Championship Saturday

It's hard to believe, but we have reached the end of the high school football season. With just a day left before December begins, 9 schools from the shore are still practicing for 1 more game, and it's a big one: it's for a State championship. Unfortunately, the powers that set the game sites did the shore no favors, as all 7 games are on Saturday. If you're a neutral fan and just want to see some games, you must either do some traveling around the state or you can pick a site where your favorite teams are playing. Rutgers University is your best bet as 5 of the 9 teams will play there on Dec. 5th. SJV (11-0) begins action there at 10AM when they take on DePaul (5-6). Brick Memorial (9-2) faces Jackson (7-4) at 4pm ( On WOBM-AM 1160 & 1310) and at 7PM Red Bank (11-0) will play Rumson (9-2) (also on WOBM-AM 1160 & 1310). Yes - we will broadcast 2 games from Rutgers on the Shore Sports Network and we'll also give you a full rundown of the SJV game.

Other sites are Met Life Stadium where the # 1 team in the state, Middletown South (11-0) will play Phillipsburg (9-2 and 2 time defending champion) at 7PM.

Rowan University is where Toms River North (10-1) will travel to play Williamstown (9-2) at 6pm.

Kean University is where Shore (11-0) will go at it with Palmyra (10-1) at 4PM and Raritan (6-5) will play 11-0 Lincoln at 7PM.

Since 2 games involve all shore teams, we will have at least 2 winners. In my opinion, Middletown South, Shore and St. John Vianney are all favored to win. Toms River North is an even game and Raritan is the one underdog. The thought of multiple winners is clearly possible. The shore has had a fantastic year in 2015, so don't be surprised if we get 5, 6 or even 7 winners. Last year we won 6 championships.

Breaking down the games is tough, because everyone is good at this point. Our lead football writer Bob Badders will break down the games for you this week, so be sure to follow the Shore Sports Network for more.

If I was a betting man, I'd put my money on any of the head coaches still alive. We have 2 legends, Steve Antonucci (Middletown South) and Mark Costantino (Shore) who you know will have their teams ready as each has multiple championships that they have already won in previous years. You have Bryan Batchler (Rumson) who, all he has done in his 2 years, is win 2 state championships and has his Rumson team in the finals again - he's approaching legendary status. Derek Sininsky (SJV), in his first year has put his stamp on this veteran Lancer team he inherited, and made it his own. He has been under pressure all year to not lose, and that's a tough way to coach. He has done it with outstanding talent and perhaps the "player of the year" in QB Anthony Brown. Can he complete the deal? Dave Oizerowitz (Toms River North) is one of the young guns of head coaches, who has blended multiple weapons and a good assistant staff and has won 9 games in a row, after a loss to Brick Memorial in week 2. Oizerowitz started his career at North with 1-9 and 6-5 records, but everything has clicked this year in his 3rd year. Nick Giglio (Red Bank) has paid his dues for 6 years and it has paid off this year, as he has his Bucs at 11-0 going into the Rumson game. It's not easy to go undefeated in any sport and Giglio has had the Bucs ready to play each week and they put the B-North divisional title under their belt with a win over Long Branch on Thanksgiving morning. Can the Bucs complete the perfect season?

Nobody runs the flexbone offense better than Walt Currie and the Brick Memorial Mustangs. Consistently one of the top offenses in the shore, Walt has scored 30 or more points in 7 of his 9 wins and 28 in the other wins. It's a high powered offense with multiple weapons led by QB Tim Santiago (1566 yds./15 TD), who with 17 yards rushing will take over the rushing lead in the shore conference. The development of RB Tony Thorpe (1205 yds./17 TD) has made this year's flexbone a tough offense to stop. Walt Krystopik (Jackson) lost his QB midway through the season and his team went on a 3 game losing streak. Since then, he has redesigned his team personnel and made his run to the finals. His move of receiver Kyle Johnson to the QB spot was masterful and the Jags have clicked ever since, winners of 4 of 5 and are playing their best football right now. Of course the big gun for the Jags is RB Mike Gawlik (1352 yds./14 TD). A 5'6" 160lb speedster who is as tough a runner there is in the shore. Can Gawlik carry the Jags to a championship?

