Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Shanley Proficient as PC Field General

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Shanley Proficient as PC Field General

Article excerpt

PARAMUS -- So much has changed for Paramus Catholic senior quarterback Steve Shanley since he became the hero of last year's state championship.

For one, he's actually the Paladins starter now.

"As competitive as I am, it did get a little frustrating [last year] when you have somebody out there doing what you do and making it work," Shanley said. "When you're not needed on the field, it kind of frustrates you."

But even though Shanley lost his starting spot under center to Jabrill Peppers and the run-heavy Wildcat formation midway through his junior season, he never let his disappointment affect the team or himself. He stayed focused on what the Paladins were doing offensively and remained prepared in case his number was called.

When that happened midway through the state final, Shanley delivered a gem, going 7-for-8 for 138 yards, two touchdowns and a couple two-point conversions to lead Paramus Catholic to a 37-34 comeback win over Bergen Catholic.

Now Shanley returns to the sight of his greatest triumph when Paramus Catholic faces St. Peter's Prep in the Non-Public Group 4 final at MetLife Stadium on Friday night.

"We always had confidence if we needed Shanley to come in and do the job that he would," Paramus Catholic coach Chris Partridge said.

"He's very unselfish as a football player. He allowed us to go with the Wildcat and didn't say a word. He just waited his turn and performed when he came in."

This year the Westwood resident has performed all season as the Paladins starter. He guided them to a 21-20 comeback win over Don Bosco in the state semifinals - throwing the game-winning touchdown to Dejon Harrison late in the fourth quarter - and has passed for 1,832 yards and 22 TDs against just six interceptions.

Peppers still gets snaps out of the Wildcat. But Shanley is the unquestioned field general.

"It's a little more settling for me," Shanley said. "I'm able to get in my rhythm and stay in my rhythm the whole game. It makes it a lot easier than just coming in on third-and-12 situations and being cold."

That's how it was for big stretches at the end of last year. Peppers started getting most of the snaps because the Wildcat was working and Shanley, a pocket passer, became a second option. …

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