The Office Lounge Football Top 10, 12/2/14
With just 10 games during the week of Thanksgiving, the Office Lounge Top 10 remains basically unchanged heading into this weekend’s sectional finals. Five of the top 10 teams played, however, so there was a chance for some movement coming off the sectional semifinals.
Shore Regional made its statement by shutting out Rumson-Fair Haven, 13-0, and will move up one spot this week. Middletown South, Neptune and Long Branch each won games they were favored in to hold steady in their spots from last week.
The 2014 Shore Conference football season is over for all but seven teams that will be playing for sectional titles this weekend at either Kean University, Rutgers University’s High Point Solutions Stadium or MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
1. Jackson Memorial (10-1). Last week: No. 1
The Jaguars were idle last week. They will take on top-seeded and No. 5 Middletown South in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV final at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Rutgers University. The Jaguars are going for their first state title since finishing 12-0 in 2005.
2. Red Bank Catholic (10-1). Last week: No. 2
The Caseys did not have a Thanksgiving game and were idle. They are coming off the biggest win in program history, a 44-14 clobbering of defending champion St. Joseph-Montvale that has them in the Non-Public Group III championship game. Red Bank Catholic will face Delbarton at 7 p.m. on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in search of its first state title since 1976.
3. St. John Vianney (10-1). Last week: No. 3
The Lancers' season concluded two weeks ago with a 38-26 loss to Delbarton in the Non-Public Group III semifinals.
4. Manalapan (10-1). Last week: No. 4
The Braves did not play during Thanksgiving week and have some extra time to prepare for their fourth straight trip to a sectional final. Manalapan will try to win its first sectional title when it takes on undefeated South Brunswick at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Rutgers University in the Central Jersey Group V final.
5. Middletown South (9-2). Last week: No. 5
Junior running back Cole Rogers ran for 192 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries, including a go-ahead 64-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter as the Eagles edged Middletown North, 20-13, for the 14th straight win in the series. Junior Matt Mosquera kicked field goals of 40 and 36 yards to give him 13 field goals for the season, which is one off the Shore Conference record. The Eagles will play top-ranked Jackson Memorial at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Rutgers University in the Central Jersey Group IV championship game looking to win the program’s 10th sectional title.
6. Brick (9-2). Last week: No. 6
The Dragons’ season ended two weeks ago in the Central Jersey Group IV semifinals with a 44-0 loss to Jackson Memorial.
7. Neptune (8-3). Last week: No. 7
Senior running back Jaree Parrish ran for o140 yards and two touchdowns and senior Savior King added a pair of touchdown runs as the Scarlet Fliers defeated Asbury Park, 44-14, to end their season with their fifth straight win in the “Friendship Bowl.” Senior Ralph McClean tossed a touchdown pass to Diondre Dunn and Marquel Green also scored a touchdown.
8. Long Branch (8-3). Last week: No. 8
The Green Wave finished their season with a 28-14 victory over Red Bank, but the day was all about senior running back Dahmiere Willis. With 295 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 39 carries, Willis set the Shore Conference’s single-season rushing record with 2,589 yards. His final number is also second all-time in state history.
9. Shore (10-1). Last week: No. 10
Junior fullback Doug Goldsmith ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries and senior linebacker James Bedell made 15 tackles to lead a defense that registered its sixth shutout of the season in a 13-0 victory over Rumson-Fair Haven in the inaugural edition of their new "Devil-Dawg Bowl” Thanksgiving rivalry. The Blue Devils will face South Hunterdon at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Kean University in the Central Jersey Group I championship game looking for the program’s sixth sectional title and first since 2010.
10. Rumson-Fair Haven (8-3). Last week: No. 9
The Bulldogs were shut out by Shore, 13-0, in the teams’ inaugural Thanksgiving rivalry game. They will try to regroup in the Central Jersey Group II title game against Delaware Valley at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Kean University. The Bulldogs are the defending champions and are going for their third state title in the last five seasons.
Dropped out: none
Teams to watch:
Matawan (7-4): The Huskies are the lone unranked team playing for a sectional title. They will play Carteret at 7 p.m. on Friday at Kean University in the Central Jersey Group III championship game. Even with a win, Matawan has an uphill climb to get into the top 10 since it has only one win against a team with a winning record (Barnegat) and has lost to both No. 10 Rumson and No. 8 Long Branch.