Anthony Petruzzi (Raritan) is another coach who has paid his dues in the previous 5 seasons. Coming from back to back 3-7 seasons, the Rockets have had a weird year, winning their first 3, then losing 5 straight, and then winning 3 straight at the right time. If Derek Ernst (1467 yds./17 TD) can run the football on Saturday the Rockets are a definite threat. Of course, in many cases, coaches don't win football games. Players must play well, defense is very important and turnovers are crucial. Makes for an interesting Saturday, doesn't it?

You want to see star players? Well here are some that will be on display this Saturday:

RB
Cole Rogers(Mid South)-1431 yds/22TD
Asante Moorer(TR North)-1447 yds/16 TD
QB Tim Santiago(Brick Mem)-1566 yds/15 TD
Mike Gawlik(Jackson)-1352 yds/14 TD
QB Mike Husni(TR North)-1147 yds/16 TD TonyThorpe(Brick Mem)-1205 yds/17 TD
QB Jack Britton(Shore)-830 yds/12 TD
QB Mike O'Connor(Rumson)-995 yds/8 TD

QB
Anthony Brown(SJV)-1917 yds/30 TD
Jack Navitsky(Red Bank)-1200 yds/11TD
Matt Mosquera(Mid South)-1375 yds/17 TD
Mike Husni(TR North)-1334 yds/13TD

WR
Mike Stapert(SJV)-25 catches/754 yds/10TD-30 yds/catch
Sadiq Palmer(Red Bank)-46 catches/7TD
Darion Carrington(TR North)-34 catches/5TD

K
Matt Cuppari(Brick Mem)-7 FG-47(long)-47 x-pts
Matt Mosquera(Mid South)-3 FG-47(long)-54 x-pt
Jack O'Connor(Rumson)-9 FG-42(long)-36 x-pt
George Notte(Shore)-5 FG-29(long)-42 x-pt

Offensive minded teams:
SJV-45 1/2 pts/game
Mid South-41 1/2 pts/ game
TR North-35 pts/ game
Shore-35 pts/game
Brick Mem-32 pts/game

Defensive minded teams:
Shore-5.8 pts/game
SJV-7.8 pts/game
Rumson-8.4 pts/game
Red Bank-9.1 pts/game
Jackson-10.7 pts/game
Brick Mem-12.1 pts/ game

Defensive Players to watch:
Mike Ruane(Rumson)-144 tackles
Doug Goldsmith(Shore)-108 tackles
Da'shon Copes(TR North)
Mike and Anthony Nobile(Brick Mem)-5 sacks
Chris Hayes(Brick Mem)-8 sacks
Austin Ostrander, Tyler Towns, Zack Lubertazzi(Jackson)
Micah Clark, Tyler Tedeschi(SJV)
James McCarthy, Kevin Higgins, Dylan Rogers(LB trio-Mid South)
Sadiq Palmer, Chris Outterbridge, Sean Naiman, Ricky Wild(Red Bank)

There are great players all over the field for these teams. Have fun this weekend and let's bring home some championships.

A quick review of Turkey Day football:
Our Jersey Mike's Game of the Week was Manasquan at Wall and it was a good one. Wall won 43-35 as Senior QB Matt Cluley had an MVP day.

Red Bank (35-12 over Long Branch) won the B-North title with the win.

Shore beat Rumson 20-14 for the second year in a row. Both will play for a championship this Saturday.

Toms River South, Raritan, Neptune, Middletown South and Ocean all won Thanksgiving morning and Barnegat won Wednesday night over Pinelands.

Join us Thursday night from the Water Street Grill for high school football talk and we'll get you ready for the weekend. We'll talk to the head coaches of some of the teams playing and also in house, we'll have Mike Basile and Tim Johnson from the Monmouth University football team. Both of these men were great high school players from the shore and are great players in college. Basile was just named 1st team All Big South, while Johnson was a 2nd team selection.

We will broadcast 2 games from Rutgers this weekend: Jackson/Brick Memorial for the CJ-4 title at 4PM and Red Bank/Rumson for the CJ-3 title at 7PM. Listen on News Talk Radio WOBM-AM 1160 & 1310 or online at shoresportsnetwork.com if you're out of listening area.