Week 1 is in the books for Shore Conference Football. We got off to a great start with some phenomenal matchups, and a few surprises. The weekend certainly lived up to high expectations and left fans thirsty for more action!
Now the wait is over. NJSR will reveal the top 10 teams in the Shore Conference going into Week 2. The top order has basically stayed the same from the previous week. We had a team move up, while another one completely dropped out. One thing is for sure, we will continue to learn who is who within this conference. More teams will fight to get to the top.
SHORE CONFERENCE TOP 10 FOR WEEK 2
1 – JACKSON MEMORIAL Last Week: No 1
The Jackson Memorial Jaguars got off to a quick start, rolling to a 41-0 victory on opening night vs Jackson Liberty. Quarterback Dan Barker was sensational in his first start, passing for 2 touchdowns, including a 57 yard dart to Kyle Johnson. Barker also connected with Vinny Lee for another score. The Junior has clearly shown that he can take this offense to new heights.
Running Back Mike Gawlik picked up right where he left off in 2014, ripping through the Liberty defense for 170 yards on the ground and two scores. Gawlik went off to the races for a 95 yard touchdown. He also added another 23 yarder. Both Gawlik and Vinny Lee are going to be very tough for anyone to stop this season. Jackson Memorial deserves to stay in this spot until someone can knock them off. Next Game: 9/19 At Lacey
2. – Red Bank Catholic Last Week: No 2
The Caseys opened the season with a convincing 28-0 shutout win over Long Branch. Colin Shaughnessy led the way and held down the fort for Red Bank Catholic. Shaughnessy threw for 67 yards, and also contributed with 49 on the ground and a score. The Senior showed great poise and leadership throughout the game.
Dylan Murphy set the tone early on by returning the opening kickoff for an 86 yard touchdown. RBC offensive lineman Liam Smith and Ryan Oneidas paved the way for the Caseys rushing attack. Both Mike Wilen and Anthony Purge powered through the Green Wave defense for a touchdown each. Caseys fans will be looking forward to next week as Eddie Hahn returns to the starting lineup. Next Game: 9/18 At St Joseph’s Metuchen
The Eagles fought through adversity to overcome the odds, coming all the way back from a 21-3 deficit. Middletown South scored 38 unanswered points to secure a very impressive 41-21 victory over an always tough South Brunswick team. Both Middletown South and South Brunswick were sectional finalists in their respective brackets last season.
Quarterback Matt Mosquera proved why he is one of the best in the state, passing for 119 yards. Mosquera found Samson Dube on a 72 yard touchdown reception. Mosquera also found the end zone on an 8 yard dash. However, It was Running Back James McCarthy who blew the game open, breaking away for touchdowns of 47 and 60 yards. Offensively and defensively, this Middletown South team were not going to be denied. They are a force that will continue to work their way up the rankings. Next Game: 9/18 vs Neptune
4 – MANALAPAN Last Week: No 3
The Manalapan Braves opened their 2015 campaign in dominating fashion. The Braves took no prisoners in a 41-0 slashing of Marlboro in Class A North action. The Braves offensive line led by Reilly Radesovich and Joe Sellmeyer controlled the line of scrimmage the entire game. Remember that Head Coach Eddie Gurrieri has always had a solid program in place. Losing key players to graduation is nothing new for him.
Junior Quarterback Corey Widener had an excellent debut for the Braves. Widener connected with L’Jeron Holder, Patrick Swaney, and Chris Maksimik for 3 passing touchdowns. Sophomore Na’im Mayfield also showed off his speed with 2 scores. The younger Mayfield is going to be a great runner for Manalapan. Next Game: 9/18 vs Freehold Twp.
The Mariners showed why they are such a dangerous team offensively. Mike Husni is one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in New Jersey. Husni got the offense going with his arms and legs, passing for 112 yards, and rushing for 105. Husni found Bryce Watts for a 23 yard touchdown, and threw another to lead the Mariners to a 29-7 victory over Lacey.
We saw how much of a force Toms River North could be in the scrimmage vs St John Vianney. The team was able to continue playing at a high level in their first taste of Class A South action. Right now, Toms River North has to be the key challenger for Jackson Memorial in the division. It will be interesting when the Mariners host the Jaguars on 10/9. Next Game: 9/18 at Brick Memorial
6 – ST JOHN VIANNEY Last Week: No 6
The Lancers will continue to hold down the No 6 spot after an opening day victory over the Matawan Huskies. After getting off to a slow start, St John Vianney was able to use their experience to take control of the game. Honestly, how many defenses can stop this receiving core right now?
Quarterback Anthony Brown put on a passing clinic for the Lancers, finishing 11/19 for 265 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Brown hit Wide Receiver Khalil Haskins, who put the burners on for a 49 yard touchdown. Michael Stapert, and Chris Chukwuneke were also on the receiving end of Brown’s touchdowns. Next Game: 9/18 vs Holmdel
Everyone on Rumson Road is waiting for Friday Night. The Bulldogs were one of the few teams that did not play during Week 1. The players cannot wait to finally make their debut. This is a very promising team with a lot of players returning from 2014.
Expect a very exciting game as Rumson will open up against Matawan. Quarterback Michael O’Connor is coming off a fantastic season, rushing for almost 1,000 yards. Defensively, linebackers Max Pfrang and Mike Ruane are among the best in the conference. This will be a very challenging game as Matawan is looking to bounce back from their Week 1 loss vs SJV. Next Game: 9/18 vs Matawan
The Dragons have moved up 2 spots in the Power Rankings. After losing several star players to graduation, Brick Twp was out to prove that have reloaded in every position. New Head Coach Len Zdanowicz has brought the attitude, motivation, and pride to take this group to another level. Zdanowicz was a former player under the legendary Warren Wolf.
The Dragons shocked the state of New Jersey by picking up a very convincing 36-6 win over cross town rival Brick Memorial. The Dragons piled up 350 yards of offense. Jay Obenauer ran for 145 yards, and Ja’Sir Taylor contributed with 107. Taylor also had an 80 yard touchdown run in the win. Defensively, Octavian Battle and John Prato made key plays in the secondary to lead the charge. Next Game: 9/18 vs Southern Regional
9 – MATAWAN Last Week: No 8
The Matawan Huskies showed that they can fight all the way down to the end in a tough loss to St John Vianney. After losing Quarterback George Pearson to injury, Jake Burlew stepped into the lineup and made a huge impact. Matawan pulled within two points at the half, and also cut the SJV lead to 23-21 in the 4th Quarter.
Burlew dashed for touchdown runs of 14 and 41 yards. The Junior and converted Wide Receiver immediately took charge of the huddle, and put the team on his back. Burlew is a very exciting player and will make his second start on Friday night. Next Game: 9/18 at RFH
Ocean Twp has now entered the Top 10 for the first time this season. The team was able to overcome a strong effort by Neptune, winning the game 34-28. It was a game that did not disappoint fans across the Shore. The teams continued to battle back and forth, but it was Ocean that would emerge victorious.
We can now all say, “Welcome back Tyler Thompson”. After missing significant time with a broken leg in 2014, Thompson bounced back in a huge way. The Running Back stole the show by rushing for 177 yards and 3 touchdowns. The highlight of the night was Thompson breaking away for a 71 yard score in the open field. The Ocean Twp offense will go as far as Thompson can take them. Next Game 9/18 vs Wall
DROPPED OUT – BRICK MEMORIAL
TEAMS ON THE BUBBLE – LAKEWOOD, BARNEGAT, SHORE, MIDDLETOWN NORTH, CENTRAL REGIONAL, RARITAN