The Jeep Store Football Top 10, 11/7/17
The playoffs have arrived and 26 Shore Conference teams have qualified in 10 different sections across New Jersey. During Week 9 there were several teams that needed a win to secure a postseason berth and few more who were jockeying for position with an opportunity to secure power points in their eighth game.
When the dust settled we had just over two dozen teams qualify, including three No. 1 seeds. Manalapan, the top-ranked team in The Jeep Store Top 10, is the No. 1 seed in the Central Jersey Group V bracket as it attempts to win its second sectional title and go 12-0 for the first time in program history. Rumson-Fair Haven is trying to become just the second Shore Conference program to win five consecutive NJSIAA sectional titles. The Bulldogs grabbed the No. 1 seed in Central Jersey Group III. Point Boro is undefeated entering the playoffs for the first time since 2005, and the Panthers hope for a repeat of that season when they went 12-0 and won the program’s third state championship. Point Boro is the top seed in Central Jersey Group II.
There are no new teams in this week’s top 10, but there is some significant movement stemming from Freehold’s heart-pounding 27-20 win over Long Branch. The Colonials move up a few spots while the Green Wave drop and teams in between find themselves moving around, as well.
With so many area teams making the playoffs and with four games pitting Shore Conference teams against one another, there will certainly be the opportunity for more change over the final four weeks. The postseason also effects the rankings the most since a win in the playoffs can outweigh a loss during the regular season.
1. Manalapan (9-0). Last week: No. 1
Senior Naim Mayfield ran for 197 yards and four touchdowns on eight carries and also returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown as the Braves defeated Freehold Township, 48-7, to clinch the Class A North division title. Senior quarterback Luke Corcione was 5-for-5 for 84 yards and a touchdown, connecting with junior tight end Alan Presler for a 10-yard score. Senior wideout Symir Blacknall added a 10-yard rushing touchdown. Senior defensive lineman Antonio Deieso recorded eight tackles, including three hits for a loss, while also notching two sacks to lead the Braves’ defense. Manalapan is the No. 1 seed in the Central Jersey Group V playoffs. Next game: Friday vs. Perth Amboy (3-5) in the Central Jersey Group V quarterfinals.
2. St. John Vianney (9-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior quarterback Haaziq Daniels completed 11 of 16 passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns - two to senior wide receiver Sam East - as the Lancers closed out the regular season with a 48-7 win over Monmouth to clinch their fourth straight Class A Central division title. The victory also ran the Lancers’ Shore Conference winning streak to 38 games. Daniels added a team-high 85 yards on four carries while senior Johnny Buchanan ran for 80 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Zyaire Sterling had a touchdown run and a touchdown catch and Josiah Walker and Mike Noble also had rushing touchdowns. Senior defensive end Nick Densieski made eight tackles, including four hits for a loss, and picked up two sacks to bring his season total to 10. St. John Vianney is the No. 4 seed in the Non-Public Group III playoffs. Next game: Friday vs. Camden Catholic (7-1) in the Non-Public Group III quarterfinals.
3. Rumson-Fair Haven (7-1). Last week: No. 3
Senior running back Peter Lucas carried 19 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a 46-yard touchdown on a screen pass to help lead the Bulldogs to 42-21 win over Carteret. Junior fullback Alex Maldjian ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries and senior quarterback Dan Harby also an for a touchdown. Junior linebacker Keegan Woods had 11 tackles and a sack, Gordon Forsyth made 10 tackles with one sack, Henry Sullivan had nine tackles and one sack and Christian Lanzalotto made a team-high 12 tackles. Rumson is the top seed in the Central Jersey Group III playoffs. Next game: Friday vs. Lawrence (5-4) in the Central Jersey Group III quarterfinals.
4. Red Bank Catholic (8-1). Last week: No. 4
Junior quarterback Steve Lubischer completed 9 of 11 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a pair of touchdowns as the Caseys defeated Manasquan, 41-19, to clinch the Class B North division title. Senior wide receiver Brandon Lombana had five catches for 120 yards and a touchdown and senior wideout Jaden Key had three receptions for 99 yards and a score. Sophomore running back Billy Guidetti added 66 yards and a touchdown on the ground. RBC is the No. 6 seed in the Non-Public Group III playoffs. Next game: Saturday at St. Joseph-Montvale (6-3) in the Non-Public Group III quarterfinals.
5. Howell (8-1). Last week: No. 5
Senior quarterback Eddie Morales threw for 178 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a team-high 91 yards and a touchdown to lead the Rebels to a 42-7 victory over Marlboro. Morales completed 7 of 10 passes and tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Pat Handy, a 28-yard touchdown to Ryan Mazik and a 60-yard score to Naseim Brantley. Senior running back Nick Chambers ran for 63 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and junior running back Gerard Urso added a touchdown run. Senior linebacker Braedon Baldwin led the defense with 10 tackles. Howell is the No. 4 seed in the South Jersey Group V playoffs. Next game: Friday vs. Cherokee (6-2) in the South Jersey Group V quarterfinals.
