A Shore Conference record nine teams will try to win sectional championship games in two weeks.
As a result of Shore’s dominance last week, which saw it go 5-2 against nonconference opponents with the wins coming by an average of 30.4 points and the losses coming by a combined seven points late in the game, there is little movement this week in the Asbury Park Press Top 10.
The major movement comes in the 4-5 slots where Brick Memorial and Toms River North switch spots because of Brick Memorial’s 52-20 win over the Mariners on Sept 18.
Toms River North had been ranked ahead of Brick Memorial after it defeated then unbeaten and No. 3 Brick on Oct. 30 because those two teams and Brick were ranked and had a triangle in three games amongst each other. All three of those teams shared the Shore Conference Class A South championship.
However, with Brick having dropped out of the rankings after its loss to Jackson Memorial on Nov. 13 in a NJSIAA Central Group IV quarterfinal Brick Memorial’s win over Toms River North now carries a lot more weight than it did when it was part of the Brick Memorial, Toms River North, Brick triangle.
Brick Memorial’s losses are to Brick and No. 1 Middletown South.
The Brick Memorial loss is Toms River North’s only loss.
Elsewhere, Shore moves ahead of Ocean after Ocean’s loss to Red Bank in a Central Group III semifinal.
Ocean, Red Bank Catholic and Jackson Memorial are ranked 8, 9 and 10 based on head-to-head results. Ocean has a win over Red Bank Catholic and Red Bank Catholic has a win over Jackson Memorial.
1. MIDDLETOWN SOUTH (10-0): Last week: No. 1. Senior running back Cole Rogers ran for 210 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries to lead the Eagles to a 41-14 win over Middletown North in a NJSIAA North II, Group IV semifinal and the first playoff meeting between the two sister schools. The same two teams will be right back at it Thursday in a game with Shore Conference Class A North championship implications. Middletown South can clinch the divisional championship outright with a win. Middletown North can tie Middletown South for the divisional title with a win. Then, the Eagles will try to win their first sectional championship since 2006 and 10th overall against Phillipsburg at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 5 in the North II, Group IV chamionship game. Next game: Thursday vs. Middletown North (7-3).
2. ST. JOHN VIANNEY (11-0): Last week: No. 2. Senior quarterback Anthony Brown threw for three TDs — two senior wide receiver Michael Stapert — and ran for another and junior running back Chris Chukwuneke ran for 100 yards and two TDs as the Lancers defeated No. 9 and defending NJSIAA Non-Public Group II champion Red Bank Catholic 49-6 in a Non-Public Group III semifinal. St. John Vianney is in its first sectional championship game in 33 years and will now try to win its first sectional title in 35 years and second ever. Next game: Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. at Rutgers University vs. DePaul (5-6) in the NJSIAA Non-Public Group III championship game.
3. RED BANK (10-0): Last week: No. 3. Sadiq Palmer scored three TDs — one receiving and two rushing — including the game-winner on a 5-yard run with 9:24 left — as the Bucs defeated No. 8. Ocean, 21-14, in a NJSIAA Central Group III semifinal and advanced to a sectional championship game for the first time in 12 years. It was Red Bank’s second win of the season at Ocean. Before Red Bank tries to win its first sectional championship since 1975 and the second in its history, it will try to nail down the outright Shore Conference Class B North championship against an old rival. Next game: Thursday vs. Long Branch (3-6).
4. BRICK MEMORIAL (9-2): Last week: No. 5. Senior quarterback Tim Santiago ran for 157 yards and a TD and threw a TD pass to Elie Lavarin and sophomore running back Tony Thorpe ran for 167 yards and a TD as the Mustangs defeated Allentown, 28-7, in a NJSIAA Central Group IV semifinal and advanced to a sectional championship game for the first time since 2010. Brick Memorial will try to win its first sectional championship since 2008 in two weeks. The opponent is a familiar one and one it defeated earlier this season. Next game: Dec. 5 at 4 p.m.at Rutgers University vs. No. 10 Jackson Memorial (7-4) in the NJSIAA Central Group IV championship game.
5. TOMS RIVER NORTH (10-1): Last week: No. 4. Junior quarterback Mike Husni’s 1-yard TD run capped an 80-yard drive to begin the third quarter and broke a scoreless tie and senior running back Asante Moorer added a 38-yard TD run in the fourth quarter as the Mariners defeated Lenape, 14-0 in a NJSIAA South Group V semifinal. Moorer ran for 187 yards and Husni added 116 yards rushing. Toms River North, which is in a sectional championship game for the first time since 2007 — when it won the South IV title — will try to make it six for six in sectional championship games in two weeks. Next game: Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. at Rowan University vs. Williamstown (9-1) in the South Group V championship game.
6. RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN (9-1): Last week: No. 6. Junior quarterback Mike O’Connor threw TD passes to Matt Vecchiarelli and Bryan Hess, ran for 83 yards and threw for 79 yards and Mike Ruane had a TD run as the Bulldogs defeated defending NJSIAA Central Grouip III champion Matawan, 24-13, in a Central Group III semifinal. Before Rumson-Fair Haven tries to win its third straight sectional championship, it has an interesting Thanksgiving Day game against a team who is trying for an unbeaten season. Next game: Thursday vs. No. 7 Shore (10-0).
7,. SHORE (10-0): Last week: No. 8. Junior quarterback Matt Pennell ran for a TD and threw two TD passes to senior receiver Duke Russo and three other players had a TD as the Blue Devils extended the Shore’s longest current winning streak to 18 with a 42-0 win over Florence in a NJSIAA Central Group I semifinal. Before Shore tries to win a sectional championship for the second straight season, it will face a ranked team for the first time this season. It is also a team it defeated last year in the rain and mud. Next game: Thursday vs. No. 6 Rumson-Fair Haven (9-1).
8. OCEAN (8-2); Last week: No. 7. Junior quarterback Kenny Pickett threw for 268 yards and a TD pass to Joey Aldarelli and Aldarelli had 10 receptions for 180 yards, but it was not enough for the Spartans in a 21-14 loss to No. 3 Red Bank in a NJSIAA Central Group III semifinal. Next game: Thursday at Monmouth (5-4).
9. RED BANK CATHOLIC (8-3): Last week: No. 9. A 31-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Eddie Hahn to Zack Bair was not nearly enough for the Caseys in a 49-6 loss to No. 2 St. John Vianney in a Non-Public Group III semifinal. Next game: Season completed.
10. JACKSON MEMORIAL (7-4): Last week: No. 10. Junior running back Mike Gawlik ran for 181 yards and two TDs, senior Kyle Johnson continued his successful conversion to quarterback from wide receiver by running 118 yards with a 47-yard TD run, Jared Calhoun returned an interception for a TD, the Jaguars blocked two punts — one of which was returned for a TD by Connor Testa — and Testa also had an 87-yard TD run as the defending NJSIAA Central Group IV champion Jaguars routed Steinert, 56-10, in a Central Group IV semifinal. Jackson Memorial will face an opponent it lost to earlier this season in the sectional final in two weeks. Next game: Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. at Rutgers University vs. No. 4 Brick Memorial (9-2) in the NJSIAA Central Group IV championship game.
Steven Falk: 732-643-4267; email@example.com