Barnabas Health Football Top 10, 10/27/15
For the first time since Week One, there will be no changes to the Shore Sports Network Top 10. This is despite several big games involving ranked teams. Call it the calm before the storm, because with just two weeks remaining until the start of the NJSIAA playoffs, things are sure to get a little crazy.
In Week Seven’s marquee matchup, No. 1 Middletown South used a late first-half surge and a suffocating defense to beat No. 6 Brick Memorial 21-3. The Eagles also remain the No. 1 team in NJ.com’s state rankings.
No. 8 Red Bank Catholic bounced back from its loss to Red Bank in Week Six with a 33-14 victory over Manalapan to stay in play for a top-three seed in Non-Public Group III.
Fifth-ranked Rumson-Fair Haven handed Lakewood its first loss with a 30-14 nondivisional victory as the Bulldogs look to lock up the top seed in Central Jersey Group III.
Point Boro remained unbeaten with a 33-27 win over Raritan, setting up a massive clash with Lakewood in two weeks for the Class B South division title.
Matawan stayed hot with a 38-7 win over Long Branch for its fourth straight win after starting 3-0, and Wall won a double-overtime thriller over Neptune to stay alive for a playoff spot in Central Jersey Group III.
After a heavy slate of nondivisional games in Week Seven, the schedule shifts back to divisional clashes with several key games in Week Eight.
The big one pits unbeaten and third-ranked Brick at home against No. 7 Toms River North in a game that will likely decide the Class A South division title. No. 10 Shore travels to Point Beach with first place in Class B Central on the line, and No. 9 Ocean heads to Count Basie Field to take on No. 8 in a Class B North game that is big for both teams’ playoff positioning.
Freehold at Manalapan, No. 5 Rumson-Fair Haven at Raritan and No. 6 Brick Memorial at Toms River South are some other games to focus on this week.
Here is the latest Shore Sports Network Football Top 10:
1. Middletown South (7-0). Last week: No. 1
The Eagles defense shut down one of the Shore Conference’s best offenses in limiting Brick Memorial’s triple-option rushing attacking in a 21-3 nondivisional victory. Junior James McCarthy ran for two short touchdowns and also intercepted a pass on defense, while senior running back Cole Rogers ran for a game-high 102 yards and a touchdown. Middletown South’s linebacking group of Dylan Rogers, Kevin Higgins and McCarthy keyed a defensive effort that forced five turnovers and held Brick Memorial under 200 yards of offense. The Eagles have a bye this week, and will return to action on Nov. 7 at Freehold.
2. St. John Vianney (7-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior quarterback Anthony Brown continued to pile up yards and find the end zone with four more touchdowns in the Lancers’ 63-21 nondivisional victory over Donovan Catholic. Brown threw for 173 yards and two scores while also running for a pair of touchdowns. Junior running back Chris Chukwuneke ran for 106 yards and a touchdown, junior quarterback Matt DeGennaro threw and ran for a touchdown and junior running back Pedro Braga scored three total touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Zyaire Sterling caught four passes for 113 yards and the Lancers finished with 591 yards of total offense. St. John Vianney visits Monmouth Regional (3-3) for a Class A Central game on Saturday.
3. Brick (7-0). Last week: No. 3
Senior defensive end Jordan Keefe had two sacks to bring his conference-leading total to 16, plus added a tackle for a loss, as the Green Dragons blanked Colts Neck 24-0 for their conference-best fifth shutout of the season. Senior Javion Harris caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Tom Zbranak and junior Ja’Sir Taylor ran for a 10-yard score. Senior Matt Schleifer returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown. Brick has one more major obstacle separating it from its second straight Class A South division title, and look to all but lock up the crown when it hosts No. 7 Toms River North (6-1) in a massive game on Friday night. A win would also help the Dragons’ bid to lock up the top seed in Central Jersey Group IV.
4. Red Bank (6-0). Last week: No. 4
The Bucs were idle in Week Seven after taking down rival Red Bank Catholic 24-21 in Week Six for one of the biggest wins in program history over the last decade. They return to action this Friday at home against Holmdel (1-5) where they will try to remain unbeaten and stay in contention for a top-two playoff seed in Central Jersey Group III.
5. Rumson-Fair Haven (5-1). Last week: No. 5
Junior linebacker Mike Ruane had 15 tackles, two of which were for a loss, and a sack in the Bulldogs 30-14 nondivisional win over Lakewood that handed the Piners their first loss. Junior defensive tackle Liam Adams also had a strong game with two hits for a loss, and senior defensive back Mike Caruso returned an interception 87 yards for a touchdown. Junior quarterback Mike O’Connor tossed touchdown passes to sophomore wide receiver Elijah McAllister and senior wide receiver John Kingdon, and junior running back Bryan Hess added a touchdown run. The two-time defending sectional champion Bulldogs are currently first in power points in Central Jersey Group III, and will look to remain on top when they travel to Hazlet to take on Raritan (3-3) in a Class A Central game.
