Shore Conference Football Top 10
As we head into Week Three, the upper echelon of the Shore Sports Network Top 10 remains solid, with some new teams entering the rankings after a week of important divisional clashes.
This is the first set of rankings since the preseason, way back when we used to be known as All Shore Media, but the top 10 will appear weekly from now on. This is a week where some teams hovering just outside the top 10 will get a chance to break into the rankings, as unbeaten squads Howell and Matawan face ranked teams, while Brick and Monsignor Donovan play important divisional games against ranked teams in a chance to bolster their own resumes.
1. Red Bank Catholic (2-0). Last ranking: No. 1.
The machine rolls on, as the Caseys beat Manasquan 41-0 in a Class A Central game for their 26th straight win over Shore Conference competition. Senior tailback Larry Redaelli had three touchdown runs and sophomore quarterback Eddie Hahn threw his first varsity touchdown pass to highlight the win over the Warriors, while seniors Shawn McCord and Ryan Schoer starred on defense. Next up is a game on the road against rival St. John Vianney (1-1, 0-1) on Friday night in Class A Central.
2. Manalapan (1-0). Last ranking: No. 2.
After having their originally scheduled season opener against Jackson Memorial postponed until October, the Braves showed no signs of rust in running over Freehold Township 49-0 to start the season by continuing their dominance in Class A North. Rutgers recruit Saeed Blacknall ran for 57 yards and a score and also caught a 25-yard touchdown pass, and senior tailback Tyler Leonetti also had touchdowns rushing and receiving. The Braves welcome Middletown North (0-1) in a divisional game on Friday night.
3. Lacey (2-0). Last ranking: No. 3.
The Lions got a battle from Toms River North that went down to the fourth quarter before putting a 34-22 win in Class A South on ice. Senior quarterback Tom Kelly threw four touchdown passes, three of them to senior wideout Christian Tutela, who had 128 yards receiving. Chris Jensen added 121 total yards and two touchdowns between rushing and receiving. The Lions welcome Toms River East (0-2) to Lacey on Saturday.
4. Middletown South (1-0). Last ranking: No. 4.
The Eagles were in a dogfight with Brick into the fourth quarter before blowing it open late for a 28-7 nondivisional win over the Green Dragons in their season opener. Senior quarterback Kyle Brey threw three touchdown passes, two of them to senior tight end Tayler Hendrickson, to help lead the way. The Eagles travel to Howell (2-0) for a Class A North showdown on Friday night.
5. Colts Neck (2-0). Last ranking: No. 6.
The Cougars move up a spot from their preseason ranking after two dominating wins to start the season. They have outscored their first two opponents 84-0 following a 39-0 win over North Brunswick in which senior tailback Anthony Gargiulo rolled up 172 yards and two touchdowns and the defense registered its second straight shutout. The Cougars look to make it 3-0 when they head to Marlboro (0-2) in a Class A North game on Saturday.
6. Ocean (2-0). Last ranking: No. 8.
The Spartans jump up two spots after grinding out a 7-0 win over defending Class B North co-champion Neptune on the road for their first win over the Scarlet Fliers since 2009 and first win at Neptune since 2006. Junior tailback Tyler Thompson scored on a one-yard run with 5:04 left in the game on a drive set up by a 60-yard punt return by Jair Bernier. The defense limited Neptune to 159 yards of total offense led by Mike Halawani, Miles Moody and Dan Loizos. The Spartans look to get another stern test this week in a Class B North match-up of unbeatens with Matawan on Friday night.
7. Rumson-Fair Haven (2-0). Last ranking: No. 9.
The Bulldogs have been doing it with defense and a punishing running game featuring junior tailback Charlie Volker, as they upended St. John Vianney 21-7 in a Class A Central game to stay unbeaten. Volker rolled up a career-high 209 yards rushing on 21 carries and ran for a score to give him 397 yards and three touchdowns on 43 carries (9.2 ypc) in two games. The Bulldogs’ defense recorded eight sacks, including two apiece for Tom Martello, Kevin Clayton and Ben Eisenstadt. Senior defensive back Sam Shaud also had his second interception in two games. Next up is a Class A Central game on the road against Holmdel (1-1) on Friday night.
