Fans, we are past the midway point in the Shore Conference football season! I feel like the first week was just yesterday. Time really seems to be flying. It’s great to be back in the field for another huge weekend of action.
This past week, I got to spend some time enjoying the Florida Sun. Walt Disney World is always a great time. Expedition Everest and Space Mountain were certainly a blast. Watching my four year old niece enjoy the Magic Kingdom made the trip. However, stepping off the plane after the return flight is always something else. I definitely felt the change when going from 90 to 58 degrees!
Week 6 is highlighted by three fantastic matchups. Red Bank Catholic will head up to Red Bank Regional as two undefeated teams will fight for bragging rights across town. No 1 Middletown South will look to get sole possession of first place in Class A North. Manalapan will head to the Swamp for a divisional war. Will Jackson Memorial be able to snap a two game losing streak? Brick Memorial comes to town and are winners of four straight.
Players To Watch: RBC – Eddie Hahn Sr QB, Dylan Murphy Sr RB, Mike Balziofiore Sr WR, Liam Smith SR OL. RBR – Jack Navitsky SR QB, Alim Godsey SR RB, Chris Outterbridge Jr LB, Alim Godsey Sr RB, Sadiq Palmer Sr WR/DB.
The Battle of Red Bank is finally here! Fans have been anticipating this matchup all season long. This is what everyone within the Red Bank community has been talking about for the entire week.
After years of RBC dominating the area, RBR fans finally have a team that is fun to watch. Is this the year that the Bucs can secure bragging rights? I will tell you this, get to the game early. People will be lined up from the train station all the way to David Prown’s Windows and Doors!
WHEN RBC HAS THE BALL – Eddie Hahn is a game changer and will look to set the tone immediately. Hahn just does so many things offensively. The Senior Quarterback has already passed for 650 yards and 4 touchdowns, while running for another 3.
Running Backs Mike Wilen and Dylan Murphy can control the ground game. Both players are extremely hard to tackle. The offense is anchored by a very strong RBC offensive line. Duke Commit Liam Smith and Ryan Oneidas are the two of the best in the business. Charlie Gargiuolo has also been very solid up front. Look for RBC to utilize their running game to control the clock and keep the high powered RBR offense off the field.
WHEN RBR HAS THE BALL – You cannot say enough about the emergence of Quarterback Jack Navitsky as a leader. Navitsky has shown great leadership in the huddle, and uses his athletic ability to take over games. Navitsky has thrown for 522 yards and 6 touchdowns to pace the Bucs.
Running Back Alim Godsey has becoming quite the running threat around the Shore. Godsey has rushed for 456 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Caseys will have to find a way to stop him from piling up the yards tonight.
Wide Receivers Sadiq Palmer and Matt Reardon have both been outstanding targets for Navitsky. Can the RBC secondary contain both these guys? For RBC to slow this offense down, they must win the battle up front and get constant pressure on Hahn.
THE OUTLOOK – One thing that makes RBC so tough to beat is their ability to win the time of possession. With an outstanding offensive line, they are able to constantly open holes for their running backs. Murphy and Wilen always have a lot of room to run. RBC is easily getting 5 yards per play on the ground this season. Add in the threat of Eddie Hahn to keep the ball, and this can give any defense nightmares.
The RBR Bucs are a team that like to score quickly. Head Coach Nick Giglio knows how to use his athletes to the best of their ability. RBR will try to mix it up between the running and passing game. Jack Navitsky has made a lot of big plays. Sadiq Palmer and Matt Reardon can definitely make it look easy. Godsey, Palmer, and Reardon will all have to get off to a good start. Expect this to be a physical battle.
While RBR is a fast and athletic team, I expect RBC to find a way to slow them down. Mike Wilen and Dylan Murphy are very strong at the linebacker positions. Eddie Hahn and Colin Shaughnessy will make things tough in the secondary.
Offensively, Head Coach Jim Portela will find a way to keep the ball in his teams’ hands. The Caseys will run the ball and keep control. Eddie Hahn will do whatever it takes to get RBC to 6-0.
THE PICK : Red Bank Catholic 28, Red Bank Regional 17.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Midd South – Matt Mosquera Sr QB/K, Cole Rogers Sr RB, Samson Dube Jr WR, Maxx Imsho Jr WR/DB, Dylan Rogers Sr LB. Manalapan – Luke Corcione So QB, Marcus Salinas Sr RB/LB, Reily Radesovich Sr OL, Joe Sellmeyer Sr OL, Naim Mayfield So RB.
Expect Midd South Nation to be out in full force tonight! The Swamp is always a very exciting place to watch a game. Midd South is now ranked No 1 by almost every media outlet in the State. Expectations have never been higher for this football team. At 5-0, the Eagles are halfway through the season.
However, taking control of Class A North will be the only thing on the Eagles’ mind tonight. Middletown South will look to avenge a 21-3 loss to Manalapan in 2014. The Braves have won 5 straight Class A North division titles.
WHEN MIDD SOUTH HAS THE BALL – Senior Quarterback Matt Mosquera has been on a rampage for the Eagles. This is an offense that is averaging 44 point per game on the season. Mosquera leads the Shore Conference with 10 touchdown passes through 5 games. The combination of Cole Rogers and James McCarthy have simply been running over everybody. Samson Dube gives Mosquera that deep threat down the field.
