The Jeep Store Shore Conference Football Top 10, 9/24/19
Through three weeks of action, there have already been more significant changes to the Shore Sports Network Top 10 than there were all of last season.
Two more ranked teams were sent tumbling out of the Top 10 this week as parity once again reigned supreme. Middletown South scored a convincing win over Red Bank Catholic to take the Caseys’ place in the rankings while Jackson Memorial suffered a second-straight defeat by 20 or points to lose its seat at the table.
Middletown South re-enters the rankings while one of the Shore Conference’s 11 undefeated teams, Red Bank Regional, debuts. The top five, headlined by No. 1 Mater Dei Prep, remains unchanged while. Toms River North and Manalapan both move up one spot after their high-scoring game in Week 2 while Middletown North jumps two spots after holding off Marlboro.
Ranking teams can always be tricky, but it’s been even more challenging this season due in large part to the new division structure. The top two divisions are loaded with the usual stalwarts playing incredibly difficult schedules when compared to those of years past. While there are some good teams outside of the American and Colonial Divisions, it’s hard to evaluate one team's 1-2 record vs. another team’s 2-1 or even 3-0 record at this point because of the vast difference in strength of schedule.
In the end, it should all come together but right now there’s plenty of uncertainty. While the Top 10 can be difficult to put together it most certainly makes for an entertaining weekend of football.
A pair of ranked matchups highlight the Week 3 schedule with Mater Dei traveling to St. John Vianney and Rumson-Fair Haven hosting Toms River North.
1. Mater Dei Prep (3-0). Last week: No. 1
Sophomore quarterback Alex Brown threw for 169 yards and three touchdowns and sophomore running back Ra’Jahn Cooper ran for 115 yards and two scores as the Seraphs cruised to a 55-0 win over Freehold. Seniors Malik Ingram and Isaiah Noguera each had one receiving touchdown and one rushing touchdowns while sophomore Timothy Thomas ran for a touchdown and sophomore Kyree Drake caught a touchdown pass. Next game: Friday, Sept. 27 at No. 5 St. John Vianney (2-0).
2. Wall (3-0). Last week: No. 2
Matt DeSarno and Dale McNally each ran for touchdowns and Casey Larkin returned an interception for a touchdown in the Crimson Knights’ 24-0 shutout of then-No. 9 Jackson Memorial. The game was scoreless through three quarters before Wall scored all 24 of its points over the final 12 minutes. Max Oakley added a 33-yard field goal. Wall has allowed 13 points in three games this season. Next game: Friday, Sept. 27 vs. Freehold (1-2).
3. Rumson-Fair Haven (2-1). Last week: No. 3
Junior running back John Volker accounted for 166 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns and senior quarterback Collin Coles tossed a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Bulldogs to a 49-20 victory over Long Branch. Coles threw touchdown passes to Volker and senior wideout Patrick Jamin, Pete Crowley and Dan Afflito added rushing touchdowns and Ryan Ruane returned an interception 61 yards for a touchdown. Next game: Friday, Sept. 27 vs. No. 6 Toms River North (3-0).
4. Donovan Catholic (3-0). Last week: No. 4
Senior quarterback Ryan Clark ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 117 yards while the defense recorded its third straight shutout to start the season in a 31-0 victory over Holmdel. Nasir Calhoun and Jahdir Loftland added short touchdown runs and Keaon Torres kicked a 27-yard field goal. Chris Aldrich and Nico Ippolito each had fumble recoveries on defense. The Griffins outscored their opponents 121-0 this season. Next game: Friday, Sept. 27 at Central (1-1).
5. St. John Vianney (2-0). Last week: No. 5
Senior running back Kavon Chambers ran for 180 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and senior quarterback CJ Duell threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a touchdown to lead the Lancers to a 45-21 victory over Brick. Sophomore Jayden Bellamy caught six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown and had two interceptions on defense, including one he returned for a touchdown. Junior Josh East hauled in a 59-yard touchdown catch and Mason Shenk added a 37-yard field goal. Next game: Friday, Sept. 27 vs. No. 1 Mater Dei Prep (3-0).
6. Toms River North (3-0). Last week: No. 7
The Mariners built a three-score lead early in the fourth quarter and held off a furious rally by Manalapan to earn a thrilling 42-40 victory. Junior quarterback Jake Kazanowsky threw for 253 yards and four touchdowns, junior Zach Browne caught four passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns, junior Zach Goodale caught two passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns and junior running back Jordan Grey ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns as the Mariners rolled up 438 yards of offense. Next game: Friday, Sept. 27 at No. 3 Rumson-Fair Haven (2-1).
7. Manalapan (2-1). Last week: No. 8
Senior quarterback Sean Kehley threw for 232 yards and four touchdowns and senior running back Andre Johnson ran for 175 yards but the Braves’ fourth-quarter rally fell just short in a 42-40 loss to Toms River North. Manalapan trailed 42-20 early in the fourth quarter before scoring three times in the next five minutes. Senior tight end Matt Benedetti caught three touchdown passes and sophomore wideout Paul Wojciechowski also had a touchdown catch. Fullback Andrew Gritsiuk and running back Raymond Vender each had short touchdown runs. Next game: Friday, Oct. 4 vs. No. 3 Rumson-Fair Haven (2-1).
8. Middletown North (2-1). Last week: No. 10
Sophomore running back Brian Haddow ran for 106 yards and a touchdown and senior Matt Spencer returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown in the Lions 14-10 victory over Marlboro. Senior linebacker Eddie Farrell recorded 16 tackles with three tackles for loss and junior linebacker Jake Jankowski made 13 tackles with one tackle for loss to lead a strong defensive effort. Next game: Friday, Sept. 27 at Freehold Township (0-3).
9. Red Bank (3-0). Last week: not ranked
Senior quarterback Jack Chamberlain threw for 124 yards and a touchdown and ran for 83 yards and a touchdown as the Bucs remained undefeated with a 21-7 victory over Manasquan. David Hicks IV returned a kickoff 60 yards for a touchdown and also caught a two-point conversion pass and AJ Abarno had a 50-yard touchdown catch. Senior linebacker Tyquann Crawford led the defense with eight tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss. Next game: Friday, Sept. 27 vs. Holmdel (1-1).
10. Middletown South (1-2). Last week: not ranked
Senior quarterback Tyler Cuccia ran for 83 yards and three touchdown runs and senior Chris Lotito threw a touchdown pass to Matt Krellin as the Eagles earned won a must-win game over Red Bank Catholic, 30-7. Senior Vincent Condito ran for 130 yards on 16 carries and Krellin caught seven passes for 69 yards and a score. Rod Murchie had an interception on defense. Next game: Friday, Oct. 4 at Long Branch (1-2).
Dropped out: Red Bank Catholic (No. 6 last week), Jackson Memorial (No. 9 last week)
Keep an eye on:
Colts Neck (3-0)
Toms River East (3-0)
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.