Shore Sports Network Final 2018 Football Top 10
The 2018 high school football season is over, and with that comes the Shore Sports Network’s final Football Top 10.
Alone at the top is the Shore Sports Network Team of the Year: Red Bank Catholic. RBC won the NJSIAA Non-Public Group 3 state title and finished as the Shore Conference’s only undefeated team. The Caseys were our No. 1 team in August and remained in their perch the entire way, which is a testament to their talent and focus.
No. 2 Mater Dei Prep advanced to its third straight state final and suffered its only conference loss of the season in the aforementioned Non-Public Group 3 championship game. Long Branch won back-to-back sectional titles for the first time in program history and won a program-record 12 games to finish at No. 3, while Rumson-Fair Haven won its fifth championship in six years to finish at No. 4. Brick, which reached the Central Jersey Group 4 championship game, rounds out the top 5.
The rest of the Top 10 can be found below. Congratulations to all the teams who won division and state championships in 2018.
1. Red Bank Catholic (10-0)
The Caseys defeated No. 2 Mater Dei Prep, 14-10, to capture the NJSIAA Non-Public Group 3 state title and finish as the top-ranked team in the Shore. RBC went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team, claimed its second state title in five years and finished undefeated for the first time since 1960. Along the way, the Caseys had five wins over ranked opponents, including victories over No. 3 Long Branch and No. 4 Rumson-Fair Haven, both of which won NJSIAA sectional titles and bowl games. In addition to the win over Mater Dei, RBC also defeated No. 7 Red Bank and beat St. John Vianney in the season-opener when the Lancers were ranked No. 2. The Caseys had the No. 3 scoring offense in the Shore at 33.7 points per game and the No. 2 scoring defense at 10 points per game. Boston College-bound senior quarterback Steve Lubischer was selected as the Freedom Division Offensive Player of the Year and was named the Shore Sports Network Most Valuable Player. Senior defensive back Jaden Key was selected as a Freedom Division Co-Defensive Player of the Year and head coach Frank Edgerly was named the Freedom Division Coach of the Year. The Caseys will lose an exceptional senior class to graduation but have several standouts returning including Notre Dame-bound tight end Kevin Bauman, FBS linebacker recruit Charlie Gordinier, running back Billy Guidetti, wide receiver Sean Rossback, running back Kevin Degnan and defensive lineman Jake Louro.
2. Mater Dei Prep (10-2)
The Seraphs turned in another outstanding year with their only in-state blemish coming in the Non-Public Group 3 final when they fell to No. 1 Red Bank Catholic, 14-10. Mater Dei won its third straight division title by going undefeated in the Patriot Division and reached its third straight state final. The Seraphs defeated No. 8, Manasquan, 41-0, in a nondivisional game and took down North Jersey power DePaul, 28-23, in the Non-Public Group 3 semifinals. They had the No. 1 scoring offense in the Shore at 36.8 points per game and were sixth in scoring defense at 11.1 points per game. Junior running back Malik Ingram was selected as the Patriot Division Offensive Player of the Year and senior defensive lineman Izaiah Henderson was named the Patriot Division Defensive Player of the Year. Several standouts will move on through graduation, including the Boston College-bound duo of Henderson and linebacker Shittah Sillah, linebacker Russell Ferrisi, quarterback Rob McCoy, wide receiver Isaiah Alston and offensive lineman Nolan Aloia. Ingram leads a very good group of returners, however, including wide receiver/defensive back Isaiah Noguera, wide receiver/defensive back Clarence Lewis, defensive back Tahaj Parland, defensive end Dominick Giudice and defensive tackle Amir Coleman.
3. Long Branch (12-1)
The Green Wave had arguably the best season in program history by repeating as Central Jersey Group 4 champions, winning the Central/South Group 4 Bowl Game and finishing with a program single-season record 12 wins. Long Branch defeated No. 5 Brick, 21-14, to win its second straight sectional title and then capped the season with a 20-17 comeback win over Shawnee in the bowl game. The Green Wave also had wins over No. 7 Red Bank and No. 10 Wall and their only defeat came to No. 1 Red Bank Catholic. Long Branch’s offense finished No. 4 in the Shore at 33.5 points per game while its defense was fifth at 10.3 points per game with five shutouts. Junior running back Jermaine Corbett led the state in rushing with 2,021 yards and had a Shore-best 31 total touchdowns, and was selected as the Shore Sports Network Offensive Player of the Year. Senior linebacker Luke Arnold was selected as a Freedom Division Co-Defensive Player of the Year. An all-time senior class will exit the program but there will be plenty of talent returning in 2019 with Corbett, linebacker Jah’Kwan Gordon, linebacker Jayson Glasper, center Tracey Taylor and wide receiver Jayon Farrar leading the way.
