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2012 Week 1 Predictions

You’ve waited all summer long for the games to begin and Week 1 is finally here!  Check out who Morris Sussex Football thinks will start the season on the right foot!

FRIDAY NIGHT GAMES

Chatham @ Montville
George Muha:  Fueled by a high power offense behind pounding fullback duo of Parker Meytrott and Austin Strictland the Montville Mustangs will put together clock-eating scoring drives.  But the Chatham Cougars spearheaded by WR Chris “Wes Welker” Peters and RB Will “Open House” Weickert will use this game to showcase themselves a new force in the National Division.
PICK:  Chatham 22-17 (The Thomas Guida Era has begun!)
Brian Kenney:  Both teams always play with heart and this one can go either way.  I have to pick somebody and since I like Cougars better than whatever Montville is I’m going with the Cougars in a close one!
PICK:  Chatham 16-14

Dover @ Madison
George Muha:  Madison’s house will be packed under the temporary lights this Friday night.  The Rose City loves their Dodgers, their star runningback Justin Goodwin and their 25 game win streak.  But expect Madison to be shell-shocked by the size and speed of Dover’s well-coached line.  Tiger junior back Georgie “White Shoes” Scalley will be shifting his way for big gains all game long.  Madison wins but not in their regular blowout fashion.
PICK:  Madison 42-35
Brian Kenney:  Here is the funny part about these two teams: when I’m at work late on Fridays I hear the Dover game through my open window and when I’m at home I hear the Madison game.  I love the heart and grit of George Scalley but the Dodgers are on fire and won’t lose their home opener.  Justin “Good Win” is going to see to that on the Madison side.
PICK:  Madison 28-13

Lenape Valley @ Hackettstown
George Muha:  Hackettstown receiver Brian Wickkiser will electrify his home crowd with his normal highlights.  But Lenape Valley is still upset about their semi-finals lost last season.  Middle linebacker Jimmy Braun will keep Hackettstown crowd tame by keeping the score low while runningbacks Slick Nick Rafferty and Mike Grieco gobble up tons of yardage.
PICK:  Lenape Valley 35-10
Brian Kenney:  Not sure who is stacked more than the Pats but Wickkiser will keep H-Town relatively close.
PICK:  LV 35-20

Mendham @ Mount Olive
George Muha:  Newly anointed junior Minuteman quarterback Jack “Da Man” Horan will look to develop chemistry with Mendham’s 6’6” 230lb tight end Matt “Gronk” Flanagan.  Mount Olive wants to showcase their experienced offense behind fullback Justin “Boom Boom” Mancini and receiver Justin “Big Mak” Maksimow.  Mendham will scratch and claw but the Marauders will be too much.
PICK:  Mount Olive 30-20
Brian Kenney:  The term “youngster” comes to mind when I think about the average age of players on Mendham’s squad and that will make the difference, along with Mount Olive’s Justin Maksimow, in this one.
PICK:  MO 21-7

Newton @ Jefferson
George Muha:  Newton comes into this season with a two game win streak carried over from last year’s 3-7 season.  Jefferson brings a very stingy defense led by seniors AJ “Bench Press” Willard, Lolo Sanchez and sophomore Luke Bohn “Yard”.  I am calling right now that in two weeks quarterback JR Reese’s #1 will be the hottest selling jersey.
PICK:  Jefferson 35-7
Brian Kenney:  Newton is a work in progress and Jefferson is looking like they are not going to mess around at all this year.  Daniel Brown reminds me of a high school age Darrell Revis.  This could be a big year for him!
PICK:  Jefferson 21-6

North Warren @ Butler
George Muha:  For Butler, North Warren is a bit of an unknown as the new team in the conference.  So Bulldog quarterback Chris Heredia will do what he does best and gun sling the rock all over the field to his talented receiving corps.  But the North Warren Patriots know football and want to introduce themselves to the Independence Division.  Linebacker Nolan Robertson (100 tackles last season) and Chris “Longshore” Longyhore (6’4” 315lbs) will lead the way in an early season upset.
PICK:  North Warren 28-24
Brian Kenney:  North Warren is having a coming-out-party as they join the Independence Division this year.  Unfortunately, Butler is going to spoil it.
PICK:  Butler 14-6

Parsippany @ Hanover Park
George Muha:  The Jimmy Sivolella Era continues as the senior quarterback plans on showing off his dance moves again.  Turn-around specialist Guy Bertola is going Bain Capital on Parsippany right now.  His restructuring plan will work but it will take some time (four years perhaps).
PICK:  Hanover Park 30-10
Brian Kenney:  I hope to attend HP’s home opener, mostly to see my Godson play but also to see the Hornets swarm Parsippany and win big.
PICK:  HP 28-0

