AYF youth football for New Jersey serving , hunterdon county NJ, sussex county NJ, mercer county NJ, middlesex county NJ, warren county NJ; american youth football, partner with Jersey Shore AYF & Garden State AYF, formerly Jr Skyland Football Conference

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GNJAYF 2018 Week 9 Game of the Week: Raritan Championships

Raritan Gold Division 11U Championship Final

#2 Seed Pope John Jr Lions 11U Gold (14) at #1 Seed Ridge Jr Devils 11U Gold (22)

"Pope John's big plays offense too much for Ridge"


As the clouds cleared and the wind began to die down, the Ridge Jr Devils came in undefeated based on a regular season 14-12 victory over the Pope John Jr Lions way back in week two of the season.   That loss was the Jr Lions only loss during the regular season and they were looking forward to this rematch against the #1 seed in the playoffs in the Greater NJ AYF 11U Championships being hosted at Hillsborough High School on Saturday night. 

Ridge jumped out early with their opening Drive when #10 Matthew Bober hit #48 Ryan Turner with a 19 yard bubble screen for the touchdown.  The score was made possible by #15 Sam Ginn, who sprung Turner with a great downfield block taking out two defenders, driving the cornerback into the free safety and creating a path to the endzone.     Pope John answered on the very next play when #6 Luke Brown took the handoff from QB #4 Tyler Houser and went 63 yards down the sideline to the Ridge 2 to set up 1st and goal, only a touchdown saving tackle by Ridge’s [# NAME] stopped Brown from scoring.   But the reprieve was short lived as #1 Joey Rozynski finished the drive on the next play by punching it into the end zone.  QB Houser was able to find a gap in the defense to convert the extra point for making it a 7-6 Pope John lead.     

In the second quarter, Pope John stopped Ridge on a 3 and out with some nice defensive plays by [# name, # Name] and started on another scoring drive.   Jr Lions QB Houser hit #30, WR-Wesley Johnston on a big pass to set up their 2nd TD of the night.   The TD was scored by Brown on a strong carry and Houser added his 2nd PAT on the night giving Pope John as a 14-6 lead.   

Ridge started a drive of their own moving the ball but The Jr Devils drive stalled deep inside the Pope John territory and after the Jr Lions stopped Ridge 4th down at Pope John’s 18 yard line, it looked like the Coach Confranesco would run out the clock in the first half and go into halftime with a 14-6 lead but instead he dialed up another big pass play from QB Houser to his big WR Johnston over the middle on a 3rd and forever from their own 18 and 82yards later Pope John was in the endzone again.   This time Pope John looked for two on the PAT and they were successful off the foot of #13 Alex Fessel, giving them a 22-6 lead at the half.   

What appeared to be a blow out win for Pope John turned into anything but in the 2nd half.   Coach Ganny fired up is boys at half-time and the impact was obvious from the start.  The Jr Lions received the kickoff in the 2nd half and the  Ridge defense led by #40 David Hamilton, #16 Gavin Duran and #20 Ben Kanne decided it had enough of the PJ scoring in this game and forced Pope John into its 1st of two straight three and outs.   Ridge took the ball in their own side of the field and marched down 60 yards until #26 Joseph Dachnowicz ran it in from the 10 yd line with some great blocking up front by #50 Aidan Stieglitz and #60 Jacob Giordano.   #80 Dan Caesar drilled his kick through the uprights to convert the PAT and make the score 22-14 and close the lead to a single score.  

After the Ridge defense stopped Pope John on another three and out,  the Jr Devils drove down the to the Jr Lions 8 yard line with 1st and goal looking to tie up the game with 5 min left in the 4th quarter.   After some great defense, led by #99 Jarrod Cofrancesco Eventually it would come down to 4th and goal play to decide the game.    Ridge QB Bober dropped back to pass rolling to his left and could see TE #15 Sam Ginn coming open in the corner of the endzone.    He let go a beautiful pass that look destined to be a tying score, but at the last minute, a tremendous effort by Pope John defender Dachnowicz  to get his finger tips on just enough of the ball broke up the pass and preserved the win for the Jr Lions.    We tip our hats to both squads for a very competitive and enjoyable hard fought championship game.  Congratulations Pope John! 









Pope John














1Q Ridge TD:           #1 Bober 19 yd pass to #48 Turner  (PAT Failed)

1Q Pope John TD:  #1 Rozynski 2 yd run  (#4 Hauser PAT run )

2Q Pope John TD:  #6 Brown 5 yd run  (#4 Hauser PAT run)

2Q Pope John TD:  #4 Hauser 82 yd pass to #30 Johnston  (#13 Fessel PAT Kick)

3Q Ridge TD:          #26 Dachnowicz 10 yd run (#80 Caeser PAT Kick)