St. Joseph has gone two years without a winning a state title.
Most schools still would be basking in the glow of that championship.
For St. Joe, two years without a title is a reason to panic.
St. Joe is the top seed in state Non-Public II and seeks its first state title since 2006. The Wildcats won a state-record eight straight playoff championships from 1999-2006. But they haven't won a playoff game since they beat Bishop Eustace 14-0 in the 2006 state Non-Public II final.
After a 31-16 loss to undefeated St. Augustine Prep on Oct. 23, St. Joe appears to be peaking at the right time. The Wildcats have won their last two games by a combined score of 102-7.
This is Pingry's first playoff appearance since 2005. Pingry is 1-11 in the postseason. The Big Blue enter the postseason on a two-game losing streak, including a 56-0 loss to undefeated Summit last Saturday.
Fourth-seeded Pingry (4-5) vs. top-seeded St. Joseph (6-2)
What: State Non-Public II semifinal
When/where: 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph
What's next: Winner advances to next weekend's state championship against the winner of today's other semifinal between third-seeded Morris Catholic and second-seeded Gloucester Catholic. If St. Joe beats Pingry, the championship will be played at Paul VI on Saturday.
Pingry: Dylan Westerhold, RB, 11 touchdowns; Eric Stock, NG; Matt Damstrom, QB; Chris Christensen, WR/DB; Dan Muller, WR/DB/K; Spencer Topf, LB.
St. Joseph: Darryl Smith, QB, 39-of-80 for 530 yards and three touchdowns; Kaheem Reynolds, RB, 63 carris for 472 yards; Sean Clark, RB/LB, 73 carries for 416 yards and 12 touchdowns; Gordon Hill, RB/DB, 66 carries for 515 yards; Kaiwan Lewis, DE, 41 tackles and five sacks; Pat Casey, LB, 71 tackles.
Key to victory: St. Joe just needs to be its usual solid self. The Wildcats will run the ball with Hill, Clark and Reynolds and play solid defense.
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