joe coach Paul Sacco said. "If you want to win in November, you have to cut all those things out."

After Paulhill's score made it 12-7, the St. Joe defense followed with an impressive three-and-out, giving up just 1 yard on the short drive.

The Wildcats' next drive ate up more than eight minutes. Even though they didn't score, St. Joe held the ball for the majority of the third quarter.

The Wildcats got the ball back with 3:30 to go in the third after another three-and-out. Gordon Hill ran for 41 yards on the first play from scrimmage on that drive, bringing St. Joe to the 12-yard line. Pogue's 7-yard run brought them close to the goal, and Hill finished it off for a touchdown to make it 20-7.

Hill finished with 157 yards on 20 carries.

"It was a defensive game," St. Joe defensive Kaiwan Lewis said. "It was a real struggle. We had to win it in the trenches."

EHT had an opportunity to score in the fourth when the Eagles recovered a fumble deep in St. Joe territory on the 15-yard line. But after three incomplete passes, St. Joe lineman Corey Litton broke into the backfield for a sack.

"The biggest turning point was the third quarter," Sacco said. "We had an eight-and-a-half-minute drive and a score. That was huge. They really pulled together."

Contact Susan Lulgjuraj:


Egg Harbor Township 0 7 0 0-7

St. Joseph 6 6 8 0-20


SJ-Giagunto 1 run (run failed)


EHT-Thomas 1 run (Mason kick)

SJ-Paulhill 89 kick return (pass failed)


SJ-Hill 6 run (Reynolds pass)

Team Stats EHT SJ

First Downs 6 12

Rushing 60 241

Passing 104 8

Turnovers 0 1

Individual stats

Rushing-EHT, Thomas 19-35, Kopistecki 4-18, Newmones 1-1, Moody 2-8, Garris 1-(-2). St. Joseph, Hill 20-157, Reynolds 12-40, Pogue 5-15, Grant 3-18, Giagunto 6-11.

Receiving-EHT, Moody 3-60, Thomas 2-4, Marquez 2-40. St. Joseph, Reynolds 1-8.

Passing-EHT, Kopistecki 7-15-0-104. St. Joseph, Giagunto 1-4-0-8.

Records-St. Joseph 7-1, EHT 5-3.

© 2014 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.