8. Toms River South (2-0). Last ranking: Unranked.
The Indians are in the top 10 for the first time in years following a 27-20 win over 2012 South Jersey Group V finalist Southern in Class A South. Junior quarterback Tymere Berry had 217 total yards and accounted for two touchdowns, and Billy Kosh added a touchdown run and an interception on defense that set up another touchdown. There is no time to rest, as the Indians now head to Brick (1-1) on Friday night for another tough Class A South game.
9. Barnegat (2-0). Last ranking: No. 10.
The Bengals won a wild 42-34 game over Manchester in Class B South without starting quarterback Cinjun Erskine, who was out of the lineup with a minor back injury and will return this week. Tailback A.J. Opre continued his outstanding start with 148 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 30 carries in the win, and backup quarterback Ricky Gerena threw for 153 yards and two touchdowns in Erskine’s absence. The Bengals travel to defending Class B South champion Monsignor Donovan (1-1) on Friday night for a crucial divisional game.
10. Brick (1-1). Last ranking: Unranked.
The Green Dragons took No. 4 Middletown South to the wire in a game where the score was deceiving, as it was 7-7 until the final seven minutes before the Eagles pulled away for a 28-7 victory. Junior quarterback Carmen Sclafani had a 77-yard touchdown run in the loss. They have a chance to move back up in the rankings this week when they welcome No. 8 Toms River South in a Class A South clash.
Teams to watch:
Neptune (1-1): The Scarlet Fliers suffered a 7-0 loss to Ocean, but they were right there with the Spartans the whole way. There is no time to linger over the loss, as they have a key Class B North game at Long Branch on Saturday.
Southern (1-1): The Rams nearly had an outstanding comeback in falling 27-20 to No. 8 Toms River South. They still look to be a factor in the Class A South race, and look to get back on track at Toms River North (0-2) on Friday night.
Howell (2-0): The Rebels are back to their high-flying aerial attack and have already doubled their win total from last year. Senior quarterback Connor McGlynn has put up the usual Howell QB video game numbers thus far with 652 yards passing and nine touchdowns on 44-for-61 (72% accuracy) in two games coming off a 28-14 win over Marlboro. They have a chance to make a major statement this week when they take on No. 4 Middletown South at home on Friday night.
Matawan (2-0): The Huskies’ newcomers on offense found their groove in a 31-13 win over Freehold in which four different players scored, including a 50-yard touchdown by sophomore Khalil Haskins that gave them the lead for good. This is their week to make their top 10 case when they face No. 6 Ocean at home on Friday night.
Point Beach (2-0): The Garnet Gulls grinded through a 15-6 win on the road over Dunellen in a nonconference game thanks to a career-high 163 yards rushing and a touchdown by junior Joe Wegryzniak. They travel to Spotswood (2-0) on Saturday for another nonconference game.
Shore Regional (1-1): The Blue Devils became the first team to shut out Asbury Park since 2008 with a 10-0 victory in Class B Central to pick up their first win. They welcome Metuchen (0-2) in a nonconference game this week.
Manasquan (1-1): The Warriors took their lumps in a 41-0 loss to Red Bank Catholic, which also included the loss of starting quarterback Will Pezzollo to a torn ACL. However, they still do have a win over Long Branch, so we’ll see if they can shake off the RBC game and continue a playoff march. They travel to Raritan (0-2) on Friday night for a Class A Central game.
Brick Memorial (1-1): The Mustangs picked up a 29-3 win over Middletown North after losing to Brick in the season opener. They host Jackson Memorial on Friday night in Class A South and will be honoring their 2003 Central Jersey Group IV championship team in the process.
Jackson Memorial (1-0): The Jaguars routed Toms River East 41-0 in the opener and now look to start building a top 10 case by knocking off Brick Memorial on the road Friday night in Class A South.
St. John Vianney (1-1): The Lancers lost 21-7 to No. 7 Rumson after a season-opening win over defending Class B South champion Monsignor Donovan. They now have to deal with No. 1 Red Bank Catholic at home on Friday night.
Monsignor Donovan (1-1): The Griffins got back on track with a 27-6 win over Lakewood to kick off their Class B South schedule thanks to senior Joey Fields, who had two touchdowns and also made an interception on defense. They can make a top 10 push this week as they face No. 9 Barnegat at home in a key Class B South game on Friday night.