Shore Sports Network Shore 16 Football Rankings for Oct. 3
It's moving day at the Shore, at least within the Shore Sports Network Shore 16.
An active Week 5 has produced mass upheaval in our latest rankings with three new teams entering the Shore 16 and plenty of movement from No. 4 all the way down the line.
The big winner is Point Boro, who moves up two spots after an emphatic 42-28 victory over previous No. 4 Rumson-Fair Haven. Brick Memorial and Holmdel also move up after dominant shutout victories, as does Long Branch, which got back to .500 while many of the teams surrounding in in last week's rankings faltered.
The only other drama was the potential for a change at the top. No. 1 Donovan Catholic lost 52-28 to St. Joseph (Montvale) while No. 2 Red Bank Catholic earned a 21-16 comeback win over Seton Hall Prep. St. Joe's is No. 2 in the state and Seton Hall Prep, although much better than its current 1-4 record would indicate, is unranked, so it's not an even comparison. This could have been the impetus for a change, but since these two teams will meet on Oct. 27 to settle it on the field, we're not going to penalize Donovan for scheduling a very challenging nonconference game. The Griffins earned the No. 1 spot by beating Toms River North three weeks ago and RBC will have the chance to do the same in the final two weeks of the regular season with games against the Mariners and Griffins.
Here is the latest Shore 16.
1. Donovan Catholic (4-1). Last week: No. 1
Sophomore running back Najee Calhoun ran for 128 yards and four touchdowns and helped the Griffins open a quick 14-0 lead, but St. Joe's rallied quickly to take a 10-point halftime lead on its way to a 52-28 victory. The Green Knights are ranked No. 2 in New Jersey. Donovan will try to rebound this week with another important American Division matchup. Next game: Friday vs. No. 5 Rumson-Fair Haven (2-3).
2. Red Bank Catholic (4-1). Last week: No. 2
A 3-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Frankie Williams with 4:33 left in the fourth quarter lifted the Caseys to a 21-16 road victory over a tough Seton Hall Prep squad. Williams completed 8 of 16 passes for 173 yards and ran for 40 yards and a score. Senior Emanuel Ross had another excellent all-around game with a clutch 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, six catches for 107 yards, and an interception and six tackles on defense. Junior Jamie Gutridge had a touchdown run plus 13 tackles, a sack, and three tackles for loss. Next game: Friday vs. No. 6 Middletown South (3-2).
3. Toms River North (4-1). Last week: No. 3
Junior quarterback TJ Valerio ran for 114 yards and a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass to senior Tareq Council in the Mariners' 42-6 win over Southern. Senior Jeremiah Pruitt ran for 77 yards and a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass to junior tight end Eddie Slosky. Junior Nasir Jackson returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and junior running back Mordecai Ford had a 64-yard touchdown run. Next game: Friday vs. Wall (2-4).
4. Point Boro (5-0). Last week: No. 6
Senior quarterback Matt Oliphant completed 7 of 7 passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 145 yards and a touchdown, while senior running back Jake Croce ran for 202 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers amassed 519 yards of offense in an impressive 42-28 victory over then-No. 4 Rumson. Oliphant threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to junior slot back Colin Obser, an 8-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Brayden Forfar, and a 61-yard touchdown pass to senior slot back Brian Simoes. Croce had touchdown runs of 4 and 65 yards. Simoes also had an interception on defense. Next game: Friday at Manalapan (2-4).
5. Rumson-Fair Haven (2-3). Last week: No. 4
Junior quarterback Owen O'Toole accounted for three touchdowns with 161 yards passing and two scores plus a rushing touchdown, but the Bulldogs' big-play ability was limited and the defense had no answer for Point Boro's triple-option attack in a 42-28 loss to the then-No. 6 Panthers. Nick Thomas had a 5-yard touchdown catch, Nick Rigby caught a 39-yard touchdown, sophomore running back Kellen Murray ran for a 27-yard score, and O'Toole scrambled for a late 7-yard touchdown. Another formidable opponent awaits Rumson this week. Next game: Friday at No. 1 Donovan Catholic (4-1).
6. Middletown South (3-2). Last week: No. 5
Senior quarterback/defensive back/kicker Jake Czwakiel ran for 101 yards and a touchdown, returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown, and kicked a 26-yard field goal and three extra points in the Eagles' 30-14 victory over then-No. 9 Colts Neck. Senior defensive back Jesse Burbank returned a fumble 85 yards for a touchdown and senior running back Donovan Summey ran for a touchdown. Senior linebacker Colin Gallagher had 14 tackles and a forced fumble. Next game: Friday at No. 2 Red Bank Catholic (4-1).
7. Jackson Memorial (5-0). Last week: No. 7
Sophomore running back Jonah Glenn ran for a career-high 274 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead the Jaguars to a 33-13 victory over Brick. Glenn scored on runs of 58, 5, 10, and 33 yards for his fifth straight game of at least 125 yards. Senior Albert D'Alessandro had a touchdown run and 10 tackles and an interception on defense. A massive Freedom Division game with title implications looms this weekend. Next game: Saturday at No. 8 Marlboro (5-0).
