Many of the teams in last week’s Asbury Park Press Top 10 football rankings won convincingly this past Friday night.
Middletown South, Jackson Memorial, Red Bank Catholic, St, John Vianney, Rumson-Fair Haven, Ocean, Brick, and Middletown North won by a combined 247 points, or an average of 30.8 points a game.
Then, there were Manalapan, No. 5 last week, and Toms River North, ranked No. 7 last week.
Manalapan, which has been ranked in the top five since the start of the 2012 season, or 44 consecutive rankings, needed a TD on a deflected pass with six tenths of a second left on a fourth-and-7, to escape Freehold Township, 21-20 and avoid its first Shore Conference divisional loss since the Shore Conference went back to aligning its divisions by enrollment and county at the start of the 2010 season.
Toms River North, which had been impressive in its preseason scrimmages and was a solid winner of Lacey in its opener, ran into a buzzsaw in Brick Memorial. Mustangs’ senior quarterback Tim Santiago had a school-record-setting night while running the Mustangs’ triple option offense out of the flexbone and led Brick Memorial to a resounding 52-20 win.
It was the second straight season Brick Memorial had defeated Toms River North after it had been defeated convincingly by Brick in its opener and after Toms River North had won its opener.
The result of Manalapan’s escape and Toms River North’s loss is that Manalapan drops out of the top five and is ranked No. 6 while Rumson-Fair Haven moves into the top five at No. 5.
Also, Toms River North drops out of the rankings and Brick Memorial, which was ranked No. 10 in the preseason, moves back into the rankings at No. 10.
There was also movement in the No. 7, 8 and 9 area. Brick, which has outscored its first two opponents, 71-6, moves up two places to No. 7. Ocean remains at No. 8 and Middletown North moves up one spot to No. 9.
1. MIDDLETOWN SOUTH (2-0): Last week No. 1. Senior running back Cole Rogers ran for three touchdowns and 135 yards as the Eagles scored all their points in the first half in a 42-0 win over Neptune. Next game: Friday vs. Marlboro (0-2).
2. JACKSON MEMORIAL (2-0): Last week: No. 2. Junior tailback Mike Gawlik ran for three TDs and 130 yards and defensive end Tyler Towns had three sacks as the Jaguars rolled to a 47-10 win over Lacey. Next game: Friday at Southern (1-2).
3. RED BANK CATHOLIC (2-0): Last week: No. 3. Senior quarterback Eddie Hahn, in his first game of the season after he underwent surgery for a torn meniscus on Aug. 20, went 14-for-18 for 301 yards and three TDs and Mike Balzofiore had six receptions for 145 yards and a TD as the Caseys defeated St. Joseph (Metuchen) 32-18. Next game: Friday at Neptune (0-2).
4. ST. JOHN VIANNEY (2-0): Last week: No. 4. Junior running back Chris Chukwuneke had TD runs of 25, 40 and 18 yards and Jeff Sheard returned two interceptions for TDs as the Lancers rolled to a 49-0 win over Holmdel. Next game: Friday at Central (2-1).
5. RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN (1-0): Last week: No. 6. Junior quarterback Mike O’Connor ran for 110 yards and a TD and threw a TD pass and the defense held Matawan to two first downs and 57 yards of total offense as the Bulldogs opened their season with a 17-0 win over Matawan. Next game: Saturday at Monmouth (1-1).
6. MANALAPAN (2-0): Last week: No. 6. L.J. Holder caught a deflected pass from quarterback Cody Wiener for a 9-yard TD pass on a fourth-and- 7 with six tenths of a second left and Wiener kicked the tie-breaking extra point as the Braves pulled out a 21-20 win over Freehold Township. Next game: Friday at Sayreville (2-0).
7. BRICK (2-0): Last week: No. 9. Junior Ja’Sir Taylor scored on a 42-yard run and a 59-yard pass from quarterback Tom Zbranak as the Green Dragons defeated Southern, 35-0. Next game: Saturday night at Toms River East (0-2).
8. OCEAN (2-0): Last week: No. 8. Senior running back Tyler Thompson ran for 209 yards and four TDs as the Spartans defeated Wall, 48-21. Next game: Friday vs. Red Bank (2-0).
9. MIDDLETOWN NORTH (2-0): Last week: No. 10. Sophomore running back Connor Welsh ran for a TD and had two scoring receptions from quarterback Donald Glenn and senior lineman Jacob Dean scored a TD on a blocked punt and blocked another punt that went for a TD as the Lions defeated Marlboro 40-14 and improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2009. Next game: Saturday at Freehold (1-1).
10. BRICK MEMORIAL (1-1): Last week: Not ranked. Senior quarterback Tim Santiago ran for a school single-game record 334 yards and four TDs , the Mustangs ran for 526 yards total and Matt Cuppari kicked a 47-yard field goal as they thrashed last week’s No. 7 team, Toms River North, 52-20, and bounced back from a season-opening loss to Brick. Next game: Saturday at Lacey (0-2).
Staff writer Steven Falk: 732-643-4267; firstname.lastname@example.org
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