Shore Sports Network / Jeep Store Football Top 10 for November 16, 2021
The end of the season is approaching and we are now one step closer to determining the final No. 1 ranking and Shore Sports Network Team of the Year. The race for first place, however, is still pending.
Six Shore Conference teams remain after Week 11, including five public schools that will take the field this Friday night in the NJSIAA Sectional Championship games. There are also eight teams that will be playing on Thanksgiving, but as to deciding on No. 1, that will depend on those next two weeks of playoff games.
Donovan Catholic, the No.1 team last week, lost to Bergen Catholic, 35-7, in the NJSIAA non-public A quarterfinal. Bergen Catholic is ranked # 1 in the state and # 6 in the country. Donovan lost to Rumson-Fair Haven in Week 2 but beat Red Bank Catholic in Week 9. The Griffins are officially 6-4 with three forfeits for using an ineligible player, but have a 9-2 record in the field.
The other two teams vying for the No.1 final are Red Bank Catholic and Rumson-Fair Haven, both victorious last weekend.
Rumson holds a 14-0 shutout win over Donovan Catholic in Week 2 and dominated the playoffs. RFH’s only loss is against Red Bank Catholic, 21-14, in Week 7. They will host Woodrow Wilson in the Central Jersey Group 3 final. If the Bulldogs can claim their seventh section title and advance to the regional championship game, they would have another chance to defeat a top team. Delsea and Cedar Creek are both unbeaten and will face off in the South Jersey Group 3 title game. The winners of each section will then compete against each other.
Red Bank Catholic crushed Morris Catholic in the Non-Public B quarterfinal and will face St. Joseph (Hammonton) in the semi-final. The Wildcats are ranked No. 20 in the state. If RBC wins, they will likely face DePaul, who is ranked No.4 in the state. The Caseys can assert their cause for the No. 1 by winning a state title. RBC’s only loss came to Donovan Catholic, 28-7, in the final week before the playoffs.
It’s going to be played out on the wire, but until then let’s enjoy the action on the pitch.
1. Catholic Donovan (6-4, 9-2 on the court). Last week: # 1
Senior quarterback Jalin Butler threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Kyree Drake and senior running back Nunes Bukula IV totaled 100 yards of scrimmage, but the Griffins fell to seeded Bergen Catholic. and undefeated, 35-7. The game started on Saturday and was 14-7 late in the first half when play was suspended until Sunday due to bad weather. The game resumed Sunday afternoon and the Crusaders moved away to advance to the semi-finals. Donovan’s resume includes wins against Wall, the Group 5 runner-up from South Jersey, Toms River North and Red Bank Catholic. Will they keep the top spot? Next game: Season ended.
2. Catholic Red Bank (9-1). Last week: # 2
Senior quarterback Alex Brown delivered an unforgettable game a day after his mother passed away, throwing for 238 yards and six touchdowns and rushing for 76 yards and two touchdowns in a national news, leading the Caseys to a 58-34 Morris Catholic victory in the B non-public playoffs. Second-year wide receiver Emanuel Ross caught four passes for 112 yards and three touchdowns, junior backer Torin Harmon ran for 153 yards and one touchdown, senior running back Rajahn Cooper received a touchdown and Robert Stolfa and Jaiden Haynes received touchdowns. Next game: Friday against St. Joseph (Hammonton) (8-2) in the non-public semi-final B.
3. Rumson-Fair Haven (9-1). Last week: # 3
Senior quarterback Colin Kennedy threw for 128 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 126 yards and one touchdown, while the defense gave up no first downs for the second game in a row to send the Bulldogs to a 34 victory. -0 on Burlington Township in Central Jersey Group 3 semi-finals. This is the eighth consecutive league game for Rumson. The Township of Burlington came in with an 8-1 record and an average of over 35 points per game and was limited to 20 offensive yards, including under-6 rushing yards. Aidan Casuccio and Nick Rigby had touchdowns and Dan Garvey added a touchdown. Rumson will now play for his seventh section title in program history. Next game: Friday against Woodrow Wilson (7-2) in the Central Jersey Group Championship game.