4. Rumson-Fair Haven (10-2)
The Bulldogs’ dynasty rolled on in 2018 as Rumson won its fifth sectional title in the last six seasons and also captured the Central/South Group 3 Bowl Game trophy. Rumson took down undefeated Somerville, 42-35, to win the Central Jersey Group 3 championship – its sixth overall – before defeating Woodrow Wilson, 26-18, in its bowl game. The Bulldogs defeated No. 5 Brick in the regular season on their way to the Colonial Division title and defeated No. 7 Red Bank in the Central Jersey Group 3 semifinals. Rumson had the No. 7 scoring offense in the Shore at 29.9 points per game and was also No. 7 in scoring defense at 11.5 points per game. RFH swept the Colonial Division awards as senior running back Alex Maldjian was selected as the Offensive Player of the Year, senior linebacker Keegan Woods was selected as the Co-Defensive Player of the Year and head coach Jerry Schulte was named Coach of the Year. Woods, who led the state with 178 tackles, was also selected as the Shore Sports Network Defensive Player of the year. A plethora of standouts will move on via graduation but Rumson has proven it can withstand such losses. Quarterback Collin Coles, running backs Peter Crowley and Johnny Volker, wide receiver Patrick Jamin, defensive backs Drew Frankel and Ryan Ruane, defensive lineman Von Factor and linebacker Gordon Forsyth will anchor the 2019 squad.
5. Brick (8-3)
The Dragons came up just short in their quest for a sectional championship when they fell to No. 3 Long Branch, 21-14 in the Central Jersey Group 4 championship game. The Dragons’ signature win was a 42-14 victory over No. 6 Middletown South in the Central Jersey Group 4 semifinals. They also had a pair of wins over Constitution Division champion Jackson Memorial. Brick had the No. 10 scoring offense in the Shore at 25.4 points per game and the No. 10 scoring defense at 12.3 points per game. Senior linebacker Richie Tallmadge was selected as the Colonial Division Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Almost all of Brick’s starters and top contributors were seniors, so many new faces will be taking over next season. Quarterback Anthony Prato, lineman John Costanza, wide receiver Val Grigorian and running back/linebacker Joe Armooh lead the group of returners.
6. Middletown South (8-3)
The Eagles won the American Division title and reached the Central Jersey Group 4 semifinals to finish No. 6 in the Shore. Middletown South had dramatic wins over Manalapan (17-14) and Toms River North (14-13) to claim the division title and delivered its signature win by taking down No. 4 Rumson-Fair Haven, 14-7, in the final week of the regular season. Middletown South had the No. 17 offense in the Shore at 21.4 points per game and the No. 12 scoring defense at 15.3 points per game. Senior quarterback Trevor Brey was selected as the American Division Co-Offensive Player of the Year, senior linebacker Matt Tardy was selected as the American Division Defensive Player of the Year and head coach Steve Antonucci was named American Division Coach of the Year. Standouts such as Brey, Tardy, running back Jamie Petrillo, kicker Chris Kaldrovics, running back/linebacker Ken McCarthy, linebacker Dylan Walling and offensive lineman Brady Smith will graduate, but there is a good nucleus returning led by running back/defensive lineman Vinny Condito, running back/defensive back Chris Lotito and wide receiver/defensive back Matt Krellin.
