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IMG Academy, Bergen Catholic to face off in Battle at the Beach showcase in August

IMG Academy will carry 18-game win streak into 2024 season, Bergen Catholic coming off 11-1 campaign.

One of the biggest games of the 2024 high school football season was announced this week as IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) will face Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) on Aug. 29 in Ocean City, N.J., at the Battle at the Beach. Both teams finished ranked in the 247sports Top 25 last season.

IMG Academy is coming off a 10-0 campaign in 2023 – finishing ranked No. 4 nationally – and will carry an 18-game win streak into the fall.

Bergen Catholic went 11-1 and won its third consecutive Non-Public A state title. The Crusaders finished ranked No. 21.

Expect both teams to be ranked in the 247sports Top 25 to begin next season as they both return plenty of talent.

(Photo: Andee Fagan)

Zechariah Fort, Alex Graham, Ksani JIles, Amari Jones, Breck Kolojay, Gavin Nix, Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng, Keenyi Pepe, Anthony Rogers, Kaden Strayhorn and Jayden Wade are some of the notable players returning for IMG.

Wade saw action as an eighth grader last year and threw for 199 yards and a score. Expect him to be a big contributor under center as a freshman next season. The 6-foot-4, 190 pound quarterback has already landed offers from Arizona, Georgia, Oregon and a handful of other FBS programs.

Dominic Campanile, Ethan Cohall, Dante Kain, Naiim Parrish, Anthony Perrotti, Quincy Porter and Jordan Thomas headline the talent back for Bergen Catholic, who will look to win its fourth consecutive state title.

Porter was named the 2023 MaxPreps New Jersey Player of the Year after hauling in 48 receptions for 1,066 yards and 16 touchdowns. He is the top-rated player in the state from the Class of 2025 and seventh-rated wide receiver.

This will be the second meeting between the two national powers. Shea Patterson led the Ascenders to a 59-47 win in 2015, throwing for 202 yards and two touchdowns while Jarrett Guarantano had a huge game in a losing effort. The former Tennessee quarterback completed 30 of 38 passes for 379 yards and four touchdowns to go with 64 yards rushing and another score.

IMG Academy already has games against Central (Phenix City, Ala.), Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah), Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), Norland (Miami) and St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) tentatively scheduled for 2024.

Bergen Catholic is expected to take a road trip to Ohio for a showdown against Massillon, which is coming off a 16-0 season, Division II state championship and No. 10 national ranking.

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