The Jeep Store Shore Conference Football Top 10, 10/27/20
In what has to be the most bizarre season any of us have witnessed, the 2020 football season continues to live on a weekly basis. Not only have several schools had to cancel or postpone games because of COVID-19 exposure, but the weekly results have also left many of us scratching our heads. Just look at our picks. Actually, don’t look at our picks. They are – fittingly for this time of year – frightening.
Just when it looks like a team has established itself or turned a corner, for better or worse, they are either upset or pull an upset. Maybe that changes in Week 5, but don’t bet on it. There are two new teams in the Top 10 this week, both of which were ranked previously this season. There are a handful of 3-1 teams knocking on the door, as well as the two teams who dropped out, that could find themselves into the future rankings with a win this week.
There are two ranked matchups this week, one in each county and one each on Friday and Saturday. Donovan Catholic hosts Southern on Friday and Mater Dei Prep hosts Rumson-Fair Haven on Saturday.
1. Wall (3-0). Last week: No. 1
The Crimson Knights had a bye in Week 4 because their schedule game with Manalapan was canceled due to the Braves shutting down for two weeks because of COVID-19 exposure. Next game: Friday, Oct. 30 vs. Manasquan (3-1).
2. Donovan Catholic (4-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior running back Jahdir Loftland ran for a career-high 230 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries as the Griffins’ dominance continued with a 33-0 shutout victory over Brick. Senior quarterback Evyn Menta threw a touchdown pass to senior tight end Ethan Capone and also ran for a touchdown while junior linebacker Nate Iannello recorded 17 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery to lead the defense. Next game: Friday, Oct. 30 vs. No. 9 Southern (3-1).
3. Red Bank Catholic (3-1). Last week: No. 4
Sophomore running back Sabino Portella ran for 111 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries and senior quarterback Anthony Borriello completed 10 of 14 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown of 36 yards to sophomore wideout Najih Rahman as the Caseys defeated Middletown North, 35-20. Senior defensive tackle Jake Louro and junior defensive end Alex Bauman recorded safeties and senior Michael O’Connor connected on a 43-yard field goal. Next game: Friday, Oct. 30 at Long Branch (1-3).
4. Rumson-Fair Haven (3-1). Last week: No. 5
Senior running back John Volker ran for 210 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries and the Bulldogs’ defense did not allow a touchdown in a 42-6 victory over Middletown South. Volker ran for touchdowns of 44, 5, 20 and 19 yards, senior quarterback Josh Harmon threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver David Livingston and Jimmy Kennedy returned a fumble for a touchdown. Junior linebacker John Lista recorded 11 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble, junior linebacker Ryan McKay and junior defensive end Aidan Moriarty recorded one sack each and senior defensive tackle Jack Kelly made 10 tackles. Middletown South’s lone touchdown came on a kickoff return. Next game: Saturday, Oct. 31 at No. 5 Mater Dei Prep (3-1).
5. Mater Dei Prep (3-1). Last week: No. 6
Junior quarterback Alex Brown completed 8 of 11 passes for 135 yards and four touchdowns and sophomore running back Daijon Cross ran for a touchdown in the Seraphs’ 34-20 win over Long Branch. Naran Buntin, Tafari Thompson, Kody Gibbs and Noah Lawson each had touchdown catches with Buntin leading the way with four catches for 72 yards. Next game: Saturday, Oct. 31 vs. No. 4 Rumson-Fair Haven (3-1).
6. Colts Neck (4-0). Last week: No. 8
Senior running back Joe Barsky continued his phenomenal season with 158 yards rushing and a career-high five touchdowns on 18 carries to power the Cougars to a 42-7 victory over Freehold Township. Barsky now has a conference-best 14 touchdowns. John Manos added a touchdown run and Peter Davi pulled down an interception. Next game: Friday, Oct. 30 at Manalapan (0-2).
7. Freehold (3-1). Last week: No. 10
Senior quarterback Sha’Kim Shuler ran for 202 yards and one touchdown on 27 carries and completed 6 of 10 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Colonials to a 33-13 win over Howell. Junior running back Yahsin Calhoun caught four passes for 131 yards and a touchdown and ran for 98 yards and a touchdown on just four carries. Junior tight end Tyler Ochojski caught a 36-yard touchdown pass and Kamore Gill returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown. Ochojski also had two sacks and Calhoun and Matt Grady added interceptions. Next game: Saturday, Oct. 31 vs. Freehold Township (2-1).
8. Toms River South (3-1). Last week: not ranked
Junior defensive back Elijah Metellus returned a fumble 80 yards for a touchdown, which was one of five turnovers forced by the Indians’ defense in a 15-12 upset win over then-No. 3 Southern Regional. Senior defensive back Tyler Madeo had two interceptions, senior linebacker Ryan Tobin had one interception and senior Domenick Cats also recovered a fumble. Senior quarterback Jack Huber added a short touchdown run. Next game: Friday, Oct. 30 at Brick Memorial (0-4).
9. Southern (3-1). Last week: No. 3
Junior running back Jaiden Brown ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns and senior wide receiver Xavier Hendricks caught eight passes for 149 yards but the Rams were undone by five turnovers in a 15-12 loss to Toms River South. Senior linebacker Hank Gallacher had two sacks, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble, junior defensive end Nate Committee recovered a fumble and senior cornerback JP Ricciardi intercepted a pass to lead a strong defensive performance. Next game: Friday, Oct. 30 at No. 2 Donovan Catholic (4-0).
10. Toms River North (2-2). Last week: not ranked
The Mariners’ offense finally showcased its explosiveness in a 42-40 win over then-No. 7 Jackson Memorial on the shoulders of senior quarterback Jake Kazanowsky, who completed 16 of 22 passes for 266 yards and a career-high five touchdowns and also ran for a career-high 156 yards and an 87-yard touchdown on just eight carries. Senior Shane Saad had two touchdown receptions and seniors Zach Goodale, Zac Browne and Jordan Grey had one touchdown catch each. Next game: Friday, Oct. 30 at Toms River East (1-3).
Dropped out: No. 7 Jackson Memorial, No. 9 Holmdel.
Teams to Watch:
St. John Vianney (3-1)
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.