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Week 0

Friday, Aug. 25

American Division

No. 5 Rumson-Fair Haven 24, No. 3 Middletown South 6 - Game Story

Junior quarterback Owen O'Toole threw for 233 yards and a touchdown and junior wide receiver Nick Thomas caught seven passes for 110 yards to lead the Bulldogs to a season-opening victory over the Eagles in a top-5 showdown.

It is believed to be Rumson's first win at Middletown South in program history, according to head coach Jeremy Schulte.

O'Toole connected with senior wide receiver Nick Rigby on an 11-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter for Rumson to hold a 7-0 lead. Middletown South answered later in the quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jackson Harris to Owen Richter, but the extra point was unsuccessful,

Rumson pushed its lead to 10-6 in the third quarter on a 26-yard field goal by senior kicker Ryan Child. The field goal was set up by an outstanding 30-yard pass to Thomas that O'Toole delivered despite being leveled by a rusher on the play. O'Toole later hit Thomas for 44 yards to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by senior fullback Cooper Bunnell on 4th and goal.

Rumson recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and turned it into points when O'Toole scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 7:09 left in the game.

Senior running back Alastair Orr ran for 57 yards on 13 carries and senior running back Griffin Kolb added 42 yards on 10 carries.

Rumson's defense turned Middletown South over twice, recovering a fumble on an errant pitch and recovering another fumble on a kickoff.

Middletown South senior Colin Gallagher had an excellent game on defense, including a sack, and also ran for 43 yards. Senior running back Donovan Summey ran for a team-high 64 yards on 14 carries.

Middletown South played most of the game without standout senior quarterback/defensive back/kicker Jake Czwakiel after he left with an injury in the first quarter. He broke off a 45-yard run, left the field limping, and did not return.


Constitution Division

Manasquan 14, Shore 7

Senior quarterback Frank Furfaro connected with senior running back Will Burns for a 21-yard touchdown with 34 seconds left in regulation to lift the Warriors to a thrilling comeback victory over the Blue Devils.

Burns then clinched the victory with an interception.

Shore led 7-0 on a first-half touchdown run by junior quarterback Josh Moeller. Manasquan tied the game 7-7 when Furfaro hit Jack O'Reilly for a 13-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Furfaro completed 7 of 10 passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns and senior running back Julian Walthall ran for a team-high 69 yards. Caden Eastmond led Manasquan's receivers with five receptions for 45 yards.

Eastmond also recorded a team-best seven tackles with two tackles for loss while Stephen Bird had a sack. Walthall made six tackles.



No. 14 Manalapan 35, No. 13 Wall 13

Jason Rodriguez ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns and senior wide receiver Anthony Macchio caught three passes for 78 yards and a touchdown as the Braves pulled away from the Crimson Knights for a rousing opening-night victory.

Ryan Dougherty threw for 122 yards and a touchdown and A'shere Woolfolk ran for 37 yards and a touchdown. Vin DiFillipo recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. Senior Jake Horowitz went 5-for-5 on extra points and had a 62-yard punt from his own end zone.

Wall senior quarterback Andrew Olsen threw a touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Shea Brennan and ran for a touchdown.


Brick 19, Toms River East 0

Senior H-back Jake Toye and sophomore Justice Morgan had touchdown runs and senior Kurt Weiboldt kicked a pair of field goals as the Dragons blanked the Raiders to start the season with a victory.

Toye caught four passes for 106 yards and ran for 36 yards on six carries. Senior running back Travis Tempy ran for a team-high 75 yards on nine carries while Ryan Bontorno (4-for-5, 76 yards, 1 INT) and Christian Booker (2-for-3, 51 yards) split time at quarterback. Morgan ran for 47 yards on six carries and Jayden Johnson ran for 42 yards on six carries.


Middletown North 45, Freehold Township 21

Senior quarterback Luke Sheehan completed 11 of 15 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns and running backs Neno Morgan-Acker and Shane Volante each ran for over 100 yards as the Lions outscored the Patriots 24-0 in the second half to earn a season-opening victory.

Sheehan threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Morgan-Acker and another touchdown pass to senior Colin Jacques, who finished with two receptions for 82 yards. Morgan-Acker ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and Volante ran for 103 yards on 18 carries. Dylan Briggs added two catches for 42 yards.

