Friday Night Lights, September 20
West Morris (1-0) @ Randolph (0-1)
George Muha: Leading state powerhouse Pope John for most of last week’s game showed Randolph has a ton of guts. Although the defending champ Wolfpack are off to a great start, look for the Rams to build off of last week’s moral victory. The foot of Randolph’s Frankie Raggo will be the difference.
PICK: Rams 38-35
Morristown (0-1) @ Roxbury (1-0)
George Muha: Going 0-2 to start the season is not what Motown coach Chris Hull and the Colonials would like to do in this tough National Division. But Roxbury showed in their 21-14 win over Vernon why they are the defending champs. Gael RB Sean Leyden runs for 150 and two scores in the win.
PICK: Gaels 35-14
Pequannock (1-0) @ Hopatcong (0-1)
George Muha: I truly feel Hopatcong has the stars aligned in their favor to do something unique this year. They might have lost to Mt. Lakes last week but they definitely took a pound of flesh from them. Look for Ryan Clarke and company to bounce back in a big way this week.
Lenape Valley (1-0) @ Jefferson (1-0)
George Muha: I like this match-up a lot! You got a hot QB duel between Jefferson’s JR Reese and Lenape’s Ryan Pangborn. Both teams have a ton of offensive weapons. But in the end, I think whoever can keep the other team’s score the lowest will prevail. Patriot’s DB Frank Orlando will come up with a big turnover in the win.
PICK: Lenape Valley 35-34
Kinnelon (1-0) @ Mountain Lakes (1-0)
George Muha: This is going to be the second tough game in a row for Mt. Lakes. Although Kinnelon has what it takes to get to MetLife for the second year in a row, Mt. Lakes has a few things going for them. One is this is their home opener. Two is they are coming off a huge war with Hopatcong so they are battle tested, where Kinnelon has yet to be challenged. And three, there is just something about the Mt Lakes pregame ritual with the spears and all that stuff that just is hard for opponents to get their heads around.
PICK: Herd 28-27
Vernon (0-1) @ Morris Knolls (0-1)
George Muha: Its truly amazing that Bill Regan is still coaching and running the same offense that fooled me when I was a stud (insert cough) defensive end at Hanover Park. I remember getting coached on how to contain my man, and not get fooled by the fake handoff up the middle for an entire week. Yet when the game came, I got schooled for four quarters. I cannot tell you how many times I tackled the fullback who didn’t have the ball. Although this is offense has won championships, I don’t see Vernon linebackers Nick Rapisardi and Morgan Murphy allowing the score to get that out of hand.
PICK: Vernon 24-14
Boonton (1-0) @ Butler (1-0)
George Muha: Boonton will win most of their games this season. But playing the Bulldogs on their home opener with a devastating defense led by Ryan Mack and Nick Ballistreri is all but impossible. It will be a battle, but Butler will prevail.
PICK: Bulldogs 24-21
Kittatinny (1-0) @ Hackettstown (0-1)
George Muha: This division is actually very tough this year. Hackettstown gave a very solid Lenape Valley the business for four quarters last week. They are skilled on both sides of the ball. But I feel Kittatinny’s Garrett “Arms Are Strong” Armstrong will build on his 215 yard performance last week and grind out another win.
PICK: Kittatinny 14-10
Newton (0-2) @ Hanover Park (1-0)
George Muha: I hate when a player gets injured, especially when he’s a key guy from my alma mater. Last week, Hanover Park lineman Anthony Trapasso severely broke his ankle. After flying down to see Dr. James Andrews in Alabama, he found out that he will be out for the rest of the year. There is no doubt that defenders Cody Niedzinski, Tom Vadakkadam and Scott Kenney will rally around their wounded compadre. Because that’s what we Hornets do.
PICK: Hornets 35-14
Sussex Tech (1-0) @ Bergen Tech (2-0)
George Muha: This is like the tech school’s version of Michigan vs. Ohio State. Both teams hate each other like you wouldn’t believe. Actually, to be honest, I just made that up. I don’t know if this game is a big rivalry but if it’s not, it should be. All I know is this, Bergen Tech will have nightmares about Sussex Tech runningback Kyle Bergman Friday night after it’s all said and done.
