Week Four–Friday Night
Fourth Week of Regular Season Opens With Nine Games on Friday
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–On Friday evening, Week Four of the 2015 Greater Middlesex Conference football regular season will begin with a big slate of 11 games. Key match-ups include: Sayreville traveling to South Brunswick for a key early season Red Division showdown, Middlesex visiting Asbury Park in an interesting GMC vs. Shore match-up, and J.F. Kennedy hosting St. Joseph’s in a GMC White clash. Piscataway, South Plainfield, and Highland Park all have byes this week. Below are game capsules on the contests:
Sayreville (2-1) at South Brunswick (2-1)–The Vikings host Sayreville in a key early season showdown between two GMC Red powerhouses. South Brunswick tops the GMC Gridiron Top Ten while Sayreville is ranked third in the poll. The two teams have both faced two of the top teams in the Shore Conference’s Class A North Division with SBHS losing to fourth ranked in the state, Middletown South (41-21) on opening night while Sayreville was defeated by 14th ranked Manalapan last week in Bomber Country. The Vikings, however, are coming off a hard fought 20-9 victory on the road in Old Bridge last week. Both teams soundly defeated Stevens earlier in the year, and Sayreville defeated North Brunswick by two scores in Week Two (22-6). Jayson DeMild, Coray Williams, Michael Liberti, and Jahsim Floyd lead the Bombers on offense while South Brunswick counters with its option attack spearheaded by junior QB Josh Liao and anchored by RB Phil Campbell and WR Mo Jabbie. Prediction: South Brunswick wins, 24-23.
East Brunswick (1-1) at Edison (1-2) at 5 PM on Friday–The Bears got back on track last week after having a bye with a 16-14 win over North Brunswick at home. Meanwhile, Edison has lost two straight to Old Bridge (45-27) and Piscataway (37-6) since upsetting 9th ranked Monroe at home on opening night. Both teams have lost to P-Way by large margins. EB lost to the Chiefs, 42-7 on opening night. These two teams met last year with EB winning at Jay Doyle. The Bears and Eagles have solid running backs with EBHS led by Kyle Wiggins while EHS is led by James Stewart. EB’s edge could come via its large offensive line while the difference for Edison could be sophomore QB Haaziq Daniels along with junior playmaker Justin Turner. Edison has already played three Pre-Season Top 10 teams in No. 9 Monroe, No. 4 Old Bridge, and No. 2 Piscataway. GMC Gridiron is giving the Eagles a slight edge playing in the friendly confines of The Drawl with its beloved mascot, Edgar Eagle, and renowned PA Announcer, Dave Sandaal. Prediction: Edison wins 24-20.
Old Bridge (2-1) at J.P. Stevens (0-3) at 5PM on Friday–The fourth ranked Knights are coming off a 20-9 decision at home to top ranked South Brunswick while Stevens is looking for its first win after being outscored 126-20 over its first three games. One of those losses was a 44-6 defeat at top ranked SBHS in week two. OBHS is led by sophomore QB Art Sitkowski, who has already received offers from Big Ten schools Rutgers and Maryland. Sitkowski is joined in the backfield by Nick Sodano and Jake Esposito. Stevens will try to counter with the versatile, Jay’von Blacknall. Stevens is playing its first game at home this season, but the home cooking at McGowan Field won’t be enough. Old Bridge gets the edge here. Prediction: Old Bridge wins, 35-7.
Monroe (1-2) at North Brunswick (0-3)–Monroe got on the board with a resounding win at home over winless J.P. Stevens last week while North Brunswick remained winless with a heartbreaking 16-14 loss on the road at East Brunswick. Ranked 9th in the pre-season, the Falcons lost their first two games to Edison (29-7) in somewhat of a shocker, and 21-14 at Piscataway in Week Two. North Brunswick opened the year with a 28-6 loss to Old Bridge on the road, and then played quite respectably in defeat to Sayreville at home in Week Two (22-6). So, the Raiders show signs of improving. Matt van de Sande leads the Falcons offense at QB with Chase Santiago at RB and Miles Shipp at WR. Josh Wood is a solid kicker and punter for MTHS. Max Emmanuel leads North Brunswick at QB with the likes of Francis Omowole at RB, and Dylan Seel. Prediction: Monroe wins, 24-14.
