The Jeep Store Football Top 10, 9/12/17
Week 1 of the Shore Conference football season is in the books, and following a weekend of 22 games featuring all 43 Shore Conference football programs, plenty of changes are coming to the Shore Sports Network Top 10.
Three teams ranked in the initial SSN Top 10 fell during week one, opening the door for a new crop to enter the rankings as we get set for Week 2. The biggest splash was made by Long Branch, which defeated defending Central Jersey Group II champion and previous No. 6 Manasquan, 28-19, behind a big game from senior wide out T.J. Fosque. The Green Wave were a bubble team to start the season, but we needed to see some tangible results coming off a 2-8 season. The proof was provided right out of the gate that Long Branch is for real.
Southern wasn’t in a must-win situation, but the Rams were facing a potential crossroads in their season after losing in Week 0. A clutch fourth quarter enabled Southern to rally and defeat previous No. 9 Toms River North, 22-14. With top-ranked Manalapan looming this Friday, Southern stands at a manageable 1-1.
Middletown South, ranked No. 10 to start the season, drops out after a 47-10 loss to Red Bank Catholic. The Eagles have a challenging schedule and plenty of opportunities to bounce-back, which they’ll try to do starting this week against Ocean.
So which teams will enter the rankings this week? Long Branch is in, and the rest of the candidates include Middletown North, Central, Point Boro and Brick. There are some big games on the horizon this weekend, including two top-10 matchups.
1. Manalapan (1-0). Last week: No. 1
The Braves took care of Marlboro in dominant fashion as senior running back Naim Mayfield had a monster day with 260 yards rushing and five touchdowns on just 10 carries. Junior linebacker Tommy Pearce made nine tackles to lead a defense that yielded just 204 yards and posted a shutout. Next game: Friday at Southern (1-1).
2. St. John Vianney (1-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior quarterback Haaziq Daniels threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and senior Johnny Buchanan had a pair of touchdown runs as the Lancers blasted Matawan, 69-7, for their 30th consecutive victory against Shore Conference opponents. The Lancers’ allowed only a kickoff return for a touchdown and held Matawan to 14 yards of offense, including minus-4 yards rushing. Next game: Friday vs. Raritan (0-1).
3. Red Bank Catholic (1-0). Last week: No. 3
The Caseys made it clear they are back as a championship contender by throttling defending Class B North champion Middletown South, 47-10. Senior running back Zack Bair was great with 162 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just 10 carries, and junior quarterback Steve Lubischer showcased his playmaking ability with 179 yards and two scores. The Caseys had 492 yards of offense while senior defensive end Emmett McNamara and senior safety Matt Ansell led a physical defensive effort. Next game: Friday vs. No. 9 Middletown North.
4. Mater Dei Prep (1-0). Last week: No. 4
The Seraphs shut out Keansburg, 26-0, for their 13th straight win. Next game: The Seraphs have a Week 2 bye and will return to action on Saturday Sept. 23 vs. Keyport.
5. Howell (1-0). Last week: No. 5
Senior quarterback Eddie Morales III threw for 180 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries as the Rebels defeated Colts Neck, 34-6. Senior wide out Naseim Brantley caught six passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns and Braedon Baldwin led the defense with nine tackles and a forced fumble. Next game: Friday vs. No. 7 Freehold (1-0).
6. Rumson-Fair Haven (1-0). Last week: No. 7
Senior Peter Lucas had a career day in his first start at tailback, rushing for 297 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries behind an offensive line that paved the way for an incredible 513 yards rushing. Fullback Alex Maldjian added 92 yards and a touchdowns and quarterback Danny Harby ran for a pair of scores. Next game: The Bulldogs have a Week 2 bye and will return to action on Friday Sept. 22 vs. Holmdel.
7. Freehold (1-0). Last week: No. 8
Senior quarterback Ashante Worthy had a huge game with 461 yards of offense and four touchdowns to power the Colonials past Freehold Township in the battle for “The Duke”. Worthy completed 16 of 25 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 227 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries. Quincy Davis had two touchdown catches, Matt Krauss had another, and Jahvonte Hair ran for two touchdowns. Krauss also had two interceptions on defense. Next game: Friday at No. 5 Howell (1-0).
8. Long Branch (1-0). Last week: not ranked
The Green Wave proved the promise they showed throughout the preseason was legitimate in taking down Manasquan, 28-19, behind a big game from senior wide receiver T.J. Fosque. Senior quarterback Juwan Wilkins threw for 227 yards and Fosque had six catches for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore running back Jermaine Colbert added a touchdown run. Next game: The Green Wave have a Week 2 bye and will return to action on Saturday Sept. 23 at Colts Neck.
9. Middletown North (1-0). Last week: not ranked
Senior running back Connor Welsh ran for 108 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries and junior running back Connor Robbins added two touchdown runs in a 42-6 win over Neptune. Junior quarterback Sean Glenn had a perfect debut, going 4-for-4 for 110 yards. Junior linebacker Stephen Barry had 10 tackles, junior defensive lineman Steven Holler had three sacks and a blocked punt, and senior defensive end Austin Dewise had a sack, two tackles for a loss and a fumble recovery to lead a dominant defensive effort. Next game: Friday at No. 3 Red Bank Catholic.
10. Point Boro (1-0). Last week: not ranked
Senior quarterback James Fara ran for 178 yards and three touchdowns and also threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Cipriano to lead the way in a 42-17 win over Pinelands. Senior fullback Tanner Gordon added a 45-yard touchdown run and Nate Chiarello also had a touchdown run. Linebacker Garrett Romer made a team-high 14 tackles to lead the defense. Next game: Saturday at Lacey (1-0).
Dropped out: No. 6 Manasquan, No. 9 Toms River North, No. 10 Middletown South
Teams to Watch
Central (2-0): The Eagles escaped a game against Toms River East by the skin of their teeth, using an 8-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Kavon Chambers in overtime to defeat the Raiders, 20-14. Chambers had his second straight 200-yard, three-touchdown game. Next game: Friday vs. Wall (1-0).
Brick (1-0): Junior running back Joey Carchio had two touchdown runs and junior quarterback Jimmy Leblo threw for 153 yards and a score in a 27-7 win over Brick Memorial. Next game: Friday at Jackson Memorial (1-0).
Southern (1-1): Senior fullback Joe Miele ran for two touchdowns and scored the go-ahead two-point conversion, and Luke Galan returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown to help the Rams rebound with a 22-14 victory over Toms River North. Next game: Friday vs. No. 1 Manalapan.
Monmouth (2-0): The Falcons defeated Holmdel, 14-3, to start a season 2-0 for the first time since 2010. Next game: Saturday vs. Metuchen (0-1).
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.