Pequannock @ Wallkill Valley
George Muha:  Wallkill Valley linebacker Bobby “Ray Lewis” Russell and Pequannock tackle Danny Kica will be locking horns all night in one of the top one-on-one matchups of the year.  Golden Panther quarterback Luke Foukas will run and gun his way to a multiple scores all night in a nail biter.
PICK:  Pequannock 32-30
Brian Kenney:  Pequannock has an outstanding QB in Luke “Won’t Lose My” Foukas and he’s the difference in this one.
PICK:  Pequanncok 35-14

Pope John @ Randolph
George Muha:  Irish tempers will be flaring when the Penn State bound Randolph tackle Brendan Mahon (6’6” 315lbs) battles up against the 6’3” 260lb Pope John defensive tackle Seamus Ryan.  As these giants battle it out, junior runningback Noah Brown (6’1” 210lbs) will slash and dash his way to a multiple score game.
PICK:  Pope John 21-18
Brian Kenney:  This is going to be a tough game.  Everyone is looking forward to the matchup of Mahon and Ryan and who will get the better of who.  As for the actual game, Pope John will win a close one.
PICK:  PJ 21-14

Vernon @ Roxbury
George Muha:  Roxbury has an array of weapons.  In this one they’ll dust off their three barreled bazooka of quarterback Kyle Young, runningback Chris Calucci and fullback Donald Panciello to work out the kinks for their big year.  The Gaels faithful will get their moneys worth in this one.
PICK:  Roxbury 35-7
Brian Kenney:  A Night at the Roxbury was a horrible movie.  A Night in Roxbury is going to be horror movie for Vernon.  Roxbury is going to run wild and unfortunately I don’t see Vernon being able to stop them despite their best efforts.
PICK:  Rox 35-6

Whippany Park @ Kinnelon
George Muha:  Kinnelon four year veteran quarterback Sean “Basking” Robbins is a star on both sides of the ball.  Look for this one to be close early as Whippany Park’s Jumpin’ Joe LaBracio keeps the Colts on their heels.  But Kinnelon’s receive corps of Joe Presti and Sean Walsh will prove to be too much for the Wildcats.
PICK:  Kinnelon 30-17
Brian Kenney:  Did they redshirt Kinnelon’s Sean Robbins at the QB position?  I feel like he has been playing that position since I was born.  Anyway, he’s going to show why he’s been playing there for so long as he accounts for three scores in Kinnelon’s win.
PICK:  Kinnelon 28-7

SATURDAY GAMES

Bayonne  @ Sparta
George Muha:  The Group 5 Bayonne Bee’s are used to playing northern New Jersey’s elite and know tough football when they see it.  They’ll walk away with mucho respect for Jake “Herman” Melville and company as the Spartans slays the whale and sends an early message to the rest of the State.
PICK:  Sparta 24-7
Brian Kenney:  Bayonne is going to wish they stayed in the city.  While Sparta is a nice place, it won’t be on Saturday for BHS.  Sparta is looking to be undefeated this year and Bayonne won’t stand in their way this week.
PICK:  Sparta 28-14

Boonton @ Morris Catholic
George Muha:  This should be a battle of the big men as Morris Catholic guard AJ Trillo and company lock horns with Boonton’s air tight defense led by linebacker Billy Nicholson.  This should go down to the wire with the Bombers making a late push.
PICK:  Bombers 30-25
Brian Kenney:  Boonton is going to play with a lot of emotion every week.  It’s going to  be an exciting season for them, but they are up to the task.  MC is still working out some kinks, but its’ going to be a close one.
PICK:  Boonton 14-13

Delbarton @ Paramus Cath.
George Muha:  A healthy Jamie White can keep up with the best of them.  That will prove to be very convenient because in Week 1 Delby faces the “best of them” in Paramus Catholic junior runningback and Sports Illustrated Game Changer Jabrill Peppers.  The Green and White will hang till the end but the Paladins will prove to be too much.
PICK:  Paladins (I like saying that) 35-33
Brian Kenney:  This is a great game to start off the season, but I’m sure both squads wished they weren’t playing each other so early.  Somebody has to walk away 0-1 though, and despite Mr. SI Jabrill Peppers, Delbarton has too many weapons on both sides of the ball.
PICK:  Delby 24-21

