Barnabas Health Football Top 10, 10/13/15
The divisional races are heating up in the Shore Conference, and that meant some huge games in Week Five and some more critical matchups on tap in Week Six.
New No. 7 Toms River North picked up a big 33-23 Class A South win over now-No. 10 Jackson Memorial for its first win over the Jaguars since 2012, and with the win kept itself in the hunt for the division crown. The Mariners and Brick Memorial, along with Toms River South, are one game behind undefeated Brick for the division lead. The Mariners play the Dragons on Oct. 30 where win could create a co- or tri-championship scenario.
Point Boro also had an important divisional victory with a 26-21 win over Central in Class B South to remain undefeated. The Panthers and Lakewood are both undefeated and appear to be on a collision course to decide the title on November 7.
There were also two marquee nondivisional matchups last week with No. 8 Red Bank defeating then-No. 10 Raritan, 30-14, and No. 9 Ocean edging Middletown North, 17-14. No. 6 Brick Memorial came up with a critical 31-17 nonconference win over Old Bridge, a playoff team last season.
There are a number of crucial games this week, starting with No. 8 Red Bank hosting No. 2 Red Bank Catholic. Both the Bucs and Caseys will enter Friday night’s game 5-0, so first place in Class B North is on the line. Red Bank Catholic will be the big favorite despite Red Bank starting 5-0 for the first time in over a decade, as the Bucs haven’t defeated the Caseys since 2004.
No. 1 Middletown South will host a 4-1 Manalapan team in a game that has decided the Class A North division title in each of the last five seasons. Manalapan has won all of those games, and subsequently the last division championships.
Raritan takes on No. 3 St. John Vianney with first place on the line in Class A Central, and No. 6 Brick Memorial and No. 10 Jackson Memorial meet in another big Class A South game.
Without further adieu, here is the latest Shore Sports Network Top 10.
1. Middletown South (5-0). Last week: No. 1
Senior running back Cole Rogers ran for 208 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, senior quarterback Matt Mosquera tossed touchdown passes to Tom Coffey and Tom Marron, and junior Jeff Lewandowski returned a kickoff for a touchdown as the Eagles continued to throttle their opponents in a 47-0 win over Howell. Middletown South hosts Manalapan (4-1) on Friday night in a crucial Class A North game, and will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak to the Braves.
2. Red Bank Catholic (5-0). Last week: No. 2
The Caseys used a balanced rushing attack that produced touchdowns from quarterback Eddie Hahn and running backs Mike Wilen, Dylan Murphy and Zack Bair, and the defense recorded its fourth shutout of the season in a 25-0 victory over Colts Neck. Red Bank Catholic will visit No. 8 Red Bank on Friday in a crucial Class B North game between undefeated teams.
3. St. John Vianney (5-0). Last week: No. 3
Senior quarterback Anthony Brown tossed three touchdown passes and ran for another, and Zyaire Sterling ran for a touchdown in a 35-0 nondivisional victory over Manchester. The Lancers can all but lock up the Class A Central division title when they host Raritan (3-1) on Friday night.
4. Brick (5-0). Last week: No. 4
Brick’s defense continued its dominant play with a 19-0 nondivisional victory over Wall for its fourth straight shutout. Senior quarterback Tom Zbranak ran for a touchdown and threw another to Matt Schleifer, and Joe Sclafani added a touchdown run. The Dragons travel to winless Lacey (0-5) on Saturday where they will look to take another step toward the Class A South division title.
5. Rumson-Fair Haven (3-1). Last week: No. 6
Junior running back Matt Vecchiarelli ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns, and junior quarterback Mike O’Connor and junior running back Bryan Hess added rushing touchdowns in a weather-shortened 28-0 nondivisional victory over Long Branch. The Bulldogs’ defense also recorded its third shutout of the season. Rumson will host Manasquan (3-2) in a Class A Central game on Friday.
6. Brick Memorial (4-1). Last week: No. 7
Senior quarterback Tim Santiago ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns and sophomore fullback Tony Thorpe ran for 155 yards and a touchdown to lead the Mustangs to a 31-17 nonconference win over Old Bridge. Senior running back Elie Lavarin added a touchdown run and senior defensive linemen Chris Hayes (two sacks) and Anthony Nobile (three TFL) led a defense that shut out Old Bridge over the final 32 minutes. The win was the first in a critical three-game stretch for Brick Memorial, which continues this week with a key Class A South game at No. 10 Jackson Memorial on Friday.
7. Toms River North (4-1). Last week: No. 8
The Mariners snapped a two-game losing streak to Jackson Memorial behind a huge game from senior running back Asante Moorer, who rumbled for 201 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and also caught a 70-yard touchdown pass in a 33-23 victory that kept Toms River North in the Class A South title hunt. Junior quarterback Mike Husni added a rushing touchdown and finished with 217 total yards. The Mariners will try to keep pace with unbeaten Brick until the teams’ Oct. 30 meeting when they travel to winless Toms River East (0-5) on Friday.
8. Red Bank (5-0). Last week: No. 9
The Bucs came up with another big victory in taking down previous No. 10 Raritan, 30-14, in a nondivisional battle of unbeaten teams. A balanced rushing attack led by seniors Sadiq Palmer and Alim Godsey guided the offense, while Red Bank’s defense allowed 14 points or less for the fifth time this season. The Bucs now have one of their biggest regular-season games in several years ahead of them this Friday, as they host No. 2 and fellow unbeaten Red Bank Catholic. The Bucs have not defeated the Caseys since a 22-21 win in 2004.
9. Ocean (4-1). Last week: not ranked
Matt Fisher’s 29-yard field goal with 24 seconds left in regulation lifted the Spartans to a 17-14 nondivisional victory over Middletown North, and the Spartans re-claimed a spot in the top 10. Senior running back Tyler Thompson scored a pair of rushing touchdowns to continue his outstanding season. Ocean will host Long Branch (2-3) on Friday night and look to remain in contention for a high playoff seed in Central Jersey Group III.
10. Jackson Memorial (3-2). Last week: No. 5
The Jaguars certainly could have been bounced from the top 10 after a 33-23 loss to Toms River North, but they will get another chance to rebound when they host No. 6 Brick Memorial (4-1) in a Class A South game on Friday night. Junior running back Mike Gawlik ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to Toms River North.
Dropped out: No. 10 Raritan (3-1).
Teams to watch:
Point Boro (5-0): Nate Husak ran for 178 yards and a touchdown and Noah Husak scored three touchdowns an finished with 88 rushing yards to lead the Panthers to a crucial 26-21 comeback victory over Central. Point Boro is now 5-0 for the first time since 2007. They travel to Barnegat (1-4) on Friday for a Class B South game.
Shore (4-0): The Blue Devils had a bye in Week Five, and return to action this Friday with a Class B Central game against Mater Dei Prep (3-2). Shore’s first-team defense has yet to allow a touchdown this season.
Lakewood (4-0): The Piners travel to Toms River to face Donovan Catholic on Friday night after having a bye in Week Five.
Middletown North (3-2): The Lions fell to Ocean 17-14 and will look to rebound when they travel to Howell (2-3) for a Class A North game Friday night.
Manalapan (4-1): The Braves bounced back one week after having their 33-game Class A North winning streak snapped by Middletown North to trounce Lacey, 40-14. They have a monster game against No. 1 Middletown South on Friday night and will be going for their sixth straight win over the Eagles.