Week Three–Friday Night
Week Three Opens With 12 Games on Friday
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–On Friday evening, week three of the 2015 Greater Middlesex Conference football regular season will begin with a big slate of 12 games. Key match-ups include: Manalapan taking on Sayreville in a clash of Central Jersey football rivals from the Shore and GMC, South Brunswick travels to Old Bridge in a key GMC Red Clash, J.F. Kennedy visits South Plainfield in a GMC White match-up, and Metuchen takes on Dunellen under the lights at Columbia Park in Dunellen. Below are brief game capsules on the contests:
Manalapan (2-0) at Sayreville (2-0)–These two programs have dominated Central Jersey for the past 5 to 7 years or so, and have taken on each other a number of times during that span. The Bombers have lost the last two meetings against the Braves in big fashion, but on the road in Manalapan including a 64-28 thrashing in Week 3 of the 2014 season. This time, the two teams meet in Bomber Country. Sayreville, led by Sophomore QB Jayson DeMild, downed North Brunswick on the road (22-6) last week. Expect this contest to be more of a battle than the previous two meetings. Prediction: Manalapan wins, 30-22.
South Brunswick (1-1) at Old Bridge (2-0)–It has been a while since Old Bridge defeated South Brunswick, but the Knights, led by sophomore QB Art Sitkowski, are playing the Vikings this time in the friendly confines of Lombardi Field. OBHS is undefeated so far with wins over North Brunswick (28-6) and Edison (45-27) while South Brunswick has split its two games with a 41-21 loss at home to third ranked Middletown South and a solid win over J.P. Stevens last week. RB Phil Campbell leads SBHS. South Brunswick should be tested a bit more in this one, but should come away with the win. Prediction: South Brunswick wins, 28-17.
J.F. Kennedy (0-2) at South Plainfield (2-0)–The Tigers are hosting their third straight home game to open the season, and have two more over the next three games with the only road game being at nearby Bishop Ahr in North Edison on October 16th. South Plainfield opened the season with an impressive win over St. Joseph’s (29-7), but then lost last week to New Brunswick (27-12). It was the second straight year that NBHS defeated SPHS. Meanwhile, Kennedy has lost both its games to New Brunswick and Colonia by a combined score of 81-39. Both teams have played New Brunswick with JFK giving up more while SP has scored less. Prediction: South Plainfield wins, 28-18.
Metuchen (1-1) at Dunellen (0-1)–Dunellen had an unexpected bye week last week after Bernards and Manville agreed to play their Mid-State 38 game. The Destroyers lost a tough one to Spotswood in the GMC Gridiron varsity season opener (37-6). Meanwhile, Metuchen rolled past South River at Denny Stadium in the season opener (42-0), but then lost at home last week to Asbury Park (20-15). Mike Harmon, Preston Gibney, and Alain Diaz stood out in defeat for Dunellen in the loss to Spotswood. Devin Miller leads a veteran Metuchen squad that is considered by many to be the favorite to win the GMC Blue. Prediction: Metuchen wins, 35-8.
Bishop Ahr (0-2) at Point Pleasant Boro (2-0)–Last year, when these two teams met, BGA won a close one at Ahr Country. This year, the two teams meet at the Jersey Shore in Ocean County, and Point Boro is looking to even the score. The Panthers have opened up the season at 2-0 with wins over Pinelands and Donovan Catholic by a combined total of 42-7. Ahr has played the two toughest teams in the GMC White so far in division favorite Colonia (lost 32-18) and Woodbridge (lost 38-7). The Trojans will be more competitive in this one being that they’ve played a tougher schedule to this point, but Point Boro gets the slight edge at home. Prediction: Point Boro wins, 24-14.
Spotswood (1-1) at Highland Park (1-1)–Both teams return to GMC Blue play at .500 overall after the Chargers lost a tough one at home to Shore Regional (7-3) in a defensive struggle while Highland Park rolled past Keansburg to get its first win of the year (41-20). With the backfield trio of James Liu, Joe Hayford, and Jack Keenan to complement QB Shawn O’Connor, and the kicking game provided by Conner McCloskey, Spotswood should have the edge, but the Owls will give much more of a battle than they have in recent years with the likes of veterans Og Nwadike, Dylan Boynton, Nasir Boykins, Noah Pointer, and Ryan O’Shea. Prediction: Spotswood wins 31-13.
Edison (1-1) at Piscataway (2-0)–The Eagles showed that they were not going to be a pushover this year in the GMC Red with a very competitive performance in defeat to Old Bridge last week. Meanwhile, Piscataway downed Monroe by a touchdown (21-14). Edison defeated Monroe in its season opener. QB Haaziq Daniels and Justin Turner lead an improved Edison team while P-Way is led by the QB tandem of Danny Haus and Kamal Stewart along with the RB tandem of Elijah Barnwell and Zaire Ashley. Prediction: Piscataway wins 35-17.
