T&T Coast Football Top 10, 10/18/16
There will not be any new teams entering the T&T Coast Shore Conference Football Top 10 this week, but there will be some changes stemming from the results of Week 6.
Both games involving top-10 teams produced interesting results, as St. John Vianney beat Rumson-Fair Haven, 28-3, for a huge Class A Central win while Middletown North won a thriller over previously-unbeaten Wall, 21-20, in Class B North.
The Lancers were dominant in in clinching at least a share of the division title for the third straight year, improving to 6-0 and running their winning streak against Shore Conference opponents to 26. St. John Vianney was No. 4 last week and Rumson was No. 5, so the rankings held up and technically don’t need any adjusting. With such an impressive win, however, the Lancers have made it a question of potentially jumping them over Manalapan and into the No. 3 spot. The Braves are still undefeated, as well, and own a thoroughly impressive 41-0 win over and Old Bridge team that has wins over South Brunswick and Piscataway.
Then there’s the triangle that now exists between Middletown North, Red Bank Catholic and Wall in Class B North. The Lions just beat Wall and handed the Crimson Knights their first loss of the season, so the immediate reaction is to move Middletown North ahead of Wall. Red Bank Catholic has a 30-27 win over Middletown North in Week 2, however, and Wall beat RBC 27-21 in Week 5. Separating teams in instances like this is tricky. Other than the wins over each other, RBC's best win is over 2-4 Ocean, Middletown North’s is over a 3-3 Howell team and Wall’s is against 5-1 Central. We can’t keep Wall ahead of Middletown North the week after losing, however, so the order will be Middletown North, Wall and Red Bank Catholic.
The rest of the top 10 came through Week 6 unscathed, while several teams on the brink of cracking the rankings also made their cases this past week.
Looking ahead, there’s a titanic matchup this Friday that has been billed as the game of the year as No. 2 Toms River North meets No. 1 Middletown South at “The Swamp”. The teams have won a combined 33 games in a row and are ranked in the top 10 in the state. If you plan on going, maybe leaving now would be a good idea.
Right now let’s take a look at where we stand halfway through the season. We have a good idea, but there’s still a ton of meaningful football to be played.
1. Middletown South (5-0). Last week: No. 1
The Eagles were on a bye after a 35-7 win over Long Branch in Week 5. Next game: It’s the perfect time to have an extra week to prepare for an opponent as the Shore’s top-ranked squad puts its 17-game winning streak on the line in a massive nondivisional game versus No. 2 Toms River North at home on Friday night.
2. Toms River North (6-0). Last week: No. 2
Senior quarterback Mike Husni ran for 185 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 175 yards and two scores in a 41-31 Class A South win over Jackson Memorial that extended the Mariners’ winning streak to 16 games. Senior wide receiver Darrion Carrington had two catches - both touchdowns - for 116 yards and senior running back Parker Day had 102 yards and a touchdown. Next game: The Mariners head to top-ranked Middletown South on Friday night for one of the most anticipated games in New Jersey.
3. Manalapan (6-0). Last week: No. 3
Junior running back Naim Mayfield ran for 203 yards and two touchdowns and junior quarterback Luke Corcione threw for 231 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Braves past Howell, 41-32, in a Class A North game. Junior Symir Blacknall added a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Next game: The Braves will try to keep their perfect season going when they host Neptune (2-3, 2-2) in a Class A North game.
4. St John Vianney (6-0). Last week: No. 4
The Lancers turned in one of the most impressive wins of the season by dominating Rumson-Fair Haven, 28-3, to claim at least a share of the Class A Central division title for the third year in a row. Senior running back Chris Chukwuneke ran for 142 yards and a touchdown and junior quarterback Haaziq Daniels had 250 total yards and two touchdowns against one of the Shore’s best defenses. Junior receiver Zyaire Sterling had six catches for 133 yards and a score. Junior linebacker Johnny Buchanan led another great defensive effort by SJV with 17 tackles, while also running for a touchdown. Next game: The Lancers have a nondivisional game against rival Red Bank Catholic at home on Friday night. The Caseys are ranked No. 9 in the Shore.
