Big Numbers Highlight Week 3
Only 11 teams still remain undefeated after 3 weeks. While there were a few low scoring games, clearly offensive football was in high gear around the Shore. Let's look at week 3 as things are beginning to clear.
Clearly the game at Brick was the game that stood out, especially if you root for the Green and White. Brick (2-1) put up 47 points against previously unbeaten T R South (2-1) to stay undefeated in A-South with a 47-21 victory. RB Ray Fattaruso and QB Carmen Sclafani both had huge games to lead the Dragons. Everybody knew TR South can score points, but in this contest, it was the Dragon defense who shut out the Indians in the 2nd half and watched the Dragons score 28 straight points from the midway point of the 2nd quarter.
Fattaruso's numbers stood out to the tune of 112 yds. rushing and 3 TDs. He even threw a 30 yard TD pass on a halfback option pass. Sclafani ran for 142 on the ground and scored twice, and threw a TD pass while accumulating 77 yds. through the air.
The Indians can't cry too long as they get unbeaten Lacey this week. I told you it was a tough 3 game stretch with Southern (a 27-20 win), Brick (47-20 loss) and now Lacey. The Dragons now must come down off their high and travel to a 2-1 Southern team. That won't be easy.
In a Saturday afternoon contest at Lacey, someone forgot to tell the defensive coordinators that the game started at 1 p.m. Lacey (3-0) held on in a 45-42 shootout over TR East (0-3). East came into the game having given up 86 points in 2 weeks and scoring 0 points in those 2 losses.
The defense has now given up 131 pts. in the 3 games-- that's just a tick under 44pts/game. Ouch! But give East credit, they came out with a new offensive scheme (Delaware and "I") and Lacey had no answer.
Matt Gudzak had a career day scoring 3 times via the run and piling up 183 yds. rushing. But it wasn't enough for the Raiders. Lacey better hit the blackboard this week, because they will be tested by what I believe is a better offense in Toms River South.
Manalapan (2-0) continues to roll, easily beating up on Middletown North-49-14. They led this one 42-0 at the half and got the reserves in there. Rec. Saeed Blacknall, QB Charles Lombana, RB Tyler Leonetti lead the Braves on offense and with both Sayreville (1-2) and South Brunswick(1-2) losing again this week, the Braves look like the clear cut leader in Central Group 5 this year.
Looks like maybe Monroe (3-0) looks to be a major contender in CJ 5. Manalapan is looking for that elusive first state title. I know it's early, but I think they get to the finish line this year.
RBC (3-0) has had no trouble in their 3 wins. This week it was 45-0 over SJV. 482 total offensive yards, with 393 coming on the ground. They are big, strong and fast up front and the RBs hide behind them and pile up yardage.
None of the RBs are tall runners but all are quick, balanced and tough. Larry Redaelli, Mike Cordova, and Tom Spernal all know how to run and their 2 QBs, Sr. Pat Toomey and Soph Ed Hahn, run the offense flawlessly. There are not too many weaknesses in this Caseys team, but coach Jim Potela and his staff know they must keep them grounded each week and get them ready for Nov. football.
Barnegat (3-0) took a huge step to the B-South championship as it beat Mon Don 24-18 on the road. The Bengals are another huge team and they used their size to control the football on the ground, especially in the 2nd half. They piled up 294 yards rushing with 223 coming in that 2nd haft. Running behind Sam Madden, Zach Andrews, Greg Moran, Tom Kampo and Xavier Young, the Bengals are tough to handle up front. Reaping the rewards are RB A.J. Opre and QB Cinjun Erskine who both ran for over 100 yds.
Give Coach Rob Davis credit, because he knows Erskine can throw the football and somewhere down the line he may need that passing game. But right now the Bengals are playing power football, which is going to take them to another championship in their short 7 year program.
Midd. South (2-0), Wall (3-0), Colts Neck (3-0), Rumson (3-0) and Ocean(3-0) all remained unbeaten after 3 weeks. Midd. South travels to Manalapan this week in the Shore's biggest game.
Congrats to LB Head Coach Danny George who picked up his 109th victory of his career, Danny, one of the Shore's good guys, keeps pretty busy year round at Long Branch.
My comment on Brick's place kicker Anthony Starego getting OKd to play another year are simple: good for him and good luck the rest of year.
Top Ten: Week 3
1-Red Bank Catholic (3-0): Another romp (45-0) over a Shore Conf. opponent (SJV). Raritan up next.
2-Manalapan (2-0): The Braves roll on with an easy 49-14 win over Mid North. Big one with Midd. South this week.
3-Middletown South (2-0):The Eagles move up a spot as they win and Lacey struggles in their win. Manalapan this week.
4-Lacey(3-0): A struggling team on defense right now. TRS looking for upset this week in our game of the week.
5-Barnegat(3-0): I think the Bengals have earned the #5 spot. Can they keep it remains to be seen.
6-Colts Neck (3-0): 3 shutout victories for the Cougars. Will be extremely interested in Manalapan/Midd. South game.
7-Ocean (3-0): The Big Red are doing it on defense. Out of area this week vs. JFK Iselin
8-Rumson (3-0): The Dawgs under first year HC Bryan Batchler have the schedule in their favor.
9-Brick (2-1): The Dragons deserve to be in top ten after huge win over TRS. Can't rest as they have a tough road game at Southern.
10-TR South (2-1) Must fight back after loss at Brick. Have to win vs Lacey to stay in A-South race.
Southern(2-1): Nice comeback win after loss as they handle TR North
Wall (3-0): Great start to season, now it gets tough-LB, Brick, Matawan, Ocean and Neptune.
Jackson (2-0): Flying under the radar.
Mater Dei(3-0): What can you say about the Seraphs? Just keep winning-- Beach will test them this week.
Friday's Sonny’s Recycling High School Football Game of the Week is Lacey at TR South 7pm.