Shore Sports Network Football Top 10, 10/22/13
Week Six brought plenty of drama in Class A South and resulted in a shakeup in the rankings, while this coming weekend features several prominent games that will have major effects on division and state playoff races as well as the Shore Sports Network Top 10.
Lacey’s 15-game winning streak against Shore Conference competition came to a halt with a 21-7 setback against Southern. All three first-place teams in Class A South lost, but still retain the lead because they had a two-game advantage in the loss column on everyone else going into the weekend.
This weekend, we have a monster showdown on Friday night between No. 2 Manalapan and No. 3 Colts Neck, as well as another top 10 clash between No. 4 Ocean and No. 10 Long Branch.
Shore Sports Network Top 10
1. Red Bank Catholic (6-0). Last week: No. 1.
The Caseys made it 30 in a row against Shore Conference competition with a 62-10 wipeout of Holmdel behind 210 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries by senior tailback Larry Redaelli, the Shore Conference’s leading rusher and scorer. Bruno Lins, Mike Wilen and John Portela all scored their first varsity touchdowns in the win. RBC has outscored its opponents 295-23 this season, and is now on its bye week. The Caseys will return with a nondivisional game at home on Nov. 1 against No. 9 Middletown South.
2. Manalapan (5-0). Last week: No. 2.
The Braves continue to roll as they picked up a 42-7 nonconference win over East Brunswick in which six different players scored, including a pair of special teams touchdowns by juniors John Cheung and Dan Debner. Senior tailback Tyler Leonetti also made his return after missing 1 ½ games with an ankle injury, scoring on a six-yard touchdown. Now comes the biggest challenge of the season so far to Manalapan’s 19-game divisional winning streak and 20-game winning streak against Shore Conference competition. The Braves welcome No. 3 Colts Neck on Friday night for a showdown that will all but decide the Class A North title.
3. Colts Neck (5-0). Last week: No. 4.
The Cougars jump up a spot thanks to Lacey’s loss and a 35-7 win over St. John Vianney. Colts Neck has outscored its opponents 209-7 after the win over the Lancers, which featured two touchdown passes from Christian Sanchez to tight end Nick Volpe as well as a touchdown run by Sanchez and two by senior tailback Anthony Gargiulo. Now is the chance for Colts Neck to send a shockwave through the state and put itself on track for just the second division title in program history when it travels to No. 2 Manalapan on Friday night. A win would also go a long way toward securing the No. 1 seed in Central Jersey Group IV.
4. Ocean (5-0). Last week: No. 5.
The Spartans also move up a spot thanks to the Lacey loss, and can cement their status as a top-four team this week when they welcome No. 10 Long Branch to West Park Avenue for an old-school Class B North showdown. Ocean has had two weeks to prepare after coming off its bye week, and a win would put the Spartans in a good spot to win their first division title since 2006 and grab a top-two seed in Central Jersey Group III.
5. Rumson-Fair Haven (5-0). Last week: No. 6.
The Bulldogs move up into the top five following a 28-6 win over Raritan that featured a career-high 246 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 30 carries by junior tailback Charlie Volker. Rumson’s defense has not given up more than one touchdown in any game this season. Next up is a nondivisional game on the road Friday at Monsignor Donovan (3-2).
6. Barnegat (5-0). Last week: No. 7.
The Bengals pop up a notch as they seized control of the Class B South race, taking over sole possession of first place and improving to 5-0 for the first time in program history with a 23-7 win over Central. Senior tailback A.J. Opre ran for 124 yards and a touchdown and is now Barnegat’s all-time leading rusher, junior quarterback Cinjun Erskine ran for one score and threw a touchdown pass to Ryan Ulrich, and defensive back Ricky Gerena had a pair of interceptions to give him five for the season. The Bengals welcome Point Boro (0-6) for a Class B South game on Friday night as they continue their march to the second division title in program history and a top-two seed in South Jersey Group III.
7. Lacey (5-1). Last week: No. 3.
The main question this week was how far to drop the Lions after a 21-7 loss to a solid Southern team that ended their 15-game winning streak against Shore Conference competition. The Lions were held to 123 yards of total offense, including minus-7 on the ground, and have cooled off after being one of the Shore Conference’s top offenses through the first four weeks. The good news is that they still control their future in the Class A South race because if they win out against a tough upcoming schedule featuring Jackson Memorial, Brick and Brick Memorial, they will win a second straight Class A South title. This week they travel to “The Jungle” on Friday night to face a Jackson Memorial (3-2) squad coming off a loss to Toms River South. A win would give head coach Lou Vircillo 264 career victories, moving him past the late Vic Kubu for second all-time in wins behind Warren Wolf in Shore Conference history.
