We have lots of great action on the schedule for Friday and Saturday. Two big time matchups in A Central and A South lead the way.
MATAWAN AT RUMSON FAIR HAVEN
Junior Quarterback Jake Burlew leads the Huskies into RFH for a Class A Central battle. Burlew was impressive in his first start, and will look to keep up the pace. Matawan is banged up with some injuries, but still has a lot of talent in place. Running Back/Linebacker Derrick Wiley will be a gametime decision. Makiya Caesar will be ready to go.
The Bulldogs will debut their new spread offense. This really suits the skill set of Quarterback Michael O’Connor. O’Connor is loaded with weapons on the outside. Elijah McCallister and Lachlun Hull are very difficult to stop. Defensively, the Bulldogs have a lot of experience at the Linebacker and Secondary positions.
While the Huskies will certainly put up a good fight, I have to go with the Bulldogs at home. Offensively, O’Connor has a year of experience and will flourish in this offense. Defensively, Rumson will make plays and that will be the difference. RFH has more experience and are ready for another big season.
THE PICK – RFH 28, MATAWAN 17
TOMS RIVER NORTH AT BRICK MEMORIAL
The Mustangs will play in front of their home crowd for the first time. Look for a much higher level of energy from Brick Memorial tonight. Quarterback Tim Santiago will have a bounce back game. Brick Memorial has a solid offensive line that can really get a push up front. Mike Kraft and Matt Cuppari are good receivers on the outside.
Mike Husni will look to get points on the board fast. Toms River North has a loaded backfield with the combination of Asante Moorer and Daryl Blackwell. Bryce Watts and Darian Carrington are also two of the best receivers in the league. This will be a big challenge for the Brick Memorial secondary. Memorial will need to get pressure on Husni, and stop the running game.
This will definitely be a war. Two of the best offensive lines will be battling it out in the trenches. I expect a hard physical football game. In the end, I like the speed and athleticism of the Mariners. Mike Husni will make the plays that he needs to win this game.
THE PICK – TOMS RIVER NORTH 21, BRICK MEMORIAL 14
CENTRAL AT BARNEGAT
The young Bengals are ready to go to work. Quarterback Joe Monaco is off to a great start. Paul Wickwire is doing a lot of damage at the running back position. Wickwire is a threat to score on every carry. This is an offense that will continue to grow. They will all be clicking by playoff time.
After a heartbreaking 40-34 loss to Lakewood, Central needs to make a comeback this week. This is important for the Eagles to keep pace in B South. The offensive line must protect Mike Miserendino. Mike Bickford will have to get on a roll early. Expect Miserendino to take some shots down the field. Malcolm Vaughn is a reliable target who can make things happen. Barnegat’s defense must step up to slow down a very good Central offense.
This is a tremendous matchup. The young Bengals will go right after Central. Barnegat’s defensive line could be a problem against some inexperienced Central players. Overall, I see Central pulling this out. Barnegat will have a hard time slowing down Bickford. Miserendino will also make a few big plays with his legs.
THE PICK – CENTRAL 24, BARNEGAT 17
PICKS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEKEND
Pt Pleasant Boro over Donovan Catholic
Freehold Boro over Howell
St John Vianney over Holmdel
Manchester over Jackson Liberty
Ocean Twp over Wall
Carteret over Long Branch
Toms River South over Toms River East
Brick Twp over Southern
Jackson Memorial over Lacey Twp
Middletown South over Neptune
Manalapan over Freehold Twp
Pt Pleasant Beach over Middlesex
Highland Park over Keansburg
Red Bank Regional over Colts Neck
Keyport over South River
Manasquan over Monmouth
Metuchen over Asbury Park
Middletown North over Marlboro
Red Bank Catholic over St Joe’s Metuchen
Shore over Spotswood
Lakewood over Pinelands
Mater Dei Prep over Newark Collegiate Academy
LAST WEEK: 18-4 SEASON: 19-5