Week One is officially in the books, and although there is obviously a lot of football to be played there were certainly some questions answered.

Every Shore Conference team has now played at least once with the exception of Rumson-Fair Haven, which will begin its season this coming week against Matawan. There was one matchup of top-10 teams and that was in St. John Vianney’s 30-21 victory over Matawan. One ranked team was knocked out of the top 10 and that as previously-ranked No. 9 Brick Memorial. The Mustangs were taken down and out by rival Brick, 36-6, so the Brick Memorial leaves and a new team enters for our second set of rankings. I wonder who it is.

QB Matt Mosquera, RB Cole Rogers - Middletown South; Photo by Bill Normile

Elsewhere, No. 1 Middletown South scored an impressive road 41-21 victory against South Brunswick after being down 21-3 in the first half. The Vikings are the top team in the Greater Middlesex Conference and a state title contender, so that’s an huge showing by the Eagles. Red Bank Catholic took care of Long Branch even without star quarterback Eddie Hahn, who could be back soon for the Caseys. Toms River North, Jackson Memorial and Manalapan each rolled to victories, while Ocean used a big return from Tyler Thompson to edge Neptune.

There a couple of big divisional matchups this week, headlined by No. 6 Rumson hosting No. 10 Matawan in Class A Central. The Bulldogs begin their season while the Huskies try to avoid an 0-2 start for the second straight year, although they rebounded last year to win a state sectional title. Brick Memorial also tries to rebound when it hosts No. 3 Toms River North in a crucial Class A South game.

 

1. Middletown South (1-0). Last week: No. 1

The Eagles pulled out a great nonconference win by going on the road and taking down a powerful South Brunswick team 41-21. The Eagles were down 21-3 in the first half before scoring the final 38 points of the game to win by 20 points. That is a big-time performance right there. South Brunswick is the top team in the Greater Middlesex Conference and a state title contender again this season. Middletown South proved right away the hype surrounding it is justified. Senior quarterback Matt Mosquera had a great all-around game with a 72-yard touchdown pass, a rushing touchdown and field goals of 47 and 35 yards. Junior running back James McCarthy also had a monster day with 156 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 12 carries. The Eagles host old foe Neptune (0-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday at “The Swamp”.

 

2. Red Bank Catholic (1-0). Last week: No. 2

The Caseys played without star quarterback Eddie Hahn, who is still in the final stages of recovery from a preseason knee injury, but still rolled over Long Branch 28-0. Dylan Murphy ran for 117 yards and also returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown. Colin Shaughnessy filled in for Hahn and ran for a touchdown, while Mike Wilen and Anthony Purge aded touchdown runs. Wilen led the defensive effort with 11 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack while Charlie Gargiulo had two sacks and six tackles. The Caseys will travel to Middlesex County on Saturday to take on 0-1 St. Joseph (Metuchen).

 

3. Toms River North (1-0). Last week: No. 3

Junior quarterback Mike Husni threw for 116 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 105 yards to showcase his dual-threat abilities in a 29-7 Class A South victory over Lacey. Junior receiver Bryce Watts caught both of Husni’s touchdown passes and also ran for a 23-yard score, while senior running back Asante Moorer ran for 71 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.  The Mariners go on the road in Week Two to face a Brick Memorial team coming off a loss and facing what amounts to a must-win game Friday night at 7 p.m.

 

4. St. John Vianney (1-0). Last week: No. 4

Senior quarterback Anthony Brown threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns to led the Lancers past rival Matawan and give head coach Derek Sininsky his first win at the program. Brown fired a 48-yard touchdown pass to Khalil Haskins, a 14-yard score to Chris Chukwuneke and fed Mike Stapert on a bubble screen that went 78 yards for a touchdown. Senior running back Calvin Beaty added a short touchdown run and Joe Rice kicked a Shore Conference season-best 48-yard field goal. The Lancers’ two main threats in their path toward another Class A Central division title are Matawan and Rumson, so they were able to take out a major division rival in their first game. St. John Vianney hosts Holmdel (0-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday.

 

5. Jackson Memorial (1-0). Last week: No. 5

The defending Central Jersey Group IV champions picked up right where they left off in a 41-0 defeat of crosstown rival Jackson Liberty. Junior running back Mike Gawlik ran for 165 yards, including a 95-yard touchdown run, and junior quarterback Dan Barker impressed in his debut by firing a pair of touchdown passes. Senior receiver Kyle Johnson hauled on one of those scoring throws, a 57-yard passing play, and also returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown. Senior running back Vinny Lee had a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown, and the defense posted a shutout for its eighth straight victory over the Lions. The Jaguars host Lacey (0-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday.

