The unpredictable nature of Shore Conference Class A South continues to make it difficult to figure out how to rank those teams when it comes to the Asbury Park Press Top 10 Poll.
Lacey, which had been ranked No. 3 in the first six polls of the season, has lost its last two games and drops out of the poll even though it does have a win over Toms River South.
Brick, which along with Jackson Memorial is tied for first place in the division — one game ahead of Lacey, Toms River South and Brick Memorial — moves into the poll for the third time this season. Brick has also dropped out of the poll twice during the season.
Jackson Memorial has a legitimate case to be ranked, but it lost to Toms River South on Oct. 19.
Brick Memorial, which has won four straight, certainly has a case to be ranked, but it has losses to Jackson Memorial and Brick
The rationale for the order of the Nos. 8, 9 and 10 teams is as follows:
Eighth-ranked Middletown South has a win over No. 9 Brick; Brick has a win over No. 10 Toms River South; and Toms River South has a win over Jackson Memorial.
This past weekend’s results created some shuffling in the rest of the poll as Colts Neck’s loss to Manalapan resulted in it dropping from No. 3 to No. 7, with Rumson-Fair Haven, Ocean and Barnegat all moving up a spot.
1. RED BANK CATHOLIC (6-0): Last week: No. 1. The Caseys did not play. Their last game was a 62-10 win over Holmdel on Oct. 18. This week RBC, which has been the most dominant program in the Shore over the last six seasons, meets the program that was one of the Shore’s most dominant programs before RBC took that mantle away. Next game: Friday vs. No. 8 Middletown South (4-2).
2. MANALAPAN (6-0): Last week: No. 2. Rutgers University recruit Saeed Blacknall hauled in three touchdown passes from quarterback Dan Anerella as the Braves extended their winning streak over Shore Conference opponents to 21, their regular season winning streak to 23 and their Class A North winning streak to 20 with a resounding 48-18 win over last week’s No. 3 team, Colts Neck. The win enabled Manalapan to take a major step toward its fourth consecutive outright Class A North championship. Next game: Friday at Toms River North (0-6).
3. RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN (6-0): Last week: No. 4. Junior tailback Charlie Volker surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season by running for 243 yards and four TDs as the Bulldogs improved to 6-0 for the third consecutive season with a 42-7 win over Monsignor Donovan. It was the second straight week Volker ran for more than 240 yards in a game. Next game: Friday vs. Monmouth (2-4).
4. OCEAN (6-0): Last week: No. 5. Senior wide receiver Cole Mehr scored on a pass from junior quarterback Royal Moore and also ran for a TD and sophomore running back Tyler Thompson ran for 156 yards with a 67-yard TD run as the Spartans defeated Long Branch, 21-6, took over sole possession of first place in Class B North and improved to 6-0 for the first time since 1993. Next game: Friday vs. Wall (3-3).
5. BARNEGAT (6-0): Last week: No. 6. Junior Manny Bowen ran for two TDs and scored on a pass from junior quarterback Cinjun Erskine as the Bengals rolled to a 40-0 win over Point Boro to continue the best start in their eight-year history. A tricky game is up next. Next game: Saturday at Lakewood (4-2).
6. MANASQUAN (6-1): Last week: No. 8. Senior fullback Jack Bianco scored three TDs on short runs and junior tailback James MacAlary ran for 188 yards with a 75-yard TD run as the Warriors defeated Holmdel, 37-0, for their second shutout in their last three games. Manasquan’s next game is an intriguing one. Next game: Nov. 8 at No. 3 Rumson-Fair Haven (6-0).
7. COLTS NECK (5-1): Last week: No. 3. The Cougars saw their early-season dominant run come to an end in a 48-18 loss at No. 2 Manalapan. Senior running back/defensive end Anthony Gargiulo had an outstanding all-around game with three TDs. Next game: Saturday vs. Freehold Township (1-5).
8. MIDDLETOWN SOUTH (4-2): Last week: No. 10. Senior running back Jeremy Concepcion ran for a season-high 139 yards and three TDs as the Eagles tuned up for what will be a tough next two weeks with a 52-18 win over Marlboro. Next is a game in which Middletown South will be a heavy underdog. Next game: Friday at No. 1. Red Bank Catholic (6-0).
9. BRICK (5-2): Last week: Not ranked. The Green Dragons enter the poll for the third time this season after a 28-21 win over Toms River North. Junior quarterback Carmen Sclafani, who transferred to Brick from Toms River North over the summer, ran for 138 yards and a TD and threw a TD pass to freshman Ja’Sir Taylor before he left the game in the third quarter with what Brick coach Rob Dahl said was a bruised shoulder. Next game: Saturday at Lacey (5-2).
10. TOMS RIVER SOUTH (4-2): Last week: Not ranked. The Indians re-enter the poll after an absence of three weeks with a 35-0 win over a Toms River East team that had scored 42 points or more in three of its previous four games. Khaleel Greene ran for 123 yards and two TDs. Next is a game against a team that has been playing good defense and is physical. Next game: Friday at Brick Memorial (5-2).