Barnabas Health Football Top 10, 10/20/15
We have officially hit the halfway point of the 2015 season, and there have already been plenty of twists and turns that have thrown preseason predictions out the window.
Division titles, playoff berths and state championships are still to be decided, and there will be some huge matchups in Week Seven after Week Six shook up the top 10. No. 4 Red Bank’s 24-21 win over No. 8 Red Bank Catholic was the highlight of the weekend, as the Bucs came from behind to beat the Caseys, who were ranked second, for the first time since 2004. No. 6 Brick Memorial handed Jackson Memorial its third straight loss to bounce last year’s No. 1 team out of the rankings. Top-ranked Middletown South took a major step toward its first division title since 2009 with a 42-7 win over Manalapan, and No. 2 St. John Vianney scored 56 points on Raritan to continue its march toward the Class A Central crown.
The pressure grows each week as critical divisional games are played and necessary playoff power points are on the line. There are several important games coming up this weekend, starting with No. 6 Brick Memorial hosting No. 1 Middletown South. Red Bank Catholic and Manalapan meet with each team coming off a loss and needing a win to stay in line for a good playoff seed. Raritan and Point Boro square off in a potential Central Jersey Group II playoff preview in a game Raritan desperately needs, while Toms River South and Jackson Memorial battle to keep their playoff chances alive. Lakewood welcomes No. 5 Rumson for a nondivisional game that will leave the winner with a nice haul of power points to work for a top two seed in their respective sections.
Here is the latest Shore Sports Network Top 10.
1. Middletown South (6-0). Last week: No. 1
Senior running back Cole Rogers ran for 185 yards and three touchdowns and senior quarterback Matt Mosquera ran and threw for a touchdown as the Eagles snapped a five-game losing streak to Manalapan with a 42-7 Class A North win. Middletown South is currently the No. 1 team in New Jersey and slotted as the No. 1 seed in North 2, Group IV. The Eagles can all but lock up the top seed with a win Friday night when they travel to No. 6 Brick Memorial (5-1).
2. St. John Vianney (6-0). Last week: No. 3
Senior quarterback Anthony Brown had a monster game with 312 yards passing and five touchdowns, plus 118 yards rushing on eight carries in a 56-26 Class A Central win over Raritan. Senior Mike Stapert caught three of Brown’s touchdown passes and junior running back Chris Chukwuneke scored three rushing touchdowns. The Lancers will be heavily favored leading into the playoffs, and take on Donovan Catholic (3-3) on Friday.
3. Brick (6-0). Last week: No. 4
The Dragons’ shutout streak came to an end at four games, but their domination continued in a 37-14 Class A South win over Lacey to remain undefeated. Junior wide receiver Ja’Sir Taylor scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and also returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown, while junior linebacker Dean Helstowski blocked two punts, one of which went out of the end zone for a safety. Brick hosts winless Colts Neck on Friday as it looks to start 7-0 for the first time since 2003.
4. Red Bank (6-0). Last week: No. 8
The Bucs stunned Red Bank Catholic 24-21 for the program’s biggest win in the last 10 years, and took control of the Class B North race. Senior quarterback Jack Navitsky ran for a 57-yard touchdown to give Red Bank the lead, and the Bucs defense stopped the Caseys on fourth down late in the game to clinch the victory. Senior running back Alim Godsey ran for 115 yards and a touchdown, senior Sadiq Palmer had 145 total yards and a touchdown and senior Jack O’Connor connected on a 36-yard field goal. The Bucs have a bye this week, and return to action on Oct. 30 versus Holmdel.
5. Rumson-Fair Haven (4-1). Last week: No. 5
Junior running back Bryan Hess ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries, junior running back Matt Vecchiarelli ran for and caught a touchdown pass and junior quarterback Mike O’Connor fired two touchdown passes in a 49-6 Class A Central win over Manasquan. Junior linebacker Mike Ruane finished with 13 tackles, one sack and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Mike Murdock also returned an interception for a touchdown. The Bulldogs travel to Ocean county to face Lakewood (5-0) in a nondivisional game.
6. Brick Memorial (5-1). Last week: No. 6
The Mustangs’ defensive line of Mike and Anthony Nobile, Chris Hayes and Justin Szuba helped hold Jackson Memorial to 55 yards rushing while recording five sacks, and the running game took over in the fourth quarter for a 28-7 Class A South win over Jackson Memorial. Senior quarterback Tim Santiago ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns, senior Elie Lavarin had the go-ahead score on a 50-yard run and sophomore Tony Thorpe added a touchdown run. The Mustangs host No. 1 Middletown South in a mammoth nondivisional game Friday night.
7. Toms River North (5-1). Last week: No. 7
The Mariners won their fourth straight in defeating Toms River East 45-12 in a Class A South game, keeping pace with first-place Brick leading into their Week Eight game. Before the Mariners can worry about the Dragons, however, they must take care of business at home against Southern (2-4).
8. Red Bank Catholic (5-1). Last week: No. 2
Senior Dylan Murphy ran for a pair of short touchdowns and senior Mike Balzofiore returned a fumble 67 yards for a touchdown, but the Caseys were stunned by Red Bank, 24-21, for their first loss to the Bucs since 2004. RBC will try to get back on track when it travels to Manalapan (4-2) for a key nondivisional game Friday night.
9. Ocean (5-1). Last week: No. 9
Senior running back Tyler Thompson scored three total touchdowns and junior quarterback Kenny Pickett threw three touchdown passes in the Spartans’ 40-14 Class B North victory over Long Branch. Senior linebacker Tyler Rossback added an interception return for a touchdown. Joey Aldarelli, Ruquan Dean and Thompson hauled in Pickett’s touchdown passes. Ocean has a bye this week before returning to action against No. 8 Red Bank Catholic on Oct. 30.
10. Shore (5-0). Last week: not ranked
The Blue Devils move into the rankings for the first time this season after 45-6 win over Mater Dei Prep for their 13th straight win dating back to last season. Seniors Jack Britton and Devin McLaughlin each ran for two touchdowns, and junior quarterback Matt Pennel threw two touchdown passes to Connor Rempel. Shore takes on winless South River on Saturday before two crucial division games with Point Beach and Asbury Park.
Dropped out: No. 10 Jackson Memorial (3-3).
Teams to watch:
Point Boro (6-0): Senior quarterback Noah Husak ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns, and also threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Devin Connelly in a 28-0 win over Barnegat. The Panthers host Raritan (3-2) in a critical nondivisional game on Friday night.
Lakewood (5-0): Senior running back Amir Tyler put up an insane stat line with 281 yards rushing and three touchdowns on just seven carries, plus a punt return touchdown, in a 46-20 win over Donovan Catholic. The Piners will look to continue their best start since 2002 when they host No. 5 Rumson (4-1) on Saturday.
Middletown North (4-2): Junior quarterback Donald Glenn threw for 143 yards and two touchdowns and sophomore running back Connor Welsh ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass in a 21-7 win over Howell. The Lions have a bye this week, and return to action in Week Eight versus North Brunswick (1-5).
Toms River South (4-1): Jaden Kosh scored a pair of touchdowns and had an interception in the Indians’ 21-0 win over Southern for their third shutout of the season. Toms River South begins a difficult four-game stretch to end its regular season when travels to Jackson Memorial (3-3, 2-3)