2018 Academic Resources Football Predictions for the Sectional Semi’s

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 whomever 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. *From now till the end of the playoffs, Senior Broadcaster Ryan Sudol will also be involved in the prediction action.

 

The 2018 Football Predictions are sponsored by

North 1, Group 1

5-Wallkill Valley (9-1) @ 1-Butler (8-1)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: That field at Butler was looking extra sloppy last week and if any team can thrive in those conditions its the Wallkill Valley boys. However, I ‘m putting my money on Butler QB Evan Smith on his home turf/mud. This is what high school football is all about! PICK: Bulldogs 24-21
Brian: Wow, this is why they pay me the big bucks, to predict games like this. Newsflash, I want both teams to win. The Valley was fantastic last week and Butler continues to fire on all cylinders on their quest to win a championship. With the Valley focusing on Sean “Fifty” Centinaro, Evan Smith will have to step up big time to lead the offense to the promised land. I see that happening. Smith throws for 220-yards and a couple of scores an Fifty Centinaro runs for a buck twenty and another score. Jake Lonsky will leave it all on the field for the Valley with a Pick-6 and a bunch of tackles on defense. PICK: Butler 35-24
George Muha: One of my favorite Morris-Sussex teams of all time is the Butler team that one a state title several years ago when Peter Brand was the QB. That kid would sling it down the field like he was playing a video game. While I know Bulldog Country is trying to channel all the success of years past, I just don’t know if they can get past this Ranger team. Wallkill just has it all going on – the 6-3, 225-pound stud muffin of a QB, the quirky barefoot coach and the star runningback with the cool nickname (Justin “El Caballo” Rivera). Don’t pay attention to the seeding here. It’s going to be a barn burner, but Valley pulls it out in the end. PICK: Wallkill Valley 34-33
Ryan Sudol: For the first part of the season, even after they ended Newton’s winning streak, I was still a skeptic about the Rangers of the Valley. However, after they put a walloping on New Milford by 27 points last week, I was sold. With that said, however, Wallkill will have a tough test with the Dawgs and their insane defense. However, I expect the lethal defensive line of WV to neutralize Butler’s standardly electric offense and score enough themselves to eek out a victory to advance to their first state title game in 24 years! PICK: WV 13-10

3-Boonton (7-2) @ 2-Park Ridge (8-1)
*Morris Sussex Sports will be broadcasting this game live! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you are notified the moment we go live.

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Boonton has been playing with a chip on their shoulder for a few weeks now and Joe “Cannonball” Cannizzaro has been running like they are giving out free Old Towne Deli sub sandwiches in the end zone. PICK: Boontoneer’s 24-18
Brian Kenney: I think the Boots can win this game, but a few things need to happen; their O-Line needs to do what it does best, destroy people and send them back five yards while getting to the second level to block. I see it happening. Trey Cabalar and Joe Cannizzaro will run for over 200 yards and 3 scores in this one for the Boots. On defense, they need to hold Park Ridge to under 20 points and they will walk out of there with a trip to the sectional final. PICK: Boots 30-19
George Muha: Two things care me about Park Ridge – Vincent Pinto and Zach Lewis. Pinto is a stellar QB and Lewis is an All Unruly type of player all the way at 6-1, 210 who plays receiver like a WWE wrestler flying off the top ropes. You can definitely expect some big play ball from those two. The problem from Ridge will be actually getting the ball on offense. Coach Gallagher will grind the Owl defense all evening with heavy doses of Big Joe Cannizzaro if he has to. And why not, he’s got a 98 STR Madden rating.  If it is going to be cold and rainy like predicted, Gallagher won’t even have to pull out the Corey Dempster card. PICK: Boots 42-31
Ryan Sudol: *Ryan won’t be predicting this game since he will be calling it with our play-by-play broadcast.

North 1, Group 2

5-High Point (6-3) @ 1-Newton (9-1)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Newton had a combined 42 rushing attempts last week and High Point should expect more of the same. Don’t be surprised if Newton tries to air it out a little this week to keep High Point on their toes. I loved the energy HP had on the sideline and I just smell an upset. PICK: High Point 17-8
Brian Kenney: Newton does not want to face this rough and tumble High Point team. While they are a 5 seed, they are tough as nails and their seed does not do them justice. Travis Tallamy will run for 150 yards and 2 scores (as opposed to 4 last week) for the Pointers. That being said, I still see Newton taking this one, but in a close battle at the Reservation. Kevin Lupo will have a pick-6 and Jimmy Harding will have 2 sacks for Newton while Nick Brigante and Ryan Kaiser “Soze” combine for 230 yards and 3 scores. PICK: Newtonians 34-30
George Muha: If I were coaching for Newton, High Point would scare the heck out of me. All the pressure is on Newton and HP isn’t in the Sectional Semi’s by accident. I am telling you this is going to be a total brawl of a game. I expect a low scoring affair that can go either way. But I think Newton’s lefty QB Freda will pull off some trickery to put the Braves ahead. PICK: Newton 15-14
Ryan Sudol: High Point has NEVER made a sectional final in their school’s history. Not to mention, they lost to Newton 18-7 earlier on in the year, so they are going to play their hearts out in this Sussex County battle; especially with their stingy defense. Newton’s just-as-awesome defense will do as good a job in this one, but Ryan Kaiser or Nick Brigante is going to break out for a long TD run that will put the Braves into the N1G2 final and POSSIBLY the Newton Bowl! PICK: Newton 20-14

