The Franchise Returns
Wanted to take in the Rumson-Manasquan game on Saturday afternoon to see the return of running back Charlie Volker.
I was not disappointed, as Volker carried 30 times for 267 yards and three touchdowns to lead Rumson to a thrilling 28-21 win over Manasquan. The win puts the Bulldogs in good shape in their bid to repeat in Central Jersey Group II. The 'Dawgs beat Weequahic 14-6 at Kean University to win their second state title in 2013. Volker showed no signs of his ankle problems.
Then I made my way to Toms River South to see a great 16-13 win on the road by Southern Regional over South on Saturday night. Kicker Brandon Barnetti boomed a 27-yard FG with 1.6 seconds left to win it for Southern. With the big win, Southern moves back into the South Jersey Group V playoff picture.
As stated last week, this is a wide-open group with no clear favorite. Get in, you have a chance. Brick Memorial and Toms River North are also in this section. Meanwhile, Toms River South must regroup after a tough loss. It doesn't get any easier as they have Jackson Memorial (4-1) and Brick Memorial (4-2) coming in next two weeks. Speaking of Toms River South, the head Indian, Ron Signorino Sr., is a little under the weather and missed Saturday night's game. We wish him a quick and healthy recovery.
Shore Regional (4-1) beat Mater Dei Prep (4-2) 14-8 in a very important B Central game. That set up a Point Beach-Shore showdown that will decide that crown. They will meet at Shore on Halloween night. The return of fullback Doug Goldsmith from a knee injury boosted the Blue Devils as he ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns.
The B South lost one of the five teams tied for first place when Barnegat beat Point Boro 13-7 on Friday night. Barnegat (5-1) played without senior linebacker Manny Bowen, who should be back after this week's bye week for the Bengals. Central, Lakewood, Jackson Liberty, along with Barnegat, have one loss in the division race.
How about Jackson Liberty (4-2), which has won four games after the early season blast the Lions took from cross-town rival Jackson Memorial. The Lions are rolling and have winless Lacey this week. Lacey (0-6) has lost 11 straight dating back to last season. Amazing.
Manalapan's win over Middletown South sets up what could be a classic this Friday night when they will travel to No. 1 Red Bank Catholic (6-0). It's also a matchup of streaks. The Braves (6-0) have won 30 straight against Shore Conference opposition and RBC has won 38 straight. Somebody's streak will end Friday night.
Besides RBC and Manalapan, Freehold (6-0) and St. John Vianney remained undefeated with wins this past weekend. Freehold plays winless Toms River East (0-6) and St. John Vianney (6-0) plays one-win win Donovan Catholic (1-5). Look for three teams to remain undefeated next week. My pick in the big one is RBC in a very close game. Another big game this week has Brick Memorial (4-2) traveling to Middletown South (4-2), with both teams coming off losses.
Jackson Memorial travels to Toms River South in our Jersey Mike's Game of The Week to be broadcast on NewsTalk Radio WOBM 1160 and 1310 AM Friday night. The game can be heard on ShoreSportsNetwork.com.
Also this weekend: Long Branch (5-1) is at Matawan (3-3), and Lakewood(4-1) is at Rumson (3-2) in a big nondivisional game.
Congrats to Asbury Park (1-4) and head coach Bill Hill, who won their first game of 2014 and the first for Hill at his new school. The Blue Bishops beat Keyport 31-16 on Friday night.
Thursday night the Investors Bank HS Football Show is at the Water Street Grille in Toms River from 7-8:30 p.m. on NewsTalk Radio WOBM 1160 and 1310 AM or ShoreSportsNetwork.com with guests Shore Regional head coach Mark Costantino and Jackson Memorial head coach Walt Krystopik will also be in the house. You can watch a live video stream of the program.