Seton Hall Prep lost their 2016 opener to Peddie High School 21-14 in a sloppy game that last three hours and 20 minutes.
Peddie overcame 160 yards of penalties thanks to five second-half turnovers from The Prep, who lost their starting quarterback Cameron Carti, running back and safety Michael Mughetto, and tight end Nilan Quinn to injuries early in the game.
In a game that featured 135 total plays run, Seton Hall struggled to stop Peddie receivers Jahan Dotson and Zac Barnard, who caught 10 passes for a combined 308 yards and two touchdowns.
After losing their starting quarterback and running back, Seton Hall Prep’s Aidan Gilman completed 10 of 17 passes for 131 yards and four interceptions, and running back Sean Ryan ran for 60 yards and a touchdown on 17 attempts.
SHP Coach Vito Campanile said his thoughts are with the players who were injured, and his focus is on getting them healthy while assessing where the team stands without them.
“I thought we were the tougher team. Peddie had a lot of talent, but I’m really proud of my team,” Campanile said after the game. “We’ll find out where we are … that’s going to be a key element to getting back on track – assessing where we are and getting the right people in the right spots.”
The game was slowed down due to 25 penalties for a combined 220 yards (160 against Peddie) and one player ejection, but The Prep put up a resilient effort to keep the game close until the final whistle.
Peddie scored on the first drive of the game on a touchdown pass, but The Prep tied it in the second quarter after senior captain Paul Theobald blocked a punt to set The Pirates up for a 17-yard touchdown run by Mike Mughetto on the very next play.
A seven-play, 62-yard drive to open the second half gave The Pirates their first lead of the game 14-7, but Peddie’s Jahan Dotson tied it up with a 63-yard receiving touchdown later in the same quarter.
Peddie would then take the lead 21-14 on a 15-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter, and The Pirates couldn’t find the end zone to tie it up in the remaining 10 minutes of the game.
Seton Hall has a chance to bounce back this Saturday, Sept. 17, against Paramus Catholic at home in West Orange at 1:00 p.m.