Barnabas Health Football Top 10, 10/6/15
With a driving rain and gusty winds battering the Shore for the better part of the weekend, the story in Week Four was as much about the weather conditions as the several impact games on the scheduled.
By the the time the clouds parted, the results on the field had taken their rightful place in the headlines and given a makeover to the divisional landscapes. Middletown North pulled a stunner over last week’s No. 7 team, Manalapan, with an 18-8 victory to end the Braves’ 33-game Class A North winning streak and bump the defending NJSIAA Central Jersey Group V champions out of the top 10.
One game the weather had a severe impact on was the Class A South rumble between Brick and Jackson Memorial. The Dragons’ defense shut down the Jaguars’ running game and got the only points it would need on a first quarter safety to win 2-0 and take over sole possession of first place.
St. John Vianney outlasted Rumson-Fair Haven, 13-6, in a critical Class A Central game that was the the favorite to decide the division title. Raritan, however, has thrown itself into the title picture with a 3-0 start after blanking a solid Freehold team 34-0.
Red Bank continued its best start in over a decade with a 28-7 win over Neptune to improve to 4-0. The Bucs will head to Raritan this week in a matchup of ranked teams, and also has Red Bank Catholic in two weeks.
Top-ranked Middletown South and No. 2 Red Bank Catholic both improved to 4-0 with shutout victories, while No. 7 Brick Memorial and No. 8 Toms River North rolled to lopsided wins. Shore, Lakewood and Point Boro also remained undefeated and at the top of their respective divisions.
Two big divisional games highlight the Week Five schedule with Central hosting Point Boro in B South and Toms River North hosting Jackson Memorial in A South. There are also two crucial nondivisional games between Ocean and Middletown North and the aforementioned Red Bank-Raritan game. Brick Memorial hosts Old Bridge in a key nonconference game.
1. Middletown South (4-0). Last week: No. 1
The Eagles continued to roll with a 42-0 Class A North victory over Freehold Township. Senior quarterback Matt Mosquera tossed three touchdown passes in the first half and junior running back James McCarthy ran for 173 yards and a touchdown. The defense was lights-out once again in allowing just 55 total yards and scoring a touchdown on Maxx Imsho’s 67-yard interception return for a touchdown. Tom Marron also had a fumble return for a touchdown. The Eagles have been impressive with their consistency and are beating teams in every phase of the game right now. And they get 1,800-yard rusher Cole Rogers back from injury this week. Middletown South hosts Howell (2-2) on Friday night in a Class A North game.
2. Red Bank Catholic (4-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior Dylan Murphy had a big day in a 20-0 Class B North win over Wall with 108 yards rushing and three touchdowns while also making 14 tackles at linebacker. Max Hazard had an interception and Charlie Gargiulo had a fumble recovery as the Caseys’ defense notched its third shutout of the season. Red Bank Catholic travels to winless Colts Neck for a B North game on Saturday afternoon.
3. St. John Vianney (4-0). Last week: No. 4
The Lancers move up one spot after a 13-6 victory over No. 6 Rumson-Fair Haven in a critical Class A Central game. Senior quarterback Anthony Brown made one of the best plays of the weekend on a 75-yard touchdown pass through the rain to Marcque Ellington, and senior Calvin Beaty scored on a short touchdown run after a key sack on a punt by junior linebacker Tyler Tedeschi. St. John Vianney made a big statement in the win by proving it can line up and run the ball against a formidable defense. This is a very good team in all areas. The Lancers travel to winless Manchester on Friday night in a nondivisional game.
4. Brick (4-0). Last week: No. 6
The Dragons got a safety in the first quarter when the snap on a punt sailed out of the end zone, and their defense did the rest in 2-0 win over Jackson Memorial to take control as the only unbeaten team in Class A South and move up two spots in the rankings. The weather conditions were abysmal, but the Dragons were able to find a way to come out victorious. Brick’s defense has been unbelievable so far in allowing just six points the entire season. Those six points were late in the game to a Brick Memorial team that is averaging 48 points per game since. The Dragons are out of the division this week and the holdovers from last year’s team will be looking for a bit of revenge against Wall on Friday night.