St. Joseph’s (0-2) at J.F. Kennedy (0-3)–Ranked in the pre-season Top 10, both of these teams have gotten off to tough starts. Both squads have been outscored by nearly three scores per game. However, St. Joseph’s is coming off a bye after a respectable 32-18 loss on the road at Red Bank Catholic, the defending Non-Public Group III school in the state. Kennedy played a bit better against a common opponent in South Plainfield, losing 21-7 on the road at SPHS while Joes lost to the Tigers at Jost Field 29-7 on opening night. The Mustangs hopes ride on the arm and legs as well as the playmaking ability of senior QB Andrew Roberts. However, the key to the game may lie in the trenches were Joes is led by Rutgers bound, Nick Krimin along with basketball big man, Bryan Carley. JFK is playing at home while Joes opens the season with his third straight game on the road. Prediction: St. Joseph’s wins, 24-23.
Woodbridge (3-0) at Perth Amboy (0-2)–So far this season, Woodbridge has played very well with three convincing wins by an average margin of 36-9. On the other hand, Perth Amboy has played a bit more respectably over its first two games than it did in the same two contests last year. The Panthers gave Colonia quite a battle on the road last week before bowing out 26-16. Woodbridge actually trailed Colts Neck at the half 13-7 before turning on the jets in the second half for a 41-13 victory. Expect Perth Amboy to give another tough battle this week, but Woodbridge has too many weapons with the likes of QB Tracey Fudge, RBs Nate Lanier and Keshaun Henry, and WRs Quassim Glover and Tyler Bork just to name a few. Prediction: Woodbridge wins 35-18.
Colonia (3-0) at Carteret (0-3)–The fifth ranked Patriots had more of a fight than expected last week at home versus Perth Amboy, but came away with a 26-16 victory to remain undefeated. Meanwhile, Carteret fell on the road at the new Turf Field of Memorial Stadium aginst New Brunswick in the Hub City. So far this season, the Ramblers have been outscored by a margin of 77-20 and have only managed to get one score in each game played this year. The Ramblers are playing in the friendly confines of The Pit, where the only lost 14-7 to Long Branch two weeks ago, but Colonia has too many weapons back with the likes of Chase Barneys, Bryce Barneys, Bashir Lauderdale, and Solomon Manning along with sophomore Luke Pero. Prediction: Colonia wins 29-13.
New Brunswick (3-0) at Bishop Ahr (0-3)–There is a lot of enthusiasm building up on the streets of the Hub City. For the first time since the 2009 season, New Brunswick has a team that looks playoff bound. The Zebras have already amassed as many wins this year under 2nd year head coach, Don Sofilkanich than they did all of last year. The most recent victory was a 35-6 rout of Carteret at the newly refurbished Memorial Stadium with Field Turf. So far this season, NBHS has outscored its foes by an average of 35-13 per game. RBs Maurice Ffrench and Samad Davila complement QB Jahbree Jeffery at QB. Bishop Ahr is coming off a tough loss on the road to Point Pleasant Boro in a GMC-Shore crossover last week in Ocean County. The good news for BGA is that it will be playing its first home game this season. QB Tommy Galante and RBs Andrew Brazicki and Dane Lupton along with WR Robert Gee and WR/KR Remi Funderburke are players to watch for Ahr. So far this season, the BGA has been outscored by an average of 28-10. New Brunswick too much here as they set up a potential showdown of unbeatens against Woodbridge next week. Prediction: New Brunswick wins, 31-12.
Dunellen (0-2) at Shore Regional (3-0)–This year’s edition of the Destroyers is very young with only 6 or 7 players that are juniors or seniors led by Preston Gibney and Alain Diaz. Over the first two games of the season, Dunellen has been outscored by an average margin of 40-7. Meanwhile, Shore Regional has outscored its foes by an average margin of about 28-6 including a 7-3 victory on the road over a Spotswood team that downed DHS on opening night at Columbia Park, 37-6. Sophomore WB/DB Mike Harmon has been a bright spot for Dave DeNapoli and his Destroyers with nice running plays on offense, and nice defensive plays on pass defense. The Blue Devils will be looking to get some revenge for last year’s dramatic comeback victory by Dunellen in Columbia Park. Prediction: Shore Regional wins, 34-6.
