One of the craziest weeks of the Shore Conference scholastic football season has resulted in some shuffling in the Asbury Park Press Football Top 10.
The first question in the rankings this week was how to rank Toms River North, Brick and Brick Memorial after Toms River North’s 26-14 win over then No. 3 Brick not only enabled the Mariners to clinch a tie for the Shore Conference Class A South championship, but also created a triangle amongst those three teams.
Toms River North has a solid win over Brick. Brick defeated Brick Memorial, 36-6, on Sept. 12. Brick Memorial defeated Toms River North, 52-20, on Sept. 18.
There will be a three-way tie for the Class A South championship should both Brick and Brick Memorial defeat Toms River South and Southern respectively this week.
Toms River North moves up to No. 4 and ahead of both Brick and Brick Memorial because it has the latest win in the triangle. Brick stays ahead of Brick Memorial via the head-to-win result and because Brick Memorial has two losses (the other is to No. 1 Middletown South) while Brick has just one loss.
All three teams move ahead of Rumson-Fair Haven after Rumson’s 21-20 win over Raritan this past weekend.
Other shuffling in the rankings have Ocean moving in at No. 8 after its dramatic come-from-behind 42-35 win over then No. 8 and current No. 10 Red Bank Catholic.
The Spartans were in the first three rankings of the season before a loss to current No. 3 Red Bank Regional in Week 3.
Point Boro, which had been ranked the last three weeks, drops out after its 25-22 overtime loss at Jackson Liberty Friday night.
1. MIDDLETOWN SOUTH (7-0): Last week: No. 1. The Eagles were idle this week. Their last game was a hard-fought 21-3 win over No. 6 Brick Memorial on Oct. 23. Next game: Saturday at No. 10 Freehold (6-2.
2. ST. JOHN VIANNEY (8-0): Last week: No. 2. Senior quarterback Anthony Brown threw for 252 yards and four touchdowns – two to Michael Stapert – and also ran for a TD as the Lancers overcame a slow start and defeated Monmouth Regional, 48-0, to clinch a tie for the Shore Conference Class A Central championship. St. John Vianney can clinch the divisional title outright this week. Next game: Friday vs. Manasquan (3-4).
3. RED BANK (7-0): Last week: No. 4. Senior quarterback ran for two TDs and threw for another. Alim Godsey and Sadiq Palmer each ran for a TD and and Palmer had a TD reception as the Bucs defeated Holmdel, 37-6. Next game: Friday at Manchester (0-7).
4. TOMS RIVER NORTH (7-1): Last week: No. 7. Senior running back Asante Moorer ran for two fourth quarter TDs and rushed for 186 yards and junior quarterback Mike Husni ran for 119 yards and a TD as the Mariners defeatdr previously-unbeaten and last week’s No. 3 team Brick, 26-14, and clinched a tie for the Class A South championship. Toms River North scored six more points than Brick had allowed total in its first seven games and rushed for 385 yards. The divisional title is Toms River North’s first since 2008, when it won the now defunct American Division championship. Next game: Friday at Neptune (2-5).
5. BRICK (7-1): Last week: No. 3. Junior Ja’Sir Taylor had 77 and 38-yard TD receptions from senior quarterback Tom Zbranak, but Toms River North’s running game was too much for the Green Dragons in a 26-14 defeat that prevented Brick from clinching a tie for the Class A South championship. Brick can clinch a tie for the divisional title this week with a win at one of its oldest rivals. It would be the second straight season Brick has won at least a share of the Class A South title. It won the divisional title outright last season. Next game: Friday at Toms River South (4-3).
6. BRICK MEMORIAL (6-2): Last week: No. 6. Senior quarterback Tim Santiago ran for 182 yards with a 71-yard TD run and threw a 28-yard TD pass to Matt Cuppari and Cuppari kicked a 37-yard field goal and Tony Thorpe and Elie Lavarin each ran for a TD as the Mustangs defeated Toms River South 31-7. Brick Memorial can clinch a tie for the Class A South championship this week with a win. It would be the Mustangs’ first divisional title since 2010. Next game: Friday vs. Southern (3-5).
7. RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN (6-1): Last week: No. 5. Junior strong safety Mike Murdock stopped a 2-point conversion attempt on a trick play with 3:06 remaining to preserve the Bulldogs’ 21-20 win over Raritan. Junior quarterback Mike O’Connor ran for 134 yards with a 48-yard TD run and threw for 129 yards with a 5-yard TD pass to Mike Ruane and Bryan Hess ran for 135 yards and a TD. Next game: Friday at Holmdel (1-6).
8. OCEAN (6-1): Last week: Not ranked. Junior quarterback Kenny Pickett’s 1-yard TD run with 25 seconds left gave the Spartans a dramatic come-from-behind 42-35 win over last week’s No. 8 team Red Bank Catholic. Pickett threw for 259 yards and three TDs, including an 81-yard TD pass to Ruquan Dean in the fourth quarter. Senior running back Tyler Thompson ran for 131 yards and a TD. Next game: Saturday at Colts Neck (1-7).
9. SHORE (7-0): Last week: No. 10. Senior running back Alex Johnson ran for 100 yards and two TDs and senior running back Doug Goldsmith also ran for 100 yards and had a TD as the Blue Devils clinched a tie for the Class B Central championship with a 42-7 win over Point Pleasant Beach. Shore, whose 15-game winning streak is the longest active one in the Shore Conference, can clinch the divisional title outright for the third straight season with a win over its nearest pursuer. The top seed in the Central Group I playoffs will be at stake. Next game: Friday vs. Asbury Park (6-1).
10. RED BANK CATHOLIC (6-2): Last week: No. 8. Senior quarterback Eddie Hahn’s four TD passes – three of which were to Mike Balzofiore – and TD run were not enough for the Caseys in a 42-35 loss to Ocean. The Caseys will get a chance to even a score from last year this week. Next game: Friday vs. Jackson Memorial (5-3).
Steven Falk: 732-643-4267; firstname.lastname@example.org