It wasn't a pretty weekend for the Shore Conference in the first round of the playoffs. 11 teams were knocked off in round 1 and 9 survived. With 4 teams playing each other we are at least guaranteed to have 2 finalist on the weekend of Dec 4th. Asbury Park and Point Beach will play in CJ-1 and Matawan and Manasquan will play in CJ-2. Winners advance to the finals. Rumson in CJ-2, won their game with Rahway and advance, along with Neptune in CJ-3. The Fliers did not have an easy one as they had to go to OT to pull it out 40-33 over Allentown. RBC in Non-Public-3 won a home game and advance to play undefeated Delbarton. #1 in the Shore since the pre-season the Caseys have to play their best game to win and advance to finals. I perhaps the most exciting game of the year the Barnegat Bengals won their first ever home playoff game with a thrilling 35-31 win over Point Boro. Mark McCoy threw for 360 yds. in the victory, while on the other side, Boro ran for 400 yds., but couldn't win. John Dunbar(226 yds rushing) was amazing in defeat and Boro has nothing to be ashamed of. Manalapan beat Brick Memorial 28-21, for the second time in 3 weeks, but this time it was in the States. They advance to meet West Windsor South, at home, on Friday night.

With some tough semi-final match-ups, only Rumson, Manalapan and perhaps Neptune are favored to win this weekend. My prediction is Rumson, Neptune, and Manalapan all win and advance to the finals. Give Asbury Park and Manasquan victories and we will have 5 in the finals come Dec 4th.

10 of 20 Shore teams won in the consolation games, so a 50/50 split shows that the State matched them up pretty good. Big winner here were Brick(6-4) and Colts Neck(5-4), two good teams that may have been good enough for the playoffs. Long Branch won their 4th straight and is at 4-5 going into Turkey Day.SJ Vianney continues to play pretty well and are 4-5 going into Thanksgiving.

State Playoff comments:

"They can't stop me even if they stop me. Our mentality is to be relentless. We try to punish every opponent that lines up in front of us, we face it like it is a challenge." DT Ra'Zahn Howard, Asbury Park.

"We came off the field a better team and a better program than when we got on the field. I have no qualms about that." Dan Duddy, Head Coach on Mon Don's 49-7 loss to Delbarton.

"I personally think we play better when our backs are against the wall. We play with a little chip on our shoulder like we try to prove to everyone that we can do this." QB Mark McCoy, Barnegat, on his 35-31 win.

"I think anytime your backs are against the wall, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. It's the glue that hopefully keeps you stronger and makes you tougher. When times go bad, that's when you see people's character, and here tonight when things were bad, our character came to the forefront." Head Coach Mark Ciccotelli, Neptune.

"Every win is dramatic for us at this point. We felt if we came and played our game today we'd have a great shot. We had a tremendous first half." Head Coach John Wagner, Point Beach.

"Oh, no sir. I love contact." Larry Alson, Matawan RB on his 136 yd., 3 TD effort in their 28-14 win over Carteret.

"It's big for our school , it's big for everything. It means a lot to us that we're the team that ended the streak of losing in the first round." RB John DiStefano, RBC on winning the first round game over Pope John 42-6.

"We have a balanced attack offensively and our defense did a great job tonight. We didn't have to make many halftime adjustments. It is a credit to our kids that they play hard and stay together." Head Coach Shane Fallon, Rumson.

"We wanted to keep the ball and not let Brick Memorial have it again, and everybody did a great job. We knew what was at stake. Everybody's psyched that we're going farther in the playoffs." RB John Sieczkowski of Manalapan HS on his teams 28-21 win over the Mustangs.

Top Ten week 11:

  1. RBC-(9-0) Destroyed Pope John in first round of States. It gets a little tougher in semi's against unbeaten Delbarton on the road.
  2. Rumson-(9-0) The Bulldogs are on a mission to win back to back CJ-2 Championships. Shutout Rahway 29-0 in first round and get Delaware Valley at home on Friday night in semi's.
  3. Neptune-(8-1) It wasn't as expected, but a win is a win. OT win against Allentown by a 40-33 score, has made other teams in CJ-3 take notice. The Fliers went into game having given up only 57 points and gave up 33 to Allentown. Must tighten up "D" vs. Northern Burlington, the top seed and 35-27 winners over Mid South.
  4. Manasquan-(9-0) 34-7 over Red Bank in first round has set up the Warriors in semi's against Matawan in an all-shore match-up.
  5. Manalapan-(8-1) You better begin to believe in the Braves. They beat Brick Memorial 28-21 for the second time in the last 3 weeks. They draw another home game as #2 seed against West Windsor South.
  6. Southern-(8-2) Disappointing loss in first round, but have had a great year and deserve the #6 ranking. They put the uniforms away as the A-South Champs.
  7. Asbury Park-(8-1) Easy first round victory over Middlesex(32-7). Get upstart Point Beach on Sat. in semi's.
  8. Jackson-(8-1) Loss to Sayreville 28-13 in first round, but have had a solid season.
  9. Matawan-(7-2) The Huskies are the best team no one talks about. Beat unbeaten Carteret 28-14 to get a shot at Manasquan on Sat. afternoon.
  10. Barnegat-(6-3) The Bengals might have played the most exciting game of the year in their 35-31 victory over Point Boro. Both teams were great on offense, but the Bengals must sharpen up "D" against West Deptford, on Friday night, on the road.

Just outside looking in:

Point Beach-(7-2) For sure they are #11, I would love to put them in top ten.

Wall-(7-2) Disappointing loss in first round to Steinert.

Middletown South-(6-3) Fell behind early and fought back, but not enough. 35-27 loss to Northern Burlington.