Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Paladins' Defense Sets Early Tone

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Paladins' Defense Sets Early Tone

Article excerpt

PARAMUS - The field was ready. The fans were ready. The defense was definitely ready.

One of the mottos carried by the Paramus Catholic football team in 2013 is Team 45. This is the 45th Paladin football team, but likely none of the previous 44 ever had such high expectations coming into a season opener.

"We are the 45th team, and we are trying to be the best ever," said Paladins senior defensive lineman Terrance Harris.

Playing on a brand-new FieldTurf surface in front of what was called the second biggest home crowd in school history, the Paladins overcame some sloppy early play to take down Gilman (Md.), 28-0, on a picturesque Sunday afternoon.

Senior Jabrill Peppers scored two touchdowns, but running back Keyon Washington did most of the hard work on offense with 24 rushes and 171 yards and a score. The defense made sure Gilman did very little ... period.

The Greyhounds finished with just 53 yards of total offense and never advanced past the Paladins 44-yard line.

"[Head coach Chris] Partridge is a complete brainiac with the defense, he's a defensive genius," Paladins quarterback Steve Shanley said. "It was an unbelievable performance. I tip my hat to them. They really kept us in the game."

The Paladin offense didn't exactly set the world on fire in the first half. They had six possessions, and kicked a field goal and scored a touchdown, but also had an interception and several penalties.

"Ten penalties, nine on offense ain't going to cut it," Partridge said. "We will fix that this week."

"That was first-game jitters," said the Michigan-bound Peppers. "I saw it in the locker room. We were too hyped. We were a tad bit too fast on everything. Even me, on my reads, I could have carried them out a little better and Steve was a little antsy trying to get the ball out, but once we settled down, we definitely showed what we could do.''

The game, which was switched away from Rutgers on Tuesday, attracted a curious crowd and a huge media contingent that even included MTV. …

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