The Jeep Store Football Top 10, 9/19/17
Week 2 in the Shore Conference was an interesting one in terms of its impact on the Shore Sports Network Top 10.
Two ranked teams lost this past week, but their defeats came at the hands of fellow top-10 teams which were ranked higher. Three ranked teams also had byes in Week 2. It all adds up to some shuffling, but no new teams pushing their way into top-10 status.
The two games between teams in the top 10 featured a combined 191 points and 2,018 yards. Shout out to the respective scoreboards for not completely melting during the game. Howell outlasted Freehold in a wild 55-35 Class A North win where Freehold quarterback Ashante Worthy had over 600 yards of total offense to set what is believed to be the Shore Conference record. The offenses had their way in the first half of the Red Bank Catholic vs. Middletown North game, with each team putting up 34 points. The Caseys pulled away in the second half, however, to win 60-41.
All the other ranked teams took care of business, including a Point Boro team that was dominant in defeating Lacey, 27-0, to further entrench itself as the Class B South favorite. Plenty of teams currently outside the rankings continued to make their case for a spot in the Top 10, as well, with six other teams remaining undefeated through Week 2.
The only matchup of ranked teams in Week 3 is a big one, as Middletown North travels to Howell for a nondivisional clash on Saturday night. There’s also Manasquan at Middletown South, Asbury Park at Point Beach and Barnegat at Manchester playing crucial division games on Friday night.
1. Manalapan (2-0). Last week: No. 1
Senior running back Naim Mayfield and the Manalapan offensive line controlled yet another game, as Mayfield ran for 152 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries and senior quarterback Luke Corcione threw for 153 yards and a touchdown in a 35-0 shut out of Southern. Senior linebacker Sal Tardogno had a whopping 20 tackles and junior linebacker Tommy Pearce made 19 stops to lead a Braves defense that has yet to allow a point this season. Next game: Saturday vs. Old Bridge (1-1).
2. St. John Vianney (2-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior quarterback Haaziq Daniels threw for 150 yards and four touchdowns on 8 of 10 passing and also ran for 72 yards and two touchdowns on five carries as the Lancers beat Raritan, 55-7, to win their 31st straight game against Shore Conference teams. Senior Johnny Buchanan ran for 113 yards and a touchdown on seven carries while also recording nine tackles (3 for a loss). Senior Zyaire Sterling had a pair of touchdown catches. St. John Vianney is averaging 62 points per game through the first two weeks of the season. Next game: Friday at Red Bank (0-2).
3. Red Bank Catholic (2-0). Last week: No. 3
The Caseys’ offense was unstoppable – and it needed to be – in a 60-41 victory over Middletown North. Senior running back Zack Bair ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns and junior quarterback Steve Lubischer ran for 134 yards and a touchdown as the RBC offensive line paved the way for 376 yards rushing. Lubischer also threw touchdown passes to Kevin Bauman and Nick Brusca, while Bair added a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown and Brusca had a pair of touchdown runs. RBC is averaging 53.5 points per game so far this season. Next game: Saturday at Ocean (0-3).
4. Mater Dei Prep (1-0). Last week: No. 4
The Seraphs had a bye in Week 2 after defeating Keansburg, 26-0, to open the season. Next game: Saturday vs. Keyport (0-2).
5. Howell (2-0). Last week: No. 5
The Rebels won a wild one against Freehold in an important Class A North game, surviving a record-setting performance by Freehold quarterback Ashante Worthy in a 55-35 victory. The score would suggest otherwise, but Howell’s defense came up big by forcing five turnovers, including interceptions returned for touchdowns by seniors Ryan Mazik and Naseim Brantley. Mazik also had 153 yards receiving a touchdown, while senior running back Nick Chambers had 163 yards rushing and two touchdowns and senior quarterback Eddie Morales threw for 183 yards and two scores. Next game: Saturday vs. No. 10 Middletown North.
6. Rumson-Fair Haven (1-0). Last week: No. 6
The Bulldogs had a bye in Week 2 after a season-opening 56-13 victory over Raritan. Next game: Friday at Holmdel (2-1).
7. Long Branch (1-0). Last week: No. 8
The Green Wave were off in Week 2 after a 28-19 win over Manasquan in Week 1 that vaulted them into the Top 10. Next game: Saturday at Colts Neck (0-2).
8. Point Boro (2-0). Last week: No. 10
Despite playing without one of its top players, senior fullback/linebacker Tanner Gordon, the Panthers scored an impressive 27-0 victory over Lacey to tighten its grip on the Class B South division. Senior quarterback James Fara ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns, while also connecting with senior Brandon Cipriano on a 23-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the first half. Cipriano added a 68-yard touchdown run. Linebacker Garrett Romer had a team-high 10.5 tackles and Connor Landis and Christian Aurin had sacks for a defense that allowed just 101 yards of offense, including 22 rushing yards. Next game: Friday vs. Donovan Catholic (1-1).
9. Freehold (1-1). Last week: No. 7
The Colonials drop two spots after a 55-35 loss to Howell. Senior quarterback Ashante Worthy set what is believed to be the Shore Conference record for total yards in a game by rushing for 338 yards and four touchdowns on 38 carries and throwing for 286 yards and a touchdown for an astounding 624 combined yards. He did throw four interceptions and lose a fumble, however, which Howell capitalized on to pull away in the second half. Next game: Saturday vs. Neptune (0-1).
10. Middletown North (1-1). Last week: No. 9
Junior quarterback Sean Glenn threw for 231 yards and three touchdowns, junior Connor Robbins ran for three scores and senior Connor Welsh ran for 115 yards on eight carries, but it wasn’t enough to stay with Red Bank Catholic’s offense in a 60-41 loss to the Caseys. Next game: Saturday at No. 5 Howell (2-0).
Dropped out: none
Teams to Watch:
Monmouth (3-0): The Falcons defeated Metuchen, 37-7, to start 3-0 for the first time since 2010. They’ll look for their first 4-0 start since 2006 when they head to Matawan (1-1) on Friday night.
Brick (2-0): The Dragons rallied from a 14-0 deficit to defeat Jackson Memorial, 17-14, as junior Cole Groschel had a pair of touchdown catches. Brick looks to stay atop Class A South when it hosts Toms River North (0-2) on Friday night.
Wall (2-0): Despite graduating a boatload of seniors from last season’s South Jersey Group III championship team, Wall is now 2-0 after a 21-10 victory over Central. They Crimson Knights will look to keep it going when they travel to Raritan (0-2) on Friday night.
Point Beach (2-0): The Garnet Gulls rushing attack produced a pair of 100-yard rushers in Sean Gould and Chris Webber, while the defense held Bishop Ahr out of the end zone in an 18-0 win. Point Beach has a big game at home on Friday night against defending Central Jersey Group I champion Asbury Park (1-1).
Barnegat (2-0): The Bengals are a surprising 2-0 after a come-from-behind 23-14 win over Shore where defensive end Levin Musawa had a huge game to help limit Shore’s offense in the second half. Barnegat faces fellow 2-0 Class B South foe Manchester on Friday night in a separation game.
Manasquan (1-1): The Warriors began the season ranked, but fell out of the Top 10 after losing to Long Branch. They rebounded nicely with a 30-0 win over Woodbridge as senior running back Connor Morgan ran for 139 yards and three touchdowns. Manasquan has a big Class B North game at Middletown South (1-1) on Friday night.
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.