 

6. Rumson-Fair Haven (0-0). Last week: No. 6

The Bulldogs had a bye in Week One and will kick off their season at home on Friday at 7 p.m. against Matawan. Even though it is only Week Two this is a crucial division game for Rumson to keep pace with St. John Vianney and knock the Huskies to 0-2.

 

7. Manalapan (1-0). Last week: No. 7 

The Braves dispatched Marlboro 40-0 to open their season and claim their 33rd straight Class A North victory with junior quarterback Cody Wiener leading the way with 111 yards passing and three touchdowns. Wiener threw a 33-yard touchdown to sophomore Chris Maksimik, an 8-yard touchdown to Patrick Swaney and a 55-yard score to L’Jeron Holder. Maksimik also ran for a one-yard touchdown and sophomore Naim Mayfield had a 28-yard touchdown run. Junior linebacker Jonathan Pimentel led the defensive effort with four tackles, two for a loss, and two sacks while senior free safety Chris Carnesi came down with an interception. The Braves will look to keep their division winning streak going when they host Freehold Township (0-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday.

 

8. Ocean (1-0). Last week: No. 10

Senior running back Tyler Thompson made an instant impact in his first game since breaking his leg in Week Eight last season, rushing for a game-high 188 yards and three touchdowns to power the Spartans past Neptune, 34-28. His 71-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter tied the score at 28 and his 13-yard score put the Spartans up for good. Thompson also had double-digit tackles on defense and forced a fumble that was recovered for a touchdown by senior linebacker Tyler Rossback. Senior running back Ruquan Dean caught a 59-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Cody Pickett. The Spartans will look to move to 2-0 on Friday when they host Wall (0-1) at 7 p.m.

 

9. Brick (1-0). Last week: not ranked

The Dragons sent a message that they are still a team to be reckoned with after dismantling rival Brick Memorial 36-6. Brick’s offensive line was dominant in paving the way for over 350 yards rushing by Brick. It’s defense played equally as well in holding the Mustangs’ dangerous triple-option rushing attack to 165 total yards. Junior running back Jay Obenauer ran for a career-high 145 yards and a touchdown and junior wide receiver Ja’Sir Taylor ran for 107 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown, and also returned a fumble 50 yards for a touchdown on defense. Junior running back Rashon McCall added a pair of touchdown runs as Brick won for the third straight time over Brick Memorial. The Dragons host Southern (1-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday.

 

10. Matawan (0-1). Last week: No. 7

The Huskies were without several players in a 30-21 loss to St. John Vianney, most notably standout sophomore quarterback George Pearson. The strong-armed Pearson is out indefinitely with a hip injury. Junior quarterback Jake Burlew did a nice job replacing him, however, with two rushing touchdowns and 110 yards passing. Senior running back Makiya Ceasar also ran for a touchdown. Senior linebacker Aliem Shaw started strong with nine tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. The Huskies will try to rebound this week and stay in the top 10 when they travel to No. 6 Rumson-Fair Haven on Friday at 7 p.m.

 

Dropped out: Brick Memorial

 

Teams to watch:

Middletown North (1-0): Junior quarterback Donald Glenn tossed three touchdown passes and sophomore running back Connor Welsh ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-10 victory over Perth Amboy. The Lions travel to Marlboro (0-1) on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Shore (1-0): Senior Jack Britton ran for a pair of touchdown, senior Doug Goldsmith and junior Lukas Jackey also scored rushing touchdowns and George Notte kicked a 29-yard field goal in a 31-7 win over Keyport. The Blue Devils travel to Spotswood (1-0) on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Freehold (1-0): Senior quarterback Jake Curry ran for a 123 yards and three touchdowns and also threw for 141 yards, while sophomore running back Ashanti Worthy ran for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown in a 28-14 victory over Freehold Township. The Colonials travel to face Howell (1-0) on Friday night.

Raritan (1-0): Senior running back Derek Ernst ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns, junior quarterback Marc Carnivale threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Mason Sheehan and junior defensive tackle Paul Bavaro returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown in a 26-14 victory over Manasquan. It marked the first time the Rockets won at Manasquan. Raritan has a bye this week before returning to action on the road versus Matawan on Friday September 25.