GMC Gridiron will first be at Lombardi Field in Old Bridge on Friday afternoon for the Freshmen game of the week between the Knights and J.P. Stevens. Then, we will travel down to Vikings Stadium in Monmouth Junction for the GMC Red Showdown between top ranked South Brunswick and third ranked Sayreville on Friday night.
GMC Gridiron Game Capsules–Week Four–Saturday Afternoon
Four Contests Between GMC Blue and Shore Conference Class B Central Teams Close Out Week Four Schedule
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–Week Four of the 2015 Greater Middlesex Conference varsity football schedule will conclude with four games involving GMC Blue teams. All three games will feature match-ups between the GMC Blue and the Shore Conference’s Class B Central Division. South River will host Keansburg in a battle of two winless teams while Metuchen hosts Keyport in a clash of two 2-1 squads, and Spotswood hosts Point Pleasant Beach. Below are game capsules on the two games (last year’s record in parentheses):
Middlesex (3-0) at Asbury Park (2-1) at 4 PM on Saturday–After an 8-3 campaign last year that was capped off by its first win over Route 28 rival Dunellen since 2008, Middlesex has picked up where it left off with three straight wins to being the 2015 season. One of those wins was a victory on the road two weeks ago at Point Pleasant Beach (27-13), which had defeated Asbury Park (13-6) in overtime the week before. Middlesex has also added wins over an improved Highland Park team (27-12) and a hard fought win at home over a South River team (26-18) that is starting to play a bit better despite being a bit more inexperienced. Asbury Park did score a bit of an upset though by knocking off Blue Division favorite, Metuchen at the Dawg Pound in Week Two (20-15). Then, the Bishops scored an even bigger surprise by thumping a Mater Dei program that has been on the upswing over the past several seasons last week (42-19). QB A.J. Abate and RBs Anthony Marshall and Ryan Coke, who also is a basketball standout at MHS will anchor the potent Blue Jay ground game. Prediction: Middlesex wins, 22-19.
Keansburg (0-3) at South River (0-3)–Both of these teams played two of the top teams in their respective divisions over the first three games this season with Keansburg losing to Mater Dei (35-0) and Shore Regional (46-6) and South River falling to Metuchen on opening weekend (42-0) and to Middlesex last week (26-18). However, the Rams have played a bit better, especially over their last two games. So far this season, Keansburg has been outscored in its first three games by a margin of 122-26 while South River has been outscored 95-30. Hey Rich Dudas, there will be joy at Denny Stadium tomorrow. We’re giving Mario Nigro, Khylil Everett, and the young Rams the edge here. Prediction: South River wins, 26-20.
Keyport (2-1) at Metuchen (2-1)–Both teams are off to solid starts with Keyport losing its only game to Shore Regional (31-7) on opening weekend. Meanwhile, Metuchen has won its two games over South River (42-0) and Dunellen (42-7) by a combined total of 84-7 while losing to Asbury Park (20-15) by less than a touchdown. Both teams have played South River with the Bulldogs rolling to an easy shutout win at Denny Field on opening weekend while Keyport defeated the Rams in Week Two (27-12) in Keyport. Shore teams have given Metuchen trouble in the past. Although the Dawgs defeated Asbury Park handily at the Jersey Shore last year, the Blue Bishops found a way to edge them at home this year. This shouldn’t be the case with the likes of Jake Lebovits, Trevor Firgau, Devin Miller, Pete DiMeglio, and Shamar Serieux against Keyport at the Dawg Pound. Prediction: Metuchen wins, 25-13.
Point Pleasant Beach (1-2) at Spotswood (2-1)–On Saturday, Spotswood hosts Point Beach with an opportunity to go 3-1 on the still somewhat young season. The Chargers only loss has come to a Shore Conference team in Class B Central contender, Shore Regional by a score of 7-3 in Week Two over in Charger Country. Coming into this game, the Chargers are 1-5 against non-conference foes going back to last season including a 1-4 mark versus Shore Conference opponents. One of those defeats came on the road to Point Pleasant Beach. This time, Spotswood is hoping to turn the tables with the backfield of James Liu, Joe Hayford, and Jack Keenan along with big arm QB Shawn O’Connor. Point Beach has lost to of its first three games including a 27-13 defeat at the hands of Middlesex at home two weeks ago. Prediction: Spotswood wins, 24-12.