Some random notes from the weekend in which I saw two pivotal football games, St. Joseph's thrilling 17-15 victory over Wayne Hills and Paterson Catholic's 22-12 triumph at Lodi ...
* Wayne Hills' inability to stop St. Joseph on third-and-long in numerous crucial situations hurt the Patriots as much as those two turnovers in the final 3:21 of the first half. Kai Dominguez's biggest catch of the game came on a third-and-16 from the Green Knights' own 39 early in the second quarter. He went up and made a leaping grab for 19 yards, a momentum-changer for sure. Two plays later, Kai the Dominator hooked up with Devin O'Connor for 12 more yards on a third-and-8; and on the next play, O'Connor went up top and found Dominguez in the back of the end zone for a 28-yard score.
So here it is, on third downs for the game: St. Joseph converted a staggering 8-for-13, and two of those times in which it failed to get a first down were at the end of the game on a kneeldown and Jason Checke's field goal at the end of the first half. Oh, and one more thing: of those eight conversions for first downs, ready for this -- five were third down and longer than seven yards. Amazing.
* Greg Schiano obviously wants Trevor Clemmings at Rutgers next year. How else can you explain the Rutgers coach flying back home for a 1 p.m. start in Lodi for Clemmings and Paterson Catholic against the Rams. Schiano was at the national showdown in Florida between No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas and No. 2 Byrnes of South Carolina -- won by STA, 42-34 -- and hustled back to Bergen County to watch Clemmings.
Here's a quote from T.J., the 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive lineman -- he plays end and tackle -- about Schiano's presence on the Paterson Catholic sideline: "It's great, and it definitely means something to me. He's the first head coach to come and watch my game."
I pressed Clemmings a bit more on whether that puts Rutgers at the front of his recruitment and he just smiled. "I can't get all caught up in who's in the crowd watching. We've just got to play our game and whatever happens happens." Clemmings committed to Pittsburgh this summer, but is seriously considering re-opening his recruitment and taking official visits -- one obviously to Pittsburgh -- before making a final decision.
Schiano was there with assistant Chris Hewitt, the former Englewood standout who serves as the Scarlet Knights' cornerbacks coach. They schmoozed a lot with former Rutgers player and ex-Paterson Catholic star Rashawn Ricks, an assistant with the Cougars.
* Undoubtedly Schiano also kept an eye on Lodi LB/OT Joe Falato, who has received interest from such schools as Louisville and Connecticut. Falato did well for himself on special teams, where -- as the long snapper -- he hustled down on punts and twice drilled the Paterson Catholic returner for tackles.
I love Falato's motor and his determination, and I wonder if his future at the next level will be as a down lineman, either at tackle or end with his hand on the ground. We'll see. My gut tells me Falato could have a recruited walk-on spot at Rutgers if he wants, but not sure he would go that route if Louisville's offer is still on the table. Expect more to come in as well.
* So Don Bosco moves up to No. 2 in the USA Today Super 25 after losses by previous No. 2 Byrnes and No. 3 Elder, which was upset by -- yes Bosco fans -- St. Xavier of Cincinnati.
* Here's something on the recruitment of Tony Jones, Don Bosco's talented senior running back. From what I'm told, those scholarship offers from Michigan and Boston College are no longer on the table. But here's why: both schools had one spot for that scat back/RB/slot position and several players whom they considered for the schollie. Jones was one of them at either place. Both schools basically gave all the players involved a first-come, first-served scenario in which, whomever committed first got the scholarship.
Jones has said all along he wanted to wait out his process, so he did not jump right away. In both situations, someone else did, so -- at least for now -- Michigan and Boston College are off the board.
What I do know is that, almost immediately after Bosco's game with Prattville ended, Jones got a call from Rutgers. Syracuse and Connecticut are also interested, and I'm sure there will be others, especially if Tony keeps tearing it up. I could see TJ ending up at UConn and following in the footsteps of another Jersey guy, Donald Brown, the current Indy Colt.
* Great job by Old Tappan to come back from 14-0 down against Ramapo and win in overtime. I'm looking forward to seeing the Knights against Pascack Valley in two weeks. Hey, another 14-point comeback with River Dell rallying against Westwood for an impressive victory. If the Golden Hawks beat Tenafly on Saturday, they'll stake themselves as the team to beat in North 1, Group 2, if they have not already.