6. Brick Memorial (5-2). Last week: No. 6
The Mustangs fell to top-ranked Middletown South 21-3 in a nondivisional game. Senior Matt Cuppari had the only points on the night for Brick Memorial with a 40-yard field goal. The Mustangs were undone by turnovers - five to be exact - including two in the final five minutes of the first half as the Eagles scored 21 straight points to take over the game. Senior quarterback Tim Santiago ran for 91 yards to put him over 1,000 yards rushing on the season. The Mustangs are currently first in power points in Central Jersey Group IV - one point ahead of and rival Brick - and will try to hold off the Dragons when they take on Toms River South (4-2) in a Class A South game Friday night.
7. Toms River North (6-1). Last week: No. 7
Senior running back Asante Moorer ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries and junior quarterback Mike Husni finished with 127 yards passing and a touchdown and 102 yard rushing in a 42-13 Class A South win over Southern. The Mariners ran for 389 yards as a team. Junior wide receiver Darrion Carrington caught four passes for 115 yards and a score. Senior defensive lineman Dashon Copes had two tackles for a loss and a sack, and senior Tommy Donovan intercepted a pass. The Mariners can shake up the top 10 and playoff races, and claim at least a share of the A South division title when they travel to No. 3 Brick (7-0) on Friday night.
8. Red Bank Catholic (6-1). Last week: No. 8
The Caseys did not let a loss to Red Bank derail their season as they bounced back with a 33-14 victory over Manalapan. Senior quarterback Eddie Hahn threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 87 yards to power the Caseys’ offense. Senior Mike Wilen added 81 yards and a touchdown on six carries and senior Dylan Murphy scored two rushing touchdowns. Junior receiver Max Hazard caught two touchdown passes and finished with five catches for 70 yards. Murphy led the defensive effort with 12 tackles and a sack. The Caseys are currently fourth in power points in Non-Public Group III, where they are the defending champions. They can make a bid to jump into the top two when they host No. 9 Ocean (5-1) on Friday night.
9. Ocean (5-1). Last week: No. 9
The Spartans had a bye in Week Seven and return to action this week with a road game at No. 8 Red Bank Catholic. Ocean sits fourth in power points in Central Jersey Group III, and cane make a bid to secure a top-two seed with a win over the Caseys.
10. Shore (6-0). Last week: No. 10
Jack Britton ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries and senior Doug Goldsmith ran for a pair of scores as the Blue Devils smashed winless South River 52-7. Josh Campi scored on a 60-yard punt return touchdown and Matt Pennel, Devin Mclaughlin and Alex Johnson also scored touchdowns as Shore remained unbeaten. The Blue Devils have two crucial divisional games coming up against Point Beach and Asbury Park that will decide the Class B Central division title, which Shore has won outright the last two seasons. They travel to Point Beach on Friday night.
Dropped out: none
Teams to watch:
Matawan (4-3): Senior Shawn Ramcheran scored three total touchdowns and sophomore quarterback George Pearson threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Huskies to their fourth straight win after starting the season 0-3. They travel to Vic Kubu Warrior Field to take on Manasquan (3-3) on Saturday.
Jackson Memorial (4-3): Senior Kyle Johnson caught a touchdown pass and returned an interception for a touchdown, and junior Mike Gawlik ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns as the Jaguars snapped a three-game losing streak with a 28-7 win over Toms River South. They host winless Toms River East on Friday.
Asbury Park (5-1): Trevor Saunders ran for 160 yards and two touchdowns and Davon Thompson fired two touchdown passes to Jaedon Stephens in a 39-6 win over Dunellen. The Blue Bishops host Keansburg (1-6) on Friday night.
Point Boro (7-0): Senior quarterback Noah Husak ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 105 yards and a score to lead the Panthers to a 33-27 win over Raritan. They head to Jackson Liberty on Friday where a win would set up a winner-take-all game with Lakewood for the Class B South title.
Lakewood: (5-1): The Piners fell to No. 5 Rumson 30-14. Senior Amir Tyler had an interception return for a touchdown and touchdown reception as Lakewood suffered its first loss of the season. The Piners host Barnegat where a win would make next week’s game at Point Boro for the Class B South division title.
Freehold (5-2): Senior quarterback Jake Curry did not throw an incompletion in accounting for 261 yards and four touchdown threw the air in a 45-20 win over Toms River South. Jamel Smith-Rush had 161 yard receiving and a touchdown and Ashante Worthy ran for 139 yards and a score. Freehold travels to Manalapan for a crucial Class A North game on Friday night.
Middletown North (4-2): The Lions were idle in Week Seven and return to action with a nonconference home game against North Brunswick (2-5).
Manalapan (4-3): Senior Marcus Salinas ran for a game-high 138 yards and scored a touchdown, and sophomore Luke Corcione tossed a touchdown pass to junior L’jeron Holder in a 33-14 loss to No. 8 Red Bank Catholic. The Braves will try to rebound in a home game against Freehold (5-2) on Friday.