Junior TJ Rey had an interception for Middletown North's defense while senior linebacker Justin Soto recorded eight tackles with one sack, three tackles for loss, and one forced fumble. Brody Tooker recovered the fumble and also recorded a sack. Michael Dwyer, Joe Grasso, and Jack Larocca also recorded sacks while Brian O'Donnell added seven tackles.

Senior kicker Ian Poole-Morgan went 6-for-6 on extra points and kicked a 24-yard field goal.

Junior quarterback Nick Cardone threw for 210 yards with one touchdown and one interception on 15 of 32 passing and also ran for 63 yards on eight carries for Freehold Township. Senior Sebastian Andujar had a 1-yard touchdown run and a touchdown reception, finishing with four receptions for 34 yards. Nick Whisten added a 1-yard touchdown run. Jaylen Gill-Anderson caught had two catches for a team-high 77 yards.

Andujar and senior Nick Manfre each recorded sacks for the Patriots' defense.


Monmouth 7, Barnegat 6

Senior quarterback Dom O'Grady threw a touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Kaiden Stafford while seniors Evan Booth and Dan Kikta both had excellent games on defense as the Falcons caged the Bengals to open the season.

Booth, a defensive back, intercepted two passes, recorded six tackles, and blocked an extra point that ended up being the difference in the game. He also had two carries for 27 yards, one reception for 10 yards, three punts downed inside the 20-yard line, and kicked an extra point.

Kikta, a defensive end, had nine tackles with three sacks, three tackles for loss, and one pass deflection.

Senior linebacker Nick Crossley added two sacks and senior defensive end Griffins Hick recorded three tackles for loss. Monmouth's defense had seven sacks in total.

O'Grady finished 8 of 14 for 96 yards and a touchdown and Stafford caught five passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Cole Toddings returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown to account for Barnegat's touchdown early in the fourth quarter but Booth blocked the extra point to keep Monmouth on top.



No. 1 Toms River North 14, Millville 7

Photo gallery by Ray Rich Photography

Senior quarterback Micah Ford ran for a 24-yard touchdown and threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to senior Jeremiah Pruitt as the Mariners built a two-touchdown lead and held off the Thunderbolts to win a battle between the returning Group 5 (TRN) and Group 4 state champions.

After a scoreless first quarter, Toms River North broke through on Ford's 24-yard touchdown run and the extra point by Yianni Papanikolas. With time winding down in the first half, senior running back Josh Moore ripped off a 57-yard run that set up Ford's touchdown pass to a wide-open Pruitt on the next play.

There was no scoring in the second half until Millville got on the board when junior wideout Lotzeir Brooks took a short pass from Jacob Zamot and raced 42 yards to the end zone to cut Toms River North's lead to 14-7 with just over nine minutes left. Millville stopped Toms River North on downs at its own 21 with just over three minutes left in the game, but the Mariners' defense got one final stop on an interception in the end zone by Nasir Jackson to seal a statement-making season-opening victory.

Ford ran for 171 yards on 32 carries and Moore added 125 yards on 16 carries as Toms River North's offensive line paved the way for 294 yards rushing on 51 carries. Ford added 40 yards passing and a touchdown.

Toms River North's defense was excellent against one of New Jersey's most explosive offenses, holding Millville to just one score and sacking Zamot five times. Sophomore defensive lineman Jaelyn Matthews and junior linebacker Blaise Boland had two sacks each and junior linebacker Eddie Slosky had one sack. Pruitt also had an excellent game on defense with multiple tackles and tight coverage in the secondary.

Zamot threw for 221 yards on 18 of 31 passing with one touchdown and one interception for Millville. Ta'Ron. Haile caught 11 passes for 123 yards and Brooks caught seven passes for 75 yards. Toms River North's defense held Millville's rushing attack to just 21 yards on 24 carries.


Bergen Catholic 24, No. 2 Red Bank Catholic 6 - Game story

Kaj Sanders ran for a pair of touchdowns and Dominic Campanile threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Perrotti as the Crusaders shut down the Caseys in a battle of non-public powers.

Bergen Catholic finished last season No. 1 in New Jersey after winning the Non-Public A title and began this season at No. 1, as well. RBC started the season ranked No. 9 in the state.

Guytano Bartalomeo kicked a 28-yard field goal to give BC a 3-0 lead with 3:41 left in the first quarter, and period in which the Crusaders held RBC to minus-10 yards of offense. Sanders, a Rutgers recruit, broke free for a 39-yard touchdown run for a 10-0 lead and Campanile's touchdown to Perrotti gave Bergen a 17-0 halftime advantage.

