State Non-Public Group 2 Final


DePaul vs. Holy Spirit

Sunday, 1 p.m. at Rutgers

Previous state titles: Holy Spirit, four (2007, 2010 in Non-Public 3; 2011, 2012 in Non-Public 2); DePaul, none.

Coaches: Holy Spirit, John Iannucci (19-4 in two seasons at Holy Spirit; 12-18 in three seasons at Cherry Hill East); DePaul, John McKenna (63-29 in nine seasons).

How DePaul can win: The Spartans are battle-tested from playing in the Big North's United Division with St. Joseph of Montvale, Don Bosco Prep, and Paramus Catholic. QB Zach Bednarczyk (84-for-164 passing, 1,527 yards, 17 TDs; 389 rushing yards) is a Villanova recruit. Senior WR/DB Kiy Hester has offers from Michigan State, Ohio State, and Nebraska. Sophomore RB Kareem Walker (101 carries, 1,064 yards, 11 TDs) has a Penn State offer. Senior DE Justin Nelson (eight sacks) is a Rutgers recruit.

How Holy Spirit can win: The Spartans play defense and run the football, and that's a formula for success. The defense is led by tackle Ray Ellis, who has offers from Villanova, Delaware, and Bowling Green, among others, as well as linebacker Jeff Steeb, a Villanova recruit. Franco Rifici and A.J. Dawson are top defensive backs. Holy Spirit QB T.J. Anderson directs a triple-option attack that features speedy halfback Taalib Gerald (17 TDs).

Fast fact: Since 2010, Holy Spirit is 10-0 in state-tournament games and has outscored opponents by 398-72.

- Phil Anastasia