6. Mater Dei Prep (6-1). Last week: No. 7
Sophomore Isaiah Noguera had a punt return touchdown and a rushing touchdown and sophomore running back Malik Ingram had a pair of touchdown runs as the Seraphs beat Point Beach, 28-6, to clinch their second straight Class B Central division title. The defending-champion Seraphs are the No. 3 seed in the Non-Public Group II playoffs. Next game: Saturday vs. Holy Cross (5-4) in the Non-Public Group II quarterfinals.
7. Freehold (6-3). Last week: No. 10
Senior quarterback Ashante Worthy continued his assault on the record book by combining for 503 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead 20-yard touchdown pass to junior wideout Matt Krauss with 1:42 left, to lift the Colonials to 27-20 victory over Long Branch. Worthy completed 14 of 22 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns, as he also connected with junior wideout Quincy Davis on a 12-yard touchdown. Worthy ran for 252 yards on 50 carries and scored on a 2-yard run. Jake Hurler had a pair of field goals, connecting from 34 and 22 yards. The Colonials are the No. 8 seed in the Central Jersey Group IV playoffs. Next game: Saturday at Nottingham (8-1) in the Central Jersey Group IV quarterfinals.
8. Point Boro (9-0). Last week: No. 8
Senior quarterback James Fara ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries and senior running back Brandon Cipriano ran for 104 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers completed a perfect regular season with a 28-12 win over Barnegat. Fara had touchdown runs of 77 and 1 yards while Cipriano had a 46-yard touchdown run and a 19-yard touchdown run. Middle linebacker Garrett Romer had 10 tackles and a sack, defensive lineman Anthony Bonavito had six stops, including two for a loss, plus one sack and outside linebacker Ronnie Leyda had six tackles and an interception. Point Boro is the No. 1 seed in the Central Jersey Group II playoffs. Next game: Friday vs. Raritan (4-4) in the Central Jersey Group II quarterfinals.
9. Brick Memorial (7-2). Last week: No. 9
Senior running back Blaine Netterman ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on six carries and also had a 79-yard touchdown reception as the Mustangs defeated Jackson Memorial, 27-21, to clinch a share of the Class A South division title. Junior quarterback Tyler Sindel was 3-for-3 for 117 yards with the touchdown pass to Netterman and a 15-yard touchdown pass to senior Grant McKelvey. Sindel also had a 49-yard touchdown run. Brick Memorial is the No. 2 seed in the Central Jersey Group IV playoffs. Next game: Friday vs. Jackson Memorial (5-3) in the Central Jersey Group IV quarterfinals.
10. Long Branch (6-2). Last week: No. 6
The Green Wave fell to Freehold, 27-20, in a thrilling game at Bresset Stadium. Senior quarterback Juwan Wilkins threw for 314 yard and three touchdowns, connecting with T.J. Fosque, Pasa Fields and Kaymar Mimes on scoring throws. Fosque caught six passes for 104 yards and a 49-yard touchdown, Fields had five catches for 63 yards and an 18-yard touchdown and Mimes made three grabs for 41 yards and a 9-yard score. Junior wideout Matt Clark had a team-high seven receptions for 106 yards. Long Branch is the No. 3 seed in the Central Jersey Group IV playoffs. Next game: Friday vs. Middletown South (4-4) in the Central Jersey Group IV quarterfinals.
Dropped out: none
Teams to watch:
Middletown South (4-4): Vincent Candito ran for two touchdowns while Jake Krellin, Matt Tardy and Jaime Petrillo each scored once as the Eagles defeated Wall, 34-14, to clinch a playoff spot and grab the No. 6 seed in the Central Jersey Group IV bracket. Next game: Friday at Long Branch (6-2) in the Central Jersey Group IV quarterfinals.
Manasquan (5-3): Senior running back Connor Morgan ran for 118 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries but the Warriors fell to Red Bank Catholic, 41-19. Matt Lyons added a 23-yard touchdown run and Dylan D’Anton had a strip and 14-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Manasquan is the defending champion and the No. 5 seed in the Central Jersey Group II playoffs. Next game: Friday at Roselle (6-2) in the Central Jersey Group II quarterfinals.
Monmouth (6-3): The Falcons fell to St. John Vianney, 48-7, but still ended up as the No. 3 seed in the Central Jersey Group III playoffs and will host a playoff game for the first time in program history. Next game: Saturday vs. Carteret (4-4) in the Central Jersey Group III quarterfinals.
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.