Shore Sports Network Football Top 10 Rankings, 9/30/13
No major changes in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 for this week other than some movement near the bottom of the rankings as the Class A South race starts to heat up.
The most anticipated showdown of the regular season so far will take place this week at Manalapan when the No. 2 Braves welcome No. 4 Middletown South in a huge Class A North game on Friday night. Manalapan pulled out a 35-31 thriller at The Swamp last year and has won 18 straight divisional games dating back to 2009.
Shore Sports Network Top 10
1. Red Bank Catholic (3-0). Last week: No. 1.
The Caseys’ dominance has ratcheted up a notch so far this season as they have now outscored their opponents 135-6 in three games after a 45-0 rout of St. John Vianney in Class A Central. No team has held them under 41 points thus far. Senior tailback Larry Redaelli had 170 yards rushing and two touchdowns, junior tailback Mike Cordova also scored twice, and sophomore quarterback Eddie Hahn threw for one touchdown and ran for another in the win over the Lancers. RBC has now won 27 straight games against Shore Conference competition. Next up is a home game against Raritan (0-3) in Class A Central on Friday night.
2. Manalapan (2-0). Last week: No. 2.
The Braves continue to roll in Class A North, as they posted a 49-14 victory over Middletown North thanks to 113 yards rushing and two touchdowns by senior tailback Tyler Leonetti and a pair of touchdowns by fullback Nelson Rivera. Now comes a monster showdown at home on Friday night with No. 4 Middletown South that has big power-point and divisional race implications as the Braves look to beat the Eagles for the fourth straight time.
3. Lacey (3-0). Last week: No. 3.
The Lions’ showed some chinks in the armor as a winless Toms River East team pushed them to the brink in a 45-42 victory in Class A South. Senior quarterback Tom Kelly threw three touchdown passes, and seniors Christian Tutela and Chris Jensen each had two touchdowns to help pull out the win. The offense has not been held below 34 points this season and is again one of the Shore’s best. However, the Lions’ run defense was shredded by a team that had not scored a point in its first two games. They are going to have to clean that up quickly because they have another tough game against No. 10 Toms River South, an explosive rushing team with multiple weapons, on the road on Friday night.
4. Middletown South (2-0). Last week: No. 4.
The Eagles’ defense continues to play well, as it stifled a Howell team that was off to a strong start to power a 24-7 victory in Class A North. Senior quarterback Kyle Brey added one touchdown passing and another rushing to help key the win. Now is the chance for Middletown South to break into the top two with a big statement win when it goes on the road Friday night to face No. 2 Manalapan in a bid to end the Braves’ 18-game divisional winning streak. The Eagles were right with them in a 35-31 loss last season in a game that came down to the final seconds, but a few mistakes proved costly. If they clean those up this time around, they are certainly equipped to give Manalapan all it can handle and take home a win.
5. Colts Neck (3-0). Last week: No. 5.
The Cougars continue to roll, posting their third straight shutout to start the season in a 48-0 win over Marlboro in Class A North. Senior tailback Anthony Gargiulo had a pair of touchdown runs and quarterback Christian Sanchez ran for one score and threw for another. Colts Neck has outscored its first three opponents 132-0, although those three teams are a combined 0-9. They face another winless team on Friday night on the road against Middletown North in a divisional game. Their first major test against a ranked opponent looms on Oct. 25 at No. 2 Manalapan.
6. Ocean (3-0). Last week: No. 6.
It hasn’t been pretty, but the Spartans keep getting it done against solid opponents as they pulled out a 7-3 win over Matawan in a match-up of unbeatens thanks to a 55-yard touchdown catch by sophomore tailback Tyler Thompson on a screen pass in the fourth quarter. The defense has only allowed three total points in the last two games and clearly has been the backbone of the team. This is a good week to get the offense back on track on the road in a nonconference game against JFK-Iselin (1-2), which is allowing 29 points per game.
7. Rumson-Fair Haven (3-0). Last week: No. 7.
Bulldogs junior tailback Charlie Volker continued his impressive start with 133 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, all in the first half, as Rumson took care of Holmdel 41-7 in a Class A Central game. This week is The Battle of Ridge Road against nearby rival Red Bank Regional (0-2) in a nondivisional game, as the Bulldogs look to keep the upper hand after beating the Bucs three straight times since renewing the rivalry in 2009.
