Week 6 Previews & Predictions

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 him.

Week 5 Recap

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

Week 5 Previews & Predictions

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:

Week 4 Recap

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 Cranford.

Week 4 Previews & Predictions

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 final.

Week 3 Recap

Haddon Heights and Haddon Township may have engaged in the most exciting contest of the young season this past weekend, as the Garnets won a double overtime shootout, 57-56. Running back Roman Massi scored the game-winning two-point conversion following Connor Beckas’ 24-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jay Smith. The victory was a critical one for Heights, as a loss would have dropped them to 0-3. With the win, the Garnets remain in a very tight South, Group 1, which has five teams within four power points of each other for the seventh and eighth playoff slots.

Week 2 Recap

Three weeks, three dominant victories for #5 DePaul. This one may have been the most impressive yet, as the Spartans rolled past one of the state’s best public school teams in #8 Pascack Valley, 35-14. There have been a lot of heroes, but running back Kareem Walker has undoubtedly been the engine behind DePaul’s success. Against the Indians, he rushed for 251 yards and four scores, bringing his season totals to 447 and six, respectively.

Week 2 Predictions

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.

Week 1 Recap

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 afternoon.

Week 1 Previews & Predictions

The two-time defending North 1, Group 5 champion (Montclair) will look to win their 25th straight game when they head to Hillsdale. The defending North 1, Group 4 champion (Pascack Valley) have a loaded backfield with the likes of Rocco Swatek, Jorge Cortes and Josh Belmonte.

Opening Weekend Recap

Opening weekend of New Jersey high school football was obviously going to revolve around the North Jersey parochials and their out-of-state showdowns. But what was most notable was the dominance shown by several of them.

Previews & Predictions

The Lions have an ambitious first few weeks on their schedule, and a win over a non-NJAC parochial like DePaul would provide a lot of momentum heading into their second game against Paramus Catholic. It will be a test for Pope John to keep junior linebacker Quayshon Alexander (nine sacks in 2013) off of its star junior quarterback, Sonny Abramson.

2013 Season in Review: From A to Z

A is for Shawnee running back Anthony DiOrio. In leading the Renegades to a South, Group 4 championship, DiOrio was a true workhorse. DiOrio carried the ball 222 times for 1,321 yards and 16 touchdowns, and was a big part of why Shawnee earned its first sectional crown since 2008.

Championship Weekend Recap

It seems like every year we do our finals recap, and every year the theme is the same. It’s always a verbal highlight reel of the weekend’s best performances. It isn’t a lack of creativity on our part. It’s the fact that at the end of the day, that is what its all about, right? Celebrating these exceptional athletes on the biggest stage.

Finals Preview: Group 5

Running back Jamauri Bogan was the catalyst behind Union’s rise from a 1-2 start to a sectional finalist, and enters the title game with 1,514 yards and 18 TDs on the ground. Don’t sleep on his backfield mate Jabree Robertson, either -- the senior has 663 yards and 11 rushing scores of his own. Guard/linebacker Connor Stieglitz is as important a two-way player as you’ll find in this game. His 89 tackles lead the Red Devils, and he’s a cog in the Ridge run game.

Finals Preview: Group 4

The Chargers have possibly the most dangerous passing game in New Jersey thanks not only to quarterback Dan Williams, but the star wide receiver duo of Adonis Jennings and Cameron Chambers. Even when their offense isn’t clicking, they’ve shown they can win defensive slugfests -- having beaten Moorestown and Paul VI by scores of 7-6 and 8-7, respectively. Shawnee knows how to keep games close, but are just 2-2 in games decided by under seven points. Running back Anthony DiOrio is the engine that makes the Renegade offense go, and has 1,188 yards and 16 touchdowns this year.

Finals Preview: Group 3

Needless to say, the first year under head coach Kevin Kostibos has been a rousing success for the Hilltoppers, who have now won 23 straight and are looking for their third title in five years. Parsippany Hills meanwhile, looked like they might struggle come postseason time after mid-season losses to Delbarton and West Morris -- two of the tougher opponents on their NJAC schedule -- but they stormed back to win their last four, including a 20-17 upset over a West Essex squad that had been near-perfect all year. Hills has never won a sectional title.

Finals Preview: Group 2

Caldwell has a formidable defense, particularly in its linebacking corps, but it’ll be hard-pressed to slow down a Herd running back that has over 3,400 yards on the ground this year. Mountain Lakes won the last postseason meeting between the perennial postseason contenders, 26-20. The Chiefs are out for revenge and have won nine straight games. Caldwell has its own dangerous back in Ray Iodice, who has 1,228 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Finals Preview: Group 1

The Heights offensive line -- consisting of Justin Porzl, Chris Verdi, Dimitri Forde, Mauro Altamura and Ryan Palladino -- has been the engine behind an offense that boasts a dangerous run game and top-flight quarterback in Darren Iurato. Iurato scored three times (2 pass TD, 1 rush) in the Aviators’ 28-21 win over the Cardinals in early November. Pompton is looking to become the first team to win three straight North 1, Group 1 crowns since Glen Rock won five in a row between 1998 and 2002.