Alone at the Top
There are 6 remaining teams that remain undefeated as we enter Week 7 of the 2012 High School Football season. Lets take a closer look at each.
At this point, when many team are scrambling to attain a berth in the State Playoffs(cutoff after 8 games), these 6 have virtually assured themselves a spot in the postseason. Lets start with everybody’s # 1, RBC.
The Casey’s are 6-0 and have cruised so far this year. They have put up 222 points(37pts/game) and yielded only 40pts.(6 1/2/game). They have shut out 3 opponents and look to heal any minor wounds they may have with a bye this week, as they get ready for the one school that can beat them in the Shore, and that’s Middletown South.
The Casey’s are led by all-around Chris Whitlock, RB Larry Redaelli, QB Pat Toomey and big Josh Klecko up front. They have 2 weeks to prepare for the Eagles, as they travel to the “Swamp” on Oct. 26th. Come playoff time, the Casey’s play in Non-Public Group 3, where Delbarton and St. Joe Montvale await. Chances are better than ever to get to the finals in 2012.
Manalapan sits at 5-0 with their biggest games ahead. The Braves are led by QB Mike Isabella, who has 2 Division 1 prospects to throw to, Sr. Anthony Firkser and Junior Saeed Blacknall. They score at a 37 1/2 points per game clip and play equally well on defense. They are a high powered offense who can score from anywhere on the field, but as I said, they will face their biggest challenge in the next 2 weeks.
They must travel to unbeaten Colts Neck for a Sat. Afternoon clash and then host a real good Tons River North football team the following week. So, if the Braves want to remain unbeaten, they will have earned it.
Colts Neck is 5-0 for the first time ever. That being said, they must get by Manalapan this week to remain clean. The Cougars have been a major surprise this year under 4th year coach Greg LaCava. They are led by RB Anthony Gargiulo, Rec. Tom Vangelas and QB Mike Campbell.
The Cougars can put points on the board to the tune of 32 1/2 per game, while holding opponents to only 7.8 points per game. Besides Manalapan this week, they will get Middletown South in 3 weeks, at home, before the State Playoff cutoff date.
Point Beach is 6-0 and John Wagner’s crew has out-preformed his 2011 8-3 team, so far this season. They are a high-powered offense who average 45 points per game and have scored 269 points through 6 games. It’s been RBs Danny Tighe, Andre Cochran, Kyle Samaritano and LB Quinn Kusma, who have led the Gulls to be perfect, so far.
Down the line it’s Shore Reg. who stands in the way of the Gulls. That game will be on Thanksgiving and it will have no factor in the State Playoffs. The one game Beach must be careful with, is an away game at Keyport on Oct. 27th. It’s never easy to play at Keyport, and if the Gulls want the top seed in CJ Group 1, they must beat the Red Raiders.
Rumson is 5-0 and looking for a good seed in CJ Group 2. They will settle their conference(A-Central) chances on Thanksgiving Eve when the play RBC. The Bulldogs have been tested this year. An opening day victory in OT(13-10), vs. Shore has set the tone for the season.
They have a few tough games coming, beginning with a non-divisional contest with Mon. Don. this week. Also down the line is always tough, but a little down this year, Manasquan. The Bulldogs have established a winning program and in close games, that attitude gets them by. They are well coached on both sides of the ball and will be a tough out in the playoffs. Teams to beat in CJ Group 2 are Carteret and Delran, both undefeated.
Lacey is 6-0 and took a major step for an A-South title when they beat Southern 21-19 on Sat. afternoon in Manahawkin. The Lions have an excellent team, which is the norm for Head Coach Lou Vircillo. The coach passed the 250 win plateau this year and continues to put out top teams year in and year out. Coming off a rare 4-6 season in 2011, this years team has fired on all cylinders.
Averaging 42.3 points per game on offense, they are an explosive machine. RB Kyle Spatz, all purpose Chris Tutela, Rec. Billy Belford and QB Tom Kelly are the big guns for the Lions.
Of all the players that have made the Lions the team to beat in the conference, it’s been Kelly that has impressed me the most. Playing as an in-experienced Soph. last year, he has developed into one of the top QBs in the Shore. His passing has improved so much since last year and his field leadership has gained the respect of his team mates. Credit the addition of Assit. coach Corey Davies, as the reason for the excellent play of Tom Kelly.
The Lions have one more hurdle in their march to a championship. It will come Nov. 2nd when they travel to tough Brick Memorial. These two teams have battled many times in the past, but usually it was a non-divisional game. This year it counts for more. The game will be the 9th for both, so no playoff bearing on this one. Lace plays in SJV Group 4 this year and has to deal with a good Timber Creek team.
Congratulations go out to Red Bank and Brick, as both picked up their first win of the year. Red Bank’s win was over the suddenly tumbling Neptune Fliers, who have now lost 2 in a row. Brick beat fellow A-South rival Tons River East. Both teams are now 1-5 on the year.
Top Ten Week 7:
1- RBC(6-0) Just keeps rolling. HC Jim Portela will be our guest in house at the Water St. Grill this Thursday at 7:30pm.
2- Manalapan(5-0) The Braves have 2 big ones in a row. Unbeaten Colts Neck and once beaten Toms River North on tap.
3- Lacey(6-0) The Lions are a high powered offensive machine.
4- Toms River North(4-1) Big win over Brick Mem. As they held on for a 31-25 victory.
5- Brick Memorial(5-1) First loss for the Stangs. Must re-group quickly as Southern cones calling to DiFabio Field.
6- Middletown South(4-1) The Eagles have a major chance to ascend in top ten as they play RBC in 2weeks.
7- Rumson(5-0) Non-divisional Mon. Don.(4-1) will test the Bulldogs.
8- Long Branch(5-1) Green Wave will get Dwight Clark back soon in time for playoff run.
9- Point Beach(6-0) The Gulls are having a Cinderella season. Will it take them all the way? We shall see.
10- Colts Neck(5-0) The Cougars have Manalapan this week. Wow!
Just outside, looking in:
Mon. Don. (4-1)
Jim Portela HC of RBC, joins us live, on Thursday night at the Water St. Grill. at 7pm. Can’t cone down, join us on 105.7fm the ” Hawk”.
Friday night football will be at TRE as the Indians of TRS invade.