Manalapan and Middletown South are among the Shore’s elite programs led by Hall of Fame coaches and this year part of the power-packed American Division where wins will not be easy to come by. Tonight these two Top 10 powers open the season at “The Swamp” in the Jersey Mike’s Game of the Week on the Shore Sports Network. The game will be streamed live on ShoreSportsNetwork.com beginning at 6:45 with Matt Harmon, Kevin Williams and Ed Sarluca calling the action.

The visiting Braves, ranking No. 6 in the SSN Preseason Top 10, are coming off a 6-4 season but with players like quarterback Sean Kehley and running back Andre Johnson they are expected to be a championship contender. Meanwhile, seventh-ranked Middletown South (8-3 in 2018) will likely depend on its defense which boasts stud lineman Vincent Condito and safety Chris Lotito, both of whom will also line up in the backfield on offense. The Eagles are the defending American Division champions but to repeat they will have to prevail in a group that also includes Red Bank Catholic, Rumson-Fair Haven, Long Branch and Toms River North. That’s why tonight’s season-opener is so important for both teams.

Steve Antonucci begins his 22nd season at Middletown South with a 190-51 record that includes six NJSIAA sectional titles. On the opposite sideline will be Ed Gurrieri, who is 104-31 in his first 12 seasons at Manalapan. No doubt these are two of the best head coaches around with outstanding assistants, as well.

Friday Night Football is presented by Jersey Mike’s, Atlantic Physical Therapy Center and The Turning Point.

 

Kevin Williams is the Director of the Shore Sports Network and can be reached at kevin.williams@townsquaremedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @shoresportsman. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.

 

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