The schools’ in the Central Jersey Group I bracket may be small, but they are full of talent. Shore returns as the No 1 seed after winning this section the past two years. Asbury Park is back on the map with new Head Coach Tim Fosque leading the charge. Palmyra, Florence, and Middlesex look to make a name for themselves in the postseason.
Shore – We have to give the Blue Devils the edge in the bracket. Shore has pretty much owned this section with two consecutive championships. They were also in the final for the previous two. Head Coach Mark Constantino does not do anything fancy, but knows how to control a game. With the hard running of Doug Goldsmith and Jack Britton, the Blue Devils know how to wear down opponents. Add in a tough defense with a very strong front, and Shore has the whole package.
Asbury Park – The Blue Bishops are back in contention after finishing with a 6-2 regular season record. Head Coach Tim Fosque has brought a renewed energy level within the locker room. Quarterback Davon Thompson is one of the best athletes in the Shore Conference. Not only can he stretch the field with his arm, but he can easily make you miss on the run. Jadeon Stephens also brings a lot of athleticism to the table. Asbury Park are coming off a tough 20-7 loss to Shore. Will they meet them again in the final?
Palmyra – The Palmyra Panthers have been a fun group to watch throughout the 2015 season. The team has put on a show in Burlington County, putting up over 3,000 yards of offense on their way to a 7-1 record. Palmyra’s only loss came to Woodrow Wilson which is nothing to be ashamed of. Can anyone in the bracket slow down Quarterback Max Smyth? Smyth has been on fire, passing for 2,019 yards and 21 touchdowns. He is very efficient in the pocket and presents a real challenge for any opponent. Palmyra will go as far as he can take them.
Florence – The 4 seed can definitely be a tough road, but Florence is more than determined to make something happen. They have now ripped off three straight and are riding a lot of momentum. The offense goes through Running Back Joey Foga who has carried the ball 120 times for 915 yards and 15 touchdowns. Florence also has a strong secondary on defense. The unit has come up with 5 takeaways. Florence will face 5 seeded Middlesex to open the tournament.
Keyport – It’s not often that a 7 seed can be a sleeper team, but Keyport has definnitely stepped into that role. The Red Raiders are very much improved at 5-4 this season. They are getting ready for a rematch against division rival Asbury Park. Keyport came within a touchdown of the Blue Bishops during their previous meeting, losing 28-21. Des Underwood and Ky’Sun Pryor have combined for over 1,000 yards on the ground. They will have to help control the clock and keep Asbury Park’s Davon Thompson off the field in order to pull off the upset. That will be an interesting one to watch on Friday night.
NJSR will now take a look at the bracket!
First Round Predictions
Shore 41, Burlington City 14
Florence 21, Middlesex 14
Palmyra 31, Pt Pleasant Beach 17
Asbury Park 24, Keyport 21
Shore 28, Florence 10
Palmyra 21, Asbury Park 13
Shore 27, Palmyra 17