The Jeep Store/Shore Sports Network Football Top 10, 10/12/21
We’re through six full weeks of Shore Conference football action, and as the great Yogi Berra said, it’s getting late early.
The division schedules are now complete and we have a total of nine division champions in the eight divisions: Rumson-Fair Haven (American), Middletown South (Colonial), Red Bank Catholic (Constitution), Long Branch (Freedom), Lacey and Middletown North (Independence), Central Regional (Liberty), Point Boro (Patriot) and Monmouth Regional (National).
Week 7 is the final week of the regular season (not counting Thanksgiving) before the Shore Conference postseason and then the NJSIAA playoffs. It’s not a rivalry week across the board, but there are several rivalry games on the schedule, including Holmdel vs. Raritan, Toms River South vs. Toms River North, Jackson Liberty vs. Jackson Memorial, Southern vs. Central, Long Branch vs. Ocean and Keyport vs. Keansburg round two.
The biggest of those games will be the highly-anticipated matchup between No. 1 Rumson-Fair Haven and No. 2 Red Bank Catholic on Friday night at Borden Stadium. Closing out the regular season with a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup is pretty sweet.
A small change in this week’s The Jeep Store/Shore Sports Network Football Top 10, which you’ll see below.
1. Rumson-Fair Haven (5-0). Last week: No. 1
Senior running back Geoff Schroeder ran for 149 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries and senior linebacker John Lista recorded 15 tackles, three sacks and two tackles for loss as the Bulldogs defeated Colts Neck, 21-6, to clinch the American Division title. Schroeder had touchdown runs of 7, 3 and 43 yards. Senior defensive end Aidan Moriarty added 13 tackles and two sacks, junior Julien Devlin had two sacks, and senior linebacker Ryan McKay also had 13 tackles. The marquee game of the season is up next for Rumson. Next game: Friday vs. No. 2 Red Bank Catholic (6-0).
2. Red Bank Catholic (6-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior quarterback Alex Brown completed 9 of 13 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns to lead a balanced offense and sophomore linebacker Davin Brewton recorded seven tackles with two tackles for loss as the Caseys clinched the Constitution Division championship with a 34-0 win over Ocean. Brown threw touchdown passes to Najih Rahman and Jaidin Haynes while running backs Rajahn Cooper and Sabino Portella had touchdown runs. The Caseys have a chance to vault to the No. 1 ranking when they travel a few miles up the road on Friday night. Next game: Friday at No. 1 Rumson-Fair Haven (5-0).
3. Donovan Catholic (*2-4, 5-1 on the field). Last week: No. 3
Senior quarterback Jalin Butler accounted for 356 yards of offense and five touchdowns and added an interception on defense to lead the Griffins to a 36-19 victory over Wall. Butler threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 135 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a 2-point conversion. Senior wideout Mysun Rush-Esdaile and sophomore tight end Hunter Johnson had touchdown catches and senior running back Nunes Bukula IV totaled 143 scrimmage yards. On defense, senior defensive back Kyree Drake and junior linebacker Dante Vernieri also had interceptions. Next game: Friday vs. Rahway (2-3).
4. Middletown South (5-0). Last week: No. 5
Senior tight end Anthony Brasco made a juggling 51-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter to help the Eagles defeat No. 9 Southern, 21-14, to remain undefeated and clinch the Colonial Division title. Senior quarterback Tom Schork threw a pair of touchdown passes, also connecting with Logan Colleran for a score, and added a touchdown run. Senior linebacker Jack Willi had 12 tackles, two tackles for loss and half a sack and senior defensive end Jack Latore made 11 tackles with two tackles for loss and a forced fumble. The Eagles have another bye this week heading into the Shore Conference postseason. Next game: TBD, Shore Conference postseason.
5. Wall (2-3). Last week: No. 4
The Crimson Knights drop one spot after a 36-19 loss to No. 3 Donovan Catholic. Senior wide receiver Jackson Coan was Wall’s standout with five receptions for a career-high 192 yards and three touchdowns, scoring on passing plays of 13, 53, and 66 yards and also hauling in a 50-yard reception. Wall is under .500 but its losses have to come to Rumson, RBC and Donovan. Next game: Friday vs. Lenape (2-4).