WHEN MANALAPAN HAS THE BALL – Sophomore Quarterback Luke Corcione will make his second start. Corcione is a transfer from Red Bank Catholic. The young signal caller is in a good situation with a very strong offensive line to protect him.
Senior Captains Reily Radesovich and Joe Sellmeyer are two of the best in the Shore. Running Backs Marcus Salinas and Na’im Mayfield have kept this running game strong throughout the first half of the season.
THE OUTLOOK – This is a huge road game for the Braves. Manalapan had their 33 game winning streak against A North competition snapped by Middletown North. They will look to get back on track against the Eagles. Corcione will have to make good decisions, and find his playmakers down the field. That will be a very tough endeavor against an Eagles defense that is only surrendering 7 points per game!
The Eagles will be motivated to get this one started. Matt Mosquera and company have never won a game against Manalapan. You can bet the Eagles have had this one marked on their schedule.
Look for Head Coach Steve Antonucci to get Rogers and McCarthy going early. After a few big runs, Mosquera will look down the field for the big play. The Braves have a lot of young players on defense. They will have a very hard time containing Mosquera.
Manalapan will come to play, but the odds will be against them. I expect the Braves to get some big plays from Marcus Salinas and Na’im Mayfield. However, Corcione is going against a very experienced Middletown South defense.
Maxx Imsho and Tom Marron have forced a lot of turnovers this season. Dylan Rogers can easily blow up any play. Defensively, I see Middletown South controlling the game tonight. The Eagles will finally take control of A North.
THE PICK – Middletown South 34, Manalapan 17
PLAYERS TO WATCH – Jackson Memorial – Dan Barker Jr QB, Mike Gawlik Jr RB/DB, Vinny Lee Sr RB/DB, Kyle Johnson Sr WR/DB, Kyle Lona Sr WR/DB. Brick Memorial – Tim Santiago Sr QB/DB, TJ Thorpe Sr FB, Matt Cuppari Sr WR/K, Mike Nobile Sr OL/DL, Anthony Nobile Sr OL/DL.
For the first time since 2012, the Jaguars have lost back to back games. This has always been rare for a program run by Walt Krystopik. For a team that began the season in the No 1 spot, a lot has changed. Now the question is, how will the Jaguars respond? After two weeks on the road, they will return home to John J Munley Field with a large fan base behind them.
This game is a huge one for two reasons. Both teams are fighting for seeding in Central Jersey Group IV. They are also trying to stay in the race for Class A South. Brick Memorial is only one game behind Brick for first place in the division. Jackson Memorial is now two games out, and desperately need a win to have a shot.
WHEN JACKSON MEMORIAL HAS THE BALL – Walt Krystopik will give the ball to Mike Gawlik and Vinny Lee. Gawlik is averaging 10 yards per carry, and had a 44 yard touchdown run against Toms River North. The Jaguars must also find a way to give Dan Barker time to throw. The Offensive line has struggled to pass block in both of their losses. Kyle Johnson and Kyle Lona need the opportunity to make plays.
WHEN BRICK MEMORIAL HAS THE BALL – Quarterback Tim Santiago continues to show why he is an MVP candidate this season. Santiago has already rushed for 935 yards and 9 touchdowns through the first five games. I can’t remember the last time a Quarterback ran for 2,000 yards, but Santiago has a chance. Fullback Tony Thorpe has also been a huge part of the running attack. Look for Head Coach Walt Currie to use Thorpe to pick up easy first downs.
THE OUTLOOK – This will be a tough football game in the trenches. The Brick Memorial defensive line is among the best in the Shore. Jackson Memorial must keep them out of the backfield.
On the other side, the Jaguars linebackers are quick to the ball and are very capable of stopping Brick Memorial’s triple option offense. Adante Davis and Tyler Towns are very instinctive and will be ready to go.
I see this as a bounce back game for Jackson Memorial. With so much on the line, the Jaguars need to come out and make a statement. This Jackson Memorial team is much better than the results of the past two weeks. Dan Barker will get the passing game going again to get the Jaguars on the board. Tim Santiago will make plays for the Mustangs, but the Jackson Memorial defense will keep them from scoring a lot of points.
The Pick – Jackson Memorial 21, Brick Memorial 14.
OTHER PICKS AROUND THE SHORE
Asbury Park over Keyport
Middletown North over Howell
Lakewood over Donovan Catholic
Freehold Twp over Marlboro
Rumson Fair Haven over Manasquan
St John Vianney over Raritan
Matawan over Holmdel
Toms River North over Toms River East
Shore over Mater Dei Prep
Ocean over Long Branch
Jackson Liberty over Pinelands
Central over Manchester
Pt Boro over Barnegat
Pt Beach over Keansburg
Freehold Boro over Wall
Brick over Lacey
Colts Neck over Neptune
Southern over Toms River South
Monmouth over JFK Iselin
Stay tuned to NJSR for all your previews, updates, recaps, and more throughout the weekend! Follow @ScHoops1, @JimRosa519, and @ShoreSportsNJ for the latest coverage around NJ!