Scanning the High School Football Scene: Week 3
The high school football season is starting to take shape as we reach week 3. There is little doubt that Middletown South (2-0) is the #1 team. As good as they are, they will be tested down the line with the likes of Manalapan, upstart Howell and powerful Brick Memorial, not to mention cross town nemesis Middletown North come Turkey Day.
Let's take a candid look back at week 2.
First, we must look at our game of the week: Toms River North at Brick Memorial. The Mustangs (1-1), stemming from a 36-6 loss at the hands of rival Brick in week 1 were a focused football team and they totally took apart the previous #3 Mariners 52-20. QB Tim Santiago put himself in the Brick Memorial record books with a 336 yard rushing performance, running the flexbone offense to perfection. The record was previously held by Brian Staub, who just happens to coach Tim. No truth to the sideline rumor that Staub asked Head Coach Walt Currie to rest Santiago in the 4th quarter. Santiago totaled 5 TDs on the long night, rushing for 4 and throwing for 1. Elie Lavarin (102 Rush yds. & 1 TD) and Tony Thorpe (69 yds & 2 TDs) added to the 526 rush yards by the Stangs, also a school record. The Stangs totaled 560 yards of offense on what turned out to be a 3 hour and 10 minute football broadcast. QB Mike Husni was relentless and gutty in defeat, as he totaled 265 yards of offense. North (1-1) is too good of a football team to let 1 game define them, they will correct mistakes and still challenge in the brutal A-South race. It's a long season.
Welcome back to Red Bank Catholic's Eddie Hahn. Preseason knee surgery on a torn meniscus kept him out until Friday. 3 TD passes later, it's safe to say Hahn has worked himself back into shape. He will only get better as he gets more practice time. RBC(2-0) beat St. Joseph(Metuchen) 32-18.
SJV (2-0) is starting to get more comfortable under 1st year coach Derek Sininsky. The Lancers beat Holmdel 49-0, and we at the SSN are looking forward to having them on Friday night, in our game of the week. They travel to a pretty good Central team who is at 2-1 and pocess one of the top RBs in the Shore in Mike Bickford. Coach Sininsky will also join us Thursday night at the Water Street Grill on our Thursday Night Football Show. He'll bring one of his top players with him.
Ocean (2-0) looks like the real deal this year. The Big Red is scoring 41 pts./game, have a healthy Tyler Thompson and a more experienced QB in Kenny Pickett to lead them offensively. Thompson scored 4 times and Pickett threw 3 TD passes in a 47-21 win over Wall.
Toms River South goes to 2-0 with a shutout over neighbor Toms River East (0-2). 3 long drives of 93, 73 and 59 yards, all in 2nd half, helped the Indians roll up 332 yds on the ground. Sophomore QB TJ Scuderi gets better each week running the option and RB Dashaun Alexander (146 rush) looks like the back the Indians need to make that flexbone work. It'll be a big one this week as the "civil war" game will be played, as they travel to Toms River North.
Jackson (2-0) is now the clear favorite in A-South. They have scored 88 points in 2 games and look to be better than last year's state championship team. Veterans Mike Gawlick (130 yds. & 3 TDs), RB Vinnie Lee, new QB Dan Barker (2 TD passes) and a powerful "O" line lead this big time offense. Defensively, the Jags 1st D is unscored on.
Rumson (1-0) finally opens up the season and throws a 17-0 shutout at Matawan (0-2). QB Mike O'Connor leads the offense, while the "Dog" defense limited Matawan to 2 first downs and only 47 total yds. while recording 6 sacks.
Took in the Manasquan/Monmouth game on Saturday afternoon to watch my longtime friend Rich Mosca lead his Falcon team. Rich still has the same amount of enthusiasm he's had since our old Keyport days together. Mosc and I were assistant coaches to George Conti at Keyport. Those times at Keyport with Mosc and George will forever be some of the best times of my coaching career and life in general. We all remain good friends to this day and we have seen our families go through many great events and some tragic times together. Mosc became the head man at Keyport after Conti left to travel south to become an assistant at Toms River South and then Central. Later, George moved on to have great teams at Asbury Park and Ocean Twp. as the head man. Meanwhile Mosc later went to Middletown South, was an assistant at Monmouth University and then became the head man at FDU in the college ranks before retiring. He missed the sport too much and picked up an assistant job at Monmouth High School under Jason Morrell. Morrell moved on and Mosca took over as head man a few years back. He's good for the program and it keeps him young. The kids respect him and he lets his younger assistants coach the game.
Manasquan won yesterday 28-14, but Monmouth was very competitive and they will compete with anyone on their schedule. Squan looks to have a well balanced offense led by Damaso Jaime (77 Yd catch for TD and 62 int return for TD) and RB Parker Day(127 yds. and 2 TDs). It had been 8 games since Squan last won a football game. That's hard to believe. They will win more this year.
Mater Dei Prep (2-0) continues to be a great story in 2015. We had Shannon Hoadley on the Thursday High School Football Show last week and he seems like the perfect man for that job.
Last year Point Boro (2-0) started with 2 straight wins, then lost 4 of 5. I think they are better this year to prevent that from happening again. We shall see.
How about the Rebels of Howell (2-0)? They have to be the early season leader for surprise team of the year. A great 25-22 win over Freehold Boro last week, as Pat Handy hit a 28 TD field goal to win it.
Nice comeback win for Long Branch (1-1) after last week's loss, beating perennial playoff team Carteret 14-7.
Big win for Asbury Park (20-15 over Metuchen). Congrats to HC Tim Fosque on his 1st career win at AP.
Nice wins for Keyport (27-12 over South River) and Jackson Liberty over Manchester (7-6). Red Bank (2-0), another early season surprise, gets a nice shutout "W" over Middlesex.
0-2 teams who need a "W"- Lacey, TR East, Matawan, Colts Neck, Neptune, and Wall
Big games this week include:
SJV at Central: Our Jersey Mike's Game of the Week (Friday at 7pm on WOBM-AM 1160 & 1310)
Red Bank at Ocean. Battle of unbeaten
TR South at T R North- Civil War-always entertaining
Join us Thursday night at 7-8:30pm at the Water Street Grill for high school football talk and guests.