6. Manalapan (4-1). Last week: No. 6
Senior running back Elijah Marquez ran for 101 yards and a touchdown and senior quarterback Mike Heckel threw touchdown passes to senior wideout Michael Bimonte and junior tight end Preston Birnie to lead the Braves to a 21-14 win over Jackson Memorial. Senior linebacker Jordan Gravesande led the way on defense with 13 total tackles and three tackles for loss. Next game: Saturday vs. Freehold (3-3).
7. Long Branch (5-0). Last week: No. 7
Senior quarterback Christian Rodriguez completed 11 of 15 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a touchdown as the Green Wave won 28-0 over Toms River South to remain undefeated and clinch the Freedom Division title. Rodriguez tossed touchdown passes to Sekou Kamau and Ka’Jion Thorne while Zyhemne Brown added a touchdown run. Next game: Friday at Ocean (0-6).
8. Central (6-0). Last week: No. 8
Junior running back Chase Gumbrecht ran for 144 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries and junior quarterback Jahaziel Garcia ran for a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass to Luke Krzyzkowski to lead the Golden Eagles to a 35-6 win over Matawan that clinched the Liberty Division title. It is Central’s first outright division title since 1994. Senior wide receiver Danny Morris added three catches for 80 yards. Vinnie Charles had eight tackles and one sack, Jaivon Tate had seven tackles and two sacks, and Alex Bechtle intercepted a pass to lead the defense. Next game: Friday vs. No. 9 Southern (3-2).
9. Southern (3-2). Last week: No. 9
Senior running back Jaiden Brown ran for 197 yards and a touchdown and senior fullback Nate Committee had a touchdown run but the Rams fell to No. 4 Middletown South, 21-14. Brown (eight tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss) and Committee (three sacks) also had standout games on defense. Next game: Friday at No. 8 Central (6-0).
10. Manasquan (3-2). Last week: No. 10
The Warriors had a bye in Week 6 and will return to action on Friday at Toms River East. Manasquan’s two losses are to No. 2 RBC and No. 4 Middletown South. Next game: Friday at Toms River East (1-5).
Dropped out: none
Keep an eye on:
Point Boro (5-0): The Panthers rolled to the Patriot Division title with a 41-0 win over Barnegat. Sophomore running back Jake Croce ran for 223 yards and four touchdowns on 12 carries and added a 38-yard touchdown reception to lead the way. Junior running back Connor Cilento added 78 yards rushing and a touchdown as the Panthers rolled up 447 yards of offense. Next game: Saturday at Monmouth Regional (5-1).
Middletown North (4-1): Senior wide receiver Levi Wilson had a touchdown catch, a touchdown run and a 2-point conversion, Lucas Cerbo had a touchdown catch and Brian Haddow had a touchdown run as the Lions defeated Brick, 22-8, to clinch a tie for the Independence Division title. It is Middletown North’s first division title of any kind since 1983. Senior quarterback Tommy Giannone completed 14 of 18 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Collin Devine made 11 tackles with one tackle for loss, Connor Clark recorded a sack, and Ryan Demedici, Jack Lopez and James Barnao had two tackles for loss each. Next game: Friday vs. St. John Vianney (3-3).
Shore (4-1): Senior quarterback Jamie Mazzacco ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, completed 4 of 6 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns, kicked a 33-yard field goal and converted 5 of 6 extra points to lead the Blue Devils to a 44-3 win over Jackson Liberty. Aidan Scaturro and Alex Kramer had touchdown catches, Lucas White and Lucas Rosa ran for touchdowns, Aidan O’Brien had seven tackles and two tackles for loss, and Andrew Decker and Rylan Fegan had interceptions. Next game: Friday vs. Pinelands (3-2).
Monmouth (5-1): Junior running back Julian Jones ran for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries and senior running back Jeremiah Robles ran for 84 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries as the Falcons shut out Point Beach, 38-0, to clinch the outright National Division title. Junior defensive lineman Lucas Bomtempo added a fumble return touchdown and junior linebacker Eric Crossley had 10 tackles with three tackles for loss. Next game: Saturday vs. Point Boro (6-0).
Asbury Park (4-2): Junior running back Jashawn Carter ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns and added a 90-yard touchdown reception to lead the Blue Bishops to a 34-14 win over Manchester. Nasir Alston had a 65-yard touchdown run and a 46-yard touchdown catch. Javon King recorded eight tackles and two sacks and Rah’Lee Stephens pulled down an interception. Asbury Park has a bye in Week 7. Next game: TBD, Shore Conference postseason.