The Jeep Store Shore Conference Football Top 10, 10/6/20
The cloud of uncertainty that lingered throughout the months leading up to the start of the football season was present during Week 1, but, refreshingly, it had nothing to do with the global pandemic.
Upsets were aplenty and our picks were a disaster in Week 1 with three teams who earned preseason top-10 status being knocked off, including the No. 2 team in the Shore. There were even surprising results outside the Top 10, including Manchester beating Lacey for the first time in program history. The most thunderous result, however, came from Hyers Street where Toms River South shocked Toms River North with 22 unanswered points in the second half.
Three ranked teams losing means three new teams in this week’s rankings, plus a few more knocking on the door after strong season-opening performances. The three teams who were upended in Week 1 are also candidates to re-enter the Top 10 sooner than later given their pedigree.
We’re on to Week 2.
1. Wall (1-0). Last week: No. 1
Senior running back Casey Larkin ran for 155 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries as the top-ranked Crimson Knights cruised to a 55-13 win over Point Boro. Senior quarterback Logan Peters threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to junior wideout Matt Dollive and also ran for a score, while junior Jake Davis and sophomore Mike Fumarola added rushing touchdowns. Junior linebackers Charlie Sasso (10 tackles, 1 INT) and Colin Riley (9 tackles, 1 sack) spearheaded the defensive effort: Next game: Friday, Oct. 9 vs. Neptune (0-1).
2. Rumson-Fair Haven (1-0). Last week: No. 3
The Bulldogs used big games by seniors John Volker, Patrick Jamin and Josh Harmon to score a 41-9 victory over Middletown North. Volker ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, Jamin caught five passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns and Harmon completed 12 of 16 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a touchdown. Senior cornerback Jimmy Kennedy added an interception return for a touchdown and senior free safety Ian Littman also had an interception. Next game: Friday, Oct. 9 vs. No. 8 Long Branch (1-0).
3. Red Bank Catholic (1-0). Last week: No. 6
The Caseys’ defense was tremendous in a 10-3 victory over Mater Dei Prep, holding the Seraphs without a touchdown and under 200 yards of offense. Junior defensive end Alex Bauman had a critical goal-line stop on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line late in the game and finished with 12 tackles, 1 sack, 3 tackles for loss and 2 hurries. Sophomore linebacker Sabino Portella had a key fumble recovery at the 5-yard line with 1:39 left to seal the win. Offensively, sophomore wide receiver Najih Rahman pulled in six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown and senior Mike O’Connor kicked a 25-yard field goal. Next game: Friday, Oct. 9 at Middletown South (0-1).
4. Donovan Catholic (1-0). Last week: No. 5
The Griffins’ power running game was on full display in a 42-6 win over Brick Memorial. Senior running back Jhadir Loftland led the way with 171 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries as Donovan churned out 330 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Senior running back Dominick Nocero and senior wide receiver James Bivens also had touchdown runs while junior running back Nunes Bukula added 51 yards on just four carries. Senior quarterback Evyn Menta completed 8 of 10 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Senior wide receiver Jayon Farrar caught three passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 39 yards on five carries. Next game: Saturday, Oct. 10 at Toms River East (0-1).
5. Mater Dei Prep (0-1). Last week: No. 4
The Seraphs’ defense played well in holding Red Bank Catholic to just 10 points but the offense could never get on track in a 10-3 defeat to the Caseys. A 26-yard field goal off the foot of Jake Jacobson accounted for Mater Dei’s only points of the game. Next game: Friday, Oct. 9 at Middletown North (0-1).
6. Jackson Memorial (1-0). Last week: No. 7
Senior running back Will Towns ran for 113 yards and a touchdown and senior Wally Doman recovered a muffed punt for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass in Jackson’s 35-0 win over Neptune. Senior Kai Blair also had a touchdown catch as both sophomore quarterback Tai Mann and junior quarterback Devin Foderaro tossed touchdown passes. Senior Damian Henderson added a touchdown run. Next, the Jaguars have an interesting non-county game against a Manasquan team coming off an impressive season-opening victory. Next game: Friday, Oct. 9 vs. Manasquan (1-0).
7. Southern (1-0). Last week: No. 10
The Rams move up three spots thanks to a trio of upsets along with their 36-20 win over Brick. Junior running back Jaiden Brown rumbled for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and senior Nick Fabrizzio ran for 100 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Senior quarterback Taylor Munt and senior wide receiver Alex Rainone hooked up twice on touchdowns of 20 and 34 yards and junior defensive end Nate Committee recorded a safety by sacking the punter in the end zone. Next game: Friday, Oct. 9 at Brick Memorial (0-1).
8. Long Branch (1-0). Last week: not ranked
Senior quarterback Christian Rodriguez fired touchdown passes to Bobby Lawrence and BaSean Fraser as the Green Wave rallied from a 10-point deficit to clip Middletown South, 14-10. Fraser finished with seven catches for 92 yards and a touchdown, which also included a clutch 46-yard catch that set up the touchdown from Rodriguez to Lawrence. After vaulting into the Top 10, Long Branch has a major road test against No. 2 Rumson in Week 2. Next game: Friday, Oct. 9 at No. 2 Rumson-Fair Haven (1-0).
9. Freehold (1-0). Last week: not ranked
The Colonials enter the Top 10 thanks to a season-opening 14-12 win over district rival and top-10 stalwart Manalapan. Senior quarterback Sha’Kim Shuler led the way by accounting for 325 yards of offense with 215 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 32 carries plus 110 yards passing. Junior wide receiver Kamore Gill added 106 yards rushing and 53 receiving yards, Yahsin Calhoun and Jason Lee brought down interceptions and senior Jiasion Carpenter and junior Tyler Ochojski came up with game-changing blocked kicks. Next game: Saturday, Oct. 10 vs. Colts Neck (1-0).
10. Toms River South (1-0). Last week: not ranked
The Indians pulled the biggest upset of Week 1 by taking down arch rival and second-ranked Toms River North, 28-21, with a furious second-half comeback. A wild play to end the first half turned a would-be Toms River South touchdown into a 100-yard score for Toms River North, which looked like a back-breaker. Instead, the Indians, led by senior quarterback Jack Huber, scored 22 unanswered points in the second half to pull off the shocking upset. Huber completed 21 of 30 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown, ran for a touchdown and tossed a 2-point conversion. Devon Bond ran for 62 yards and two touchdowns, Tyler Madeo caught five passes for 44 yards and a score, Gavin Migliore caught six passes for 102 yards and Gerry Ferrigno totaled 115 yards from scrimmage to pace the balanced attack. The Indians are now ranked in the SSN Top 10 for the first time since 2013. Next game: Friday, Oct. 9 vs. Lakewood
Dropped out: No. 2 Toms River North, No. 8 Manalapan, No. 9 Middletown South
Teams to Watch
St. John Vianney (1-0)
Colts Neck (1-0)
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.