The Jeep Store Shore Conference Football Top 10, 10/8/19
For the third time in five weeks, there’s a new No. 1 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, and this time it’s based on a result almost nobody saw coming.
On Saturday, Oct. 5, Wall made its way to Middletown to take on Mater Dei in a matchup of the top two teams in the Shore Conference, and it was the Crimson Knights who emerged victorious with a 14-7 win spearheaded by a tremendous defensive performance.
With a perfect 5-0 record and wins over Rumson-Fair Haven, Jackson Memorial and now Mater Dei, Wall is the latest No. 1 team in the Shore Conference.
Elsewhere, Red Bank Catholic took down previously undefeated Toms River North, 21-6, for a crucial road victory that has the Caseys back in the Top 10. Jackson Memorial also returns to the Top 10 after rallying for a 22-14 win over St. John Vianney. The Jaguars’ only losses are to Wall and Mater Dei.
Rumson squared off against another ranked opponent in a game that went to overtime, but this time the Bulldogs came out on top with a 23-20 overtime win over Manalapan to move into first place in the American Division. The American Division remains impossible to predict as Long Branch knocked off last week’s No. 10 team, Middletown South, 26-14.
Donovan Catholic, Ocean and Southern all rolled to victories.
Week 5 brings more interesting matchups, including American Division clashes between Long Branch and Manalapan and Toms River North and Middletown South. Southern plays an important Constitution Division game against Middletown North, Ocean and Raritan meet in a game that will likely decide the Patriot Division title while Rumson and Mater Dei square off in another heavyweight showdown. Undefeated Toms River East meets Neptune in a huge Freedom Division game where a win would further the Raiders’ case for a spot in the Top 10.
With all that in mind, let’s get to the latest The Jeep Store/Shore Sports Network Top 10.
1. Wall (5-0). Last week: No. 2
A 2-yard touchdown by junior running back Casey Larkin that was set up by an acrobatic 29-yard catch by senior Gus Setteducato with 1:06 left in regulation sent the Crimson Knights to a triumphant 14-7 win over Mater Dei that snapped the Seraphs’ 21-game regular-season winning streak against Shore Conference teams. Senior running back Matt DeSarno had a 38-yard touchdown run and Wall’s defense played outstanding in limiting Mater Dei to just 218 yards and one touchdown. Next game: Friday, Oct. 11 at Brick Memorial (1-4).
2. Mater Dei (4-1). Last week: No. 1
Senior running back Malik Ingram had a 3-yard touchdown run and the Seraph’s defense played a strong game, but a late touchdown by Wall was the difference in a 14-7 defeat at the hands of the Crimson Knights. Mater Dei had not lost to a Shore Conference team in the regular season since 2015. The Seraphs have no time to lick their wounds as they face another top-5 team this week. Next game: Friday, Oct. 11 at No. 4 Rumson-Fair Haven (3-2).
3. Donovan Catholic (5-0). Last week: No. 4
The Griffins’ dominance continued in Week 4 with a 35-0 victory over Red Bank for their fourth shutout of the season. Sophomore defensive tackle Dominick Brogna had eight tackles for loss and one sack to spearhead another suffocating effort on defense. Senior quarterback Ryan Clark ran for two touchdowns, senior running back Nasir Calhoun and junior wide receiver James Bivens ran for one touchdown each and junior Dom Nocero returned a punt for a touchdown. Donovan Catholic is 5-0 for the first time since 1992. Next game: Friday, Oct. 11 vs. Manasquan (1-3).
4. Rumson-Fair Haven (3-2). Last week: No. 5
Senior quarterback Collin Coles threw the game-winning 14-yard touchdown pass to junior Luke Devlin to give the Bulldogs a thrilling 23-20 overtime victory over Manalapan. Coles also threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Devlin and a 34-yard touchdown pass to senior running back Pete Crowley. Michael Piperno kicked a 28-yard field goal. Rumson’s brutal schedule continues this week against a fellow top-5 team. Next game: Friday, Oct. 11 vs. No. 2 Mater Dei Prep (4-1).
5. Red Bank Catholic (3-2). Last week: not ranked
Senior quarterback Ryan Edgerly ran for two touchdowns and threw another to senior tight end Kevin Bauman to make a fantastic defensive performance stand up as the Caseys defeated Toms River North, 21-6, to hand the Mariners their first loss. The Caseys ran for 270 yards with senior Elijah Jules running for 106 yards and junior Kevin Degnan rushing for 103 yards on just six carries. Bauman along with junior defensive lineman Jake Louro and junior safety Anthony Borriello led a defense that limited Toms River North to just 132 yards of offense. Next game: Friday, Oct. 18 at No. 7 Manalapan.
6. Toms River North (4-1). Last week: No. 3
Junior running back Jordan Grey had a 46-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to avoid a shutout, but the Mariners’ offense couldn’t get anything going against a stout Red Bank Catholic defense and fell to the Caseys, 21-6, to suffer their first loss of the season. Grey ran for 73 yards on seven carries. Next game: Friday, Oct. 11 at Middletown South (1-3).
7. Manalapan (2-2). Last week: No. 7
The Braves played well but suffered another gut-wrenching defeat when they fell to No. 4 Rumson-Fair Haven, 23-20 in overtime. Manalapan’s losses to Rumson and Toms River North have come by a combined five points. Senior quarterback Sean Kehley threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Matt Benedetti and a 4-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Paul Wojciechowski, the latter of which tied the game at 17 with 31 seconds left in regulation. Junior kicker Vin Rea connected on a pair of 43-yard field goals, which are tied for the longest in the Shore this season. Next game: Friday, Oct. 11 vs. Long Branch (2-3).
8. Ocean (4-0). Last week: No. 8
Senior running back Trebor Pena ran for 135 yards and three touchdowns and the Spartans’ defense pitched its second straight shutout in a 40-0 victory over Shore Regional. Senior running back Nasir Thompson added 48 yards rushing and two touchdowns and junior lineman Joe Teresi returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for a touchdown. Next game: Friday, Oct. 11 at Raritan (4-1).
9. Southern (4-1). Last week: No. 9
Sophomore running back Jaiden Brown continued his tremendous season with 161 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 24 carries to lead Southern to a 27-7 victory over Marlboro. Senior wide receiver Will Devane added an 11-yard touchdown run and junior safety Kwadair Holland intercepted two passes. The Rams are 4-1 for the first time since 2011. Next game: Friday, Oct. 11 vs. Middletown North (3-2).
10. Jackson Memorial (3-2). Last week: not ranked
Junior running back Will Towns ran for 146 yards and a touchdown, senior quarterback Lonnie Cebulski ran for 130 yards and a touchdown and senior linebacker Nic Ford returned a fumble 65 yards for a touchdown as the Jaguars rallied for a 22-14 win over St. John Vianney to take out a ranked team and rejoin the Top 10. Jack McKown kicked an 18-yard field goal and senior defensive end Collin McCarthy had a monstrous game with five sacks and eight tackles for loss. Next game: Friday, Oct. 11 vs. Jackson Liberty (1-3).
Dropped out: St. John Vianney (No. 6 last week), Middletown South (No. 10 last week)
Keep an eye on:
Toms River East (5-0)
Colts Neck (4-1)
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.