High Point @ Kittatinny
George Muha:  This will be Episode 1 of the 2012 season of the Kyle Potten Show.  Look for the gun slinger to put on a fireworks show while Jacob Brook shows his play-making ability on both sides of the ball.  High Point’s Tim Lindner led team won’t go down without a fight.  But the Cougars will prove to be too much.
PICK:  Kittatinny 35-20
Brian Kenney:  High Point is well-coached and is going to give a lot of teams a lot problems.  Meanwhile Kitt’s QB Kyle Potten is the David Klingler (anybody remember him?) of the NJAC Conference.  He’ll throw three TDs in a big win.
PICK:  Kittatinny 28-14

Hopatcong @ Mountain Lakes
George Muha:  Quarterback Ryan Clarke is a veteran who knows how to lead scoring drives.  Mountain Lakes defensive tackles Scott Flynn and Sam Walsh know how to disrupt offensives.  Look for this one to be a low scoring event with the home team prevailing.
PICK:  Mt. Lakes 14-10
Brian Kenney:  Mountian Lakes seems to find talent all over their town every year.  Where do these kids come from, and how come ML never seems to run out of them?  Despite Hopatcong’s Ryan Clarke, who will throw a couple of TDs, ML wins again.
PICK:  Mt. Lakes 28-21

Parsippany Hills @ Morris Hills
George Muha:  Par Hills quarterback Tyler Simms will spread the wealth as the Vikings generate yardage eating drives.  Morris Hills is stacked defensively with a cast of ball hawks including defensive end Joey “Two Times” Bencel, linebacker Danny “The Whale” Whalen and defensive back Eric “John Lynch” Turner.  This will be close by the Scarlet Knights will be too disruptive for Par Hills to sustain many scoring drives.
PICK:  MoHills 28-20
Brian Kenney:  Morris Hills is a tough crew and that is going to cause QB Tyler Simms a lot of problems when he is trying to avoid a sack and throwing the ball down field.  Meanwhile Willy Hansen is looking to avoid the sophomore slump (literally, as he started QB as a frosh) with a big win out of the gate.
PICK:  MH 21-10

Seton Hall Prep @ Morristown
George Muha:  Arrive early because The Kamau Dumas Show will start right away as the Morristown Colonials face their annual out of conference rivals the Seton Hall Pirates.  Collin Nordstrom and company will keep the score respectable but won’t be able to hold on for the “W”.
PICK:  Motown 35-21
Brian Kenney:  Seton Hall Prep looks decent this year but Morristown’s Kamau Dumas is going to show why he is the real deal and, as I have heard, a man on a mission this year.
PICK:  Motown 17-7

West Morris @ Morris Knolls
George Muha:  This game is a head to head match-up of the longest tenured coaches in Morris County; West Morris’ Kevin Hennelly and Morris Knolls’ Bill Regan.  It also pits two veteran quarterbacks up against themselves; West Morris’ John Gutowski and Morris Knolls’ Joe Leonardis.  This game should prove to be a classic with Hennelly’s Wolfpack edging out Regan’s Golden Eagles.
PICK:  WMC 21-17
Brian Kenney:  Look for West Morris to run for 240 yards at least in a big victory over Knolls.
PICK:  WMC 35-14

M.K.A @ MoBeard
George Muha:  MoBeard’s runningback Malik Valentine injured riddled junior seasoned forced him to lose out on a lot of likely college looks.  Look for him to play catch-up as he scampers his way to multiple scores.
PICK:  MoBeard 28-20
Brian Kenney:  These teams are looking at making an early jump to their season.  One of them will come way undefeated.  Since I lived in Montclair for 3 years I’m going with MKA.
PICK:  MKA 21-7

Snyder @ Sussex Tech
George Muha:  Offensive stars Dylan Johnson and Kyle Bergman will look to get Sussex Tech in the win column early.  New York’s Snyder has the firepower to make this one a high scoring event.
PICK:  Snyder 30-10
Brian Kenney:  I didn’t realize the handy man from Three’s Company had his own high school.  I also didn’t know Sussex Tech had a football team.  This should be interesting, but I’m going with the handyman.
PICK:  Synder 12-6

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The 2012 Week 1 Predictions were sponsored by Football University, JointCare Physical Therapy, StopExercising.com, Mendham Creative and Nuzzi & Mason.

Public Service Announcement:  Be creative.  Eat healthy foods.  Exercise regularly.  Be positive.  Go after what it is you love to do.  Stay away from drugs, they will always lie to you.

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George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.

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