The Jeep Store Shore Conference Football Top 10, 10/15/19
It was a relatively quiet week in the Shore Conference, but only in terms of the effects on the Shore Sports Network Top 10. It’s been an unpredictable season, to say the last, but there is only one change to the rankings this week.
Rumson-Fair Haven and Mater Dei switch spots after Rumson’ 22-16 victory in a marquee nondivisional game as the Bulldogs move up to No. 2 and the Seraphs fall to No. 4.
Week 5 was not without drama, however, as five of the seven divisions were clinched in some manner. No. 9 Southern Regional is the first team to clinch an outright division title after defeating Middletown North, 21-14, to lock up the Constitution Division championship. Toms River East edged Neptune, 14-13, to secure at least a share of the Freedom Division title, No. 3 Donovan Catholic defeated Manasquan to clinch at least a share of the Liberty Division title, No. 8 Ocean rallied past Raritan to clinch at least a share of the Patriot Division title and Asbury Park, despite a loss, clinched at least a share of the National Division title.
No. 2 Rumson and No. 6 Toms River North can clinch a tie for the American Division championship with victories in Week 6 while No. 1 Wall can clinch at least a tie for the Colonial Division title.
This was the first week it was fairly easy to put together the Top 10. The difficult decision was whether to move unbeaten Donovan Catholic to No. 2 or elevate Rumson to that spot. Donovan Catholic has been outstanding and has dominated every opponent it has faced, but Rumson was the choice because of the weight carried by the teams is has defeated. Rumson has the most difficult schedule in the Shore – maybe the most difficult in conference history – and the Bulldogs’ losses are to No. 1 Wall (14-3) and to No. 6 Toms River North, 22-21 in overtime. Donovan will get a chance to bolster its resume in Week 7 when it hosts No. 5 Red Bank Catholic and in the state playoffs when it could face Mater Dei, RBC, St. John Vianney or DePaul Catholic, among others.
1. Wall (6-0). Last week: No. 1
Junior quarterback Logan Peters threw for 191 yards and three touchdowns and sophomore linebacker Colin Riley recorded five sacks as the Crimson Knights rolled to a 34-7 win over Brick Memorial. Dale McNally had touchdown receptions of 65 and 18 yards and sophomore Matt Dollive had a 50-yard touchdown catch. Junior running back Casey Larkin ran for 91 yards and a touchdown and senior linebacker Will Terry returned a fumble 15 yards for a touchdown. Wall can clinch at least a share of the Colonial Division title with a win this week. Next game: Friday, Oct. 18 vs. St. John Vianney (3-2).
2. Rumson-Fair Haven (4-2). Last week: No. 4
A 50-yard interception return for a touchdown by junior defensive lineman Jack Kelly late in the third quarter snapped a 14-all tie and sent Rumson to a 21-16 win over Mater Dei in a high-powered nondivisional clash. Junior running back John Volker ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries and sophomore Geoff Schroeder added a touchdown run. Kelly totaled 14 tackles on defense with three sacks, eight quarterback pressures and his game-winning defensive touchdown. A win this week will give Rumson at least a share of the American Division title. Next game: Friday, Oct. 18 vs. Middletown South (1-4).
3. Donovan Catholic (6-0). Last week: No. 3
Senior quarterback Ryan Clark ran for 156 yards on 15 carries and threw for 61 yards and two touchdowns, both to junior tight end Ethan Capone, as the Griffins clinched at least a share of the Liberty Division title with a 42-6 win over Manasquan. The win also put Donovan at 6-0 for the first time in program history. Junior running back Jahdir Loftland ran for 45 yards and two touchdowns on six carries, senior Damian Johnson had a 12-yard touchdown run and senior Andre Laney returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown. Junior linebacker Quamire Green led the defense with 11 tackles, including three tackles for loss. The Griffins can clinch the outright division title with a win this week. Next game: Friday, Oct. 18 vs. Lacey (5-1).
4. Mater Dei Prep (4-2). Last week: No. 2
Sophomore quarterback Alex Brown threw for 215 yards and a touchdown and senior running back Malik Ingram ran for 94 yards and a touchdown but the Seraphs dropped their second straight game with a 21-16 loss to Rumson-Fair Haven. Senior Clarence Lewis had a touchdown catch and also intercepted a pass on defense. Mater Dei has another challenging game this week against an out-of-state power. Next game: Saturday, Oct. 19 vs. St. Thomas More (CT), (4-0).
5. Red Bank Catholic (3-2). Last week: No. 5
The Caseys had a bye in Week 5 and stand pat in the No. 5 spot in the rankings. They return to action this week with another important road game in the American Division. Next game: Friday, Oct. 18 at No. 7 Manalapan.
6. Toms River North (5-1). Last week: No. 6
Senior running back Jarrod Pruitt ran for 194 yards and a touchdown and junior quarterback Jake Kazanowsky threw a pair of touchdown passes as the Mariners held on for a 34-29 victory over Middletown South to keep pace atop the American Division. Junior wideouts Zach Browne and Zach Goodale had touchdown receptions and senior Matt Spalletta added two short touchdown runs. Senior Ray Carlson had two interceptions to lead the defense. The Mariners can clinch at least a share of the division title with a win this weekend. Next game: Saturday, Oct. 19 at Long Branch (2-4).
7. Manalapan (3-2). Last week: No. 7
Senior running back Andre Johnson ran for 182 yards and four touchdowns as the Braves returned from their bye week with a 34-19 victory over Long Branch. Senior quarterback Sean Kehley added a rushing touchdown. The Braves have another important division game this week that against a fellow ranked team. Next game: Friday, Oct. 18 vs. No. 5 Red Bank Catholic (3-2).
8. Ocean (5-0). Last week: No. 8
An incredible game by senior Trebor Pena ignited a furious comeback that saw the Spartans defeat Raritan, 43-37, to clinch at least a share of the Patriot Division title. Pena ran for 263 yards and three touchdowns, caught four passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns, recorded 13 tackles, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. Senior quarterback Robbie Nungesser added an 11-yard touchdown run and completed 7 of 11 passes for 135 yards. Ocean was down 21-0 in the second quarter and 24-7 at halftime. Ocean can wrap up the division championship with a win on Friday night. Next game: Friday, Oct. 18 vs. Point Boro (2-3).
9. Southern (5-1). Last week: No. 9
Sophomore running back Jaiden Brown ran for 156 yards and a touchdown and senior quarterback Cole Robinson threw touchdown passes to Will Devane and Kieran Lang as the Rams beat Middletown North, 21-14, to clinch the Constitution Division title. Lang’s 6-yard touchdown catch with 2:50 to play snapped a 14-14 tie and Robinson’s interception on the next drive sealed the win. It is Southern’s first division title since 2011 and third in program history. Next game: Saturday, Oct. 19 vs. Freehold Township (2-4).
10. Jackson Memorial (4-2). Last week: No. 10
Junior running back Will Towns ran for 114 yards and a touchdown and caught a 20-yard touchdown pass as the Jaguars defeated rival Jackson Liberty, 14-7, to reclaim the Connor Cup. Senior linebacker Brian Zapata made 10 tackles with one sack and two tackles for loss while Nic Ford, Sean Laverty and Collin McCarthy each had multiple tackles for loss. Next game: Saturday, Oct. 19 at Freehold (1-5).
Dropped out: none
Keep an eye on:
Toms River East (6-0)
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.