2018 Academic Resources Football Predictions for Week Zero

Every week Kevin, Brian and George slug it out to predict the most football games correctly. Morris Sussex Sports has incentivized these three knuckleheads with a prize to be determined to who ever picks the most correct games at the end of the season. Keep up with their progress every Thursday nights or Friday mornings when the 2018 Academic Resources Weekly Predictions come out.

The 2018 Football Predictions are sponsored by Academic Resources, centrally located in Morris Plains.  For 30 years, Academic Resources has been taking the stress off of students and families from the entire test prep and college planning process.  They’ve been helping scores of Morris-Sussex students and scholar-athletes find the schools that are the best fit for them academically, socially, athletically and financially.  College is coming fast so don’t over think this.  Just call them right now and mentioned “Morris Sussex Sports” for a FREE evaluation.

Thursday Night Lights

Hackettstown (0-0) @ Jefferson (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Jerry Venturino’s third year as head coach means these Jefferson seniors are ALL IN. PICK: Jefferson 21-10
Brian Kenney: Matt Castro will score 2 TDs for H-Town as they continue their winning ways after last season. PICK: H-Town 27-24
George Muha: Of all the games that are on the docket in Morris-Sussex in Week Zero, I think this will be the best one. I do believe it will be won by a margin of one or two points and I think home field advantage will be the winning factor. PICK: J-Town 33-32

Cresskill (0-0) @ Butler (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: You know, QB Evan Smith will be slanging the rock out there for the season home opener. PICK: Butler 28-14
Brian Kenney: Scholar-athlete Sean Centinaro will get over 175-yards closer to Butler’s all-time rushing record by the time this game is finished. QB Evan Smith will account for two scores as well in a big win. PICK: Butler 34-20
George Muha: Sean Centinaro and I have a lot in common. We both were stud football players in high school and we both were at the top of our class academically. Okay, we don’t have those things in common at all as I was a mediocre player and student at best. Cresskill won’t have anything in common with him either. PICK: Butler 38-18

Morris Hills (0-0) @ Woodbridge (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: I hear FB Jeremy Busel isn’t afraid to lower the boom. The Woodbridge defense won’t want anything to do with tackling him in the second half. PICK: Morris Hills 24-7
Brian Kenney: Mo’ Hills, Mo’ Problems (for Woodbridge, that is). The Hills want to return to Met Life this year, and they will take their first step towards that goal on Thursday. Look for the O-Line to pave the way for backs Angelo Macera and Sam Valerio to combine for 200 plus yards and 3 scores in this one. PICK: Hills 27-19
George Muha: Angelo Macera has to be the toughest kid in Morris-Sussex. I predict he’ll also be the toughest player in Middlesex on Thursday night as well. PICK: MoHills 35-30

Whippany Park (0-0) @ Ridgefield Park (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Ridgefield Park’s home uniforms remind me of the 2006 Rutgers Scarlet Knights upset over Louisville. PICK: Ridgefield Park 28-25
Brian Kenney: Whippany Park had a decent season last year but it won’t be easy to repeat that success with the loss of so many key seniors. Mike Roma will run for a buck twenty-five and two scores and make a baker’s dozen worth of tackles but the home Park team wins this one. PICK: Ridgefield Park 28-20
George Muha: Whippany had a great season last year and came into 2018 with a lot of momentum. But Ridgefield will be too difficult in their home opener on their home field.

Friday Night Lights

Somerville (0-0) @ Delbarton (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: I saw what some of my buddies from Rutgers Football accomplished as coaches at Somerville last season and I am expecting more of the same. #FAMILY PICK: Somerville 28-24
Brian Kenney: Delby has a big challenge to start the season and they graduated some quality players last year. That being said, look for senior Will Smart to record at least one sack and cause a turnover in a close win by the Green Wave. PICK: Delby 14-132
George Muha: Somerville is as tough as they come. But don’t under estimate anything about Delbarton. Luke Ungar will show why double teaming him doesn’t work with 100-yards receiving and at least two TDs. PICK: Delby 33-28

Dover (0-0) @ Hopatcong (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Cats hate water and from what I hear there is a pretty big lake in Hopatcong. PICK: Hopatcong 21-9
Brian Kenney: The ‘Cong will be rocking this Friday in the rain. I think both teams have a shot at winning this one but I’m going to go with the Tigers in a barn burner. Look for Dover’s Christian Acevedo to account for a couple of scores with either his feet or his arm. PICK: Dover 21-20
George Muha: I’ve been a fan of Christian Acevedo’s since his freshman year when he was getting some varsity dunks. Now that he’s a senior, I predict he is going to do everything in his power to will his team into the postseason. The Acevedo Show starts this game. PICK: Dover 23-12

Parsippany (0-0) @ Kinnelon (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: I played terrible in a baseball game at Smith Field in Parsippany and could never quite get the bad taste out of my mouth. PICK: Kinnelon 14-7
Brian Kenney: I don’t know how many games I picked the Red Hawks to win last year, and while I was usually correct, I’m going to flip the script and start the season off by picking them to win in Kinnelon on Friday. I think Nana Agyemang is going to return a kick for a score in this one, and that will be the difference. PICK: Parsippany 10-7
George Muha:  Parsippany coach Jason Hurta has been doing a great job of building a program over the last bunch of years.  I predict, all his hard work pays off this season and it will start with this game.  PICK:  Parsippany 33-29