North Brunswick (0-2) at East Brunswick (0-1)–Logic would think that East Brunswick has an advantage here in this one since the Bears are playing at home in the friendly confines of Jay Doyle Field, and most importantly, they are coming off a bye. However, North Brunswick has to feel pretty good about itself after giving Red Division powerhouse, Sayreville a bit more than the Bombers bargained for before losing 22-6 in Week 2. Also, NBTHS rolled past EB in last year’s Week 3 clash at Libro Field. QB Max Emmanuel had a TD in that one as a RB. EB will be looking for revenge, and gets the edge in a close one. Prediction: East Brunswick wins, 16-13.
Carteret (0-2) at New Brunswick (2-0)–The Ramblers lost a tough one to Central Jersey Group II rival, Long Branch at The Pit last week while New Brunswick rolled to its second straight win to start the season with a 27-12 victory at South Plainfield. A win over Carteret in the Hub City would give the Zebras as many wins already this season as they had all last year (3-7). Jahbree Jeffery leds NBHS at QB while Maurice Ffrench and Samad Davila complement him in the backfield at RB. Carlos Hernandez is a key target at wideout. Carteret counters with Angelo Golino at QB, Justin Taylor at TE, and Sam Kamara at FB while Kamara and Taylor anchor the Ramblers defense. Prediction: New Brunswick wins, 24-12.
J.P. Stevens (0-2) at Monroe (0-2)–Both the Hawks and the Falcons will be looking to get their first wins of the season on Friday night. Monroe should be a heavy favorite to get the W though since they came into the pre-season ranked in the GMC Top 10, and have played competitively in both their games including a 21-14 lost on the road at Piscataway last week. Stevens has lost both of its contests by a combined margin of 79-13 to Red Division powerhouses Sayreville and South Brunswick. Last year, JPS almost knocked off Monroe in a close contest at McGowan Field in North Edison. MTHS should have a bit more breathing room here, especially at home with the likes of Chase Santiago, Miles Shipp, and Matt van de Sande leading the way. Prediction: Monroe wins, 34-9.
Perth Amboy (0-1) at Colonia (2-0)–After enjoying a bye week, Perth Amboy will play its first Greater Middlesex Conference White Division game of the season when it travels over to the Colonia section of Woodbridge Township to take on the defending division champions. The Panthers opened the season with a 41-10 loss at Middletown North while Colonia has won both of its first two games over Bishop Ahr (32-18) and J.F. Kennedy (39-18) by a combined score of 71-36, a two to one margin. Solomon Manning is making plays on both sides of the ball with 21 tackles and an interception on defense, but also with a 81 yard TD catch in the win over JFK last week. Prediction: Colonia wins, 35-14.
Colts Neck (0-2) at Woodbridge (2-0)–Our picks are rounded out by a GMC White vs. Shore Conference match-up between Woodbridge and Colts Neck at Priscoe Field. The Barrons will be celebrating Homecoming, and will be looking to do it in a big way with a victory. WHS will be facing a Colts Neck team that is not only winless on the season, but also has been outscored by an average margin of 25-7 so far this season. Woodbridge has won its first two games by an average margin of 33-7 including a 38-7 rout of Bishop Ahr last week in the GMC Gridiron Varsity Game of the Week. With Tracey Fudge, Quassim Glover, Keshaun Henry, Nate Lanier and Co putting up big numbers and making big plays, the Barrons should roll here. Prediction: Woodbridge wins, 29-7.
GMC Gridiron will be in Bomber Country in Sayreville for the GMC-Shore clash between the Bombers of SWMHS and defending Central Jersey Group V Champion, Manalapan.
GMC Gridiron Game Capsules–Week Three–Saturday Afternoon
Only One Game Between GMC Blue Squads Closes Out Week Three Schedule
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–The third weekend of the 2015 Greater Middlesex Conference varsity football schedule will conclude with only one game involving GMC Blue teams. The GMC Blue clash will take place at Middlesex when the Jays host South River. Middlesex has opened the season at 2-0 while South River is still searching for its first win at 0-2. Below is the game capsule on this GMC Blue Clash (current record in parentheses):
South River (0-2) at Middlesex (2-0)–After finishing the season at 8-3 in 2014, Middlesex has built off the momentum from its first successful campaign in five seasons with two straight wins to begin the 2015 campaign including a solid win on the road at Point Pleasant Beach last week. Meanwhile, South River lost a tough one on the road against Keyport of the Shore Conference. Jays are playing at home, and had a solid win over South River last year at Denny Field. Blue Jays should go to 3-0 here. Prediction: Middlesex wins, 33-8.