8. Manasquan (5-1). Last week: No. 8.
The Warriors nearly got caught in a letdown game after their dominating win over Middletown South a week earlier, as they held off Monmouth Regional 17-14 on the road for their fourth straight win. Senior quarterback Tucker Caccavale threw for 177 yards and a score, senior tailback Joe Murphy added a touchdown, and senior kicker Raul Perez chipped in with a field goal. The Warriors now take on Holmdel (1-5) at home in a Class A Central game on Saturday before their bye week and then a big showdown at No. 5 Rumson-Fair Haven on Nov. 8. A win in that game would most likely give Manasquan the No. 1 seed in South Jersey Group III.
9. Middletown South (3-2). Last week: No. 9.
The Eagles got back on track with a 30-16 win over Freehold Township in Class A North, highlighted by a pair of touchdown runs by Drew O’Connell and another one by Jeremy Concepcion to get the running game back in gear. Middletown South welcomes Marlboro (0-5) to The Swamp on Friday night and then has the daunting stretch of No. 1 Red Bank Catholic and No. 3 Colts Neck before the state playoff cutoff.
10. Long Branch (5-1). Last week: Unranked.
The Green Wave are back in the top 10 after being ranked in the preseason and can make a power move this week when they travel to No. 4 Ocean on Friday night. You could argue they should be ahead of Middletown South because they played Manasquan tough in a 13-3 loss, whereas the Eagles lost 38-0. I don’t think it’s a major issue because if Long Branch wins this week, it won’t be in this spot for long anyway. If it loses, it’s a 5-2 team without a signature win, so you can be sure the Green Wave will come out fired up on the road on Friday night. They also enter with plenty of confidence offensively after a 48-23 rout of Freehold in which junior tailback Dahmiere Willis erupted for 276 yards rushing and five touchdowns in the best game of his career.
Brick (4-2): The Green Dragons lost a 42-35 shootout to a Toms River East team that entered the game at 1-4. Junior quarterback Carmen Sclafani ran for 170 yards and two scores, but it was not enough as Brick could not solve Toms River East’s offense. The Green Dragons will look to regroup and continue their playoff push at Toms River North (0-5) on Saturday and then have a huge game at No. 7 Lacey on Nov. 2.
Teams to watch:
Toms River South (3-2): The Indians handed Jackson Memorial its first divisional loss in a 33-14 victory, highlighted by two touchdown catches and a pair of interceptions on defense by senior Darrius Hart. The Indians look to continue the momentum against a dangerous Toms River East (2-4) team that has won two straight.
Southern (3-2): The Rams knocked off No. 3 Lacey 21-7 for an adrenaline shot to their state playoff hopes, as the defense dominated and senior tailback Rob Yaiser had 158 yards rushing and two scores while senior quarterback Logan Sheehan threw two touchdown passes. The Rams take on a surging Brick Memorial (4-2) team that has won three straight this weekend.
Brick Memorial (4-2): The Mustangs are starting to come on strong after taking care of winless Toms River North behind three touchdowns from fullback Dwayne Gudge for their third straight victory. They still are looking for that signature win, and a victory at Southern this week would certainly open some eyes while also bolstering the Mustangs’ playoff hopes in Central Jersey Group V.
Shore Regional (4-1): The Blue Devils return from their bye week looking to continue the march toward the No. 1 seed in Central Jersey Group I and a showdown with Point Beach on Thanksgiving for the division title. They travel to Mater Dei Prep (3-3) on Saturday for a Class B Central game.
Point Beach (5-1): The Garnet Gulls rolled past Keansburg, 41-14, to remain unbeaten in Class B Central. Senior defensive back Noah Yates had a career game with four interceptions, junior fullback Joe Wegrzyniak exploded for 207 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and junior Michael Frauenheim had a brilliant game with 101 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 13 carries as well as a touchdown catch and an interception on defense. Next up is winless Highland Park (0-6) at home on Friday night in a nonconference game.