Sanders' second touchdown, this one from 11 yards out, made it 24-0 with 6:42 left in the third quarter. RBC got on the board on a 3-yard touchdown run by Jamie Gutridge with 4:28 left in the game.

Senior wide receiver Emanuel Ross caught five passes for 56 yards and senior tight end Luke Krzyzkowski caught three passes for 50 yards. Junior quarterback Frankie Williams was under pressure on most of his dropbacks and finished 9-for-21 for 125 yards. RBC was held to 64 rushing yards on 28 carries.

RBC's defense played well with senior linebacker Davin Brewton recording 16 tackles and one sack. Senior linebacker Luke Wassef had an interception and Gutridge recovered a fumble. Senior defensive linemen Lorenzo Portella and Logan Graham had one tackle for loss each.


No. 4 Donovan Catholic 21, St. Augustine 16

Junior wide receiver Michael Thomas III caught five passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns and sophomore running back Najee Calhoun ran for 82 yards and a touchdown as the Griffins opened a 21-3 halftime lead and held off the Hermits in the second half.

Senior quarterback Todd Lambertson threw for 106 yards and a touchdown and sophomore Zach LaBarca tossed a touchdown pass. Senior Roman Moyers added 23 yards rushing on four carries.


No. 8 Long Branch 23, Piscataway 21

Senior quarterback Earnest Reevey ran for 210 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries and senior running back Zaheem Brown ran for 184 yards on 28 carries to lead the Green Wave past the Chiefs.

Reevey's touchdown runs were form 7, 10, and 59 yards out.

The difference in the game was a safety that Piscataway took on its second offensive play when the ball was snapped out of the end zone.



No. 15 Brick Memorial 51, Allentown 25

Senior quarterback Connor Dietz accounted for 398 yards of offense and six touchdowns as the Mustangs powered past the Redbirds at DiFabio Field.

Dietz ran for 225 yards and five touchdowns on 17 carries and completed 8 of 11 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown. Senior wideout Jasaan Whittaker caught five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown and sophomore Na'zeer Whittaker ran for 85 yards and a touchdown on just two carries. Junior running back Kevin Andrews added 47 yards rushing on six carries as the Mustangs put up 532 yards of offense.

Freshman Jack Marotta had a great debut with a 38-yard field goal and going 6-for-6 on extra points.


Southern 35, West Windsor-Plainsboro 13

Junior Cole Cramer ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run, caught a 65-yard touchdown pass, and returned a kickoff for a touchdown to send the Rams to a victory over the United.

Senior quarterback Caden Oravets threw for 124 yards and two touchdowns and tossed a 65-yard touchdown pass to Cramer for an early Southern lead. Cramer then broke an 80-yard scoring run to give Southern a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Jacob Lee got West Windsor-Plainsboro on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run, but Southern answered on a 2-yard touchdown run by Justin Silva and a 52-yard touchdown pass from Oravets to AJ Sanchez to open a 28-6 halftime lead.

Ryan Bekse scored on a 16-yard run in the third quarter to pull United to within 28-13 before Southern answered on Cramer's 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Cramer finished with 231 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.

Junior linebacker Evan Wyrsch led Southern's defense with nine tackles and two tackles for loss. Mike Zecena also had two tackles for loss.


Manchester 34, North Plainfield 6

Senior running back Josh Love ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and caught two passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns to power the Hawks to a dominant win over the Cunucks to win their season-opener for the fourth straight season.

Love had touchdown runs of 15 and 5 yards and had touchdown receptions of 15 and 48 yards from junior quarterback Aidan Lunn. Ny'Zyr Battle caught a 37-yard touchdown pass and Lunn finished with 107 yards passing and three touchdowns.

Manchester's defense forced five turnovers with senior defensive end Manny Swain recovering three fumbles and junior linebacker Dante Mortellite and junior defensive lineman Mason Davis each recovering one fumble. Joe Horowitz had a forced fumble.


Central 36, Hamilton West 12

Junior running back Nick Ruggiero scampered for three touchdown runs of 5, 45, and 1 yards, and junior Royalty Riley returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to send the Golden Eagles past the Hornets.

Senior kicker Evan Brounstein converted a 25-yard field goal and senior running back Brandon Jones scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 3:50 left in the game.