3-Kittatinny (8-2) @ 2-Westwood (7-2)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: You don’t need to look much further than Kittatinny QB James Franco juking a Mahwah defender out of his shoes last week to know they mean business. PICK: Kittatinny 32-24
Brian: I like the Kits in this one, and I’ll tell you why. Mike “Yards Will be” Lacken is a beast on defense for the Kitts, and Jacob Mafaro may not be able to be stopped on offense. Not sure if he is human, he may be one of the Terminator machines from the future. James Franco will do his part, throwing for a buck fifty and two scores as well as the Kitts pull off the upset (of sorts). PICK: Kitts 27-20
George Muha: Westwood is traditionally a thorn in Morris-Sussex’s side when it comes to the football playoffs. But last year Newton was able to get past them and this year I believe Kittatinny will do the same. No team has more downhill momentum then Big Jake Mafaro and his Cougs. PICK: Kittatinny 34-24
Ryan Sudol: Think about this, folks: if Kittatinny and Newton both win, we get a Newton Bowl for the N1G2 state title game! Not only that, but Morris Sussex Sports will be bringing you a live broadcast of Kittatinny’s potential state final game no matter who they play! All that has to happen is a Kittatinny Cougar victory, and as much as I want to see that happen for the sake of the broadcast, I have to look at this analytically. Upon further review, it is clear that Coach Coltelli’s Cougs are going to march into Westwood and advance to the final, but it’s going to be a close-fought battle. Expect Mafaro and Franco to combine for at least 3 scores in this one. PICK: Kitt 27-23

North 1, Group 3

4-Sparta (8-2) @ 1-Ramapo (10-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Ramapo QB AJ Wingfield Looks like he is throwing with a golden wing on the field.  The Ramapo offense looks like a well-oiled machine that is on a mission to get to MetLife. If the Sparta secondary comes to play they can derail those plans. PICK: Ramapo 28-19
Brian Kenney: Ugghhhhhhh say it isn’t so Sparta. Ramapo is too darn good. I want Sparta to win but I think Ramapo is just too much to handle. That won’t stop Sparta junior and POTW Austin “The Crooner” Castorina from rumbling for 150 yards and two scores behind his O-Line though. Between him and Kenny Oelkers, Sparta will score over 30 points. Ryan Richardson will be all over the field on defense and will finish with a couple of sacks and at least 20 tackles. In the end though, I think Ramapo wins. PICK: Ramapo 34-32
George Muha: You know what, everyone in the state is picking Ramapo. But there is no reason why Sparta can’t win it and I know Coach Marsh will have them in position to do so. I’m putting my chips on my Spartans. PICK: Sparta 44-42
Ryan Sudol: Ramapo and Sparta played early on in the season and Sparta hung with ‘em, only losing by 3! However, Ramapo has only gotten better as the season has gone on (heck, they beat Randolph 42-0!) and they have not yet lost a game. Expect that streak to continue as the Raiders beat the Spartans in semi-convincing fashion. PICK: Ramapo 33-17

North 1, Group 4

4-Morris Knolls (5-4) @ 1 Wayne Hills (8-2)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: I am really impressed with Knolls coming out and beating Northern Highlands two weeks in a row. That is a tremendous feat. However, by the looks of how Mount Olive fared last week against Wayne Hills, it looks like the Golden Eagles will have to be firing on all cylinders. PICK: Wayne Hills 37-19
Brian Kenney: Great win by Knolls last week, they dominated. Wayne Hills though, ugh. They are good. Connor Chegwidden will be all over the field for the Rolling Knollers but the Hills will be prepping all week to stop him and deal with the Knolls O-Line, which has done a great job this year. It will be close, but the Hills pulls away in the fourth quarter of this one. PICK: Hills 37-22
George Muha: You have to tip your cap to Coach Regan for putting his Eagles in position to get to where they’ve gotten to this year. But I think it’s the end of the line for any Cinderella type story. Wayne Hills lost one of their all time great players Lou Brandt a few weeks ago to cancer way too early. He was just 45-years old. I am sure Hills certainly will be carrying his memory as they continue the road to MetLife. PICK: Hills 34-21
Ryan Sudol: Wayne Hills is just…Wayne Hills; there’s no two ways about it. As is standard, they have 5 guys on the team going D1 including WR Charles Njoku (yes, that’s David Njoku from the Browns’ younger brother) who is headed to Mizzou next fall. They put a whooping on a good Mount Olive team last week, and Morris Knolls is going to be next on their hit list. PICK: WH 33-10

