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State Finals Predictions

Out of the 37 teams that play in Morris Sussex, there are 7 remaining that can bring our area state championship trophies. Look to see who we think we will win!

North 1, Group 2
December 8 at Kean University at 1pm

1 New Milford (9-2) vs. 6 Kinnelon (8-3)
George Muha: The only losses Kinnelon has had this year were against playoff teams (North Warren, Bulter and Mt. Lakes). I believe the Colts regular season schedule prepared them very well for where they are at now. Add in the fact that Sean “Tony” Robbins is looking to put a cherry on top of his four year varsity career and there is no way this team will not be holding a championship trophy this Saturday.
PICK: Kinnelon 35-28
Brian Kenney: Kinnelon has impressed many by getting this far. Sean “Tony” Robbins had an amazing game last week throwing for three scores, running for two more and connecting on over 85% of his passes. I don’t know if he will be able to repeat that performance but Kinnelon will need him to. To that end, I’m going to go with the upset in this one. The kid has grit, and Kinnelon isn’t going to leave anything out on the field.
PICK: Kinnelon 35-31

North 1, Group 3
December 8 at Kean University at 4pm

5 Sparta (9-1) vs. 2 Ramapo (9-2)
George Muha: Ask any coach and they will tell you that controlling the ball wins championships. This game rests on how well Sparts’s line blocks and how hard Codie Aromando hits the holes. Thatisn’t a stretch for the Spartan’s because they’ve been doing this all year. It won’t hurt that Lucas Faria, Randy May and Michael Boryeskne have been shutting it down on defense. I predicted Sparta would win the states before the season. They’ll deliver and bring home the title!
PICK: Sparta 35-28
Brian Kenney: Last week Ramapo’s QB Tony Levecchio threw 5 TDs and for almost 300 yards. Sparta knows what it has to do to stop them. Their secondary has been decent this year but they are in for their biggest challenge of the year, on the biggest stage. The question is, will they step up? I think they will. Sparta’s Jake “Herman” Melville and Codie Aromando combined for over 240 yards rushing last week and I think this week they may have to mix it up with more passes to keep Ramapo on it’s toes and set up the run. Let’s not forget Sparta beat an undefeated River Dell squad last week, and it wasn’t even close. This one will be much closer but I’m going with Sparta.
PICK: Sparta 28-24

North 1, Group 4
December 8 at Kean University at 8pm

1 Pascack Valley (11-0) vs. 2 Roxbury (10-1)
George Muha: Pascack Valley, you will address him as Mr. Panciello. Here in Morris Sussex, we call him Donny Pants. But don’t just focus on Mr. P. Because if you do, Kyle Young will keep it for a 50 yard TD run. When you try to do something on offense, Matt Siversten will pick-6 it on you.
PICK: Roxbury 40-21
I gotta be honest, I don’t know much, if anything, about Pascack Valley, besides their name is weird. Regardless, I don’t care if they are called Championship Valley they are not going to beat the boys from the ‘Bury. Look for Donny Panciello to lead the defense to another victory in this one. Defense wins this game. The Valley is going down for the first time this year.
PICK: ‘Bury 21-14

North 2, Group 2
December 8 at Kean University at 10am

 

Mt. Lakes senior back Uzoma Egbuchulam and the rest of the Herd will have to play a near perfect game to dethrone the two time defending champs Madison Dodgers.

