Division Leaders Making Their Move
Week 7 in the books and the Shore Conference Division titles are beginning to clear up. In A-South, Lacey with their 48-28 victory over Jackson has clinched at least a tie. The Lions have a 2 game lead over Brick Mem., Southern and TR North, with only, suddenly hot, Brick and Brick Mem. left to play. Manalapan took a major step towards their 3rd consecutive A-North title, with a 24-21 victory over Colts Neck. The A-Central will be determined on Turkey Day when Rumson meets RBC. The same for the B-Central, when Shore meets Point Beach. B-North is still up for grabs with Matawan and Long Branch meeting this week, with the winner still alive. Neptune has already beaten Long Branch and Matawan and will probably tie with the winner of the Matawan/Long Branch game. The B-South is the one race which has been hard to predict. Mon Don has the lead and victories over Lakewood, Barnegat and Point Boro. They must play 1 loss Jax Liberty and Central, who gives them problems. Point Boro and Lakewood also only have 1 loss. Anything can happen in this division.
The most inspiring story of the weekend occurred in Brick, as the Dragons made the biggest noise in the Shore this past weekend with their upset win over TR North. New kicker Anthony Starego kicked his first career FG, a 22yarder, with 15 seconds left, to send the fans into a wild celebration. Soph Ray Fattaruso ran for 181 yards and 2 TDs, and Brick had their second win in a row. Great win for Rob Dahl and the Dragons. Lacey gets the Dragons this week as they try to wrap up the A-South Championship.
At Brick Mem., the Southern Reg. Rams used a ball control ground game mixed in with a couple of TD passes to ruin any chance the Mustangs had to win A-South. While not out of the race mathematically, the 28-21 win left both Southern and Memorial needing a whole lot, just to get a piece of the title. Abe Gonzalez ran for 169 yards on 32 carries to lead the Rams. Dan Higgins threw 2TD passes in the second half after BM made their adjustments to the run game. Both teams now focus their attention on making it into the Playoff hunt. BM in CJ Group 5 and Southern in SJ Group 5. Both have good chances to get in.
Also in A-South the suddenly very dangerous and vastly improved TR South(3-3) team demolished the 1-6 Raiders of TR East. The final was 38-6. Soph QB Tymere Berry and RB Otis Kearney both had huge nights for the Indians.
Kearney’s 99 yard run in the 3rd quarter iced it for the Indians as he ran for 128 yards and 3 TDs. Berry ran for 90 yards and scored 2TDs. The Indians will get a chance to see how far their program has come in 2012, as they play 2 big offensive teams in the next 2 weeks; Brick Mem. and TR North. They sit 3-3 with the Playoffs looming ahead. HC Ron Signorino Jr has them playing with much confidence and Oh by the way, they broke a 18 game losing streak to sister TR Schools that spanned 10 years. Hard to believe that stat, but its true, this tradition rich school just may be all the way back.
In a game played at a very high level on Sat. afternoon, Manalapan came all the way back in the 2nd half to beat Colts Neck 24-21. It was the ground game which did in the Cougars. The game plan for the Cougars was simple, take away the 2 dynamic receivers of the Braves, Anthony Firkser and Saeed Blacknall. That plan worked to perfection, as Firkser had 2 catches and Blacknall 1. But to sacrifice 4 people on defense and sometimes 5, the running game is weakened. Credit HC Ed Gurrieri to go to RB Tyler Leonetti for 118 hard earned yards and when Leonetti was on the sidelines, David Debner hit a 54 yarder for a TD, which gave the Braves their first lead of the day, in the 4th quarter. The Cougars were not without some stars. Anthony Gargiulio had a huge game for them and I thought QB Mike Campbell played very well in directing the Cougar attack. This was a good football game with 2 very good teams who will make some noise in the upcoming playoffs. Colts Neck in CJ Group 4 and Manalapan in CJ Group 5. Keep an eye on these 2 teams.
Red Bank is this years close, but no reward, team. Another OT loss, this time to 5-1 Matawan, when a game winning field goal was blocked in regulation, sending it into OT, where Matawan prevailed in the 2nd OT. Red Bank now sits at 1-5, but has played better.
Looks like Lacey QB Tom Kelly may miss some time due to an injury on Sat. Let’s hope it’s not season ending. Conner Davies replaced Kelly in 2nd quarter and looks to be the starter on Friday night when the Lions travel to Brick.
Pinelands is giving up 53.7 points per game! Ouch. They join Raritan, Mater Dei and Howell as winless teams in the Shore.
Only 5 teams still unbeaten; Beach(7-0), RBC(6-0), Lacey(7-0), Rumson(6-0), and Manalapan(6-0). Can any finish 12-0? I say yes. You don’t think I’m going to tell you now who that is in week 8. Stay tuned.
Top Ten Week 8:
1-RBC(6-0) Bye week which gave them 2 weeks to prepare for their visit to the “Swamp” of Midd South this week. If you can make it there, it will be a good one.
2-Manalapan(6-0) Great win over CN, as they got good production from the run game.
3-Lacey(7-0) The loss of QB Tom Kelly will have an effect on the Lions. Soph Conner Davies must grow up quickly.
4-Middletown South(5-1) Guarantee they will be ready for RBC this week.
5-Rumson(6-0) Rolling along under the radar of the above teams. All they do is win.
6-Point Beach(7-0) Just how good is this team? I think Very Good!
7- Colts Neck(5-1) A very good football team. I was very impressed by a variety of different players. Still deserve to be highly ranked.
8-Long Branch(6-1) The loss to Neptune may come to hurt them more then they think. Big one with Matawan this week. Winner may get a piece of division.
9-Shore(5-1) They find a spot in my top ten and are on collision course with Point Beach. The battle of wing Ts.
10-Southern(4-2) Could go a few ways here. I know TRN beat them 17-14. I know both have beaten BM. I just think North’s loss to Brick was the deciding factor. Rams can play defense and have a big threat in Mike Gisecki.
Brick Memorial(5-2) losses to North by 6 points and Southern by 7 points. Must tighten “D” to make Playoff run.
Neptune(5-2) Still a good shot in CJ Group 3. May see Long Branch and Matawan again in playoffs.
Keyport(6-1) First time on sheet. Test coming this week vs. Beach.
Matawan(5-1) Only loss was a bad one to Neptune.
Thursday night Football show at Water St. Grill at 7pm. Follow us on the “Hawk”(105.7fm) or shoresportsnetwork.com.
Game of week takes us to TR South as the Brick Memorial Mustangs come calling. 105.7 fm if you can’t get there.