The Jeep Store Shore Sports Network Football Top 10 for Sept. 20
Chaos. It's what makes checking the rankings each week so much fun. And Week 3 had plenty of eye-opening results that have drastically altered the latest Jeep Store Shore Sports Network Football Top 10.
Half of the teams ranked in last week's Top 10 suffered defeats and three of them have been jettisoned heading into Week 4. For the first time this season, we have multiple teams making their rankings debut with Ocean, St. John Vianney, and Raritan joining the fold.
There are some huge matchups on tap this week, headlined by Donovan Catholic vs. Red Bank Catholic where the No. 1 ranking in the Shore will be on the line, plus several more important divisional games that could have us doing this same rankings roulette next Tuesday.
1. Red Bank Catholic (4-0). Last week: No. 1
Junior wide receiver Emanuel Ross had touchdown receptions of 17 and 38 yards and sophomore quarterback Frankie Williams continued his strong play with three touchdown passes as the Caseys shut out Middletown South, 35-0, for another impressive victory. Senior wide receiver Najih Rahman had a 15-yard touchdown catch and senior running backs Sabino Portell and Torin Harmon had touchdown runs, while senior Robert Stolfa made big plays in the passing game and on special teams. Junior linebacker Davin Brewton made a team-high 10 tackles and senior linebacker Mike Palmieri had a sack and a tackle for loss as the RBC defense held Middletown South to 73 yards of offense. The victory over Middletown South, ranked No. 3 last week, sets up another massive division game this weekend. Next game: Friday vs. No. 3 Donovan Catholic (3-0).
2. Toms River North (4-0). Last week: No. 2
The Mariners jumped on an undermanned Central Regional squad early and the backups did not relent, either, in a 64-0 wipeout of the Golden Eagles. Junior quarterback Micah Ford ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns on just four carries and junior quarterback TJ Valero completed 7 of 8 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Josh Moore ran for 75 yards and two touchdowns on four carries while Ja'quez Hunter, Jeremiah Pruitt, and Mordecai Ford also had touchdown runs. Junior wideout Tareq Council caught four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown and Camryn Thomas caught three passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. The Mariners are now the overwhelming favorite in the Colonial Division but have a dangerous opponent ahead this weekend. Next game: Saturday at Long Branch (1-2).
3. Donovan Catholic (3-0). Last week: No. 5
Freshman running back Najee Calhoun ran for 115 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries and senior linebacker Dante Vernieri led a stout defensive effort as the Griffins scored a dominant 35-6 win over No. 6 Manalapan. Junior quarterback Todd Lambertson threw for 133 yards and a touchdown to junior tight end Zaeir Day and sophomore running back Elijah Davis ran for 75 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Junior linebacker Hunter Johnson had five tackles and a sack on defense. The Griffins have been extremely impressive to start the season and have a major opportunity to make another statement this weekend. Next game: Friday at No.1 Red Bank Catholic (4-0).]
4. Point Boro (3-0). Last week: No. 4
Senior running back Connor Cilento ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns on just two carries and junior running back Jake Croce ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries to lead the Panthers to a 41-10 victory over Holmdel. Junior quarterback Matt Oliphant added a touchdown run and threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Eric Anilonis. Cilento added an interception on defense while senior linebacker Maddox Samaritano recorded eight tackles. The Panthers are the frontrunners in the Independence Division but still have a few challengers to tangle with, starting with a pivotal road game this week. Next game: Friday at No. 10 Raritan (3-0).
5. Middletown South (2-1). Last week: No. 3
The Eagles were shut out by No. 1 Middletown South, 35-0, and fall two spots to No. 5. The offense could not get anything going against a formidable RBC defense but Middletown South's own defense had plenty of strong moments, including junior linebacker Colin Gallagher and sophomore linebacker Luke Wafle each recorded two sacks. The Eagles will try to bounce back this week against another American Division opponent. Next game: Friday vs. Wall (0-2).
6. Manalapan (2-2). Last week: No. 6
Senior quarterback Matt Grzejka scored a rushing touchdown as time expired to avoid the shoutout, but the Braves had a tough night against a talented and physical Donovan Catholic squad in a 35-6 loss to the No. 3 Griffins. The Braves were held to 13 rushing yards and just 117 yards of offense. Manalapan has now lost back-to-back games, although both have come to ranked teams (No. 5 Middletown South and No. 3 Donovan Catholic). As is the case in the American Division, the schedule doesn't get any easier this week. Next game: Friday vs. Rumson-Fair Haven (1-2).
7. Marlboro (3-0). Last week: No. 9
Dan Alcide ran for three touchdowns and senior linebacker Ryan Mendes had nine tackles, two tackles for loss, and two interceptions to power the Mustangs to a 54-0 victory over Freehold. Senior quarterback AJ Schwartz threw a touchdown pass to senior Lucas McEvoy and also ran for a touchdown, and junior Matt Cassidy and sophomore Christian LaFonte also had touchdown runs. After going 21 straight years without a winning record, Marlboro has started 3-0 in consecutive seasons. Next game: Friday at Howell (1-2).
8. Ocean (3-0). Last week: not ranked
Senior quarterback Tyler Douglas set program single-game records for passing yards and total offense to lead the Spartans to a 49-33 win over Brick Memorial and vault the Spartans into the Top 10 for the first time since 2019. Douglas, who is verbally committed to Temple University, completed 16 of 21 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries. Senior wide receiver Mateo Andrews caught five passes for 158 yards and three touchdowns and senior tight end Shane Garrett caught four passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. After two straight non-winning seasons, the Spartans are back as a division title contender. Next game: Friday at Toms River South (1-2).
9. St. John Vianney (3-1). Last week: not ranked
Senior Kyle Verriest had a 30-yard touchdown catch and an interception return for a touchdown and senior quarterback Aaron VanTrease ran for two touchdowns and threw another to lead the Lancers to a 30-0 victory over Monmouth Regional. Jack Farah blocked a punt that resulted for a safety and the SJV defense was outstanding in holding Monmouth to just 65 yards of offense. After a season-opening loss to No. 1 Red Bank Catholic, the Lancers have won three in a row (Colts Neck, Holmdel, Monmouth) to ascent into the Top 10. Next game: Friday vs. Manasquan (0-2).
10. Raritan (3-0). Last week: not ranked
Senior running back Kieran Falzon ran for 130 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, including the go-ahead touchdown in overtime, as the Rockets won a thriller, 28-27 in overtime, over Manasquan. Senior slot back Dan Calicari ran for 43 yards and a touchdown on four carries and junior quarterback Logan Goldsberry threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to junior slot back Jayden Craft.
Long Branch (1-2, No. 7 last week)
Jackson Memorial (2-1, No. 8 last week)
Manasquan (0-2, No. 10 last week)
Keep an eye on:
Colts Neck (2-1)
Middletown North (2-1)
Rumson-Fair Haven (1-2)