PICK: Sussex Tech 40-35
Saturday Afternoon, September 21
High Point (0-1) @ Pope John (1-0)
George Muha: I call right now this game will be the coming out party for Lion QB Sonny Abramson. It will be a crisp day on the home turf and I just sense coach Brian Carlson will unleash the aerial attack like you’ve never seen before in front of the home stands. Look for Abramson to throw for 300+ and four TDs in the win.
PICK: PJ 45-21
Mendham (1-0) @ Delbarton (0-1)
George Muha: Don’t expect this to be your annual Death by Delby crosstown bloodbath. Delby is loaded, don’t get me wrong. Especially on defense with the talented centerfielder Matt Oplinger and vicious defensive tackle Aaron Slodowitz in on 80% of the tackles. But coach Bill Carpluk has breathed new life to Mendham football. Minutemen linebackers Joe Beneducci and Anthony Marconi will surely make this a defensive battle while Carpluk controls the clock on “O”. I still see Delby winning, but it will be a low scoring affair.
PICK: Delby 14-10
Dover (0-1) @ Lincoln (1-0)
George Muha: How about the James Quiles to Dwayne “Hey Hey Hey” Brown connection! The pair averages 36 yards per pass play together. Look for the duo to get some additional firepower from RB George Scalley in a bounce-back game that starts a winning rally for the Tigers.
PICK: Dover 40-35
Parsippany Hills (1-0) @ Chatham (0-1)
George Muha: Week 1 Morris Sussex Football’s player of the week Brandon Katzenberger is coming off a five touchdown performance. Chatham is still trying to find their way, while the Vikings operate like a well-oiled machine. Unfortunately, it won’t go in favor of the home team in Cougar Stadium.
PICK: Vikes 30-0
Mount Olive (0-1) @ Sparta (1-0)
George Muha: If I were a college coach, I’d just circle Sparta High School as a school that I’d rely on recruits every single year. I don’t know what it is with this town! Lucas Faria bolted for 218 yards and four TDs last week in a 30-8 shellacking of Bayonne. Look for the Spartans success to continue as linebacker Jack Davis looks to hand the Marauders their second shutout in as many weeks.
PICK: Sparta 24-0
Montville (1-0) @ Morris Hills (0-1)
George Muha: Morris Hills was shell shocked after their 0-42 loss to Par Hills. But nagging injuries was a big part of that loss. I still think the Scarlet Knights have the firepower on both sides of the ball to make a dent in this division. Look for Joey Bencel and company to bounce back in a big way.
PICK: MoHills 35-14
Whippany Park (0-1) @ Morris Catholic (0-1)
George Muha: Both of these teams are looking to get on the scoreboard for their first time. Granted, Morris Catholic could very well have the nicest uniforms in the state. But Whippany Park has been underestimated for way too long. Look for Wildcats Dante Stephanelli and Alex DiMeo to connect for a few TDs in the upset.
PICK: WP 21-18
Parsippany (0-1) @ Madison (1-0)
George Muha: The hottest selling jersey right now is Madison AJ Schmitz’s #33 away jersey after the quarterback’s amazing performance against Dover last week. I love how his number is 33 too! I hope they don’t change that. Look for AJ get “The Streak” up to 39 games.
PICK: Madison 35-10
North Warren (0-1) @ Wallkill Valley (0-1)
George Muha: Wallkill’s Alec Bolio is the real deaolio! Look for another stunning performance as he makes a major impact at wide receiver, defensive back and special teams in the win.
PICK: Wallkill Valley 21-14
MoBeard (2-0) @ Riverdale (NY)
George Muha: Can somebody tell me why Crimson RB Alex Borowiec was not on any of the fantasy draft prep sheets? To make it worse, my arch nemesis brother-in-law scooped him up off the waiver wire after Week 1. Well, back to this game. MoBeard is on a mission and Riverdale New York won’t slow them down. Look for Matt “The Irish Tornado” Reilly and Matt “Tony” Stark to wreak havoc from the linebacker positions while DE Dean Grogg nabs at least two sacks.
PICK: MoBeard 40-10
How We’rw Doing
Last Week: 15-4 (78.9%)