North 2, Group 2

5-Mountain Lakes (7-2) @ 1-Rutherford (8-1)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Both of these teams have a ton of speed on offense and seem to be evenly matched. I thin the Herd rolls again because of their ability to create turnovers on D. PICK: Lakers 28-24
Brian Kenney: This is going to be a tough one for the Herd. Rutherford has several offensive weapons and the Herd is going to have to play perfect football to win this one. I think that despite the heroic efforts of Jack Baker and the Herds’ defense that Rutherford’s Abellany Mendez will still run for a buck fifty and 2 scores. Baker connects with Schicke twice in a great effort that falls just short. PICK: Rutherford 27-24
George Muha: Rutherford is another one of those teams that always has a knack for knocking Morris-Sussex teams out of this section every year. Well, this year I predict the Herd will avenge all the prior years as Jake Schicke scores three TDs to take his team to the sectional finals. PICK: Lakes 44-34
Ryan Sudol: Mountain Lakes bounced back BIG last week after getting shellacked by Boonton the week before. However, they’re going to get turned right back around by a Rutherford team that can really run up the score and keep their opponents’ scoring to a minimum. The Herd isn’t going to go down without a fight though as they are trying to return to the promised land after 4 years (which is a LONG TIME for ML standards!). PICK:  Rutherford 30-21

North 2, Group 3

4-Montville (8-2) @ 1-Summit (8-1)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: The Montville passing game has been impressive all season, but Summit has some serious weapons on O. Max Jackson looks like a D1 Summit RB with the rock in his hands and QB Skyler Schluter fits the ball into some tight windows. I have a feeling this one will be a shootout. PICK: Hilltoppers 32-28
Brian Kenney: This is going to be a barn burner. The “Hilltoppers” are home, which gives them a distinct advantage, as Summit is undefeated at home. Montville is no slouch though, as they are 4-1 on the road. The one common opponent they played, Warren Hills, they both beat. Summit dominated them, and Montville won by a touchdown. Mike Burke will do what he does best for the ‘Stangs in this one, generate a ton of offense. Nick Billand will score twice, once on the ground and once through the air. Look for Aaron Warsaw to record 14 tackles in the first half in this one. Normally I would pick Montville in a heartbeat for a game like this, except that Summit has a senior by the name of Eddie Kaes on their squad, who plays safety and wide receiver. This kid is no joke, and his father, “Crazy Eddie” Kaes Sr. was a lunatic when he played for Hanover Park with the likes of Chris “Dorno” Dorn. I think this one could go either way, but I think Summit wins in the final seconds. PICK: Summit 28-27
George Muha: I am still a little miffed about last week. Summit was scouting the Montville vs Warren Hills game we were broadcasting and one of the Summit coaches asked to borrow Sudol’s Montville player profile sheet – then disappeared. A few minutes before going live Sudol had no idea where the coach went his broadcast sheet and I had to go chasing down these guys in a panic; we eventually tracked the guy down and got the roster back. Why didn’t the Summit coaches bring a Montville roster of their own? I don’t know, perhaps they don’t take the Mustangs too seriously? There’s your fuel ‘Stangs. Let’s show these dogs how we do things bros! PICK: ‘Stangs 51-44
Ryan Sudol: Offense! Get your offense here! This is going to be one of those games that is going to go REAL long just because of the abundance of scoring going on. Don’t expect more than three total FGs in this shootout. Now, as for who’s going to walk out of Summit victorious, I’m giving this one to the Hilltoppers by a considerable margin. They put up 57 on Voorhees last week, and even though Montville has their offensive weapons such as possible D1-FCS prospect Deen Ninche, I don’t see the momentum train slowing down. They proved against Sparta that they can hang with the big dogs, but Summit is a Great Dane in comparison. Sorry, PICK: ’Stangs! 47-26