Vernon (0-0) @ Kittatinny (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Would you want to tackle Jacob Mafaro? PICK: Kittatinny 35-21
Brian Kenney: The past week I’m sure Vernon’s Coach Steve Down has been focusing on how to stop Kitt’s super back Jacob Mafaro. Like the Terminator, it is almost impossible to stop the Mafaro machine. Speed and strength will propel him to a fantastic season, and it starts on Friday. Look for him to gain 200-yards on the ground with three scores in a Kitts’ win. PICK: Kitts 34-21
George Muha: I heard Kittatinny’s Jake Mafaro is 6-8, 260-pounds and runs a 4.3. He might as well be with all of the talk about him coming out of Kittatinny camp. While those numbers are exaggerated, most of the stories are true and teams should be afraid…very afraid. I predict Mafaro has 8 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and at least three runs of 50-yards or more. And two blocked extra point attempts too. PICK: Cougars 44-20

Newton (0-0) @ Lenape Valley (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Newton coming into Patriot country with a target on their back will certainly make for an exciting game. However, I think the streak will continue. PICK: Newton 31-29
Brian Kenney: Newton refused to lose last year, and have rings to show for it. Having lost a bunch of seniors, they are in process of re-tooling the weapons in their arsenal, but look for Ryan Kaiser to run for a buck fifty and a couple of scores in this one as QB Mike Freda puts the nail in the coffin with a TD pass for Newton to get the win down in the Valley. That being said, Drew “George” Pickett will lead a charge in the second half for the Valley which will fall just short. PICK: Newton 30-28
George Muha: I think my favorite player this year is Lenape Valley’s junior runningback Nick Molinari. He’s a man of few words, he wears a fullback number (#44) and he can run around you, over you or through you. I know Newton is coming off 12 straight wins and a state title. But all good things come to an end and I think it will be at the hands of the Molinari Train. PICK: Lenape Valley 44-39

Long Island Lutheran (0-0) @ Morristown-Beard School (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: My girlfriend is a 2008 graduate of Mo Beard. Need I say more? PICK: Morristown-Beard School 14-12
Brian Kenney: Wow, a team from Strong Island coming down to take on the Beard! It will be a battle on the Beard’s turf in the rain. Look for the home team to go up late in the fourth quarter when Nate Panza breaks for a long TD run, echoing former Crimson great Tahj Valentine. PICK: The Beard 17-14
George Muha: I am sure the Long Island Lutherans are not planning on driving all the way to Morristown to lose. But after they get introduced to linebacker George Burke, I am afraid that is exactly what’s going to happen. PICK: Beards 44-28

North Warren (0-0) @ Wallkill Valley (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: One of my co-captains at WMC, Keith Ramirez, played at Wallkill Valley before he moved to Long Valley. In the words of Coach Hennelly, Keith was the “toughest swimmer I ever met.” He was also a very tough football player. PICK: Wallkill 21-14
Brian Kenney: This is going to be a battle down in the Valley. I think Valley QB Alex Mastroianni will throw for almost 200 yards in the rain and run for at least one score in a close one. PICK: Valley 20-16
George Muha: I predict North Warren will be in the mix when the Power Points are getting calculated in November. But Wallkill and their stud QB Alex Mastroianni will reward their fans for coming out for this home game. PICK: Wallkill 33-29

Par Hills (0-0) @ Paramus (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: We smoked Paramus in a consolation game my junior year. PICK: Par Hills 28-21
Brian Kenney: Does Par Hills ever have an off year? The answer is no. How do you replace Nick Verducci? Well, you can’t, but that doesn’t mean new QB JD Breslauer isn’t going to try. He will hook up with EJ Comerford for at least one score if not two. I was never that great at math (that’s why I had to go to law school), but I know this equation: JD + EJ = TD. PICK: The Hills 34-17
George Muha: I got two words for you. JD Breslauer. Maybe that’s three. Who knows? But I do know that Paramus won’t be able to wait for him to get back on the bus and go home after this one is done and over. PICK: Vikes 33-13

Livingston (0-0) @ Randolph (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: The Rams were always tough back in my day and their AD was my history teacher at WMC. PICK: Randolph 31-7
Brian Kenney: The Rams showed flashes last year and I think they are going to build off that in 2018. New Coach Will Nahan knows what he wants to do with this squad, and they want to deliver for the rookie HC. Look for Matty Kuntz to run for two scores. PICK: Rams 24-10
George Muha: I’ve been hearing about sophomores Jimmy Pepe and Justin Townsend since they were in elementary school because they apparently were phenoms in the Randolph Bulldog midget league. Considering they are both on the V-squad as sophomores, I’m looking forward to these two studs in action. PICK: Randolph 33-23