Ruggiero finished with 108 yards rushing and three scores on 17 carries, Jones ran for 93 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, and junior running back Aidan Bolden rushed for 75 yards on just four carries. Junior quarterback quarterback Joe Vezzosi completed 6 of 8 passes for 78 yards.

Senior defensive lineman Scott Nico recorded two sacks and three total tackles for loss while Bolden recorded a team-high 12 tackles (7 solo) with one tackle for loss. Sophomore linebacker Elijah Reeder and junior defensive tackle Adam Onello had two tackles for loss each and senior free safety Davey Ferreira pulled down an interception.


New Egypt 26, Point Beach 6

Junior running back Liam Brosnan scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give Point Beach a 6-0 lead in the second quarter but special teams miscues opened the door for the Warriors, who scored 20 points off of turnovers to defeat the Garnet Gulls in the season opener.


Hammonton 35, St. John Vianney 0

Junior running back Kenny Smith totaled five touchdowns to lead the Blue Devils to a shutout victory over the Lancers to open the season.

Smith scored on runs of 5, 21, and 2 yards in the first half and also caught a 58-yard touchdown pass from Drew Craig after Hammonton blocked an SJV field goal attempt. Smith added a 59-yard touchdown run in the second half to put Hammonton up 35-0.

Smith was the Courier Post South Jersey Offensive Player of the Year last season.


Absegami 26, Lacey 14

Senior quarterback Nicholas Maertens threw for 81 yards and a touchdown and ran for 64 yards and a touchdown to lead the Lions in their loss to the Braves. Senior wide receiver Trevor Santucci caught seven passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Maertens also led the way on defense with a tackle for loss and two pass breakups.


Saturday, Aug. 26

Colonial Division

No. 6 Point Boro 42, No. 11 Colts Neck 20 - Game Story

Freshman Jake Clayton returned the second-half kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown to break a 14-14 tie as part of a 21-point third quarter that propelled the Panthers to an emphatic season-opening win over the Cougars.

Colts Neck quarterback Dom Beninato threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Aiden Diaz with 22 seconds left in the first half to send the game to halftime knotted at 14. Clayton's kick return touchdown ignited the Panthers and they followed it up with a 56-yard touchdown run by senior running back Jake Croce and a 6-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Matt Oliphant to open a 35-14 advantage.

The Cougars drew within 35-20 on a 44-yard touchdown run by senior running back Chris Scully but Point Boro's offense drove for another score, a 5-yard run by Oliphant, to take a 42-20 lead in the fourth quarter.

Oliphant ran for 202 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries and Croce ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Clayton also scored on a 31-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for his first high school touchdown.

Scully ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns, including a 41-yard scoring run that gave Colts Neck an early 7-0 lead. Point Boro answered immediately on a 55-yard touchdown run by Oliphant before taking the lead on Clayton's rushing touchdown.

Senior Brian Simoes had an interception, senior Owen Dewysockie had a key tackle on fourth down that preceded Croce's touchdown run, senior Jayson Bennett had an active game with multiple tackles for loss, and junior Dylan Reitmeyer had a sack to highlight Point Boro's defensive effort.



Keyport 41, Manville 6

Senior Nazir Treadwell tied a career-high with five total touchdowns and posted over 250 yards of offense to lead the Red Raiders to a resounding opening-day victory over the Mustangs.

Keyport senior Nazir Treadwell on his way to the end zone during the Keyport vs Manville Shore Conference Football Game at Mike Ciccotelli Field (Keyport HS Football Field) in Keyport, . 8/26/23 Photo Credit: Tom Smith |
Keyport senior Nazir Treadwell on his way to the end zone during the Keyport vs Manville Shore Conference Football Game at Mike Ciccotelli Field (Keyport HS Football Field) in Keyport, . 8/26/23 Photo Credit: Tom Smith |

Treadwell, who played quarterback for Keyport on Saturday, had three rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns. He scored on runs of 2, 51, and 65 yards and also threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to senior Mike Ford on a screen and a 37-yard touchdown pass to junior Andrei Matthew on a shovel pass.

Sophomore Mekai Henderson also got in on the big-play barrage with a 96-yard touchdown run in the first half.

Ford and Matthews also had interceptions and Fernando Greiss recovered a fumble.

Keyport led 27-0 at halftime and 41-0 before pulling most of its starters. Manville scored during the running-clock portion of the fourth quarter.



Sunday, Aug. 27

Battle at the Beach - Ocean City HS

Cedar Creek 42, No. 9 Matawan 0





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