7. Red Bank (7-3)
Following a 2-8 season in 2017, the Bucs turned it around this year to win seven games and reach the Central Jersey Group 3 semifinals. Red Bank’s signature win was a 28-26 victory over No. 9 Holmdel in Week 2 on a touchdown catch by Nigel Mitchell with 10 seconds left. The Bucs had the No. 15 offense in the Shore at 22.1 points per game, led by the big-play tandem of Mitchell and junior running back Makai Mickens, the latter of whom became Red Bank’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2003. Red Bank’s defense also finished the season No. 15 at 16.8 points per game with one shutout. The Bucs’ three losses were to No. 1 Red Bank Catholic, No. 3 Rumson-Fair Haven and No. 4 Long Branch. Mitchell, Mickens, senior defensive tackle Ka’Shaun Turner, senior offensive lineman Colin Chato and sophomore wide receiver/defensive back Nick Ferrogine were selected to the Freedom Division All-Division team. Mickens, Ferrogine, quarterback Jack Chamberlain and tight end/linebacker Kyle Weisman lead the cast of returners in 2019.
8. Manasquan (8-3)
The Warriors turned in another solid season by winning eight games and advancing to the Central Jersey Group 2 championship game. However, Manasquan fell to Hillside, which was undefeated at the time, to thwart its quest for a 13th sectional title. The Warriors won the Liberty Division title and their only defeats in conference came to No. 2 Mater Dei Prep and No. 10 Wall. Manasquan finished with the No. 13 offense in the Shore at 23.3 points per game and the No. 16 defense at 17.6 points per game. Senior running back Canyon Birch was selected as the Liberty Division’s Offensive Player of the Year, senior defensive back James Pendergist was selected as a Co-Defensive Player of the Year and Jay Price was named division Coach of the Year. Offensive linemen Art Foreman and Alec Wells, defensive end Dylan D’Anton and fullback/defensive back Rashid Tuddles were also selected to the All-Division team. Manasquan was a senior-heavy team so many starting spots will be up for grabs in 2019. Linebackers Tyler Callahan and Shayne Leddy, wide receiver John Foreman, defensive back Christian Masonius, offensive lineman/linebacker Charlie Sawitsky and lineman Garrett Terlizzi lead the group of returners for next season.
9. Holmdel (8-2)
It was a triumphant year for the Hornets, who had their best season in over a decade with one of the most complete teams in the Shore. Holmdel won the National Division title, its first division title since 2007, and also won a playoff game for the first time since 2007. The Hornets reached the Central Jersey Group 3 semifinals and held a halftime lead against then-undefeated Somerville before falling, 31-20, to a team that was ranked in the top 10 in New Jersey. The Hornets’ only other loss came to No. 7 Red Bank, 28-26 in the closing seconds of the game. Holmdel had the No. 1 scoring defense in the Shore allowing just 7.9 points per game and recording five shutouts. The Hornets offense finished No. 2 in the Shore at 34.1 points per game. Head coach Jeff Rainess was selected as the Shore Sports Network Coach of the Year and also named the National Division Coach of the Year. Senior running back Dean Gallo was named the division Offensive Player of the Year and senior defensive back Mack Byrne was the division Defensive Player of the Year. The Hornets had a total of 11 All-Division players. Holmdel had a huge senior contingent so the challenge will be to buoy this year’s success and keep the program moving in the right direction next year. Running backs Cameron LaMountain and Tom Ammirati, linebacker Nick Bauman, safety Evan Jennings and tight end Bob Eknoian lead the cast of returners for 2019.
10. Wall (6-3)
Deciding on which team to rank in the 10th and final spot was the most difficult part about compiling the final rankings. Several teams were in the mix, but we settled on Wall because it had the most significant win of those teams being considered: an 18-7 victory over No. 8 Manasquan on Thanksgiving. The Crimson Knights losses were to Jackson Memorial (12-6 in overtime), No. 4 Long Branch and Timber Creek in the South Jersey Group 3 playoffs. Wall had the No. 11 offense in the Shore at 24.6 points per game and the No. 8 defense at 11.8 points per game. Senior quarterback Dylan Richey was selected as the Constitution Division Offensive Player of the Year and was one of six Wall players on the All-Division team. While the Crimson Knights will graduate standouts like Richey, tight end/linebacker Tanner Powers, offensive linemen Brady Scott and Joe Fardella, long snapper/linebacker Joe Shimko, defensive back Kamaal Cofer and defensive lineman Connor Molloy, they bring several starters. Quarterback/receiver/linebacker Logan Peters, running backs Casey Larkin and Matt DeSarno, linebacker Charlie Sasso, wide receiver/defensive back Mike Galos and lineman Ian Ackerman lead the core for 2019.
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.