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As we enter the final week of the regular season there is a new No. 4 team in the Shore.

Normally, that wouldn’t be a headline. A new No. 1? Definitely. But a team jumping one spot to be ranked fourth in the Shore isn’t that big of a deal. Except this year, it is.

Mater Dei Prep’s last-minute hook-and-lateral touchdown gave it a 26-19 win over Rumson-Fair Haven and now has the Seraphs ranked No. 4 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10. It is a significant victory because of the unique postseason structure for this season that will likely have the top four teams in the Shore Conference placed in the same pod to play for an unofficial Shore Conference championship. Our rankings aren’t gospel, but there appears to be a consensus among the three major top 10s in the Shore Conference.

Elsewhere, No. 2 Donovan Catholic survived an upset bid to remain in the top four while one ranked team fell, opening the door for a familiar team to jump back into the rankings.


1. Wall (4-0). Last week: No. 1

The Crimson Knights’ defense was outstanding in a 21-0 victory over Manasquan, allowing just 27 yards of offense and only one first down to post its third straight shutout. Junior linebacker Charlie Sasso recorded 16 tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss while sophomore defensive lineman Keisun Sanders made 10 stops with one sack and junior linebacker Colin Riley had six tackles and one sack. Offensively, senior quarterback Logan Peters tossed a 41-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Rocco Palmieri and also ran for 95 yards. Sasso and Riley added touchdowns filling in for injured starter Casey Larkin. The Army-bound two-way star went down on the second play of the game and did not return. The good news is that his shoulder injury isn’t serious and he is day-to-day entering Week 6. Wall has now won 17 straight games vs. Shore Conference teams dating back to 2018. Next game: Friday, Nov. 6 vs. Middletown South (2-3).


2. Donovan Catholic (5-0). Last week: No. 2

The Griffins passed their biggest test of the season so far by rallying in the fourth quarter to defeat No. 8 Southern, 21-14. Senior running back Jahdir Loftland ran for 224 yards and a touchdown on a career-high 34 carries, senior wide receiver Jayon Farrar accounted for 101 yards from scrimmage and scored the go-ahead touchdown and senior wideout James Bivins also ran for a touchdown. Senior linebacker Dominick Nocero recorded a team-high 16 tackles and junior linebacker Connor Farrell made 10 tackles and also recovered a fumble as the Griffins’ defense held Southern star running back Jaiden Brown to just 58 yards rushing. Farrar added an interception on the final play of the first half. Next game: Friday, Nov. 6 at No. 9 Toms River North (3-2).


3. Red Bank Catholic (4-1). Last week: No. 3

Senior quarterback Anthony Borriello threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Najih Rahman and senior running back Daniel Brewton added a touchdown run as the Caseys shut out Long Branch, 14-0. Sophomore running back Sabino Portella ran for a game-high 103 yards on 17 carries and also had seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Junior defensive end Alex Bauman made a team-high 10 tackles and recorded a sack, senior defensive tackle Jake Louro had eight tackles and a sack, senior defensive back Lenny Loria had an interception and junior defensive back Joe Diorio recovered a fumble. Next game: Friday, Nov. 6 vs. Raritan (4-1).


4. Mater Dei Prep (4-1). Last week: No. 5

A 57-yard touchdown reception by senior wide receiver Naran Buntin on a hook-and-lateral with 27 seconds left elevated the Seraphs to a heart-pounding 26-19 victory over Rumson-Fair Haven. Junior quarterback Alex Brown threw a pass to Kody Gibbs, who flipped the ball to Buntin and the Kent State-bound wideout took it the rest of the way for the go-ahead score. Brown completed 9 of 13 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns as he also connected with Kyree Drake on a 57-yard touchdown. Gibbs had a 31-yard touchdown run while Ra’Jahn Cooper had a 3-yard touchdown run. Cooper and Christian Buchanan also had interceptions on defense. Next game: Friday, Nov. 6 at Manalapan (0-3).


5. Rumson-Fair Haven (3-2). Last week: No. 5

The Bulldogs suffered a gut-wrenching defeat when Mater Dei Prep scored on a hook-and-lateral play with 27 seconds left in regulation to score the go-ahead touchdown and win, 26-19. Senior running back John Volker ran for 121 yards on 23 carries and senior tight end Luke Devlin caught touchdown passes of 8 and 49 yards. Senior quarterback Josh Harmon completed 9 of 19 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions and also ran for a 1-yard score. Next game: Friday, Nov. 6 vs. Ocean (2-2).


6. Colts Neck (5-0). Last week: No. 6

The Cougars pulled off another late-game thriller by clipping Manalapan, 21-14 in overtime, to remain undefeated. Senior running back Joe Barsky and Colts Neck’s offensive line were great yet again as Barsky ran for a career-high 244 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries, including the go-ahead touchdown in overtime. Junior linebacker John Manos had a sack, a fumble recovery and the game-clinching interception in overtime while sophomore defensive lineman Will Surdez made 13 tackles with three tackles for loss. Next game: Saturday, Nov. 7 vs. Monmouth Regional (1-4)


7. Freehold (4-1). Last week: No. 7

The Colonials’ explosive offense wreaked havoc against another opponent as they retained The Duke trophy with a 41-7 win over rival Freehold Township. Senior quarterback Sha’Kim Shuler completed 10 of 14 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 66 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Kamore Gill caught six passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns and senior defensive back Matt Grady returned an interception for a touchdown. Junior Yahsin Calhoun had a great two-way performance with four catches for 102 yards, 13 tackles and one interception. Junior defensive end Tyler Ochojski added eight tackles and 2.5 sacks. Next game: Friday, Nov. 6 at Middletown North (1-4).


8. Southern (3-2). Last week: No. 9

Even though the Rams have lost two in a row, they move up one spot after an impressive showing against No. 2 Donovan Catholic. Senior quarterback Taylor Munt threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Hank Gallacher and a 64-yard touchdown pass to Alex Rainone, but Donovan rallied in the second half to win, 21-14. Southern held a 7-0 lead at halftime and went ahead 14-7 early in the third quarter thanks to a solid defensive showing. Junior defensive end Nate Committee had a fumble recovery and junior linebacker Jaiden Brown had an interception. Next game: Friday, Nov. 6 vs. Central (3-2).


9. Toms River North (3-2). Last week: No. 10

Senior running back Jordan Grey ran for 110 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, caught three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown and returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to lead the Mariners to a 35-21 victory over Toms River East. Senior quarterback Jake Kazanowsky added a pair of touchdown runs. Toms River North has had an up-and-down season but has a chance to blow up the rankings and shakeup the postseason with a win this Friday. Next game: Friday, Nov. 6 vs. No. 2 Donovan Catholic (5-0).


10. Jackson Memorial (3-2). Last week: not ranked

We debated over a few teams for the final spot but we went with a Jaguars team that is coming off its third shutout of the season and whose losses have come against ranked teams, including No. 1 Wall. Senior running back Will Towns ran for 232 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, Tai Mann and Rob Lagravenis ran for touchdowns and Kai Blair caught a touchdown pass from Devin Foderaro in a 25-0 victory over Brick. Junior defensive lineman Eric Ibe recorded 10 tackles with two sacks and three tackles for loss, senior linebacker Damien Henderson, senior defensive end Jared Cadavero and senior linebacker Tyron Blackwell each had one sack and multiple tackles for loss and Blair and senior Wally Doman had interceptions. Next game: Friday, Nov. 6 vs. Jackson Liberty (1-1).


Dropped out: No. 8 Toms River South (3-2)


Teams to Watch:

Raritan (4-1)

Manchester (4-1)

Lacey (4-1)




Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.



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