Shore Sports Network Shore 16 Football Rankings for Nov. 7
It's championship season around New Jersey and just seven Shore Conference teams remain in the NJSIAA playoffs. The public-school sectional finals will take place this weekend while the non-public playoffs continue with the quarterfinals in Non-Public A and the semifinals in Non-Public B.
The rankings are nearly set with most teams having completed their seasons, but there is some significant movement this week after a pair of previously undefeated teams were eliminated from the state playoffs.
Here is the latest Shore 16.
1. Red Bank Catholic (8-1). Last week: No. 1
The Casyes were idle in Week 10 after receiving the No. 1 seed and a bye in the quarterfinals of the NJSIAA Non-Public B playoffs. Their quest for a state title begins this Friday. Next game: Friday vs. Holy Spirit (8-1) in the Non-Public B state semifinals.
2. Donovan Catholic (8-2). Last week: No. 2
Senior kicker Dante Priolo connected on a 30-yard field goal as time expired to give the Griffins a 31-28 victory over Paramus Catholic in the first round of the Non-Public A state playoffs. Donovan jumped out to a 21-0 lead on two touchdown runs by sophomore running back Najee Calhoun and a rushing score by junior receiver Michael Thomas before Paramus Catholic scored 28 straight points to take the lead. Senior quarterback Todd Lambertson tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to sophomore fullback Jayden Nascimento to tie the game and set up Priolo's winning kick. Next game: Saturday vs. St. Augustine (8-2) in the Non-Public A state quarterfinals.
3. Toms River North (9-2). Last week: No. 3
Senior quarterback/safety Micah Ford was at his best during a 54-13 win over Freehold Township in the Central Jersey Group 5 semifinals, accounting for five touchdowns to send the Mariners to their third straight sectional final. The Stanford-bound star threw for 112 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns, and returned an interception for a touchdown. Senior Tareq Council returned a punt for a touchdown, senior Jeremiah Pruitt had both touchdown receptions, and senior running back Josh Moore and junior running back Mordecai Ford ran for touchdowns. Next game: Friday vs. Washington Township (9-2) in the Central Jersey Group 5 sectional final.
4. Point Boro (9-1). Last week: No. 6
Senior running back Jake Croce ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns to become Point Boro's all-time leading rusher and senior quarterback Matt Oliphant accounted for 261 yards of offense and three touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 49-21 win over Cinnaminson in the Central Jersey Group 2 semifinals. Oliphant ran for 179 yards and a touchdown and tossed two touchdown passes to senior slot back Brian Simoes. Freshman running back Jake Clayton added 55 yards rushing and a touchdown. The Panthers have been waiting for their next opponent for an entire year. Next game: Friday vs. Willingboro (9-2) in the Central Jersey Group 2 sectional final.
5. Rumson-Fair Haven (6-4). Last week: No. 7
Senior tight end Jackson Gallagher caught three passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns and sophomore running back Kellen Murray ran for 121 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bulldogs to a 28-7 win over Haddon Heights in the South Jersey Group 2 semifinals. Senior Luke Marascio also had a touchdown run as Rumson reached its 10th straight sectional championship game. Next game: Friday vs. Haddonfield (9-1) in the South Jersey Group 2 sectional final.
6. Middletown South (3-5). Last week: No. 8
The Eagles were idle in Week 10 after a first-round playoff loss to Shawnee in Week 9 but move up two spots because of two teams dropping coupled with the Eagles' win over Colts Neck. They will play a consolation game this week to avoid a long layoff before the annual Thanksgiving clash with Middletown North. Next game: Thursday vs. Plainfield (6-3).
7. Marlboro (8-2). Last week: No. 10
Junior defensive back Luke Houston intercepted three passes and senior defensive end Mike Consolazio had a sack and two tackles for loss to lead a Marlboro defense that delivered a 12-0 shutout of Hillsborough to send the Mustangs to their first sectional final since 1994. Senior Luke Rubin kicked a pair of field goals and senior quarterback Brayden Klein threw a touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Sam Hirsch for a road upset in the South Jersey Group 5 semifinals. Next game: Friday at Cherokee (8-2) in the South Jersey Group 5 sectional final.
8. Colts Neck (6-4). Last week: No. 9
The Cougars were eliminated from the South Jersey Group 4 playoffs via a 49-7 loss to undefeated Mainland. Senior running back Chris Scully concluded his record-breaking career with 135 yards rushing and a touchdown to finish the season with a school-record 1,702 yards and a school-record 3,820 yards for his career. Next game: Season complete.
9. Holmdel (9-1). Last week: No. 5
The Hornets' unbeaten streak and season came to an end at the hands of Camden in a 21-7 loss in the Central Jersey Group 3 semifinals. Sophomore quarterback Jack Cannon ran for a touchdown to account for Holmdel's points. It was a tremendous season for Holmdel to rebound from a 1-8 season the year before to win a division title and tie the school single-season record with six shutouts. Next game: Season complete.
10. Long Branch (6-4). Last week: No. 11
The Green Wave did it again in Week 10 with another playoff upset on the road, shutting down previously unbeaten Brick Memorial's high-powered offense in a 21-7 victory in the Central Jersey Group 4 semifinals. Senior quarterback Earnest Reevey ran for a touchdown and threw a touchdown to sophomore tight end Miguel Maldonado and senior running back Da'Von Craft ran for 119 yards and a touchdown. Junior linebacker Havier Gonzalez had a key fumble recovery at Long Branch's 2-yard line on the game's opening possession and junior linebacker Joseph Corley blocked a field goal. Next game: Friday at Winslow Township (9-2) in the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional final.
11. Brick Memorial (10-1). Last week: No. 4
The Mustangs fell to Long Branch, 21-7, to suffer their only loss of the season and were eliminated from the Central Jersey Group 4 playoffs in the semifinals. Junior running back Kevin Andrews scored Brick Memorial's lone touchdown. Senior quarterback Connor Dietz ran for 153 yards to become the sixth player in Shore Conference history with 5,000 career rushing yards. Next game: Season complete.
12. Jackson Memorial (7-2). Last week: No. 12
The Jaguars were eliminated from the Central Jersey Group 4 playoffs in Week 9. Next game: Season complete.
13. Freehold Township (7-4). Last week: No. 13
Junior quarterback Nick Cardone threw touchdown passes for seniors GianPaul Cortes and Nick Carnevale but the Patriots could not overcome top-seeded Toms River North in a 54-13 loss in the Central Jersey Group 5 semifinals. It was still a memorable season for the Patriots, who won the second playoff game in program history and were a ranked team most of the year. Next game: Season complete.
14. Middletown North (6-4). Last week: No. 14
Senior quarterback Luke Sheehan completed 18 of 23 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 75 yards to lead the Lions to a 35-24 comeback win over Ocean City in a consolation game. Kaley Spearman-Young had a touchdown run and a touchdown catch, Dylan Briggs and Gavin Halloran had touchdown receptions, and junior running back Shane Volante ran for a touchdown. Next game: Thanksgiving vs. No. 6 Middletown South (3-5).
15. Toms River South (6-3). Last week: No. 15
Toms River South was eliminated from the playoffs in Week 9. Next game: Season complete.
16. Manalapan (4-5). Last week: No. 16
The Braves' season concluded in Week 9 with a loss to Mainland in the South Jersey Group 4 playoffs. Next game: Season complete.