Barnabas Health Football Top 10, 11/24/15
There may be just two weeks remaining in the season, but there is still the potential for a lot of movement in the Shore Sports Network Top 10.
Nine Shore Conference teams in seven different sections will play for state championships on Saturday Dec. 5, including two all-Shore Conference matchups. Our weekly rankings place great emphasis on how a team is playing at the moment, but the final rankings look at a team’s entire body of work. Plenty of changes could be coming based on the championship results, as well as the handful of Thanksgiving Day games.
The top three teams remain unchanged with sectional finalists and undefeated teams Middletown South, St. John Vianney and Red Bank holding firm. Brick Memorial moves up one spot to No. 4, jumping Toms River North. The Mustangs, Mariners and Brick were involved in a triangle (Brick def. Brick Mem; TR North def. Brick; Brick Mem. def. TR North), but with Brick dropping out of the rankings after a loss to Jackson Memorial, Brick Memorial’s 52-20 head-to-head victory over the Mariners gives them the edge.
Rumson holds at No. 6 while Shore moves up one spot to No. 7 as it continues its dominant quest for a second sectional title. Ocean falls one stop to No. 8 after a 21-14 loss to Red Bank in the Central Jersey Group III playoffs. Red Bank Catholic and Jackson Memorial round out the top 10.
1. Middletown South (10-0). Last week: No. 1
Senior running back Cole Rogers ran for 224 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-14 win over Middletown North that put the Eagles into the North Jersey Section 2, Group IV title game. Before that, the Eagles will again play Middletown North on Thanksgiving where they can lock up the Class A North division title outright.
2. St. John Vianney (11-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior quarterback Anthony Brown threw three touchdowns and ran for another as the Lancers wiped out Red Bank Catholic 49-6 to reach their first sectional final in 35 years. St. John Vianney will go for its first state title since 1980 when it takes on DePaul at 10 a.m. on Dec. 5 at Rutgers in the Non-Public Group III final.
3. Red Bank (10-0). Last week: No. 3
Senior Sadiq Palmer ran for two touchdowns and caught another to lead the Bucs into the Central Jersey Group III final for the first time since 2003. Red Bank will play rival Rumson-Fair Haven as the Battle of Ridge Road is now for a sectional title. The Bucs last state title came in 1975. First, Red Bank will try to clinch the Class B North title outright, its first since 1977, when it plays Long Branch on Thanksgiving.
4. Brick Memorial (9-2). Last week: No. 5
Senior quarterback Tim Santiago ran for 157 yards and a touchdown and also threw a touchdown pass, and sophomore fullback Tony Thorpe rumbled for 167 yards and a touchdown while also recovering a fumble for a score in a 28-7 win over Allentown in the Central Jersey Group IV semifinals. Brick Memorial will take on Jackson Memorial in the championship game at 4 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Rutgers University.
5. Toms River North (10-1). Last week: No. 4
Senior running back Asante Moorer ran for 187 yards and a touchdown and junior quarterback Mike Husni ran for 116 yards and a score in a 14-0 win over Lenape in the semifinals of the South Jersey Group V playoffs. Senior Dashon Copes had a huge game on defense to give the Mariners their second shutout of the season. They will go for state title No. 6 against Williamstown at 6 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Rowan University.
6. Rumson-Fair Haven (9-1). Last week: No. 6
Junior quarterback Mike O’Connor accounted for 189 total yards and threw a pair of touchdown passes in a 24-13 win over Matawan in the semifinals of the Central Jersey Group III playoffs. Matt Veccharelli and Bryan Hess caught touchdown passes, Mike Ruane ran for a touchdown and Thomas Chapin kicked a 25-yard field goal. Rumson will play for its third straight state title when it takes on Red Bank at 7 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Rutgers University. Before that, the Bulldogs host undefeated Shore on Thanksgiving.
7. Shore (10-0). Last week: No. 8
The Blue Devils recorded their second straight shutout and extended their program-record winning streak to 18 games with a 42-0 win over Florence in the Central Jersey Group I semifinals. Junior quarterback Matt Pennel ran for a short touchdown and threw touchdown passes of 34 and 31 yards to Duke Russo. Shore will play third-seeded Palmyra in the sectional final. First, however, Shore takes on rival Rumson-Fair Haven on Thanksgiving Day.
8. Ocean (8-2). Last week: No. 7
Junior quarterback Kenny Pickett threw for 270 yards and a touchdown, junior receiver Joey Aldarelli caught 10 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown and senior running back Tyler Thompson scored a rushing touchdown, but the Spartans’ championship hopes were dashed by Red Bank in a 21-14 defeat in the Central Jersey Group III semifinals. Ocean concludes its season against Monmouth on Thanksgiving.
9. Red Bank Catholic (8-3). Last week: No. 9
Senior quarterback Eddie Hahn’s 31-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Zack Bair accounted for the only points the Caseys would score in a 49-6 loss to St. John Vianney in the Non-Public Group III semifinals to conclude their season.
10. Jackson Memorial (7-4). Last week: No. 10
Junior running back Mike Gawlik ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns and senior quarterback Kyle Johnson ran for 128 yards and a touchdown, and also threw a touchdown pass, in a 56-10 win over Steinert in the Central Jersey Group IV semifinals. Connor Testa added a blocked punt for a touchdown and an 87-yard touchdown run. The defending-champion Jaguars will play Brick Memorial for the sectional title at 4 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Rutgers University.
Dropped out: none
Teams to watch:
Middletown North (7-3): The Lions are a huge underdog again, but they get a second crack at top-ranked Middletown South on Thanksgiving where a win would throw the rankings into a blender.