Scanning the High School Football Scene With Ed Sarluca: Week 5
With the new Shore Conference alignment, most division games were played in the first five weeks. With that said, 6 of the 7 divisions have been decided and we are now entering the “non-division” part of this year’s football season. Let’s look at the champions and congratulate the teams who came away with the trophy.
American - Middletown South (5-1) wins a 14-13 battle with Toms River North (3-2) to win the crown outright. QB Trevor Brey, the third of the Brey brothers to lead the Eagles has had a solid year leading them to the championship. They will get a much needed bye this week and then look forward to SJV (2-4) and unbeaten Rumson (5-0) before a playoff run.
Constitution - Jackson (5-0) has played solid all year and beat Wall (4-1) in week two in OT 12-6 for their significant win of the season to this point. QB Dylan Richey has been their leader along with a great running game and equally good defense. They play an interesting non-division game with Brick (3-2) in two weeks. They will probably play in the same section as Middletown South in the playoffs.
Liberty - Manasquan (5-0) has won the division and gets rewarded with a trip to powerful Mater Dei Prep (6-0) this week. It’s been the ground game tandem of Canyon Burch and Rashid Tuddles which has taken the Warriors to the title.
Patriot - Mater Dei Prep (6-0) has breezed through their schedule without a challenge. They will get tested this week vs. Manasquan. After a turmoil-filled 2017, the Seraphs are poised to get to the finals of Non-Public Group 3 and win a State Championship. Standing in their way could be RBC which would make for a classic matchup.
Colonial - Rumson (5-0) won the toughest division this year with a hard-fought 13-0 win at Brick (3-2) this past week. Only Brick Memorial (3-3) has scored more than one TD against this stingy defense, a 28-14 Rumson win in week 3. After Lakewood (0-5) they have non-division games with RBC and Middletown South before their playoff run. RB Alex Maldjian runs behind a big and physical offensive line as the Bulldogs control the football and shorten the game. Maldjian has scored 14 TDs already this year.
Freedom - RBC (6-0) has had an easy time of it running through their conference schedule and now get a bye before traveling to unbeaten Rumson in two weeks. QB and Boston College-bound Steve Lubischer has had a Player of the Year type of season through six games and has put up big fantasy type numbers in leading the Caseys. They have a major college-bound TE in junior Kevin Bauman (Notre Dame commit) and talented receivers led by Jaden Key.
National - This is the only title not yet decided. Holmdel (4-1) took a major step toward the crown with its win over Donovan Catholic (3-1) last week. Asbury Park (2-2) has a shot, as does Donovan Catholic and Keyport (3-2). Holmdel plays Asbury Park in two weeks at home.
Around the Shore last week.
Our Jersey Mike's Game of the Week saw Rumson win at Brick. Rumson’s QB Collin Coles threw 2 TD passes and the Bulldog defense pitched a shutout to clinch the Colonial crown. Brick lost two offensive stars for a large part of the game. QB Jimmy Leblo who was fighting sickness with a viral infection that saw his temperature rise to 102 during the week and limited his practice to only a walkthrough on Thursday, played quarterback sparingly in the 2nd half. All around standout Cole Groschel injured his ankle early in the contest and tried to come back in the 2nd quarter, but was forced to spend the second half on the sidelines in street clothes. You can’t lose two players of that caliber and expect your offense to move the football. QB Anthony Prato filled in for Leblo admirably and played hard but Brick struggled offensively to run the ball while their defense held Rumson to their lowest point production of the year. The Bulldogs meanwhile boast a program that is one of the best in the Shore. Their numbers are great, their facilities are top notch and their coaching staff led by HC Jerry Schulte is one of the best. There’s no doubt they have it going and are a team that you must deal with in 2018 and thereafter.
Shore Regional (3-2) put up 70 points against undermanned Point Beach. Ouch! You never like to see numbers like that. Honestly, I did not see the game, I only report it. I’m sure Coach Cos had the bench cleared early in that contest.
Manalapan (3-2) seems to have turned it around after an uncharacteristic 0-2 start which saw them lose to TR North in the last seconds and Middletown South in OT. They have a big game with Brick Memorial (3-3) this week.
Brick Memorial (3-3) won 42-21 at winless Middletown North (0-5). QB Tyler Sindel is having a great year for the Mustangs. He runs the double veer option attack as good as anybody has under HC Walt Currie. There was only one negative during the game as senior RB Ja Billingsley broke his arm and will be lost for the remainder of the season.Memorial's non-division schedule includes Manalapan this week and Long Branch next week... not easy as they look for a playoff spot in Group 4.
Red Bank (4-1) has been a nice surprise this year. Only a loss to RBC in week 3 mars their schedule and that’s not a bad thing. They play at Raritan (4-1) this week.
Wall (4-1) moved up in size and beat Southern 49-21 this week. QB Dylan Richey scored three touchdowns and threw for three more.
Raritan (4-1) won what was perhaps the most exciting game of the week. Point Pleasant Boro (2-3) trailed by 7 on the last play and ran a hook and lateral for a TD and decided to go for 2 and Raritan stopped it for the win. Guts by HC Brian Staub, and good defense by the Rockets.
Monmouth (1-4) wins its first game of the year with its 37-21 victory at home. Congrats to HC Larry Nikola and the Falcons.
Pinelands (2-3) and a previous Team of the Week won at Jackson Liberty for their second win of the year. Good job by the Wildcats and Matt Fuller and his staff.
Freehold (3-2) beat SJV (2-4) as QB Matt Krauss had a huge game. 270 yards rushing and 2TDs for Krauss, who was injured last week but cleared to play against the Lancers.
The Wednesday night Gateway Toyota Coaches Corner from River Rock at 7-8 p.m. on 105.7 The Hawk and live on Shore Sports Network will have #1 Red Bank Catholic in the house. HC Frank Edgerly and two of his star players from the top ranked Caseys will discuss their season and what’s ahead.
Our Jersey Mike’s Game of Week on Friday night takes us to Toms River North as the Mariners welcome crosstown rival Toms River South at 7 p.m. on 92.7 WOBM and streamed live on Shore Sorts Network.