Non-Public 2 Championship Preview
Holy Spirit (5-6) vs. DePaul Catholic (7-4) 4 p.m. Saturday at Rutgers. Coaches: Holy Spirit, John Iannucci, 24-11 in third season; DePaul Catholic, John McKenna, 71-33 in 10th season.
Holy Spirit (5-6) vs. DePaul Catholic (7-4)
4 p.m. Saturday at Rutgers.
Coaches: Holy Spirit, John Iannucci, 24-11 in third season; DePaul Catholic, John McKenna, 71-33 in 10th season.
Previous titles: Holy Spirit, nine (2012, 2011, 2010, 2007, 1990, 1988, 1987, 1978, 1975). DePaul, three (2013, 1992, 1987).
DePaul breakdown: All four of the Spartans' losses were in a row, and all four came against Big North United Division foes. DePaul has not lost to a team outside of that division since September 2012.
DePaul players to watch: Kareem Walker, widely regarded as the nation's top running back in the class of 2016, has 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns on 193 carries. Senior Ryan Adzima has passed for 1,681 yards and 12 touchdowns. Juniors Hasise Dubois (28 catches, 605 yards, 5 TDs) and Terrell Vassell (28 catches, 595 yards, 5 TDs) are top receivers.
Holy Spirit breakdown: The Spartans started 0-3 and were 3-5 entering the state tournament after a 20-point loss to Oakcrest. But they found some confidence in a win over Montclair Kimberley and they stunned top-seeded and previously unbeaten Holy Cross on the road in the semifinals.
Holy Spirit players to watch: Senior quarterback Andrew Light has run for 800 yards and 16 touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Jordan Taylor has six touchdown catches. Senior cornerback Desean Hart has three interceptions and two touchdowns by return.
Fast fact: DePaul beat Holy Spirit, 35-16, in the snow in the Non-Public 2 title game last season at Rutgers.
Pick: DePaul, 27-19.
- Phil Anastasia