4. South Middletown (8-1). Last week: # 4
Senior running back Dan Primiano ran for a record-high 152 yards, second-year running back Donovan Summey ran for a touchdown and second Jake Czwakiel kicked three baskets as the Eagles beat Sayreville, 17-8, to qualify for the North 2, Group 4 sectional championship game. Second-year linebacker Colin Gallagher, senior linebacker Jack Willi and senior defensive tackle Jake Williamson led a defensive effort that kept Sayreville within 200 yards of attack. The Eagles will play their 22nd section final and play the 11th championship of the program on Friday night. Next game: Friday at Irvington (9-2) in the North 2, Group 4 Championship game.
5. Wall (6-4). Last week: # 5
The Crimson Knights have seen the remainder of their season canceled due to an ongoing hazing investigation involving members of the football team. The Crimson Knights were scheduled to face Delsea in the South Jersey Group 3 semifinals. Their Thanksgiving match against Manasquan was also called off. Next game: Season ended.
6. Toms River North (7-3). Last week: # 10
The Mariners have moved up four spots this week after a resounding 48-7 victory over Edison in the South Jersey Group 5 semifinals. Second-year quarterback Micah Ford ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, threw for 113 yards and two touchdowns, and intercepted a pass in defense to lead the way. Sophomore Tareq Council caught two passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns and returned a 35-yard interception for a touchdown, and sophomore Jeremiah Pruitt had a touchdown run and fumble return for a touchdown. The Mariners will now play their first section final since 2016 and will try to win the seventh section title of the program. Next game: Friday against Kingsway (6-4) in the South Jersey Group 5 Championship game.
7. Manasquan (7-3). Last week: # 6
The Warriors were eliminated from the Central Jersey Group 3 playoffs via a 34-7 loss to Woodrow Wilson. Junior quarterback Brett Patten threw a touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Cole Kozlowski for Manasquan’s only touchdown. The team’s Thanksgiving game against Wall was called off due to an ongoing hazing investigation at Wall High School, but the Warriors were able to find a new opponent to wrap up their season on Turkey Day. Next game: Thanksgiving Day (11/25) vs. Shore Regional (7-3).
8. Pointe Boro (9-1). Last week: # 9
Second-year fullback Jake Croce ran for 122 yards and one touchdown in 15 carries and senior quarterback Charlie Vitale ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns in 12 carries to lead the Panthers to a 28-7 victory over New Providence in the South Jersey Group 2 semi-finals. Second-year slotback Matt Oliphant ran for 55 yards and a touchdown in six carries and junior slotback Connor Cilento added 50 rushing yards. junior linebackers JJ Bennet and Maddox Samaritano and junior defensive end Aidan Ward led the defensive effort. Point Boro will now play their first section title since 2017 and will try to win their first title since 2005. Next game: Friday against Willingboro (8-3) in the South Jersey Group 2 Championship game.
9. Long branch (7-2). Last week: # 7
The Gren Wave ended their playoffs with a 45-10 loss to undefeated Ocean City in the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals. Senior quarterback Christian Rodriguez had a 5-yard touchdown run and Wesley Garcia kicked a 21-yard field goal. Long Branch will look to eliminate longtime head coach Danny George with a win in his last game on the sidelines. Next game: Thanksgiving (11/25) vs. Red Bank (4-6).
10. Manalapan (6-3). Last week: # 8
The Braves drop two spots because they lost to Edison 23-20 in overtime in the first round of the playoffs and Toms River North beat Edison, 48-7, in the next round. Manalapan has five wins against playoff teams (St. John Vianney, Holmdel, Southern, Freehold and Central) and losses to Middletown South, Red Bank Catholic and Edison. Next game: Season ended.
Keep an eye on:
Raritan (6-4): Senior running back Joe Campanella scored on a 17-yard touchdown run with 56 seconds left in regulation and the defense stopped the final play inside his own 10-yard line to give the Rockets a victory. thrilling 41-34 on Hillside in the Central Jersey Group 2 semifinals. Campanella ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns in just five carries and also had an interception on defense. Junior running back Kieran Falzon ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns and senior quarterback Ben Hutchins ran for 100 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. Raritan is now back in a section final for the first time since his Cinderella title run in 2015. Next game: Friday against Haddonfield (8-2) in the Central Jersey Group 2 Championship game.