The Group 4 playoff is easily the most competitive playoff in the northeast, and certainly up for argument for one of the toughest playoff brackets in the country. This is hands down the biggest game in NJ high school footballl this year. The playoff is usually dominated by Don Bosco (Ramsey), St. Peters and Bergen Catholic (Oradell). However, in the past few years the Paramus Catholic Paladins have been on the rise with a large amount of standout players. In the past three years, the Paladins have possibly had one of the better recruiting classes in the northeast. Paramus Catholic has had two top 5 prospects in the country in Jabrill Peppers (Michigan, #3 recruit in class of 2014, Heisman Candidate) and Rashan Gary (Michigan, #1 recruit in class of 2016) over the past three years. The Paladins last state title was 2013 and the Marauders last title was 2014. This is the third time in four years that these two teams will be matching up at Metlife. The Paladins possessed a major asset coming into the 2016 season, in  Outside Linebacker, Drew Singleton. Singleton is ranked the best player in New Jersey and the #3 Outside Linebacker in the country. However, Singleton tore his ACL in early September. The Paladins have not been fazed at all. With Senior Quarterback Andrew Brito stepping up to replace 4-star Quarterback Allan Walters (Peddie School, NJ) Paramus has been proving everyone wrong. However, Drew Singleton may be suiting up for the last game of his high school career. He says he has been sprinting lifting, box jumping and cutting. He also led the Paladins out to the field two weeks ago against Don Bosco. Just three months after a torn ACL and surgery, Singleton has made great strides in therapy. “I’ll find out tomorrow. I’m pushing everyone to let me get back on the field. I’m itching for this” (11/29/16). Paramus Catholic has already defeated the Prep by a touchdown. The Marauders and Paladins will kickoff at 8 PM, Friday (11/2/16) in East Rutherford.

Paramus Catholic (Paramus, NJ)

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Pictured above: Jabrill Peppers, Class of 2014, ATH, Michigan, #3 recruit in class of 2014, Heisman Trophy Candidate

Notable Wins

St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, MD) at Michigan Stadium: 38-20

St. Peters Prep (Jersey City, NJ): 28-21

Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ): 26-17 (October 21st), 35-29 (November 18th)

Pope John XXIII (Sparta, NJ): 33-28

Key Players

Drew Singleton (If healthy), Outside Linebacker, Senior

Corey Bolds, Defensive Tackle, Senior

Andrew Brito, Quarterback, Senior

Peter Nestrowitz (Navy), Offensive Lineman, Senior

Jackson Lee Mitchell (Navy), Offensive Lineman, Senior

Mohamed Toure, Wide Receiver, Sophomore

Alijah Jackson, Running Back, Senior

Bartek Rybka, Defensive Lineman, Junior

St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, NJ)

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Pictured above: L to R, Coach Hansen, Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama Starting Defensive Back), Brandon Wimbush (Notre Dame)

Notable Wins

Blessed Trinity (Roswell, GA): 41-28

Peddie School (Hightstown, NJ): 43-26

DePaul Catholic (Wayne, NJ): 34-22

Bergen Catholic (Oradell, NJ): 48-42 (October 14th), 28-7 (November 19th)

Key Players

Johnathan Lewis (Rutgers), Quarterback, Senior

Johnathan Lewis, Rutgers Commit, 2017 Dual-Threat QB, St. Peters Prep (Jersey City,NJ)

Masaki Aerts (Dartmouth), Wide Receiver, Senior

Jorge Portoreal (Lehigh), Returner/Receiver/Cornerback, Senior

Ben Petrula (Boston College), Offensive Tackle, Senior

Jayson Ademilola (Notre Dame), Defensive Lineman, Junior

Justin Ademilola (Notre Dame), Outside Linebacker, Junior

Maasai Maynor, Quarterback, Sophomore

Benji Mowatt, Defensive Lineman, Senior

Our Prediction

The Prep’s quarterback, Johnathan Lewis (Rutgers) should have a huge game both on the ground and in the air. Paladin quarterback, Andrew Brito should also do the same. Brito performs better with speed, and rollout passing. Lewis, is more of a power runner, who can also sit in the pocket and launch bullets. Lewis’ favorite targets are Shayne Simon, Masaki Aerts (Dartmouth) and Jorge Portoreal (Lehigh). Paramus’ defense will need to play a standout game to keep the Marauders from pulling away. The Marauders did lose to the Paladins already, but they will be back for revenge. This one should be one for the ages.

Final Score:

St. Peters 34

Paramus Catholic 28