It’s hard to believe that Week 3 is already upon us! After this week, the first month of the season will be in the books. Many teams have lived up to high expectations, others have struggled through the first month. We have also seen some surprise teams making an impact.
There are some tremendous football games on the schedule for Week 3. Toms River South will travel to play cross town rival Toms River North. The Civil War is always a great time for fans. Two offensive powerhouses will clash as St John Vianney will head down the parkway to play Central Regional. Manalapan will take on Sayreville in a non-divisional battle. We will look at how these matchups will play out.
Toms River South At Toms River North
The 44th version of the Civil War promises to be a great one! You can always count on a large crowd when these two teams square off. If you are going to this game, plan on arriving at Gernerd Field an hour early. Two thousand people could easily pack the house.
The Mariners come into this one with a major chip on their shoulder. After suffering a 52-20 loss to Brick Memorial, Toms River North will look to get back on track. We will see how the Mariners handle adversity.
Quarterback Mike Husni was the hero of last years’ 44-34 shootout win. He will look to get the offense going in front of the home crowd. He will need to get Bryce Watts and Darian Carrington going early.
Running Backs Asante Moore and Daryn Blackwell will need to be effective. The Mariners will need strong play along the offensive line from Senior Captains Luke Butera and Tim Petersen. Coach Dave Oiserwitz loves to pound the defense with his running game.
Toms River South has gotten great play from Sophomore Quarterback TJ Scuderi. Scuderi is becoming more and more comfortable running the Triple Option. The young quarterback will face his toughest test yet.
This is definitely one that you do not want to miss. The Mariners really have a lot to play for. Another conference loss would be difficult as TRN still has to play Jackson Memorial, and Brick Twp. The Indians would love to get off to a 3-0 start. This would give the younger players a lot of momentum heading into the second part of the season.
Overall, this will come down to whether the Indians defensive front can hold the Mariners down. Mike Husni is an explosive player that can beat you with his arms or legs. I believe this will be a tough battle, but in the end experience will prevail. This is really a do or die game for the Mariners, and I don’t see them being denied.
The Pick: Toms River North 21, Toms River South 12
St John Vianney At Central Regional
If you’re the type of fan that loves a good old offensive shootout, this is the game for you! You’re talking about two teams with tons of firepower. There are plenty of athletes that will be going head to head in this one. Lots of excitement will be in the air tonight.
St John Vianney may very well be the Shore Conference’s version of the Greatest Show On Turf! Boston College Commit and Quarterback Anthony Brown is a human highlight reel. Brown is nearly impossible to defend because of his skill set. Blitz him and he’ll dump the ball off. Play zone on his receivers, and he will keep it for a first down! If you don’t get any pressure on him, the ball will go 50 yards down the field.
On the other hand, Central Regional has one of the best running attacks in the Shore. Mike Bickford is a true powerhouse runner that is a threat to score on any given play. Bickford is not only strong, but can make you miss with his agility. The Junior is already off to a fantastic start this season. Bickford leads the Shore Conference with 451 yards on 63 carries. It is very hard to slow Bickford down. You just have to find a way to contain him!
Expect a high scoring game in Bayville tonight. Central is going to have a very tough time stopping the passing attack of the Lancers. Both Michael Stapert and Marque Ellington are 6’6″ and impossible matchups for the Central secondary. Khalil Haskins will also present a problem in the slot.
At the same time, Mike Miserendino and Mike Bickford will be tough for St John Vianney to contain. SJV linebackers Calvin Beaty and Tyler Tedeschi will need to account for both Miserendino and Bickford. Malcolm Vaughn could also be a factor for the Eagles.
While this will be a tough battle, I like the speed and athleticism of the Lancers in the long run. This is a Central defense that gave up 40 points against Lakewood. Anthony Brown will make the plays that are needed to win. Chris Chukwuneke and Calvin Beaty will also boost the running game.
The Pick: St John Vianney 35, Central 24
Red Bank Regional At Ocean Twp
Everyone at Red Bank Regional is talking about the teams’ 2-0 start. The Buccaneers have an outstanding group of skill position players. Quarterback Jake Navitsky is one of the most underrated players in the Shore. He has a big time weapon in Wide Receiver Sadiq Palmer. The team has demonstrated an ability to put points on the board. The question is, how far can this team truly go? Is RBR a legitimate playoff contender?
Ocean Twp is making plays all over the field. Quarterback Kenny Pickett has been a solid leader. Pickett is one of the most efficient passers in the Shore Conference. Running Back Tyler Thompson is a big time offensive weapon. He simply just puts the ball in the end zone. Thompson has all the power and speed that you need out of the backfield.
For RBR to stay in this game, they will have to get the offense going from the start. If the Buccanners can set the tone, momentum will keep them in the game. Ocean Twp will rely on the strength of their offensive line. Thompson will get the running room that he needs. Pickett will make plays to keep the offense balanced.
In the end, I like Ocean Twp in another wild game. Both Navitsky and Pickett will put on a show for the fans. RBR will show that they can be a real contender, but the running game of Thompson will be too much. I just don’t see anyone on RBR being able to slow him down.
The Pick: Ocean Twp 35, Red Bank Regional 28
Manalapan At Sayreville
This game is always a classic non-divisional matchup. Last years’ game saw the Braves rack up 64 points in a victory. The Sayreville defense will look to slow down a strong running attack from Manalapan.
Last week the Braves escaped an incredible scare from an up and coming Freehold Twp team. Quarterback Cody Weiner has been solid from the pocket. Weiner won last weeks game with a last minute TD pass to L’Jeron Holder.
Senior Marcus Salinas has been putting on a show out of the backfield for Manalapan. The Senior rushed for 233 yards in the win last week. Sophomore Na’im Mayfield has lit a spark within the offense. Mayfield has the potential to be a serious player in the Shore.
Sayreville is off to a 2-0 start within the Greater Middlesex Conference. Quarterback Jayson DeMild has been extremely impressive, passing for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns. DeMild has been able to pace the Sayreville offense with great accuracy and poise.
This game promises to another tough one for sure. Look for Jayson DeMild to get Wide Receiver Andrew Wille involved early. Sayreville will need a few big plays to set the tone. Manalapan will rely on the experienced offensive line led by Reilly Radesovich and Joe Sellmeyer. Coach Eddie Gurrieri will utilize a ball control type of attack to keep DeMild and company off the field.
If Sayreville is going to beat Manalapan, this would be their best chance. They are catching the Braves at a good time as younger players are still adjusting to the Varsity level. However, I still think Manalapan will pull this out. The Senior leadership of the offensive line will win the war in the trenches. This will boost the running attack and allow Manalapan to control the game.
The Pick: Manalapan 28, Sayreville 21
Other Picks Around The Shore
Mater Dei Prep over Asbury Park
Jackson Memorial over Southern Regional
Howell over Freehold Twp
Lakewood over Manchester
Pt Pleasant Boro over Bishop Ahr
Barnegat over Jackson Liberty
Matawan over Raritan
Middletown South over Marlboro
Woodbridge over Colts Neck
Red Bank Catholic over Neptune
Long Branch over Wall Twp
Pt Pleasant Beach over Keyport
Rumson Fair Haven over Monmouth Regional
Brick Memorial over Lacey
Middletown North over Freehold Boro
Manasquan over Holmdel
Shore over Keansburg
Brick Twp over Toms River East
Last Week: 18-6 Season: 37-11
NJSR will have you covered for all of the action this weekend!