5. Rumson-Fair Haven (3-2). Last week: No. 5
A 33-yard field goal by senior Thomas Chapin was the only offense the Bulldogs could muster in a 28-3 loss to St. John Vianney. Next game: Rumson will try to bounce back when it travels down the street to face rival Red Bank (2-2, 2-1) in the Battle of Ridge Road on Friday night.
6. Freehold Township (6-0). Last week: No. 7
Senior quarterback Charles Sabbagh completed 22 of 24 passes for 263 yards and four touchdowns while senior Anthony Lotti had 188 total yards and four touchdowns as the Patriots continued the best season in program history by dropping Jackson Liberty, 35-7. Senior linebacker Mike Ferdinandi led the defensive effort with 9 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss and a sack. Next game: The Patriots host arch rival Howell (3-3, 3-1), the former team of head coach Cory Davies, in a crucial Class A North game on Friday night.
7. Middletown North (4-1). Last week: No. 10
Senior quarterback Donald Glenn threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns and senior Brendan Kube had 120 receiving yards, two touchdowns and 17 tackles on defense in a 21-20 Class B North win over Wall. A blocked extra point in the final minute preserved the lead and the eventual win for the Lions. Senior Marc Cerbo had a 64-yard touchdown catch, as well, while senior Brock Zenker had 14 tackles with four tackles for a loss. Next game: The gauntlet continues for the Lions when they host a tough Manasquan (4-1, 2-1) team on Friday night.
8. Wall (5-1). Last week: No. 6
Junior quarterback Eddie Scott threw for 135 yards and ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-20 loss to Middletown North. Senior running back Sean Larkin had a rushing touchdown, but logged just five carries because of an injury that forced him out of the game. His status going forward is unclear. Next game: The Crimson Knights head north to Matawan (1-5) for a nondivisional game on Friday night.
9. Red Bank Catholic (4-2). Last week: No. 8
Junior quarterback Nick Brusca had a breakout game with 206 yards passing and four touchdowns, plus a rushing touchdown, to lead the Caseys to a 35-20 win over Long Branch. Junior running back Zack Bair ran for 155 yards and Max Hazard, Brandon Lombana, Jade Key and Matt Ansel caught touchdown passes. Next game: RBC takes on rival and fourth-ranked St. John Vianney (6-0) in a huge nondivisional game on Friday night.
10. Brick (4-2). Last week: No. 9
Senior John Prato had 173 total yards and two touchdowns plus 12 tackles and four pass breakups on defense to lead the Dragons past Southern, 40-21, in a Class A South game. Prato ran for 145 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, caught a touchdown pass, and also threw for 25 yards in relief of injured starting quarterback Anthony Costanza. Senior Rashan McCall had two rushing touchdowns, Costanza had a 60-yard score and Jay Obenauer returned a fumble for a touchdown. Next game: The Dragons take on Lakewood (4-1) in a nondivisional game on Saturday afternoon.
Dropped out: none
Teams to watch:
Mater Dei Prep (6-0): The Seraphs crushed Asbury Park 42-6 to clinch at least a share of the first division title in program history with junior quarterback George Pearson accounting for five touchdowns. Next game: Mater Dei hosts Holmdel (1-4) in a nondivisional game on Saturday afternoon.
Point Boro (6-0): Junior quarterback James Fara ran for 178 yards and three touchdowns and junior fullback Tanner Gordon added 101 yards and a touchdown in a 26-16 over Lakewood that cleared a major hurdle in the Panthers’ quest for the Class B South division title. Next game: The Panthers host Jackson Liberty (0-6) on Friday night in a Class B South game.
Central (5-1): Senior running back Mike Bickford ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries and sophomore quarterback Joe Fowler threw a touchdown pass to senior tight end Denis Corbin in a 20-14 win over Toms River South. Next game: The Golden Eagles take on Colts Neck (1-5) on Saturday afternoon in a nondivisional game.
Manasquan (4-1): Junior running back Connor Morgan ran for 183 yards and a touchdown and senior quarterback Jerry Maher threw touchdown passes to Damaso Jaime and Adam Schreck in a 28-14 win over Ocean. Schreck also had a big game at defensive end with 3 sacks 3 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and a pass deflection. Next game: The Warriors have a chance to crack the top 10 when they face No. 7 Middletown North on Friday night in a Class B North game.
Football 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.