T&T Coast Football Top 10, 11/8/16
No changes to the top 10 this week as the rankings held on the final week of the regular season. Every division title was wrapped up outright except for Class B North where Middletown South clinched at least a share.
It was also do-or-die for several teams hoping to secure a postseason berth, and when the dust settled 25 Shore Conference teams in 10 different sections qualified for the 2016 NJSIAA playoffs. The Shore has had a record six state champions in each of the last two seasons, and with eight teams seeded either No. 1 or No. 2 this season the record could be broken yet again.
Now let’s get to the latest T&T Coast Shore Conference Football Top 10 with just four weeks of football remaining.
1. Toms River North (9-0). Last week: No. 1
Senior quarterback Mike Husni ran for 213 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 167 yards and a touchdown in a 34-7 win over Central that clinched the Class A South division title. Senior running back Parker Day ran for 103 yards and a touchdown and senior wide receiver Darrion Carrington caught five passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Next game: The Mariners are the No. 1 seed in the South Jersey Group V playoffs and host Atlantic City in the first round on Friday night.
2. Manalapan (9-0). Last week: No. 2
Junior running back Naim Mayfield ran for 115 yards and three touchdowns and the defense held Freehold Township’s high-flying passing offense under 100 yards and recorded seven sacks in a 35-0 win that clinched the Class A North division title. Junior quarterback Luke Corcione tossed a touchdown pass to junior wide out Scott Scherzer and junior fullback Chris Maksimik added a rushing touchdown. Sophomore linebacker Tommy Pearce returned after missing three games with a shoulder injury to make a game-high nine tackles, while Lazarus Marquez and Mike Cardinale each had two sacks.. Next game: Manalapan is the No. 1 seed in the Central Jersey Group V playoffs and hosts New Brunswick in the first round on Friday night.
3. St. John Vianney (9-0). Last week: No. 3
Senior running back Chris Chukwuneke ran for 215 yards and four touchdowns while junior Johnny Buchanan made 11 tackles and ran for two touchdowns in a 42-3 win over Monmouth Regional that clinched the Class A Central division title. Next game: The Lancers are the No. 5 seed in the Non-Public Group III playoffs and will travel to face fellow unbeaten Camden Catholic in the first round on Saturday night.
4. Middletown South (6-2). Last week: No. 4
The Eagles snapped a two-game losing streak with a ferocious defensive effort that keyed a 22-3 win over Wall to clinch at least a tie for the Class B North division title. Junior Jake Krellin had three sacks and five tackles for a loss or no gain, senior linebacker Kevin Higgins made 12 tackles with two sacks, two tackles for a loss and an interception return for a touchdown and Will Gulick also had three sacks. Sophomore running back Anthony Summey added a pair of rushing touchdowns. Next game: Middletown South is the No. 1 seed in the North 2, Group IV playoffs and begins its title defense on Friday night versus JFK-Iselin.
5. Rumson-Fair Haven (6-2). Last week: No. 5
Needing a win to get into the playoffs, the Bulldogs dominated Carteret 35-6 to clinch the No. 4 seed in the Central Jersey Group III bracket. Senior quarterback Mike O’Connor accounted for four total touchdowns and the defense did not allow a touchdown for the sixth time this season. Next game: Rumson is going for its fourth straight state title and begins its quest at home versus Cranford on Friday night.
6. Manasquan (7-1). Last week: No. 6
Sophomore running back Canyon Birch stepped in for injured starter Connor Morgan and ran for 190 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries to lead the Warriors to a 32-21 win over Red Bank Catholic. Junior Tommy Antonucci started at quarterback in place of senior Jerry Maher and threw a touchdown pass to senior tight end Adam Schreck. Senior Damaso Jaime added a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown. Next game: Manasquan is the No. 3 seed in the Central Jersey Group II playoffs and will host A.L. Johnson in the first round on Saturday afternoon.
7. Middletown North (6-2). Last week: No. 7
Senior quarterback Donald Glenn threw for 357 yards and three touchdowns and sophomore running back Connor Robbins had two touchdown runs in a 32-8 win over Ocean. Dwight Wilkerson, Brendan Kube and Connor Welsh each had touchdown receptions. Next game: The Lions are the No. 2 seed in the North 2, Group IV playoffs and host Woodbridge in the first round on Friday night.
8. Wall (6-2). Last week: No. 8
A 30-yard field goal by Aidan Mulreed was the only score the Crimson Knights could muster in a 22-3 loss to Middletown South. Next game: The Crimson Knights are the No. 1 seed in the South Jersey Group III playoffs and host Camden in the first round on Friday night.
9. Central (7-2). Last week: No. 9
Sophomore quarterback Joe Fowler tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Blake Horgan and senior running back Mike Bickford closed out his great career with 87 yards rushing in a 34-7 loss to Toms River North. The Eagles would have been the No. 5 seed in the South Jersey Group IV playoffs, but were disqualified from the postseason after a Week 1 game against Toms River East where they had three players ejected. Next game: Season complete.
10. Mater Dei Prep (9-0). Last week: No. 10
The Seraphs routed Point Beach 41-0 to pitch their third straight shutout, set a program single-season record for wins and clinch the Class B Central division title, the program’s first division championship. Next game: The Seraphs are the No. 2 seed in the Non-Public Group II playoffs and host St. Anthony on Saturday afternoon. Mater Dei has never won an NJSIAA sectional title.
Dropped out: none
Teams to Watch:
Raritan (5-3): Vito Aleo ran for three touchdowns, Marc Carnivale threw two touchdown passes and Rory Sullivan returned an interception for a touchdown in a 41-13 win over Red Bank that clinched the No. 8 seed in the Central Jersey Group II playoffs. Next game: The defending champion Rockets meet top-seeded Lincoln on Saturday in a rematch of last season’s epic title-game upset.
Keyport (8-1): A touchdown pass from Chris Hogrefe to Cody Young with 1:37 left in regulation, plus the extra point by Christian Smith completed a rally from a 14-point deficit in a 21-20 victory over Shore. Devin Wollner ran for 152 yards and Greg Robinson scored on a pair of short runs for the Red Raiders. Next game: Keyport is the No. 3 seed in the Central Jersey Group I playoffs and will host Manville on Saturday.
Howell (5-4): Junior quarterback Eddie Morales completed 28 of 30 passes for 303 yards and six touchdowns in a 50-34 win over Marlboro. Next game: Howell is the No. 5 seed in the South Jersey Group V playoffs and opens on the road at Vineland on Friday night.
Jackson Memorial (5-4): Senior running back Mike Gawlik ran for 183 yards and two touchdowns in a 16-12 win over Brick Memorial to set the Jackson single-season rushing record with 1,803 yards. Next game: The two-time defending Central Jersey Group IV champion Jaguars are the No. 6 seed in the playoffs and travel to Nottingham on Saturday.
WATCH: Toms River North quarterback Mike Husni dazzle on a 30-yard touchdown run vs. Central.
Football editor Bob Badders can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.