North 2, Group 3

3-Irvington (7-3) @ 2 Randolph (9-1)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: I think the Rams have more than enough speed to keep up with Irvington. They just can’t forget about the third phase of the game, Special Teams. Irvington beat my Wolfpack last week after blocking two punts late in the game. PICK: Rams 32-14
Brian Kenney: Nobody said it was going to be easy for the Rams, and guess what, it’s going to be a battle at the Mountain (my name for the Rams’ stadium) this week. Anthony “Tony” Sofia will throw for 200 yards, mostly to Ryan McDermott, and the Rams will be victorious at home. PICK: Rams 27-20
George Muha: I am sure I probably have written this a few times in the past but my father was actually the captain of Irvington’s football team in 1950. He was the center and nose-guard and literally played with a leather helmet. He’s still kicking around at 87-years old and a few months back he gave me all his old programs and newspaper clippings. It was pretty cool. Irvington has a lot of history, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, I’m sorry to say, I think this season will be history as well after they play a dominating Randolph team. PICK: Rams 44-28
Ryan Sudol: This is the moment that Rams Nation has been waiting for a whopping 8 years, but it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Irvington is HUGE, like, literally! However, Randolph has all the tools, and that has the edge over size every time. I see Anthony Sofia winning this game for the Rams in a similar fashion that he did over Colonia last Saturday night. The time is now for the Rams to return to the top! PICK:  Dolph 28-21

Non-Public, Group 3

5-Pope John (2-8) @ 1 Red Bank Catholic (8-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Red Bank Catholic has too much momentum and the Shamrock in their logo to boot. PICK: RBC 28-19
Brian Kenney: I’m glad Pope John won a game, proved me wrong, and subjected me to ridicule by the Pope John friends. Can they do it again, sure, why not. RBC is tough, but the Johnnies found some confidence and had some fun last week, and I think that will carry over and make them tough to beat this week. Look for the defense to keep RBC in check, with Louis “Tony” Montana and Anthony “Sherlock” Holmes combining for 25 tackles, 2 sacks and a couple of forced fumbles. Pope John goes out fighting. PICK: RBC 21-14
George Muha: I know PJ has been having fun the last few weeks. But I think the Comeback Kids’ season comes to an abrupt end on Saturday. PICK: RBC 44-19
Ryan Sudol: I have been saying this all season: POPE JOHN IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN THEIR RECORD SAYS. This is exemplified by how they beat St. John Vianney last week. However, despite their two incredible D1 prospects in Ireland Burke and Taj Jones, the top 10-ranked Caseys will emerge victorious and send the Johnnies home packing. PICK: Red Bank 33-17

Non-Public, Group 4

5-Delbarton (6-3) at 4-Don Bosco Prep (5-4)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Going to have to side with Don Bosco due to strength of schedule, but if the Delbarton D goes to Pick City again this week they have a shot. PICK: Bosco 32-14
Brian Kenney: Delby got better and better as the year went on, and is going to bring it against the Don this year. That being said, it’s the Don. They are always ridiculous. They probably lost to teams from Florida and Nevada and a couple of Division 2 colleges this year. Gary Lewis is going to run for over 100 yards and 2 scores for the Green Wave while Cole Freeman throws for over 200 yards and two scores himself. Mike Jarmolowich will record a bunch of tackles for Delby but in the end I think the Don is too much for the Green Wave to handle. PICK: The Don 44-33
George Muha: Delby’s been playing like they own the NPG4 section and I predict they make a big statement to the other Big Boys in this bracket that they are here to make a run at MetLife. PICK: Delby 35-25
Ryan Sudol: For my money, Delbarton is the best pound-for-pound team in all of Morris and Sussex Counties. It just stinks that they were dealt the hand of death with a Don Bosco team that is ranked #6 in the state. Expect most of Delby’s points to be scored during garbage time. PICK:  DBP 31-14

How We Picked Them Last Week

Kevin 16-3 (84.21%)
Brian 13-6 (68.42%)
George 16-3 (84.21%)

How We’ve Been Picking Them So Far

Kevin 146-60 (70.87%)
Brian 152-54 (73.78%)
George 147-59 (71.35%)

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: @MorrSussSports

Ryan Sudol is a Senior Broadcaster for Morris Sussex Sports, producer of Football Fanatics and A Night in the Student Section and current broadcast journalism major at William Paterson University.  Have an opinion about his picks?  Tell him what you think at his Twitter handle:  @birdieguy13

One Comment

  1. Frank Setiani

    November 9, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    For the 1000th time….NJ still does not crown a STATE CHAMPION. For the last 43 years NJ has crowned SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS. This year they will crown a Semi-Group Champion and hopefully in the next year or so a true Group 1,2,3,4,5 public group champion will be crowned. So if you are going to pretend to be sports writers then say so on your banner on your home page. If not, get your facts straight. Jeeze

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