8. Marlboro (5-0). Last week: No. 8
Senior running back/linebacker Matt Cassidy ran for 208 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, returned an interception for a touchdown, recorded a sack, and forced a fumble to lead the Mustangs to a 28-14 win over Freehold Township to continue their unbeaten start. Sophomore quarterback Zach Caporale stepped in for injured senior starter Brayden Klein and ran for 50 yards and a touchdown. Junior defensive back Luke Houston had an interception and four pass breakups. Marlboro's defense has allowed just 35 points all season. The Mustangs' last division title came in 1994 and they can take a huge step toward another this weekend. Next game: Saturday vs. No. 7 Jackson Memorial (5-0).
9. Brick Memorial (6-0). Last week: No. 10
Senior quarterback Connor Dietz went 11-for-11 for 174 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two touchdowns as the Mustangs pummeled Manasquan, 41-0, to start 6-0 for the first time since 2005. Senior wideout Jasaan Whittaker and junior running back Kevin Andrews each ran for a touchdown and sophomore tight end/linebacker Trey Tallmadge caught three passes for a career-high 79 yards and a touchdown, made six solo tackles, recorded a sack, and knocked down a pass. Next game: Saturday at Freehold Boro (2-3).
10. Holmdel (5-0). Last week: No. 11
Senior running back Anthony Setteducate ran for 117 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, junior running back Matt Iulo ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns, and senior linebacker Connor Fields returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown when the Hornets recorded their third straight shutout with a 31-0 win over Freehold Boro. Senior kicker Connor Mendini kicked a field goal and sophomore quarterback Jack Cannon threw for 116 yards. Next game: Friday vs. Ocean (3-2).
11. Colts Neck (2-3). Last week: No. 9
Senior running back Chris Scully ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns but the Cougars fell to then-No. 5 Middletown South, 30-14. Senior quarterback Dom Beninato threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Eric Loureiro. Next game: Saturday vs. Raritan (2-3).
12. Long Branch (3-3). Last week: No. 13
Senior Davon Craft ran for two touchdowns and recorded 10 tackles and one sack when the Green Wave held off St. John Vianney, 3-3, to bolster their postseason chances. Senior Earnest Reevey had a huge game on defense with 18 tackles, three tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Junior Joseph Corley snagged his first career interception. Long Branch is on a bye in Week 6. Next game: Oct. 13 vs. Southern (3-3).
13. Shore (4-1). Last week: not ranked
The Blue Devils enter the rankings after they rallied from a 14-0 deficit with 35 unanswered points to defeat Manchester, 35-14, for their fourth straight win. Senior running back Alex George ran for 135 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and junior running back Brendan O'Brien ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Junior quarterback Josh Moeller ran for a touchdown and threw a touchdown to senior wideout CJ Sears, and senior running back Lucas White added a touchdown run. Next game: Friday at St. John Vianney (1-5).
14. Toms River South (4-1). Last week: not ranked
The Indians snapped a 10-game losing streak when they won their first game of the season and three weeks later they are 4-1 and a top-16 team in the Shore. Talk about a quick turnaround. Senior quarterback James Alexander threw two touchdowns to senior Cooper Greitz and also ran for a score, and junior runningback Jake Henehan ran for two touchdowns to lead South to a 35-14 win over Jackson Liberty. It's the Indians' first four-game winning streak since 2013. The program's last division title came in 2002, which makes this weekend's home game vs. Pinelands one of the South's biggest in several years. The Wildcats are also undefeated in division play. Next game: Friday vs. Pinelands (4-1).
15. Freehold Township (3-3). Last week: No. 15
The Patriots remain in the rankings despite a 28-14 loss to No. 8 Marlboro. Freehold Township also has a win over new No. 16 Matawan and one of its other losses is to No. 9 Brick Memorial. Junior quarterback Nick Cardone ran for 55 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries and threw for 178 yards, but was intercepted twice. Junior wideout Jaylen Gill-Anderson caught five passes for 103 yards and senior linebacker Sebastian Andujar had 10 tackles and an interception. Next game: Friday at Brick (4-2).
16. Matawan (2-4). Last week: not ranked
The Huskies have shed their 0-4 start and are now one of the Shore's hottest teams after a 47-12 triumph over Pinelands gave them two straight wins over teams that were undefeated. Junior quarterback Am'ir Martinez ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns and junior Jaylen Williams had a monster game with two blocked punts - one of which he returned for a touchdown - plus 17 tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss. Lawrence Liss also recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown while junior running back/linebacker Colin Palumbo ran for two touchdowns and had 15 tackles, an interception return for a touchdown, and two tackles for loss. Next game: Friday vs. Barnegat (1-5).
Manalapan (2-4, No. 12 last week; lost 30-27 to Howell)
Raritan (2-3, No. 14 last week; lost 14-7 to Ocean)
Pinelands (4-1, No. 16 last week; lost 47-12 to Matawan)
Keep an eye on: