We are heading into Week 9 in the Shore Conference and the playoffs are getting closer. Most teams have already played their eight qualifying games, while a few still have to do that this weekend. The official cutoff for the NJSIAA playoffs will be this Saturday night. All final winning and residual points will be totaled up, and teams will know where they stand headed into next week.
The results of Week 8 saw some movement within the Top 10. Middletown South will stay in the top spot after getting through the bye week. Once again, we had a major change as one team jumped four spots after a big time win. One team dropped out with an unexpected loss. A very underrated has also finally made their way into the rankings. It will be interesting to see how the Top 10 will shape up as we get through the final few weeks of the season.
HERE IS THE TOP 10 FOR WEEK 9!!
The Eagles had this past week off. This gave the team a chance to rest any players that were banged up. The bye week can be very beneficial because coaches have a chance to really study film and make some very critical adjustments. You can bet that Head Coach Steve Antonucci and his staff will bring a renewed sense of energy into their Class A North matchup with Freehold Boro.
The Eagles can clinch at least a tie for the A North title with a win. This would be the teams’ first division championship since 2009. Middletown South also appears to be locked into the No 1 seed in North Jersey II Group IV. Phillipsburg is the other major contender in that bracket. Next Game: Sat 11/7 vs Freehold Boro 2PM
The Lancers continue to explode with the Shore Conference’s No 1 offense. St John Viannney is averaging 41 points per game, and are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon!
St John Vianney ran over Monmouth 48-0 in a Class A Central victory this past Saturday. Quarterback Anthony Brown is a Most Valuable Player candidate for the season. Brown was responsible for 5 total touchdowns in the win. He had 4 in the air, and 1 on the ground. The Boston College Commit completed 14 of 20 passes for 224 yards. Wide Receiver Michael Stapert hauled in two of the touchdown receptions to help lead the Lancers to the win.
The team can wrap up Class A Central with a win over Manasquan on Friday night. You can bet that the entire Lancer Nation will be out to support their team. This would be the second division title in a row for SJV. The Lancers are also locked into the No 1 seed in Non Public Group 2 where they will be favored to win a Sectional Championship. Next Game: Fri 11/6 vs Manasquan 7PM
The hardest question of the week was what to do with Toms River North. The team began the season very high in the power rankings, fell out after an early season loss to Brick Memorial, and now find themselves in the Top 3 after a tremendous victory on the road against Brick Twp. The Mariners have clinched at least a tie for their first Class A South title since 2008.
Toms River North is one of the hottest teams at the Shore, ripping off six straight victories. The Mariners put up 381 yards of offense against the No 1 defense in the Shore this past Friday. Running Back Asante Moorer rushed for 170 yards and 2 scores. Quarterback Mike Husni ran for 118 and scored on a keeper. Husni was responsible for 72 of the 95 yards on a Fourth Quarter scoring drive. He also sealed the game with an interception.
The Mariners will be on the road against Neptune to close out the season. They will wait for Saturday night to find out where they will be seeded in South Jersey Group V. In a bracket that features Cherokee, Williamstown, and Lenape, it will be very tough to be the last team standing. However, do not underestimate this Mariners team. They are playing outstanding football right now! Next Game: Fri 11/6 at Neptune 7PM
The Bucs remain in the No 4 spot after a very convincing 37-6 win over Holmdel. RBR continues to dominate their opponents on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Jack Navitsky and Running Back Alim Godsey both contributed with scoring plays in the win. RBR is the only team in Class B North that has wins over both Ocean and RBC. They have clinched a tie for their first division title since 1977.
The Bucs can pick up their eighth straight win by defeating Manchester in a non-divisional matchup. Right now RBR is in a tight seeding race with Ocean, and Rumson Fair Haven for the top seed in Central Jersey Group III. It will likely be up to residuals to determine who will get homefield advantage. Next Game: Fri 11/6 At Manchester 7PM
The Dragons drop two spots after being defeated by Toms River North on Friday night. While the 26-14 loss was difficult, the stars still showed up for Brick in a huge way. Wide Receiver Ja’Sir Taylor had two touchdown receptions of 77 and 39 yards to lead the offense. Defensive End Dan Finelli also contributed with 2 sacks. Brick is still the best defense in the Shore.
Brick can still get a share of the Class A South title with a win over Toms River South. The Dragons are also in very good shape for the playoffs. They are locked into the No 2 seed in Central Jersey Group IV. They could very well face a rematch with Jackson Memorial in the first round. The two teams met back on October 2nd where the Dragons earned a 2-0 victory. Next Game: Fri 11/6 At Toms River South 7PM
The Mustangs showed a lot of heart, bouncing back from a loss with a 31-7 victory on the road against Toms River South. Quarterback Tim Santiago rushed for 150 yards and a 70 yard touchdown. He also hit Wide Receiver Matt Cuppari with a scoring strike through the air. Both Eli Lavarin and Tony Thorpe also ran the ball well in the game.
Brick Memorial can also clinch a share of the Class A South title by defeating Southern on Friday night. This would be the Mustangs’ first division title since 2010. The team also has locked down the No 1 seed in Central Jersey Group IV. It will be up to residuals to determine their first round opponent, but Jackson Liberty is fighting for that eighth spot. Next Game: Fri 11/6 vs Southern 7PM
The Bulldogs dropped two spots after nearly being upset by Raritan. The Rockets almost tied the game by scoring a touchdown with 3:06 left. Rumson escaped after Raritan was not able to complete a two point conversion. Safety Mike Murdock showed off his outstanding instincts by anticipating that Raritan would fake the extra point. Murdock flew to the ball and shut the play down. One thing is for sure, this Rumson defense always seems to make their presence known in critical situations!
Quarterback Michael O’Connor threw for 129 yards and two scores in the win. Rumson has been utilizing his arm more and more throughout the second half of the season. O’Connor hit Mike Ruane for both passing touchdowns. The Junior Quarterback also found the end zone on a 48 yard dash in the Second Quarter. Next Game: Fri 11/6 At Holmdel 7PM
The Spartans have worked their way up two spots from last week. The team traveled to Count Basie Field, and won a very impressive 42-35 shootout over RBC. Trailing 35-27, Ocean ripped off 14 unanswered points to earn the victory.
Quarterback Kenny Pickett found RaQuan Dean for an 81 yard bomb to tie the game at 35. After getting a key stop, the Ocean offense drove the ball down to the 1 yard line. Pickett pounded his way across the goal line on a sneak to take the contest with :36 seconds left. The Junior signal caller finished 12 of 21 with 259 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Ocean now finds themselves fighting for a top seed within Central Jersey Group III. Red Bank Regional and Rumson Fair Haven are also right there in the top 3. It will likely come down to residuals for the top spot, but Ocean will be guaranteed at least a home playoff game. Next Game: Sat 11/7 At Colts Neck 12PM
9 – SHORE – 7-0 Last Week: Unranked
The Shore Regional Blue Devils find their way into the Top 10 for the first time this season. The team rolled to a 42-7 win over Pt Pleasant Beach. Doug Goldsmith carried the ball 14 times for 101 yards and a score. Jack Britton also showed off his athleticism, bursting for a 96 yard touchdown. This football team knows how to demonstrate the big play ability. Quarterback Matt Pennell also added to the scoring attack by throwing a touchdown to Connor Rempel.
The Blue Devils have a 15 game winning streak going all the way back to last year. This will all be on the line as they host Asbury Park on Friday night. Shore can win Class B Central outright, and Asbury can get a piece of the crown. Both teams are also fighting for the No 1 seed in Central Jersey Group I. Next Game Fri 11/6 vs Asbury Park 7PM
10 – RED BANK CATHOLIC – 6-2 Last Week: No 8
The Caseys are hanging on at the No 10 spot. While Red Bank Catholic may not be the powerhouse that they once were, they still have plenty of weapons to be a very dangerous team. Senior Quarterback Eddie Hahn threw for 380 yards in the 42-35 loss to Ocean. Hahn has become more and more comfortable with his targets during the second half of the season.
Red Bank Catholic will have a chance to avenge last year’s 33-27 defeat when they host Jackson Memorial on Friday night. Both teams are a lock for the playoffs and will want to continue to build momentum. RBC looks to be locked into the 5 seed, while Jackson Memorial will likely be 7 in their bracket. Next Game: Fri 11/6 vs Jackson Memorial 7PM
Dropped Out: Pt Pleasant Boro
On The Bubble: Asbury Park 6-1, Matawan 5-3, Jackson Memorial 5-3, Lakewood 7-1, Middletown North 5-2, Freehold Boro 5-2.
Stay tuned to NJSR as we will have all your previews, updates, and recaps throughout the weekend. You can follow @SCHoops1, @JimRosa519, and @ShoreSportsNJ on twitter!