Shore Sports Network Football Top 10, 10/2/18
On paper, Week 4 looked like the calm before the storm with zero top-10 matchups and just two games between teams with winning records. Conversely, the upcoming Week 5 slate features games that will decide division titles in five of the Shore Conference’s seven divisions.
But instead of a ho-hum week, a pair of top-10 teams went down to once again shake up the rankings through the midway point of the regular season.
Freehold Township stunned the Shore Conference with a 16-14 upset over then-No. 5 Toms River North on a last-second field goal by Colin Taptich. The Patriots’ defense came up huge against a Mariners offense that entered the game averaging 35 points per game.
Brick Memorial went on the road and earned a critical 31-21 win over last week’s No. 8 team, St. John Vianney, as quarterback Tyler Sindel and running back Ja Billingsley combined to rush for 315 yards and four touchdowns.
With Toms River North and St. John Vianney both falling out of the Shore Sports Network Top 10, two teams will make their season debut in the rankings. Wall, whose only loss came in overtime to No. 8 Jackson Memorial, enters the Top 10 while undefeated Barnegat also climbs the ladder into the rankings.
This week marks the final division game for most teams in the Shore, and that means division titles are up for grabs. Despite suffering its first loss last week, Toms River North can still claim a share of the American Division championship if it defeats No. 5 Middletown South on Friday. No. 3 Rumson-Fair Haven visits No. 7 Brick where it will look to close out its first division championship since 2011. No. 8 Jackson Memorial can claim the Constitution Division with a win over Marlboro on Friday night. Top-ranked Red Bank Catholic and No. 4 Long Branch will collide in a huge Freedom Division game where the Caseys can clinch the division title. Long Branch still has to play Red Bank on Thanksgiving, but a win would certainly make the Green Wave a huge favorite while turning the Top 10 on its head.
In the Liberty Division, No. 6 Manasquan can clinch its first division championship since 2010 with a victory over Colts Neck. The Patriot Division championship game features No. 2 Mater Dei Prep hosting No. 10 Barnegat as the Bengals will look to pull the monster upset over the Seraphs. Both Holmdel and Donovan Catholic still have division games remaining following this week, but their clash on Friday night certainly looks to be the de facto championship game.
1. Red Bank Catholic (5-0). Last week: No. 1
Senior quarterback Steve Lubischer continued his outstanding season by completing 9 of 13 passes for 151 yards and four touchdowns as the Caseys rolled past Toms River East, 35-0. Lubischer tossed touchdown passes to tight end Charlie Gordinier, fullback Steve Cmielewski, running back Billy Guidetti and wide receiver M.J. Wright. Guidetti also ran for 101 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and Wright caught four passes for 90 yards and a score. This week: Friday vs. No. 4 Long Branch (4-0).
2. Mater Dei Prep (5-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior quarterback Rob McCoy Jr., a transfer from Camden Catholic, made his season debut and threw two touchdown passes to tight end Chris Autino and another to wide receiver Isaiah Noguera as the Seraphs blasted Canada Prep, 49-6. Running backs Malik Ingram and Jahqual Talmadge added rushing touchdowns. This week: Friday at No. 10 Barnegat (4-0).
3. Rumson-Fair Haven (4-0). Last week: No. 3
Senior running back Alex Maldjian ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns as the Bulldogs blew past Freehold, 48-7. Junior quarterback Collin Coles threw for 120 yards and touchdowns to Patrick Jamin and Ian O’Connor, sophomore running back John Volker had touchdown runs of 61 and 16 yards and Will Sullivan added a three-yard touchdown run. Keegan Woods had a team-high 10 tackles, Isaac Vernon recorded two sacks and Ryan Ruane had an interception to lead a Rumson defense that held Freehold under 200 yards.This week: Friday at No. 7 Brick (3-1).
4. Long Branch (4-0). Last week: No. 4
Senior quarterback Marc Dennis completed 8 of 10 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns and Mark Hall returned a kickoff for a touchdown to lead the Green Wave to a 42-0 win over Toms River South. Matt Clarke caught three passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns and Qua’Zahun Dennis, La’Qym Morris and Jah’Kwan Gordon each had touchdown runs. This week: Friday at No. 1 Red Bank Catholic (5-0).
5. Middletown South (4-1). Last week: No. 7
Senior quarterback Trevor Brey had two short touchdown runs and also threw a touchdown pass to Luke Albrecht as the Eagles defeated Central, 35-0, for their third shutout of the season. Gavin Goldbaum and Vincent Condito added touchdown runs. This week: Friday at Toms River North (3-1).
6. Manasquan (4-0). Last week: No. 6
Senior running back Canyon Birch ran for 163 yards and three touchdowns and senior fullback Rashid Tuddles ran for 108 yards on 10 carries, caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Ryan O’Leary and had an interception on defense as the Warriors defeated Monmouth, 27-7. This week: Saturday vs. Colts Neck (1-3).
7. Brick (3-1). Last week: No. 9
Senior quarterback Jimmy Leblo ran for 190 yards and a touchdown and junior running back Joe Armooh ran for two touchdowns as the Dragons built a three-score lead and held on for a 21-14 victory over Middletown North. This week: Friday vs. No. 3 Rumson-Fair Haven (4-0).
8. Jackson Memorial (4-0). Last week: No. 10
Senior running back Leo Shimonovich ran for 102 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries and sophomore Will Towns ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns as the Jaguars controlled the line of scrimmage in a 41-14 win over Lacey. Senior defensive back Tyler Brito added a record-setting 102-yard interception return for a touchdown while Christian Pellone also had an interception and Joe Maffei recovered a fumble. This week: Friday vs. Marlboro (1-3).
9. Wall (3-1). Last week: not ranked
Sophomore running back Casey Larkin ran for 141 yards and a touchdown and junior running back Matt DeSarno ran for 100 yards and a touchdown to lead the Crimson Knights to a 28-0 win over Marlboro. Dylan Richey threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Teddy Sharkey and Connor Molloy blocked a punt that was recovered by Logan Peters for a touchdown. Senior linebacker Tanner Powers led the defense to a shutout by recording nine tackles with three stops for loss while Larkin had eight tackles and DeSarno had an interception. This week: Friday at Southern (2-2).
10. Barnegat (4-0). Last week: not ranked
Senior running back Charlie Cotton ran for 117 yards and a career-high four touchdowns on 32 carries and senior quarterback Brian Finucan threw for 143 yards and a touchdown to power the Bengals to a 40-10 win over Matawan for their first 4-0 start since 2013. Michael Godfrey ran for 71 yards and a touchdown while Anthony Grimes, Robert Armstrong, John Pannone and Brian Ewan led a defense that recorded 17 tackles for loss and limited Matawan to minus-11 yards rushing. Ewan also became the Bengals’ all-time leading tackler. This week: Friday vs. No. 2 Mater Dei Prep (5-0).
Dropped out: Toms River North (No. 5 last week), St. John Vianney (No. 8 last week).
Teams to Watch:
Red Bank (3-1)
Donovan Catholic (3-0)
Freehold Township (2-2)