A Weekend of Championships
The final weekend of the 2013 High School Football season should be a very interesting one. Seven teams have the opportunity to win championships. I will break them down for you, but you will have to wait until Thursday night to get my predictions.
SJ Group 3: Barnegat(10-1) vs. Delsea(9-2) at Rowan University-4pm on Saturday.
This will be a tough mountain to climb for the local Bengals of Barnegat. Delsea is an established program that has won 10 Championships in 13 finals. They have won 31 State games in their 22 playoff appearances. That being said, don’t discount Barnegat just yet. The Bengals have had a tremendous year in only their 8th football season, losing only to Lakewood back on Nov. 2nd. They have been to the playoffs 4 times and are 2-4 in those games with this being their first final. They are led by Junior QB Cinjun Erksine and OL/DL Greg Moran.
The Bengals have a big offensive line they run behind and that line will have to be at their best for the Bengals to win this one. They move Senior Zach Andrews and Junior Sam Madden around that line, sometimes putting them together on the same side. That’s over 600 lbs. of beef when the 2 are together.
CJ Group 5: Manalapan(11-0) vs. Hunterdon Central(7-4) at Rutgers University-7pm Sunday night. Don’t let the 4 losses fool you here. The Red Devils loss their starting Senior QB Michael Knight to a broken leg on Oct 4th, after a 5-0 start. To add to their woes, they then lost 6’2” 230 lb. Penn State bound RB Jason Cabinda to an emergency appendectomy a few weeks later. With the loss of these two outstanding players, the Red Devils lost 4 straight games. The losses were to P-Burg(10-1), Immaculata(6-4), Ridge(11-0) and Union(8-3). That’s a combined 35-8.
The point I’m making is this is not your typical # 7 seed. They have won 5 State Titles and been in 9 finals. Manalapan(11-0) is our top public school in the Shore. So we will throw our best at the Red Devils. They have been led by Rutgers bound Rec. Saeed Blacknall. He is a true game breaker and must be a major factor on Sunday in order for the Braves to win their first championship.
The Braves have been to the finals 3 straight years and are primed to win their first title. They have been pointing to this game ever since South Brunswick beat them 33-22, last year at Rutgers, on the same date Dec. 8th. This one should be a classic.
CJ Group 2: Rumson(10-1) vs. Weequahic(11-0) at Kean University-7;30pm Saturday night.
The Bulldogs must battle back from their loss to #1 RBC 45-0 on Friday night. It was HC Brian Batchler’s first loss as a HC. It was also the 11th straight time the Casey’s have beaten Rumson. They are led by the Shore’s leading rusher Junior Charlie Volker who went over the 2000 yard mark in the loss. Volker was held to 45 yards on Friday night on just 13 carries. He was put to bed early when this game was out of reach. Their opponent on Sat. night will not be easy. Unbeaten Weequahic has shut out 8 opponents and their defense has given up 29 points all year. They have scored 431 points(39/game), and have put up games of 70 and 60 and 55 points. This will not be an easy one for Rumson.
[Listen on the SHORE SPORTS NETWORK] CJ Group 4: Brick(8-3) vs. Colts Neck(10-1) at TCNJ at 4pm Saturday afternoon.
This contest matches 2 of our best at the Shore and we will cover it on the ShoreSportsNetwork as part of our Championship weekend. We will also cover the CJ Group 1 contest between Shore/Point Beach at 10am from TCNJ. Brick, the storied program in the Shore, has not won a title since 1994. They have won 6 State titles in their history and been to 10 finals. They have a 17-17 record in the playoffs and are looking to re-establish the Brick tradition. Under Rob Dahl, the 3rd year HC, they have done just that.
Of course Junior QB Carmen Sclafani and Junior RB Ray Fattarusso have allot to do with the resurging Dragons. These 2 players have led the Dragons back to prominence with a bruising running game that controls the game. That running game will have to be at its best against a very good Colts Neck team. The Cougars are led by my Player of the Year candidate Anthony Gargiulo on both sides of the ball.
The RB/LB is the true leader of a team looking to win their first Championship. He has over 3000 yards rushing in his career at CN and leads them in tackles from his LB position. There will be some great talents on the field on Sat. afternoon and we at the Shore Sports Network look forward to working the game. Join us at 4pm from TCNJ or listen on the internet on shoresportsnetwork.com.
[Listen on the SHORE SPORTS NETWORK] CJ Group 1: Shore(10-1) vs. Point Beach(9-2) at 10am Saturday at TCNJ.
These 2 schools met this past Friday night for the B-Central Title and Shore won 31-0 in convincing fashion. Holding the Beach running game to 121 yards, while running for 236 yards themselves, Shore dominated the contest from beginning to end. Now the difficult task of winning 2 games back to back comes into play. Who has the advantage in this second game?> I say the winner does, but I’m not underestimating John Wagner and the Beach kids who are looking for their first title ever.
On the other side, Shore will be looking for their 6th title overall and have been to 9 finals. They have a 16-12 playoff record and are used to being here. That will be tough business for Point Beach. They will start our Championship radio broadcasts this Sat. morning. So grab a bagel and some coffee and tune in to 1160 or 1310am if you can’t make it to Trenton.
We will here from all the Head Coaches playing this weekend on our Investor’s Bank Thursday night HS Football Show at the Water Street Grill Thursday night at 7-8:30pm. Some will be live at Water Street, some via the phone call. Can’t make it down, listen on 105.7 The Hawk or on internet at ShoreSportsNetwork.com.