5. Jackson Memorial (3-1). Last week: No. 3
The Jaguars fall two spots after a 2-0 loss to Brick in miserable conditions this past Friday. Jackson Memorial will look to shake off the loss against another ranked opponent when it travels to Gernard Field on Friday night to take on No. 8 Toms River North.
6. Rumson-Fair Haven (2-1). Last week: No. 5
The Bulldogs drop one spot after a hard-fought 13-6 defeat at the hands of No. 3 St. John Vianney in an A Central game. Junior quarterback Mike O’Connor ran for over 100 yards and scored Rumson’s only touchdown, and also had an interception on defense. Rumson will look to rebound against Long Branch in a nondivisional home game on Friday night at Borden Stadium.
7. Brick Memorial (3-1). Last week: No. 8
The Mustangs rushing attack was unstoppable for a third straight game as sophomore fullback Tony Thorpe ran for 212 yards and four touchdowns and senior quarterback Tim Santiago ran for 170 yards and a score in a 44-6 Class A South win over Toms River East. Brick Memorial begins what could be a season-defining three-game stretch this Friday night when it hosts Old Bridge (3-1) in a nonconference game. That game is followed by matchups with Jackson Memorial and Middletown South.
8. Toms River North (3-1). Last week: No. 9
Junior quarterback Mike Husni ran for 155 yards and four touchdowns on seven carries and also threw a touchdown pass in a 42-0 nondivisional victory over Marlboro. Senior running back Asante Moorer ran for a touchdown and the Mariners’ defense recorded its first shutout of the season. Toms River North began the season ranked No. 3, but fell out of the top 10 after a 55-20 loss to Brick Memorial. The Mariners now have a chance to make a big jump back up the rankings when they host No. 5 Jackson Memorial on Friday night.
9. Red Bank (4-0). Last week: No. 10
The Bucs are now 4-0 for the first time in over a decade after a 28-7 Class B North win over Neptune. Senior running back Alim Godsey ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns and senior quarterback Jack Navitsky addd another 90 yards rushing and a touchdown. Red Bank’s defense was stout again and has allowed just 20 points all season. The Bucs have another stern test this Friday when they travel to Hazlet to meet No. 10 Raritan in a nondivisional game.
10. Raritan (3-0). Last week: not ranked
Senior running back Derek Ernst ran for 219 yards and three touchdowns and the Rockets’ defense shut out a solid Freehold team 34-0 in a nondivisional game. Raritan is playing as well as any team in the Shore right now with wins over Manasquan, Matawan and Freehold and a point differential of plus-83 (100-17). The Rockets have two huge games in a row, starting this Friday with a nondivisional game at home against No. 9 Red Bank and continuing next week at No. 3 St. John Vianney.
Dropped out: No. 7 Manalapan (3-1).
Teams to watch:
Shore (4-0): The Blue Devils continued their torrid start to the season with a 44-7 win over Dunellen. Senior running backs Doug Goldsmith and Jack Britton each ran for two touchdowns. Shore has a bye this week and returns to action in Week Six at home versus Mater Dei Prep.
Middletown North (3-1): The Lions stunned Manalapan 18-8 to end the Braves’ 33-game Class A North winning streak. Junior Dwight Wilkerson had a huge day with 20 tackles, a forced fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Brock Zenker, and a blocked punt. Sophomore running back Connor Welsh ran for two touchdowns. The Lions were a prime candidate to re-enter the top 10, but they have a loss to a Freehold team that Raritan just beat 34-0, which is why the unbeaten Rockets got the nod. The Lions can further their case with a win this Friday in a nondivisional game versus Ocean.
Ocean (3-1): Speaking of the Spartans, they took down Manasquan 26-12 with senior running back Tyler Thompson rushing for 229 yards and a touchdown. The Spartans travel to Middletown North this week with a chance to make a case to get back into the top 10, as well.
Lakewood (4-0): Amir Tyler put on a show again with 185 yards rushing and two touchdowns in a 20-3 win over Jackson Liberty. The Piners are 4-0 for the first time since 2002 and have a bye this week before taking on Donovan Catholic in Week Six.
Point Boro (4-0): The Panthers held on firm to their half of the division lead in B South with a 26-6 win over Manchester. Point Boro’s defense will face a big test in Central running back Mike Bickford when the Panthers take on the Golden Eagles on Friday night.