The Crusaders have showed resiliency all
year, rebounding from a 0-3 start to earn a shot at a third-straight
sectional championship. The Redbirds will rely on physical linebackers
Ricky Mottram and Dean Apostolico to slow up Delsea’s two-headed monster
backfield of Isaiah Spencer and Rashaad Washington (2,169 combined
The Rovers have two major rushing threats in
backs Shane Simpson (1,644 yards, 29 TD) and Dalvyn Reynolds (1,016
yards, 10 TD). The Stateliners face Colonia in the North 2, Group 4 final
on Dec. 6, but snapping a three-game losing streak against Easton (Pa.)
is just as important to the their program.
Both teams are coming off some wins that
occurred under surprising circumstances—Collingswood’s upset of Camden
and West Deptford’s blowout win over Glassboro. The Eagles won the
regular season meeting between these squads in convincing fashion, 34-7,
Old Tappan bottled up Norsemen running back
Alex Wasserman last time these rivals met, but it’s hard to believe the
star workhorse will be stymied again. Still, the Golden Knights are a
program with a wealth of playoff experience that could prove valuable in
what is sure to be an emotional contest.
Becton has improved each season under head coach Chuck Kalendar, and seem to be a team that is ready to bust through in the postseason. Bogota’s recent performances against playoff-quality opposition are a cause for concern for the Bucs—who lost convincingly to St. Mary and Cresskill over the past three weeks.
Some teams have power points on the line.
Others league titles. And others just pride. But there are some good
matchups to wrap up the last weekend before the playoffs. Let’s take a
gander at some of the best.
Sophomore quarterback Josh Liao was called
into duty for #13 South Brunswick this weekend, and didn’t disappoint.
He didn’t exactly put on a passing clinic, but did what he had to in
guiding the Vikings offense to a 14-7 win over previously unbeaten #10
Piscataway. Liao converted a 12-yard touchdown run off a
perfectly-executed fake that put the Vikes up 7-0, and later connected
on several big passes that set up the game-deciding score by Phil
Campbell. The South Brunswick defense came up big, as well, limited the
Chiefs to a single score and proving that it could engineer a win even
when star running back Donte Strickland isn’t lighting up the stat
Teams are wrapping up their pre-cutoff
slates, but there is still a lot on the line besides just playoff
positioning. Division titles, spots in the Gridiron New Jersey Top 20,
and bragging rights are all up for grabs. Let’s check out some of the
better matchups of the weekend.
For the first time since 1999, Bergen
Catholic celebrated a victory over its biggest rival, Don Bosco Prep, on
its own home field. The Crusaders won a defensive slugfest Saturday
afternoon, 10-3, to surprise an Ironmen team that was looking to regain
some of its mojo after a loss to Paramus Catholic two weeks ago. The
difference was a 42-yard scoring run by running back Corey Russo in the
fourth quarter, but Bosco hurt its own cause with sloppiness throughout.
The Ironmen finished the game with 12 penalties for 123 yards.
Two of the most anticipated matchups of the
year—between Don Bosco Prep and Bergen Catholic and Manalapan and Red
Bank Catholic—take place in the same week, and that’s just the icing on
the cake. There is another exciting slate of games on tap, and we’ve got
some picks and predictions for all the top matchups.
For the first time since 2007, Lenape is
celebrating a victory over Cherokee. The Indians picked up an important
24-16 victory, thanks largely to running back Ben Hunt’s two fourth
quarter interceptions. The second of Hunt’s picks went from 64 yards out
and went all the way to the house, allowing the Indians to stay
undefeated on the year. Lenape’s defense was on its game against the
Chiefs, as well, allowing just one first down in the entire second half.
Joe’s quarterback Jack Walsh is completing
65% of his passes and has thrown eight touchdown passes. The Green
Knights offensive line will need to keep Walsh upright, though—a task
that will be tougher with players like defensive end Sal Mauro coming
After back-to-back losses to CAL parochials, Millville needed a spark. And a spark they got thanks to running back Ryquell Armstead, who broke a school rushing record at the expense of Absegami. The Thunderbolts rode 27 carries by Armstead—which he turned into a Millville-best 337 yards—to a 48-13 victory, just three games after former back Rob Ennis set the previous mark at 315. Of course, Ennis’ departure from the team following an off-the-field incident several weeks ago was a low point for the Thunderbolts, but Armstead’s performance pumped life back into the season, and kept his team within three power points of the eighth playoff spot in South, Group 5
It’s another big week, with perhaps the
biggest game of the year so far: #1 Don Bosco Prep vs. #2 Paramus
Catholic. In addition, there is another ranked parochial vs. ranked
parochial showdown involving #5 DePaul and #7 Bergen Catholic. There are
so many other big-time rivalry games, particularly in the WJFL and the
Mid-State 38, as well. Things are heating up, and the playoffs will be
here before you know it. Let’s look at some picks for the week:
The monkey is officially off of Cranford’s
back. The Cougars, despite all their success, had not been able to
overcome powerful Summit over the past several years—until Friday night.
Finally, they can boast a win over the rival Hilltoppers, thanks to
their 33-14 win this past weekend. Wide receiver Luke Christiano led the
way with 254 yards of total offense, including 189 in receptions. He
also scored two touchdowns through the air. The win puts Cranford in the
driver’s seat in the Mid-State 38 Raritan Division, where both the
Cougars and Voorhees are 3-0 in the division. They’ll meet Friday in
The Paladins are loaded with talent, but the
key for the BC defense may be getting to quarterback Willy Hansen, who
was still highly effective playing through a knee injury a week ago.
Bergen can erase the very last remnants of last season’s 2-7 campaign if
they can upend the team that beat them in the 2012 Non-Public, Group 4
It’s only Week 2, but there are already a
full slate of prime matchups on tap in New Jersey high school football.
Sure, there are some big out-of-state contests, but you don’t have to go
to Arkansas, Maryland or New York to see great football this weekend.
It’s a big statement to make, but given the
context, Saturday afternoon may have been one of Don Bosco Prep’s most
dominant performances ever. As such a powerhouse, the Ironmen have had
their fair share of huge wins, but the way they handled St. Thomas
Aquinas (FL) on Saturday was nothing short of remarkable. Ironmen
running back Malik Bakker rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on 27
carries, while the Bosco defense had 4 1/2 sacks on the way to an
imposing 24-7 victory. Aquinas was widely regarded as the top team in
the entire nation, but Bosco was too much for the Raiders nearly all