September 4 – Oradell, NJ – BC’s first meeting with a team from the country’s first state (Delaware), the scarlet and gold racked up the best offensive day in the Coach Vito Campanile era showing that right now, the Crusaders are playing as a Top-10 Nationally Ranked Team.
BC defeated Smyrna HS of Delaware by a score of 52-6 which showed the ability of the Crusaders to methodically pound the ball and win in the trenches on short-yardage situations. In addition, the offense showed of a dynamic big-play element which recorded some of the longest plays in recent memory.
Let’s not forget about the defense who was stifling against one of the nation’s top quarterback recruits, digging in when the ball was nearing the goal line and producing a number of goal line stands in the process.
The first drive was methodical in nature. Ten plays, sixty-two yards with Steve Angeli hitting Christian Carti on two passes for 20 yards. Ryan Butler contributed 6 carries for 37 yards which set up Larue Linder hauling in an Angeli pass for a five-yard touchdown reception, his first of the year. The special team of long snapper Logan Rager, holder Jack Duffy and place kicker, Giancarlo Carbonaro added the extra point and the Crusaders were in business 7-0. That battery was perfect on the day, recording 10 points, 7 PATs and 1 FG.
On the Eagles’ first drive, their outstanding QB engineered a 77-yard drive of his own. The Eagles marched 15 plays to the Crusader 3 when senior defensive lineman Dominick Brogna made a devastating tackle for a loss and gave BC the slightest bit of breathing room.
Angeli and Butler wasted no time moving the ball into the red zone as a quick flick of the wrist and Ryan B sprinting up the Crusader sideline was BC’s biggest play of the year. A 92-yard completion set up first and goal for the Crusaders at the Smyrna 2. The next play, Angeli handed to Butler who took the ball into the endzone and BC went up 14-0.
Carmello Vellardo kicked his second-straight touchback, setting the Eagles back 1st and 10 at their own 20-yard line. Once again, the Eagles started to move the ball. It was becoming apparent that their attack, which utilized a solid screen game to attempt to slow down BC’s pass rush was not fooling the Crusader linebacking corp. The Eagles executed a toss sweep “punt” that was well-executed from the 42-yard line, pinning BC at their own 7.
But once again, the Crusaders responded. This time with a 93-yard touchdown pass from Angeli to Correa, the new longest play of the season. BC led 21-0 early in the second quarter.
A quick three and out and a shanked punt, gave the Crusaders their best field position of the day at the Eagle 25 yard-line. Larue Linder’s 19-yard catch set up Angeli’s fourth touchdown pass of the game as Noah Carti becomes the fourth different receiver to score, this time from four yards out. Yes. Yes. Carbonaro kicked the extra point. (I almost feel like I’m calling on him on class through this process.). BC now led 28-0.
The Eagles were not going to quit. Despite yielding a sack to Dom Brogna on first down, QB Cameron Edge found a Yamir Knight down the left sideline for a 76-yard gain. On the following play, he handed the ball to Wayne Knight, who bolted 5 yards into the endzone. The PAT was no good and BC lead 28-6
Fabian France took possession of the ball for the Crusaders on the ensuing kickoff at the 10-yard line. He found some running room and accelerated 23 yards, putting the ball at the Crusaders’ 33. Ryan Butler, Justan Luzzi, Saeed St. Fleur and Angeli combined for 32 yards rushing. Angeli and Butler combined for the last 32 yards of the drive with a touchdown pass to put BC up 35-6.
DJ Samuels and Sydir Mitchell combined for a sack on second down, setting up a 3rd and 16 which was just a bridge too far for the visitors to cross. After the Crusaders forced the ball to be turned over on downs, BC took possession.
Two penalties put Bergen in a 2nd and 30-yard hole. But Angeli was poised. Taking advantage of what the defense was giving he found Santino Correa and Logan Casey who quickly picked-up 22 and 14 yards respectively, giving BC first down at the Eagles 24. A visiting penalty moved the ball half the distance to the goal with 3 seconds to play in the half.
Enter Carbonaro and company, who sent a 29-yard field goal attempt perfectly through the uprights, giving BC a 38-6 halftime lead.
Smyrna received the second-half kickoff and began marching the ball down the field. Looking for the same magic they had from the five-yard line earlier, Edge handed off to Wayne Knight on fourth down. Brogna wasn’t having any of it. The senior defensive lineman broke through the line and tackled the Eagle carrier for a 5-yard loss which gave BC possession at its own 10.
Coach Campanile was using all of the tools in his arsenal, Butler, Correa, St. Fleur, TE Jack Comeau as BC methodically moved the ball across midfield. That’s when Saeed St. Fleur made something special happen, turning a 1-yard completion into a spectacular 48-yard touchdown reception as he sprinted past the Crusader Crazies to paydirt.
Junior QB Jack Duffy finished off the throwing of touchdown passes for the day, hitting Mike Delpome for a 38-yard touchdown. BC led 52-6 and that would do it for the scoring as the clock would quickly expire due to the “running clock rule.”
Two in the books for BC. 94-13 is the combined final scoring for their two games against two of the best teams from OH and DE respectively.
EXTRA POINTS: Angeli threw for 5 TD passes on 360 yards on 14-15 passing. His season completion percentage now stands at a stunning 90.3% with an almost incalculable QB Passer Rating. BCs 52 points were the most scored by a Crusader football team since November 11, 2017 in a state playoff game vs. St. Augustine Prep (Richland, NJ) in the NJSIAA quarterfinals (BC won 56-21). The 46-point margin of victory was the largest since November 17, 2012 when BC defeated Notre Dame (Lawrence, NJ) in the state quarterfinals 63-0.