H.S. Football round-up: Pope John wins NJAC American Division
Oct 28, 2012
SPARTA — The NJAC American Division has a new champion.
Pope John won this year's division title on Saturday by defeating Mount Olive, 35-28, at Pope John High School. The Lions wrested the crown away from last year's champs, Sparta, by finishing their division slate at 7-0, a game up on the Spartans, who wound up with a 6-1 division record because of their Oct. 6 loss to Pope John.
The Lions were also American Division champions in 2010, but on Saturday, they won their first division title under head coach Brian Carlson, who succeeded Vic Paternostro last year.
Noah Brown led the Pope John charge by rushing for 110 yards and two scores, compiling 50 receiving yards on just two catches, and returning a kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown.
Pope John freshman Sonny Abramson passed for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Jeremy Rodriguez, an opportunistic defender all season, had a fumble recovery and a pick-six for the Lions in Saturday's momentous win.
Pope John clung to a seven-point lead, with Mount Olive on the move and two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but the Lions prevailed.
Pope John (7-1 overall) will visit Delbarton next Saturday in what could be a Non-Public, Group 3 championship