MONTVALE – New Jersey’s No. 1 team got its first win against an in-state opponent.
Audric Estime ran for 170 yards and three scores and Andre Epps had two long touchdown runs as St. Joseph shot past DePaul, 55-14, on a summery Saturday afternoon.
In their first two games, the Green Knights beat teams from California and New York. Their next opponent, however, could be the most formidable as St. Frances Academy comes to Montvale. St. Frances is ranked No. 9 in the nation by USA Today.
“It’s going to be a hell of a test,” Green Knights coach Augie Hoffmann said.
The Green Knights (3-0) were ranked 21st nationally in that same poll, but Hoffmann believes his team hasn’t proven much yet.
“I think we played a complete game today, I’m not sure you can call it a complete game with the penalties we had,” Hoffmann said. “Everyone says we have a lot of Division 1 kids, but that doesn’t make us a great team. I think we took a step in the right direction today, but I’d just as soon not hear the national talk.”
What it means
The Green Knights still look like the class of the North Jersey Big Six, although at times Saturday’s game appeared to be more like a Big 12 contest, with plenty of offense, not much defense.
St. Joe’s scored on their first three offensive possessions, but DePaul stayed close thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from Andrew Butler and pulled within 21-14 with 9:44 left in the half, but on their next offensive play, Estime went 69 yards for a score and the Green Knights were never threatened again.
“I would have liked to see is be a little cleaner defensively,” Hoffmann said. “I think they had a nice game plan and it can be easy to throw to guys that are wide open. We had some breakdowns defensively and we can’t have that next week, with their speed, we won’t be able to recover.”