8. Barnegat (3-0). Last week: No. 9.
The Bengals jump up a spot by virtue of Toms River South’s loss after an important 24-18 win over defending Class B South champion Monsignor Donovan. The Bengals used a punishing ground attack as tailback A.J. Opre and quarterback Cinjun Erskine each reached the 100-yard rushing mark, including 171 yards and two touchdowns by Opre, who has 447 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in three games. The victory stamps the Bengals as the clear front-runner for their second division title in the program’s seven-year history. They will host Jackson Liberty (1-2) in a Class B South game on Friday night.
9. Brick (2-1). Last week: No. 10.
The Green Dragons knocked off last week’s No. 8 team, Toms River South, in an impressive 47-21 win in Class A South. Junior running back/linebacker Ray Fattaruso was outstanding with 112 yards and three touchdowns rushing, a 30-yard touchdown pass on a halfback option, and three sacks and two other tackles for a loss on defense. Junior quarterback Carmen Sclafani added 145 yards rushing and two scores as well as a touchdown pass to junior wideout Joe Phillips. I think you could argue Brick could be ahead of several other teams right now because of the quality win over the Indians and their only loss being to No. 4 Middletown South. They will have the opportunity to rack up more quality victories playing in a tough Class A South, so the opportunity is there to leapfrog some unbeaten teams if they continue to win. They have another tough game this week on the road Friday night against a good Southern (2-1) team looking to get right back into the thick of the division race.
10. Toms River South (2-1). Last week: No. 8.
The Indians dropped a 47-21 game to Brick in which they got shut out in the second half, turned the ball over three times, and allowed 409 yards of total offense to the Green Dragons. However, they still do boast a quality win over Southern, so they stay in the top 10. They can quickly put aside the loss to Brick this week when they host No. 3 Lacey on Friday night in another big Class A South game that will be live on The Shore Sports Network on 105.7 f.m.
Teams to watch:
Jackson Memorial (2-0): The Jaguars have looked great thus far, beating their first two opponents by a combined 76-7, including a 35-7 victory over Brick Memorial. Their defense is back to its shutdown ways, and the offense clearly looks improved behind tailback Khani Glover, who had 170 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the win over the Mustangs. Jackson Memorial welcomes Toms River North (0-3) for a divisional game on Friday night.
Southern (2-1): The Rams bounced back from their first loss by rolling to a 35-7 win over Toms River North in which senior tailback Rob Yaiser ran for three touchdowns. They can get right back into the Top 10 mix this week, as they host No. 9 Brick.
Wall (3-0): The Crimson Knights have already surpassed their win total last season after a 44-7 rout of Freehold behind four touchdowns from senior tailback Pete Miceli. Their first three opponents have a combined one win, so this is the week to show they will be a factor in the Class B North race when they travel to Long Branch (2-1) on Friday night.
Manasquan (2-1): The Warriors rolled to a 42-3 win over Raritan thanks to three touchdown passes by senior quarterback Tucker Caccavale and a dominant defensive effort. Their win over Long Branch is their main argument for a top 10 spot at this point. They will be fired up for their meeting with St. John Vianney (1-2) at home on Saturday after blowing a 35-6 lead last year and losing 39-35 to the Lancers.
Long Branch (2-1): The Green Wave picked up a 13-7 overtime victory against Neptune for head coach Dan George’s 100th career win at Long Branch. They now look to stamp themselves as the primary challenger to Ocean in the Class B North race when they host unbeaten Wall on Friday night.
Matawan (2-1): The Huskies took No. 6 Ocean to the wire in a 7-3 loss in Class B North and should be a factor in the B North face going forward because of their rugged defense. They travel to Neptune (1-2) for another important division game on Friday night.
Mater Dei Prep (3-0): Off to their best start since 1986, the Seraphs registered their highest point total since 1972 when they won a wild 49-35 nonconference game over Dunellen. Junior quarterback Christian Palmer ran for a pair of scores and had 251 yards of total offense in the win. This is the week to make a major statement in the Class B Central race, as they head to defending division champion Point Beach on Friday night. The Garnet Gulls (2-1) are coming off a 7-3 loss to Spotswood and have a common opponent with the Seraphs in that they beat Dunellen 15-6 in Week Two.
Shore (2-1): The Blue Devils survived a scare by a winless Metuchen team, pulling out a 21-14 victory on a touchdown run by Brian Miller with 15 seconds left in the game. They need to get their offense in gear as they head to South River (3-0) for a nonconference game with important Central Jersey Group I power-point implications on Saturday.