Week 9 Predictions

By Tom Szieber
Posted:  Friday, November 4, 2016   9:00 am

With one more week before the playoffs, there are still some opportunities for power points, but some games are merely for pride and momentum. And, of course, the NJIC will crown its first ever league champion.

Let’s look at the week ahead and some picks:

NJIC Championship Game
Hasbrouck Heights (7-0) @ Pompton Lakes (7-0)
The Cardinals have a capable and efficient passer in QB Kevin Cotter, who has thrown for 1,127 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Aviators defensive end Jordan Wexler (3.5 sacks) will attempt to keep him on the run all game long.

The Pick: Hasbrouck Heights

Irvington (8-0) @ Wayne Hills (7-1)
Quarterback Jyvon Brown and the Blue Knights are looking to send a message and show that the Pats aren’t necessarily the runaway favorites in North 1, Group 4. His foil, Hills’ Brandon Devera, has had a beast of a season so far, going 93-of-179 passing for 1,458 yards and 24 scores.

The Pick: Wayne Hills

Middletown South (5-2) @ Wall (6-1)
The Eagles find themselves in the rare position of trying to snap a two-game skid. Wall is one of the most battle-tested squads in the Shore Conference, as five of its first seven games have been against teams that are .500 or above (they’re 4-1 in those contests).

The Pick: Middletown South

Cherry Hill West (7-0) @ Camden Catholic (7-0)
Irish QB Rob McCoy, Jr. is a game-breaking talent that can frustrate a defense. The Lions are looking for a program-first division title, and they’ve proven they can beat winning teams, having already taken down six-win Highland Regional and five-win Pennsauken this year.

The Pick: Camden Catholic

Don Bosco Prep (4-4) @ St. Peter’s Prep (6-2)
The Ironmen are riding high after a big win over Bergen Catholic and have now won four of their last five. Even with the in-game injury suffered by QB Johnathan Lewis last week, it’s hard to imagine the Marauders playing it conservative in a game of this magnitude a week before the playoffs.

The Pick: Don Bosco Prep

Vineland (7-0) @ St. Augustine Prep (7-0)
The Fighting Clan has a mean one-two running back punch in Cash Phillips and Daivon Seymore. The Hermits are looking to keep momentum as, despite their 8-0 record, they will be huge underdogs in a likely first-round playoff matchup with Bergen Catholic.

The Pick: St. Augustine Prep

Freehold Township (7-1) @ Manalapan (8-0)
The winner would get at least a share of the Class A North title with a victory (the Braves can clinch it outright). Freehold will face the tall task of slowing down talented Braves QB Luke Corcione, who has thrown for 23 touchdowns this year.

The Pick: Manalapan

Summit (7-1) @ Somerville (8-0)
Both teams have been absolutely lighting up the scoreboard all year, so it seems likely this will be a shootout. Those who continue to doubt the Pioneers’ renaissance will point out that they’ve beaten just two current winning teams this year (6-2 Cranford and 4-3 Johnson).

The Pick: Somerville

West Deptford (7-0) @ Collingswood (6-1)
RB Anthony Seas has rushed for 1,093 yards on the year. The Eagles have beaten Collingswood, 34-7, in each of the last three seasons.

The Pick: West Deptford

Sparta (7-0) @ High Point (5-2)
High Point will have its hands full with tough-to-bring-down Spartans rusher Alex Milliken. Sparta looks locked in at the top seed in North 1, Group 3, but they certainly don’t want to lose momentum before starting their playoff bid.

The Pick: Sparta

Tom Szieber can be reached by emailing tom@gridironnewjersey.com.