Looking Back on the Semifinals

By Tom Szieber
Posted:  Tuesday, November 13, 2018   8:45 am

Mater Dei shocks DePaul in Non-Public, Group 3: Mater Dei Prep was out to prove something any naysayers, and they did just that with their shocking 28-23 upset of the Spartans in the Non-Public, Group 3 semifinals. The game-winning score, which happened in front of NJ Advance Media's Pat Lanni, came on a 41-yard touchdown pass from QB Rob McCoy to WR Isaiah Alston with just 41 seconds on the clock.

Partyla, Lyndhurst take down Verona in North 2, Group 2: RB Piotr Partyla's three-yard score with 33 seconds on the clock capped a historic day for Lyndhurst, who defeated Verona, 37-34, to advance to the North 2, Group 2 final. Partyla had a monster day with Robert Aitken, Jr. of The Record in attendance, rushing for five touchdowns in total as the Bears qualified for their first sectional title game in 35 years.

Shawnee (4-6) upsets top-seeded Millville to reach South, Group 4 final: The defending champion Renegades, who were just 2-6 when the playoffs began, scored a huge upset over the Thunderbolts, 28-26. Shawnee overcame a 179-yard rushing day by Millville RB Tex Thompson, scoring a true team win in front of Philly.com's Phil Anastasia.

River Dell ends Paramus' undefeated season, advances to North 1, Group 3 final: River Dell RB David Fletcher led the way for the Golden Hawks, who rode his 165 rushing yards to a 28-7 victory over a Paramus team that had beaten them on Oct. 19. This one, chronicled by Greg Mattura of The Record, produced a different result, as the Golden Hawks led 28-0 before Paramus got on the board.

Maldjian, defense lead Rumson to Central, Group 3 rematch with Somerville: Linebackers Keegan Woods and Christian Lanzalotto led a swarming Rumson-Fair Haven defense to a sectional semifinal win over Red Bank. Steven Falk of the Asbury Park Press saw it all, and also saw Bulldogs RB Alex Maljian overcome injuries to rush for 111 yards.

Tom Szieber can be reached by emailing tom@gridironnewjersey.com.