The topsy-turvy division that is Shore Conference Class A South has sure made it difficult to sort out the Asbury Park Press Top 10 Poll.
It seems like every week the unexpected happens in Class A South. It appears seven of the division’s eight teams are capable of beating one another.
This past weekend, the two Class A South teams that were in the top 10 were defeated by teams who were not ranked.
Lacey, which had been ranked No. 3 all season and finished last season ranked No. 3, was handed its first divisional loss since it became a member of Class A South before last season when Southern recorded a 21-7 win with a dominating defensive performance. That loss drops the Lions to No. 7 in the poll.
Brick, which was ranked No. 7 and had been in the poll since its win over Toms River South in Week 3, was upended by suddenly surging Toms River East, 42-35. Because of that loss, the Green Dragons drop out of this week’s poll.
Six Class A South teams have been ranked at some point during the season but because the teams in this division keep beating each other, Lacey is the only Class A South team ranked this week.
Lacey’s loss also means the No. 3 spot was open to debate this week. Colts Neck, which was ranked No. 6 last week, moves into the No. 3 slot because it has outscored its opposition, 209-7 in its first five games.
The No. 10 spot in the poll was also open to debate. Middletown South, which dropped out of the poll after its 38-0 loss at Manasquan last week, moves back in because of its win over Brick on Sept. 20.
There is a chance for more shuffling this week. Manalapan, ranked No. 2 and the owners of a 22-game regular season winning streak and a 20-game winning streak against Shore Conference opposition, will host Colts Neck on Friday night.
Also, No. 5 Ocean will host No. 9 Long Branch Friday night.
1. RED BANK CATHOLIC (6-0) — Last week: No. 1. Larry Redaelli rushed for 201 yards and three TDs as the Caseys rolled to a 62-10 win over Holmdel and extended their winning streak over Shore Conference opposition to 30. An off week is next and then a game against a big-name opponent is next. Next game: Nov. 1 vs. No. 10 Middletown South (3-2).
2. MANALAPAN (5-0) — Last week: No. 2. A kickoff return for a TD by Dan Debner and a punt return for a TD by John Cheung enabled the Braves to pull away from East Brunswick in a 42-7 win. A huge divisional game against an opponent that has dominated its opponents so far this season is next. Next game: Friday vs. No. 3 Colts Neck (5-0).
3. COLTS NECK (5-0) — Last week: No. 6. Christian Sanchez threw two TD passes and ran for a TD and Anthony Gargiulo ran for 135 yards and a TD as the Cougars defeated St. John Vianney, 35-7. The TD was the first points Colts Neck had allowed on the season. A huge test against a team loaded with talent on both sides of the ball is next. Next game: Friday at No. 2. Manalapan (5-0).
4. RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN (5-0) — Last week: No. 4. Charlie Volker continued his torrid season by racing for 246 yards and three TDs in the Bulldogs 28-6 win over Raritan. A tricky game against a team that has some firepower is next. Next game: Saturday at Monsignor Donovan (3-2).
5. OCEAN (5-0) — Last week: No. 5. The Spartans did not play. Their last game was a 33-6 win over Red Bank Regional on Oct. 11. A game that will decide the Class B North championship is next. The opponent is a big rival. Next game: Friday vs. No. 9 Long Branch (5-1).
6. BARNEGAT (5-0) — Last week: No. 7. Ricky Gerena had two interceptions to up his Shore Conference-leading total to five and Cinjun Erskine ran for a TD and threw a TD pass to Ryan Ulrich as the Bengals moved into sole possession of first place in Class B South with a 23-7 win over Central. Next game: Friday vs. Point Boro (0-6).
7. LACEY (5-1) — Last week: No. 3. The Lions’ offense, which had been averaging more than 38 points a game was completely throttled by Southern in 21-7 loss. The setback ended Lacey’s 15-game winning streak against Shore Conference opposition and 10-game winning streak against Class A South teams. Another tough divisional game is next. Next game: Friday at Jackson Memorial (3-2).
8. MANASQUAN (5-1) — Last week: No. 9. Tucker Caccavale threw for 177 yards and a TD as the Warriors survived a spirited effort by Monmouth Regional and recorded a 17-14 win. Next game: Saturday vs. Holmdel (1-5).
9. LONG BRANCH (5-1) — Last week: No. 10. Dahmiere Willis’ ran for five TDs and close to 300 yards as the Green Waves defeated Freehold, 48-23. Next is the game that could decide the Class B North championship against a big rival. Next game: Friday at No. 5 Ocean (5-0).
10. MIDDLETOWN SOUTH (3-2) — Last week: Not ranked. Drew O’Connell’s two first quarter TDs sent the Eagles on their way to a 30-16 win over Freehold Township. Next game: Friday vs. Marlboro (0-5).