There may be no unit wearing navy and gold that wants a fourth consecutive state title more than the senior members of the Holy Spirit defense.

Their second consecutive playoff shutout, this time a 38-0 rout of Bishop Eustace, has the Spartans on the precipice of their fourth straight Non-Public Group II state championship.

Taalib Gerald, Deandre Dennis and the Spirit defense were among Friday night's standouts. Despite struggling early on offense, the Spartans turned to Davis to power the running game; he finished with 169 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries. Gerald also added two touchdown runs from 7 and 10 yards in the second half, while A.J. Dawson produced the play of the game by running an interception back 90 yards for a score.

The Spartans remain perfect on the season at 10-0, and haven't lost since last season's Thanksgiving Day Game against Atlantic City.

Holy Spirit will look for revenge against the Vikings on Thursday, and then have some time off to prepare for their fourth straight Non-Public Group II Championship Game. They'll face DePaul at Rutgers University on December 8th.


Here are some of the best calls from Friday night's semifinal game, as heard on 97.3 ESPN-FM:

A.J. Dawson 90-yard interception touchdown

Taalib Gerald 10-yard touchdown run

Deandre Dennis 9-yard touchdown run


Here’s a preview of some of the other interviews from this week’s edition of the South Jersey Sports Report:

  • The Hammonton Blue Devils could be playing their last Thanksgiving Day game against St. Joseph this week. Head football coach Pete Lancetta reflects on some great moments in one of South Jersey's best and most historic rivalries, and previews his program's impending departure from the Cape-Atlantic League
  • Press of Atlantic City sports writer Mike McGarry recaps an exciting Friday night in the South Jersey Group V playoffs, including how the brother of the reigning Super Bowl MVP did more than enough with his arm and legs to end Millville's postseason run
  • The Courier-Post's Kevin Minnick describes what he saw on the field Friday night in Sicklerville, including why one quarterback's record-setting playoff performance was "by far the best he's ever seen"
  • Some of the state's best high school basketball players will all be on the same court this weekend, and it's all for a good cause. We invited the man behind Sunday's "End AIDS in Africa Basketball Showcase" inside our Admiral Nissan Studios to find out how the event is raising awareness around the world

  • Two former Temple Owl football captains (one of them also a Philadelphia Eagle under coach Dick Vermeil) joined us inside our studio to share their favorite South Jersey and Philadelphia gridiron memories

    Listen to this week's show:

    Brian Broomell & Mike Curcio, Former Temple University football captains

    Kevin Minnick, Courier-Post sports reporter

    Bruce Davenport, Friendly Competition owner/operator & coordinator of the 'End AIDS in Africa Showcase'

    Mike McGarry, Press of Atlantic City sports reporter

    Pete Lancetta, Hammonton Blue Devils head football coach


    We’d also like to congratulate the South Jersey Athlete of the Week:

    Lamont Harris

    Football, St. Augustine Prep

    The junior running back dominated in a first-round playoff victory over previously unbeaten St. Joe (Metuchen). Harris carried the ball 40 times for 330 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-28 win.

    It’s all right here, on The South Jersey Sports Report. Listen every Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on 97.3 ESPN-FM or, and catch the expanded edition every Thursday night from 6-7 p.m.

    Follow Tyler Donohue on Twitter @TDsTake