Holy Spirit heads north in the playoffs for the second straight year.

Spirit lost to Immaculata (Somerset County) 21-20 in last year's quarterfinals.

This year, Spirit travels to Wayne in Passaic County to meet DePaul.

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Spirit and DePaul share a few things in common.

They met in the 2004 semifinals with DePaul winning 27-20 at Holy Spirit.

Both teams are nicknamed the Spartans.

This season, DePaul has won six straight since losing at Paramus on Sept. 25. DePaul quarterback Dan Kowal was not the starter when the season began. DePaul's original starting quarterback was injured in the season opener. Kowal took over and produced nearly 1,500 yards of total offense.

Spirit, a young team, comes off a 28-21 loss to undefeated St. Augustine Prep last Friday. Spirit won the 2007 state Non-Public III championship.

Sixth-seeded Holy Spirit (6-2) vs. third-seeded DePaul (7-2)

What: State Non-Public III quarterfinal

Where/when: 7 p.m. today at DePaul

What's next: Winner advances to next weekend's semifinal against the winner of Saturday's quarterfinal between seventh-seeded Bishop Ahr and second-seeded St. Joseph Montvale.

Key players:

Holy Spirit: Nigel Jones, RB, 162 carries for 919 yards and 18 touchdowns; Joe Callahan, QB, 69-of-131 for 1,486 yards and nine touchdowns; Dan McNair, WR, 19 catches for 520 yards; Joe Sarnese, WR/DB, 17 catches for 382 yards; Troy Beck, WR; Anthony Sarao, LB; Quay Williams, DB; Tim Goodwin, OL/DL.

DePaul: Dan Kowal, QB, 50-of-108 for 833 yards and 11 touchdowns, 58 carries for 608 yards; Wymere Robinson, RB, 143 carries for 778 yards; Dan Foesel, WR, 23 catches for 375 yards, five touchdowns; Craig Zimmer, DL, 64 tackles; Kevin Stark, DL, 42 tackles.

Keys to victory: Both teams like to combine the run with timely passing on offense. The difference in the game could be the ability of Holy Spirit quarterback Callahan to throw deep to speedy receivers Sarnese, Beck and McNair.

Contact Michael McGarry:

609-272-7185

MMcGarry@pressofac.com

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