Scanning The High School Football Scene: Week 7
Toms River North locked up the top seed in SJ 5 and will get 2 home games before a Rowan University final if they make it that far. St. John Vianney (8-0) took care of Middletown South (5-2) with a last minute goal line stand and prevailed 23-20. The Lancers look like they will get a chance at St. Joseph Montvale in the Non-Pub Group 3 playoffs. This is a very tough bracket as always, with Red Bank Catholic, DePaul, Pope John, and Camden Catholic also vying for a championship. Mater Dei Prep (8-0) took care of South River 41-0 and has locked up a spot in Non-Public 2 with teams like St. Joe Hammonton, Hudson Catholic and Holy Spirit. It's a very tough group, but Mater Dei is a very tough team and will challenge any of the above. Manalapan (8-0) won a huge game against Piscataway at Rutgers University on Saturday Morning. The Braves trailed 10-0 midway through the 3rd, before rallying to win 21-10. RB Naim Mayfield and QB Luke Corcione have led the Braves all year. They very well could meet Piscataway again in the Central Jersey Group 5 playoffs, where they are currently #1 and #3, but Piscataway has only played 7 games and should move to #2 next week. That would make for a good final back at Rutgers on championship weekend. Those are our 4 unbeaten teams left, as previously unbeaten Point Boro (7-1) was defeated by a 4-4 Ocean team 41-7.As we play into the cutoff day of November 5th, as many as 23-25 teams from the Shore will probably make the playoffs. With 8 teams in each bracket, there will be teams with 2-6 & 3-5 records that get in to fill out the field. Something is wrong with a system that allows that. The rest of the Shore (teams not making playoffs) will play "regional crossover" games to give them an extra game on the weekend of November 11-12, which is the first round of playoffs. Semi's will be on November 18th & 19th, then we break for Turkey Day games, for teams still playing them (not many). This year there are only 6 games on Thanksgiving, with 2 games being played on the night before. Teams that play in semi-finals will have an option to play those games a few days after Thanksgiving. The biggest of these games will be Middletown South at Middletown North, with both also playing in the same bracket of States (North 2 Group 4).
Teams that made a move this week toward the States:
Freehold Boro (4-4): a 31-10 winner over Edison
Freehold Twp (7-1): continues the great year with a 35-14 win over East Brunswick
Raritan (4-3): defending champ making a return beats Spotswood 42-6
Jackson (4-4): gets in to defend its crown they won last year. Be careful of the Mike Gawlick-led Jags.
Southern (4-4): beats Lacey (5-3) 25-20, but both teams are headed to playoffs
Ocean (4-4): beat previously unbeaten Point Boro (7-1) soundly. Ocean might not have enough to make it in, but Point Boro does.
Pinelands (4-4): won their 4th in a row over Jax Liberty (21-0), but has to beat Lakewood
(5-2) this week to get in. Lakewood should be in.
Point Beach (5-3): wins over Highland Park 31-0 and gets at least 1 home game.
Rumson (5-2): wins 42-0 over Monmouth, and should get in and defend their title. Although they will have to do it on the road, they have won 3 States in a row.
Manasquan (6-1): beat Matawan 29-14 and continues to play well. They are still alive in the tough B-North and will challenge in CJ Group 2. They are in the hunt (top 4) for home games.
Keyport (7-1): has played tough all year and beat Keansburg 21-15 on Saturday. They are in and believe it or not the "Burg" at 2-5 can also sneak in.
Central (7-1): season will end Friday night with a winner take all in A-South, against Toms River North. With the early season problems with ejections, they are not eligible to participate in the State playoffs.
Toms River East (0-8): also is ineligible to get a crossover game and their season will end with a game against Brick (6-2) this Friday. Brick will make it into the CJ 4 playoffs and is one of the favorites there. The health of Brick's Ja'Sir Taylor is a big question mark as Taylor was injured early in Brick's loss to Central 21-7. They need him.The Gateway Toyota Coaches Corner is at River Rock Restaurant & Marina Bar in Brick as we feature Point Boro and coach Matt Cilento, along with a couple of his players. Tune in this Thursday Night at 7PM on 105.7 the Hawk, or online at ShoreSportsNetwork.com.
Our Game of the Week is a big one in B-North as Middletown South comes calling on the Wall Knights. Both are in the playoffs and both are fighting for the B-North title. Catch us this Friday night at Wall, beginning at 7PM.