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Donovan Catholic, the No. 3 ranked team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 and the No 13th ranked team in the state, must forfeit its three victories this season due to using an ineligible player, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association announced on Monday.

The Griffins were 3-1 and were coming off a commanding 35-0 victory over No. 5 Colts Neck on Saturday afternoon. That game will go down as a forfeit victory for Colts Neck, as will previous wins over New York City's Archbishop Stepinac (54-14) and Toms River North (34-13). Donovan was defeated by No. 1 Rumson-Fair Haven, 14-0, in Week 2.

NJ.com was the first to report the story, which included a comment from the NJSIAA

“Based on established rules, which prohibit the use of ineligible players, Donovan Catholic High School’s football team has forfeited its first three wins of the season,” NJSIAA spokesman Mike Cherenson wrote in an e-mail to NJ.com.

“Donovan Catholic High School, in response to the NJSIAA decision regarding player eligibility of the Donovan Catholic Football Team, is actively corresponding with NJSIAA and all parties,” Donovan Catholic athletic director Tom Moriau said in an email to Shore Sports Network

The Griffins are now 0-4, which will severely impact where they qualify for the NJSIAA state playoffs and their placement in the Shore Conference postseason pods. As of the most recent update (7:16 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26) on Gridiron New Jersey (gridironnewjersey.com), Donovan's United Power Ranking was 5.4, placing the Griffins fifth in the Non-Public A section behind Bergen Catholic, St. Peter's Prep, St. Augustine, and Seton Hall Prep. That number will drastically change after the forfeits are accounted for.

They were in second place behind Rumson in the Shore Conference American Division but now fall into last place because of the forfeits.

Donovan plays at St. John Vianney (2-2) on Friday night and also has regular-season games remaining against No. 4 Wall and Rahway.



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