The Jeep Store Shore Conference Football Top 10, 10/13/20
Just two weeks into the season it's clear that it's going to be a difficult campaign to figure out.
While there are still 12 teams who sit at 2-0, a four-team logjam in spots six through 10 has already created a situation where you can't simply look at who beat who. Last week's No. 3 team, Red Bank Catholic, was defeated by a Middletown South team that lost to Long Branch in Week 1. Long Branch was then shut out by No. 2 Rumson-Fair Haven. Mater Dei Prep, which lost to RBC in Week 1, now sits at 1-1, as well.
So who goes where this week? That's a question we spent a while trying to figure out. The top five were pretty easy to fill in. After that, it gets a bit murky. Luckily for those of us tasked with ranking Shore Conference football teams this season, the schedule should help clear up the picture as we head toward November.
There are some juicy matchups this week with four meetings between ranked teams, headlined by top-ranked Wall heading west on I-195 to tangle with Jackson Memorial. Southern also has a very intriguing road game against a Toms River North team looking to get back into the Top 10 after falling from No. 2 to out after a Week 1 loss.
1. Wall (2-0). Last week: No. 1
Senior running back Casey Larkin and senior quarterback Logan Peters led another explosive offensive performance while junior linebacker Colin Riley spearheaded a defensive shutout as the Crimson Knights blew out Neptune, 44-0. Larkin ran for 72 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries and caught two passes for 90 yards and a touchdown while Peters completed 4 of 5 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, ran for 94 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and intercepted a pass on defense. Riley recorded a team-high 11 tackles along with two sacks. Junior Jake Davis also had an interception. A big top-10 battle looms this Friday night. Next game: Friday, Oct. 16 at No. 4 Jackson Memorial (2-0).
2. Rumson-Fair Haven (2-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior running back John Volker ran for 166 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries as the Bulldogs won a top-10 showdown with No. 8 Long Branch, 28-0. Senior quarterback Josh Harmon added an 8-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Geoff Schroeder. Rumson will face another top-10 opponent and local rival this week. Next game: Friday, Oct. 16 at No. 6 Red Bank Catholic (1-1).
3. Donovan Catholic (2-0). Last week: No. 4
The Griffins rolled to a 47-7 win over Toms River East behind big games by seniors Jahdir Loftland and Jayon Farrar. Loftland ran for 127 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries and Farrar caught eight passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. Senior quarterback Evyn Menta threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns, senior Levi Wilkins ran for a 53-yard touchdown and junior Nunes Bukula added a 20-yard touchdown run. Next game: Friday, Oct. 16 vs. No. 10 Toms River South (2-0).
4. Jackson Memorial (2-0). Last week: No. 6
Jackson’s defense was nearly perfect in a dominant 26-0 win over Manasquan in which it held the Warriors to minus-2 yards of offense and just two first downs. Senior linebacker Tyron Blackwell led the way with eight tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery for a unit that has yet to allow a point this season. Senior running back Will Towns ran for 111 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 65 yards and a touchdown, sophomore quarterback Tai Mann threw a touchdown pass to junior Justin Hirsch and also ran for 80 yards and senior Antonio Bilancione kicked a 25-yard field goal. The Jags welcome the Shore’s No. 1 team to The Jungle this Friday night. Next game: Friday, Oct. 16 vs. No. 1 Wall (2-0).
5. Southern (2-0). Last week: No. 7
Junior running back Jaiden Brown ran for a career-high 222 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries and also intercepted a pass on defense to lead the Rams to a 28-13 victory over Brick Memorial. Xavier Hendricks recovered a fumble and Nate Committee, Steve Langton, Hank Gallacher and Frank Fierra each recorded sacks. The Rams have a road game this week against an unranked but dangerous foe they are very familiar with. Next game: Friday, Oct. 16 at Toms River North (1-1).
6. Red Bank Catholic (1-1). Last week: No. 3
Sophomore running back Sabino Portella ran for a pair of touchdowns, senior quarterback Anthony Borriello threw a touchdown pass to Najih Rahman and Michael O’Connor kicked a 25-yard field goal but it wasn’t enough to get past Middletown South as the Caseys fell to the Eagles, 32-25. Their difficult schedule continues this week when they welcome the No. 2 team in the Shore to Count Basie Field. Next game: Friday, Oct. 16 vs. No. 2 Rumson-Fair Haven (2-0).
7. Mater Dei Prep (1-1). Last week: No. 5
The Seraphs bounced back from a Week 1 loss to defeat Middletown North, 28-17. Next game: Saturday, Oct. 17 vs. No. 9 Middletown South (1-1).
8 Long Branch (1-1). Last week: No. 8
The Green Wave were shut out by No. 2 Rumson-Fair Haven, 28-0 but hold steady in the rankings thanks to their Week 1 win over Middletown South. Next game: Friday, Oct. 16 vs. Middletown North (0-2).
9. Middletown South (1-1). Last week: not ranked
Junior quarterback/defensive back Tom Schork ran for two touchdowns and returned an interception 68 yards for a score as the Eagles rebounded from a Week 1 loss to take down Red Bank Catholic, 32-25. Austin Ruziecki also ran for a touchdown and Mike D’Amato kicked a 32-yard field goal. Another stern test awaits this weekend as the Eagles will try to climb higher in the Top 10. Next game: Saturday, Oct. 17 at No. 7 Mater Dei Prep (1-1).
10. Toms River South (2-0). Last week: No. 10
Senior quarterback Jack Huber ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns on four carries and threw for 157 yards and a touchdown as the Indians rocked Lakewood, 42-6, to improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2015. Gerry Ferrigno ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries and also caught a 58-yard touchdown pass and Travis Squire added a touchdown run. The Indians, who already stunned then-No. 2 Toms River North in Week 1, will try to shock the Shore again this Friday night. Next game: Friday, Oct. 16 at No. 3 Donovan Catholic (2-0).
Dropped out: No. 9 Freehold
On the Cusp
Colts Neck (2-0)
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.
CHECK THEM OUT: States With the Best and Worst Commutes