Academic Resources Football Predictions for the MetLife Bowl Games

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 Group 1 Bowl Game

Butler (10-1) vs. Hasbrouck Heights (11-0)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: Hasbrouck Heights dealt Butler a 30-15 defeat at Butler earlier in the season on Sept. 28. The Bulldogs haven’t lost since that matchup and seem to be firing on all cylinders after Evan Smith’s performance in last weeks win (29 for 141 rushing with three TDs and was 13 for 17 passing for 165 yards). Butler will have to key on Heights’ RB/WR Jasiah Purdie on both sides of the ball. If the Bulldog defense led by Zack Kareivis can hold Jasiah to only 1 TD and under 100 yards rushing, I think we get one more bus pic from them for the season. PICK: Butler 27-24
Brian Kenney: I never pretended that when it comes to Morris Sussex sports against out-of-county (or state) teams, I usually stay loyal to the Morris-Sussex squad. This fact, coupled with the fact that I already have the best prediction success percentage, will allow me to pick Butler for this game. That being said, this would be an upset on many levels if the Bulldogs pulled it off. First, they already played this year and The Heights won 30-15. Second, the Heights’ defense has been outstanding this season, and they have only allowed 13 TOTAL points in the playoffs. That is trouble for the Bulldogs. However, I truly think that the Bulldogs can pull off this upset. Two words, Sean “Fifty” Centinaro. Was that three words? What am I a math guy? All I know is that Butler is full of confidence and momentum and their O-Line is determined to spring Fifty Cent to the promised land. That being said, Evan Smith, who was fantastic last week, will stay hot, and connect with his favorite target Derek Timpanaro at least one in this one for a score, along with hitting him with several passes for decent gains. I think it will come down to defense, as it always does, and Butler’s Zack Kareivis will step again and force another turnover in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter to seal it for the Bulldogs. PICK: Butler 42-35
George Muha: I always say big time players step up in a big time way in big time games. That’s what Butler’s Evan Smith did last week as he used his arm and legs to will a Sectional Final win. But teams win championships and team play is what has gotten the Bulldogs this far. Championships are not easy to win and it won’t be easy getting past undefeated Hasbrouck. But I believe one of the strongest traits of this Bulldog team is football IQ and getting another crack at the Aviators gives them a little more time to study up on where they fell short the last time. I see Zack Kareivis being this week’s hero as Coach Lusciani gets to lift his first NJSIAA trophy for the first time of his head coaching career. PICK: Butler 40-39

North Group 2 Championships

Rutherford (10-1) vs. Kittatinny (10-2)

Kevin Saum from Heads ‘N Tales: I am not sure why after making these picks week in and week out this season that I doubted Jacob Mafaro and the Cougars last week. Mafaro is the epitome of a work horse and had 25 carries for 134 yards and three touchdowns, including six touches on the final seven-play, 43-yard scoring drive. The way Jacob plays football reminds me of when I played with Michael Burton (now Chicago Bears fullback). Some guys have the IT factor and if you keep feeding them, they always get the job done. Jacob is one of those guys. The Cougar defense will have to play as lights out as they did last week because they are going up against a tremendous athlete in Rutherford senior running back Abellany Mendez who ran for four touchdowns and caught a pass for another last week. Abellany runs down hill and also plays solid defense. If the Cougar receivers practiced their stalk blocks all week, they should have no problem setting Mafaro loose on his way to a three touchdown day. PICK: Kittatiny 24-21
BRIAN KENNEY: What a game the Kitts had last week against Newton. It was unreal. They went to Newton and they took care of business. Honestly, last week was more a of test than Rutherford. Well, .. maybe not, as Rutherford is no joke. But the Kitts showed me something last week, the O-Line and Jake Mafaro in particular. James Franco is going to step up even bigger than he has the past couple of games and he will run and throw for at least three scores in this one. They are going to have to score, and Rutherford’s defense has made it a habit of shutting down good running backs this year. All this being said, I think the offense will get it done for the Kitts and the defense will step up big time, with Ryan Pollison sealing the victory with an interception late in the fourth quarter for the Kitts, giving Kittatinny a championship in their first trip to Metlife. PICK: Kitts 35-30
George Muha: Kittatinny, I already know Coach Coltelli is going to deliver an inspiring pregame message. But I still have to let you know a few things. This time last year, nobody thought you’d be at the pinnacle about to make history for your school. But you believed in yourselves and look at where you are. Remember all of the off-season lifting? Remember the preseason 7-on-7’s? Remember summer sessions on that dusty field? Then you started winning and opponents started to hate you. Scoring 40 or more points on teams six different times will do that. But now, none of that matters. It’s down to one game. And as you walk through that tunnel at MetLife Stadium and you look into the stands, you’ll see all kinds of different color varsity jackets. All of those opponents who hated you now made the trek to support you. You not only represent Kittatinny. But you represent all of Morris-Sussex. All 37 teams and 1,000 Morris-Sussex football players and their fans are now rooting for you. Let’s show the state the way we do things! PICK: Kittatinny 50-32

How We Picked Them Last Week

Kevin 1-1 (50.00%)
Brian 1-1 (50.00%)
George 2-0 (100.00)

How We’ve Been Picking Them So Far

Kevin 154-65 (70.31%)
Brian 162-57 (73.97%)
George 153-66 (69.86%)

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

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