Sussex Tech (0-0) @ Marist (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: My buddy Evan was a stud lacrosse player at Marist College and although there is zero correlation I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. PICK: Marist 21-14
Brian Kenney: Sussex Tech’s Danny Petrasek will record at least two sacks and one fumble recovery in this one as the Tech wins on the road. PICK: Tech 19-6
George Muha: I can’t wait to see this year’s version of Sussex Tech’s Bo Maroney. If you look up the definition of a football player in the dictionary, there is a picture of this kid. PICK: Mustang Sallies 24-21

Saturday Afternoon Delights

Montville (0-0) @ Mendham (0-0) 

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: My youth football coach and Podcast Episode 2 guest, Lou Vanorski is the OC for the Minutemen and I have no doubt he has the Mendham offense locked and loaded for this game. PICK: Mendham 27-14
Brian Kenney: Wow what a matchup for the first game of the season! This is like when Florida State plays Miami! Montville’s QB Mike Burke is a real leader, and will put some numbers in this one. Alex Khalaf will record over a dozen tackles for the ‘Stangs as well. Meanwhile Mendham’s beast of a QB Gage Armijo (pronounced Arm-Mojo) will trigger his namesake to throw for 2 scores for the Minutemen. In the end the ‘Stangs make a goal-line stand and sneak out of Mendham with a victory. PICK: Montville 24-21
George Muha: Linebacker Alex Khalaf is playing in his forth year as a varsity starter. He’s got one mission and that is to finish his last game in the swamps of East Rutherford. Considering he put on about 22-pounds of muscle on in the off-season, I predict this will be a long afternoon for the Minutemen offense. PICK: Montville 48-14

Morris Catholic (0-0) @ Weequahic (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Hungry after a tough loss at Metlife last season and returning a lot of starters, I’m thinking Weequahic will come into this game on a mission for redemption. PICK: Weequaic 42-14
Brian Kenney: Morris Catholic has a very tough test on the road the first game of the season. Coach Hack will rally the troops but the ‘Quake is too much for them at home. PICK: Weequahic 35-13
George Muha: I know Morris Catholic wants this one in such a bad way. But Weequahic just is coming off a season where their last game was at MetLife Stadium and they are basically bringing everyone back. PICK: Weequahic 44-32

DePaul (0-0) @ Pope John (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Pope John is in good hands with my former co-worker Dr. Dean Padavan from so you know they will be healthy and at 100% for this game. PICK: Pope John 31-29
Brian Kenney: Man oh man. Depaul is a beast, and Pope John is a monster at home. This one is too close to pick. Ireland Burke is coming off the DL and he can’t wait to hammer somebody on defense. He is going to cause at least one turnover and record a sack or two and it will be the defense that wins this game. PICK: PJ 14-13
George Muha: I hope I’m wrong but my gut is telling me the Johnnies will be on the heels in this one.   I do think this will be within a 3-point game but DePaul linebacker Elijah Calautti tackles like Ray Lewis and I think he’ll be too disruptive in the end. PICK: DePaul 29-27

Ramapo (0-0) @ Sparta (0-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: THIS IS SPARTA! I think this one will be like a scene out of the movie 300 as Sparta looks for revenge after Ramapo knocked them out of the playoffs last year PICK: Sparta 28-14
Brian Kenney: Wow two great games in Sparta on Saturday with the Johnnies playing as well. I think I want to move to Sparta, seems like a great football town. They face a tough Ramapo team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year. Something tells me Coach Marchiano has reminded them of that once or twice this summer. Ryan Richardson will do his thing (i.e., tackle everyone, including the mascot if necessary) and QB Kenny (great name) Oelkers will account for at least two scores and 200 yards of offense in the air and on the ground. PICK: Sparta! 27-21
George Muha: This will be a close one but as long as their is a Castorina on the field, I’m putting my money on the team he is on. I can’t wait to see what the big bruising back is going to bring to this season. PICK: Spartans 33-30

About the Predictors

Kevin Saum is a former captain of the West Morris Central Wolfpack and founder of the Heads ‘N Tales Podcast where he interview’s amazing athletes who’ve discovered the true meaning of toughness through adversity.  Have an opinion about Kevin’s picks? Tell him what you think via his Twitter handle:  @headsntalespod

Brian Kenney is a Hanover Park alumni who really has nothing to do with high school sports. But he’s George Muha’s oldest friend and while he’s a better lawyer than high school football predictor, George gets a kick out of his comments and nicknames. Have an opinion about Brian’s picks? Tell him what you think via his Twitter handle: @bdk29

George Muha is a Hanover Park alumni who has been covering high school football for nine years. George is the founder of MSS and is also on the board of the Greater Morris Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

George Muha is a Hanover Park alumni who has been covering high school football for ten years. George is the founder of MSS and proud board member of the Greater Morris Chapter of the National Football Foundation. Have an opinion about George’s picks? Tell him what you think via his twitter handle: @UnrulyFan

One Comment

  1. SCIL Fan

    August 30, 2018 at 6:30 am

    Ramapo is absolutely loaded with Wingfield back at QB. I don’t see them having trouble with Sparta on Saturday. Ramapo 31 Sparta 14

    Newton @ Lenape will not have more than 35 points scored total in the game, nowhere near 80 as these predictions show. Newton 13 Lenape 7

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