The Jeep Store Football Top 10, 10/31/17
We have some changes to the Shore Sports Network Top 10 heading into Week 9 after three ranked teams were defeated in Week 8.
The big result came out of northern Monmouth County where Mater Dei Prep had its 17-game winning streak snapped in a 28-26 loss to Delbarton. Elsewhere, No. 3 Rumson defeated No. 10 Monmouth Regional, 48-25. No. 9 Brick Memorial was also defeated, falling 35-14 to South Brunswick.
Finding a new team at No. 10 has been an ongoing theme, and this week that spot goes to Freehold. The Colonials’ have three losses, but one was a forfeit to Freehold Township in a game they won on the field, 46-20. Their other two defeats are to No. 1 Manalapan and No. 5 Howell, and with Ashante Worthy running (and throwing) wild every week they are a team no one wants to see in the postseason.
Brick Memorial fell behind early to a South Brunswick team that will be Manalapan’s main challenger in the Central Jersey Group V playoffs, but the Mustangs played well in the second half and should benefit from a game against a high-caliber opponent.
The main question is what to do with Mater Dei. The Seraphs had won 17 games dating back to last season when they went 12-0 and won the NJSIAA Non-Public Group II title. It was a rough week in Port Monmouth with head coach Dino Mangiero and athletic director/offensive coordinator Lance Bennett being suspended from game-day coaching for the rest of the season and the Seraphs falling to Delbarton in a game that came down to the final play.
The smaller schools in the Shore have little margin for error because their week-to-week competition is not as difficult as the rest of the Shore. Delbarton plays a brutal schedule against the likes of St. Joe’s (Montvale), Don Bosco Prep, etc., but the Green Wave were just 1-6 entering Saturday’s game. Mater Dei’s best win this season is over Keansburg, which is 5-3.
The Seraphs will still have a chance to move up because there are several tough teams in the Non-Public Group II bracket, but for now, Mater Dei falls a few spots in the rankings.
Most teams in the Shore Conference have already played their eight games that count toward their final power point rankings so for those teams, Week 9 will be all about scoreboard watching for residual points to see where they stand for the postseason. For the handful of teams that are still in playoff contention and have played just seven games so far, it’s crunch time.
1. Manalapan (8-0). Last week: No. 1
The Braves earned an impressive nonconference win with a 28-0 victory over Piscataway as senior running back Naim Mayfield ran for 194 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries and senior quarterback Luke Corcione completed 12 of 18 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Symir Blacknall had a 66-yard touchdown reception, ran for a touchdown and pulled down an interception on defense. Junior linebacker Tommy Pearce had another big game with 10 tackles and a fumble recovery for a defense that recorded its third shutout of the season and handed Piscataway its first shutout loss since 2009. Next game: Friday 11/3 at Freehold Township (7-1).
2. St. John Vianney (8-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior Johnny Buchanan ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries and also made 15 tackles on defense as the Lancers defeated upset-minded Middletown South, 21-14, to extend their Shore Conference winning streak to 37 games. Senior Zyaire Sterling added 81 yards rushing and a touchdown on six carries and senior linebacker Josiah Walker made 15 tackles with two stops coming for a loss. Senior defensive end Nick Densieski recorded his eighth sack of the season, while Dominick Spano and Donovan Reiser also had sacks. Next game: Saturday 11/4 at Monmouth Regional (6-2).
3. Rumson-Fair Haven (6-1). Last week: No. 3
Senior running back Peter Lucas continued his tremendous season by rushing for 299 yards and five touchdowns, including a 91-yard touchdown, as the Bulldogs defeated Monmouth Regional, 48-25. Lucas also had touchdown runs of 3, 3, 1 and 19 yards. Junior fullback Alex Maldjian added touchdown runs of 11 and 14 yards. Next game: Friday 11/3 at Carteret (4-3).
4. Red Bank Catholic (7-1). Last week: No. 5
Filling in for injured senior Zack Bair, sophomore running back Billy Guidetti ran for over 100 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Caseys’ 37-0 victory over Red Bank. Guidetti had touchdown runs of 35 and 47 yards while John Columbia added a 9-yard touchdown run. Junior quarterback Steve Lubischer threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Brandon Lombana, who finished with four catches for 117 yards. Anthony Romano had a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown and Ryan O’Hara connected on a 35-yard field goal. Next game: Saturday 11/4 at Manasquan (5-2).
