Toms River North senior wide receiver Bryce Watts was sensational with 182 yards and three touchdowns on only 4 catches to power the win over Middletown South. (Photo by Ray Richardson)

We must start this week's blog with the statement win by Toms River North over Middletown South.  The final was 41-21, but this one was over in the first quarter, as Mike Husni and Bryce Watts put on a pitch and catch display that was too much for the previous #1 Eagles.  Watts caught 2 TD passes from Husni in the first few minutes of the game and Parker Day scored on the ground as North built up a 21-0 lead after running just 7 offensive plays.

Middletown South tried to fight back, cutting the lead to 21-7 at the half, but the North defense decided to show up in this one and they played their best game of the year against a real good team.  Husni continues to put up tremendous numbers and there's no truth to rumors that I tried to get him on my fantasy team.  He accounted for 5 TDs on Friday, giving him 30 on the year - a truly unbelievable year for the 5'10, 160lb QB. North must now focus on the bigger picture, and that's a repeat of a South Jersey Group 5 State title. First up is a possible A-South championship game vs. Central in a few weeks (Nov. 4th) and then they can focus on the playoffs.  Even before that, they must play the "Civil War" game this coming week vs. Toms River South (2-4), never an easy game because of the inner town rivalry.  Throw the records out in that one.

Middletown South (5-1) doesn't get much time to rest, as they face another unbeaten team in St. John Vianney (7-0), who has been flying low under the radar all year long.  After that one it's Wall (5-1), who is an excellent team, as the Eagles navigate through one of the toughest schedules in the State.  SJV took care of Red Bank Catholic (4-2) in convincing fashion by a 41-21 score.  Loaded with talent, Derek Sininsky has an 18-1 record since he took over the Lancers last year, losing only in the finals of the Non-Public Group 3 finals to DePaul.  QB Haaziq Daniels has stepped up to lead the Lancers.  He has playmakers in Sam East, RB Chris Chukwuneke, RB John Buchanan and Zyaire Sterling to get the ball to.  SJV moves into the spotlight this week with its game at Middletown South.Besides Middletown South getting knocked from the unbeaten, Freehold Township (6-1) also was defeated by a pretty good Howell team. The Rebels (4-3) have played tough this year against a tough schedule (Toms River North and Manalapan) who are both undefeated.  They are led by QB Eddie Morales, who had an excellent game against the Patriots.  Eddie threw for 163 yards while RB Nick Chambers ran for 100 yards and 2 TDs.  Howell takes on a 2-5 New Brunswick team at home on Friday, as the try to wrap up a CJ 5 playoff spot.Point Boro (7-0) continues to have that dream season, as they shut out winless Jackson Liberty 27-0.  QB James Fara is a star, as is RB Tanner Gordon (3 TDs on Friday).  WR Hayden Frey is always a threat (5 catches for 93 yards) downfield for Fara to throw to.  The Panthers' unbeaten record will be tested by QB Kenny Pickett and the Big Red of Ocean, at home on Friday.

Manalapan moves to 7-0 with an easy 55-21 victory over Neptune (2-4).  Another outstanding QB who has flown under the radar is Luke Corcione.  The Braves leader has had a great year and threw for 250 yards and 5 TDs in the easy win.  RB Niam Mayfield has also had a big year for the Braves, as they now will be tested big time by a pretty good Piscataway team (5-1) in a showcase event at Rutgers University next Saturday at 11AM.  Both of these team are fighting for the top spot in CJ 5, and could conceivably face each other twice this year.

Mater Dei (7-0) remains unbeaten as they crushed Holmdel 41-0.  WR Eddie Lewis scored 3 times, 2 on passes from QB George Pearson.  This is the best start of the season that Mater Dei Prep has ever had, as they continue the march to the playoffs.

Big win over the weekend for Brick (5-2), a 46-6 winner over Lakewood (4-2).  Playing without their starting QB Anthony Costanza (ankle injury), Mr. Versatile, John Prato assumed the spread QB spot and proved he could easily do the job.  Prato ran for 3 TDs and directed the Brick offense very well.  It also helped that the Dragon D scored 3 TDs, all on fumble returns. Joe Leblo (62 yards), Joe Obernauer (82 yards) and Jay Carchio (74 yards) all returned fumbles for touchdowns to make this contest look like a track meet. Brick, with 1 loss in A South (TRN), is still alive for a possible championship.  They also lead the CJ 4 in power points and will be one of the favorites to win their 8th title.

Central (6-1) is the other main challenger in A South, as they used 3 more TDs from Mike Bickford to cruise past Colts Neck 28-7.  Central and Brick will play this week and then Central gets #1 TRN on Nov. 4th.  Both games are at Central.

Lacey (5-2) won 28-14 over winless Donovan Catholic to continue their comeback season.  RB Jason Giresi caught a TD pass from QB Coleton Krause and ran one in from 2 yards out to lead the Lions.  Before a homecoming crowd on a rainy Saturday afternoon, the Lions honored their State Champions from 2006.  With losses to Point Boro and Lakewood in B South, the Lions' focus is the SJ 3 playoffs, where they are looking for a first round home game. They currently are 4th in power points, with the top 4 getting home games.  Lacey will play neighbor rival Southern this week.

Rumson (4-2), Wall (5-2), and Asbury Park (4-2) all had nice bounce back wins this past week and are all looking for a playoff spot in 2 weeks.  Shore (5-2) won a big one vs. Point Beach (4-3) in a fight for a CJ 1 seed.  Shore is currently #1, with Beach #3, but Asbury Park (currently #4) has a game in hand and could catch them with a win vs. Keansburg next week.  Remember, only the first 8 games count toward playoff points.  You take the best 7 of those 8 games and drop your lowest power point game.  Of the 6 teams here, Rumson in CJ 3 has the toughest road to a playoff spot.  They have games with Monmouth (2-5) and Carteret (5-1) left in a very tough CJ 3 division.  Rumson is looking for 4 State titles in a row and their 5th overall and they did get Head Coach Jerry Schulte back from his gallbladder surgery.

Another under the radar team is Manasquan (5-1), who have quietly had a great season.  RB Connor Morgan has become a star with his power running, while WR Damaso Jaime is a big time down the field receiver, and TE/DE Adam Schreck is as good a utility player in the Shore as there is. Coming off a 3-7 season, the Warriors are a tough match up for any opponent.

The schedule this week features SJV (7-0) at Middletown South (5-1), the Civil War between TRS (2-4) and TRN (7-0), Manalapan (7-0) vs. Piscataway (5-1) at a showcase event at Rutgers University (11am), Brick (5-2) at Central (6-1), Barnegat (3-3) at Lakewood (4-2) and Ocean (3-4) at Point Boro (7-0).

Our Thursday Gateway Toyota Coaches Corner football show returns this week to Lefty's in Barnegat.  Pinelands (3-3), winners of 3 in a row, will be our featured guests.  Head Coach Brian Wilkinson and a couple of his star players will be there.  Join us at Lefty's from 7-8PM or tune into 105.7 The Hawk.

Our Game of the Week takes us back to #1 Toms River North as the Indians from Toms River South (2-4) take the trip across town for the annual "Civil War".  Tune in this Friday night at 7PM on News Talk Radio WOBM-AM 1160 & 1310 or stream online at ShoreSportsNetwork.com.

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