2 Mountain Lakes (11-0) vs. 1 Madison (11-0)
George Muha: Okay, everyone knows Madison is the big fat elephant in the room so lets just call it out. There is no doubt they are favored here. So lets look at how Mt. Lakes might have a chance to beat them. First of all, stopping the four headed monster of the Lassiter Bros, Shonn Register and Justin Good-Win is the big issue. Plus Madison’s defense is loaded behind Matt McDonald and Big Willmo. Mt. Lakes is only hope is to score on every single drive and force Madison to punt two times. If they can do that, they might have a chance. But easier said than done.
PICK: Madison 50-40
Brian Kenney: Wow this is the game to end all games. I have to say, Madison didn’t throw a single pass last week (but ran for 429 yards). That is bananas! Mountain Lakes knows it has to stop Mr. Good-win and company, and that is no easy task, and nobody has done it all year. Madison hasn’t lost in ages. Goodwin can score touchdowns at will, he is on another planet than the rest of the league right now as far as his skills are concerned. I could go on and on. Carson Lassiter almost ran for 200 yards himself last week, and he is the “quarterback.” Mountain Lake’s Spencer Herman scored twice and ran for over 100 yards but lost a fumble last week. He will need to shake that off for this week’s game (and I think he will) because Zoom Zoom won’t be able to carry the load himself. That being said, as much as I like Zoom Zoom (great kid from his POW interview) I just don’t know if ML’s defense can stop Madison from winning a second straight State Title. Nobody has come that close, and it ain’t easy. If I had to pick one of these games to go to this would be it. It’s going to be close until the fourth quarter.
PICK: Madison 42-35

North 2, Group 4
December 8 at Rutgers Stadium at 10am

4 West Morris (7-4) vs. 6 Warren Hills (5-6)
George Muha: Sorry Gutowski family, I call that I get to wear Johnny Guts’ away jersey for this game. I see the senior stud breaking out for a huge game on both sides of the ball. Look for Adam Caruso to grind out tough yards on the ground as Coach Hennelly adds another banner to the rafters.
PICK: Wolfpack 30-20
Brian Kenney: I know, I know, I messed up! I didn’t think West Morris would get this far and they are proving that I don’t know jack about West Morris. I almost feel like I should pick Warren Hills to win so I don’t jinx it for West Morris fans, but then I remembered I picked them to beat Millburn so it’s cool. Austin Roland played an amazing game against Irvington and I love the fact that their LB Tyler Amados is also their kicker. Adam Caruso will play well again, but the defense is really key in this one. They will need to stop Travis Hepworth and company, and that isn’t going to be a walk in the park. But West Morris will not be denied another State Title, and a little revenge for 2000’s loss to Warren Hills.
PICK: WM 31-14

Non-Public, Group 3
December 8 at Rutgers Stadium at 1pm

1 St. Joseph’s (Mont) (9-2) vs. 2 Delbarton (10-1)
George Muha: Do you know that St. Joseph’s has been in this section’s state final five years in a row and only lost once in the last four visits? Did you also know that this game is a match-up from last year? Problem with last year was Delby’s star runningback Jamie White was playing with a bunch of nagging injuries. But this year, White is healthy and very hungry for a state title. Plus, this Delby team has gotten better each week and has not lost a game in 10 contests. Look for Delby to bring us home a trophy!
PICK: Delby 45-38
Brian Kenney: The question is, can Delby get the St. Joe’s monkey off its’ back? They beat Delbarton 7 times in a row in the playoffs and in last year’s championship. Holy smoke! There is no question Delbarton has motivation to beat St. Joe’s, but can they? Delbarton destroyed Camden Catholic last week, and they are pumped to play for a State title. Jamie White touched the ball a mere 11 times and got 170 yards? That’s ridiculous. Braswell and Arancio scored two touchdowns each and Mike Bikinese didn’t have to do much besides hand the ball off to his talented running backs. This week will be different. Mike B will have to lead his team to victory if they want to pull off the upset here. Play action passes, some bombs, whatever it takes to throw a great St. Joe’s team off balance. St. Joe’s is No. 1 in the State, and there is a reason why, several, actually. Mark Fossati and Spencer Aukamp lead St. Joe’s offense like a machine. Fossati does it on defense as well, and special teams as the kicker. He is like a jack of all trades. Brior Wynn and CJ Fitzpatrick have some skills as well in backfield. The one thing St. Joe’s has going for it is its’ tradition of winning, all the time. This team belongs in Texas they are so serious about football. In the end, I think it’s going to go down to whoever’s monks pray more for the victory. I’m kidding! Prayers aren’t going to help anyone in this one, it’s all going to be left on the field, and in the end Delby is going to have more reason to hate St. Joe’s.
PICK: St. Joe’s 35-28

What are your predictions for this weekend?

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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