5. Howell (7-1). Last week: No. 6
Senior quarterback Eddie Morales III threw for 140 yards and a touchdown and ran for 87 yards and two scores to lead the Rebels to a 42-20 win over New Brunswick. Morales had touchdown runs of 5 and 20 yards and threw a 78-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Ryan Mazik. Senior Naseim Brantley returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and junior running back Gerard Urso had a 53-yard touchdown run. Senior linebacker Braedon Baldwin led Howell’s defense with eight tackles and a sack, while defensive linemen Matt Mazauskas and Wendall Wright also had sacks. Next game: Friday 11/3 vs. Marlboro (3-5).
6. Long Branch (6-1). Last week: No. 7
Senior quarterback Juwan Wilkins threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Matt Clark and the Green Wave defense came through with a stop to defeat Middletown North, 28-21, in an overtime thriller. Wilkins finished with 210 yards passing and three touchdowns and sophomore running back Jermaine Corbett ran for a touchdown. Next game: Friday 11/3 vs. No. 10 Freehold (5-3).
7. Mater Dei Prep (5-1). Last week: No. 4
Senior quarterback George Pearson threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a touchdown, but a 2-point conversion pass attempt in the final seconds was batted down by Delbarton’s Anthony Siragusa as the Seraphs fell to the Green Wave, 28-26, to end their 17-game winning streak. Isaiah Noguera had touchdown receptions of 9 and 8 yards and Malik Ingram ran for a game-high 134 yards on 20 carries. Gavin Toth connected on field goals of 28 and 29 yards. Next game: Saturday 11/4 vs. Point Beach (5-3).
8. Point Boro (8-0). Last week: No. 8
The Panthers offensive line dominated the trenches in a 41-18 win over Ocean, paving the way for 493 yards rushing. Senior quarterback James Fara led the ground attack with 282 yards rushing and four touchdowns while senior running back Brandon Cipriano ran for 116 yards and a touchdown and senior fullback Tanner Gordon added 89 yards rushing and a touchdown. Point Boro’s defense held Ocean to minus-28 yards rushing. Next game: Friday 11/3 vs. Barnegat (4-3).
9. Brick Memorial (6-2). Last week: No. 9
Senior fullback Tony Thorpe ran for 193 yards and two touchdowns, but the Mustangs had their six-game winning streak snapped in a 35-14 loss to South Brunswick, one of the top teams in the Greater Middlesex Conference. Next game: Friday 11/3 vs. Jackson Memorial (5-3).
10. Freehold (5-3). Last week: not ranked
Senior quarterback Ashante Worthy had another gigantic game with 436 combined yards and seven touchdowns to lead the Colonials to a 49-14 win over Edison. Worthy ran for 324 yards and six touchdowns, scoring on runs of 14, 96, 11, 3, 79 and 9 yards. He also completed 10 of 16 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, finding Savion Macon for a 35-yard score. Worthy now has 1,787 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns plus 1,381 yards passing and 17 touchdowns this season. Next game: Friday 11/3 at No. 6 Long Branch (6-1).
Dropped out: Monmouth Regional (No. 10 last week)
Teams to Watch:
Manasquan (5-2): The Warriors’ defense led the way once again in a 26-0 shutout over Matawan and now has three shutouts this season. Senior running back Connor Morgan ran for over 150 yards and scored a touchdown, senior quarterback Tommy Antonucci ran for a touchdown and threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to junior James Pendergist, and junior running back Canyon Birch added a touchdown run. Next game: Saturday 11/4 vs. No. 4 Red Bank Catholic (7-1).
Jackson Memorial (5-3): Senior quarterback A.J. Tolmachewich threw for 151 yards and a touchdown - a 9-yard score to Kaleem Norris - and also ran for a touchdown in a 28-14 loss to Old Bridge. The Jaguars, however, have a chance to jump into the Top 10 when they face No. 9 Brick Memorial in Week 9. Next game: Friday 11/3 at No. 9 Brick Memorial (6-2).
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.
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