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The Fab Five: State Championship Predictions


First off, I cannot tell you how proud I am of our boys! Please give a big round of applause one more time for Mendham, Sparta, Par Hills, Mt. Lakes and Pope John for establishing themselves as the best of the best! The road to the state championship game is long and tough so just getting to this point is something every one of these young men should always be proud of.

We’ve been calling these remaining teams the “Fab 5”. Now, as these teams represent our towns and communities on the statewide stage, they need our support. So get out to Kean, MetLife Stadium and Rutgers and cheer on our “Fab 5”!

Before I get to the last predictions of 2013, I would like to thank everyone for your support of Morris Sussex Football! I would also like to remind you that although the season will be over soon, we will be doing one final article in the next few weeks for our postseason awards which we call the “All Unruly Team”. So stay tuned in.

So without further ado, here are the final predictions of 2013 for the remaining “Fab 5”!

North 1, Group 3 Sectional Final

newspaper5 River Dell (8-3) @ 2 Sparta (10-1)
Saturday, December 7, 10:00am @ MetLife Stadium
George Muha: There is just no comeback when someone tells you the team you have to play has a runningback that ran for 500 yards six touchdowns two weeks ago in a playoff game. Even when you’re a competitive player, you have to say to yourself, “We’re screwed.” There is just no sugar coating this one…Sparta is going to win big. The only thing that I’d like to see is former player (football career got cut short by multiple concussions) and current senior John Romano get some varsity dunks in this last game. Let the kid run in the 1 yard touchdown when the opportunity presents itself. I can’t iminge what Romano would be like on the field because he’s he’s insane in the stands.
PICK: Sparta – I am not even going to say a score because its not going to be pretty.

North 2, Group 2 Sectional Final

2 Mountain Lakes (11-0) @ 1 Caldwell (10-1)
Saturday, December 7, 1:00pm @ Kean University
George Muha: Nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey hey good-bye! Nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey hey good-bye! I love that song…although Caldwell is not going to like it as much as me in the next few days. But they way I see it, Sammaro, Cuccinello, Lesko and Spags will not let their beloved coach get out of Kean without his first title. I’m not saying this one will be a rollover game, but the Herd will be victorious.
PICK: Mt. Lakes 30-24

North 2, Group 3 Sectional Final

4 Par Hills (9-2) @ 2 Summit (11-0)
Friday, December 6, 7:00pm @ Kean University
George Muha: Did you know that Summit has only lost two games in four years? Did you know that as a school they have won seven state championships? Sure, Summit has a long storied history and if you went to a local barber shop, the old folks their won’t let you forget about the time Willy Wilson scored seven touchdowns on Thanksgiving Day in 1972.  You do have to tip your cap to Summit for everything they’ve done as a football team.  But none of that matters Friday night when Par Hills and Summit buckle up their chin straps.  All that matters is who has more heart for 48 minutes.  I think this is going to be a total game of basketball with Katzenburger and Bluj draining the big threes while Dogbe, Weiss and Hill being tough down in the paint.  In the end, it will be the Vikes taking the token team photo at the fifty yard line with state title trophy.
PICK: Vikes 40-36

North 2, Group 3 Sectional Final

6 Mendham (6-4-1) @ 1 Phillipsburg (10-1)
Sunday, December 8, 4:00pm @ Rutgers University
George Muha: From the first Mendham game I watched, I saw a team that was capable of slaughtering opponents. Everytime I saw quarterback Jack Horan roll out, I just saw opposing defenses just collapsing with an inablity to stop what would happen next. The problem for Mendham earlier in the season, was they just didn’t realize how potent they actually were. As the season wore on, I saw Horan and his Welker-esk receivers dinking, dunking and sprinting for some big time plays. I promise you that the Phillipsburg coach has total odjida over Horan and company. So the only thing I see getting in Mendham’s way is if they start to not believe in themselves, which I honestly don’t see happening. I will say, that Mendham will need its defense to be in total hockey mode. Meaning, we’re gonna need Coapman to be knocking balls out of hands in the secondary, Chris Jones doing his little side attack sack thing and Benneducci & Marconi to be all fired up in the middle.
PICK: Mendham 34-30

Non-Public, Group 3

2 Pope John (10-1) @ 1 St. Joseph – Mont (9-1)
Saturday, December 7, 1:00pm @ MetLife Stadium
George Muha: OVER-RATED, OVER-RATED, OVER-RATED…common, everyone! I am literally going to stand St. Joe’s parent section with my Noa Merrit home jersey yelling that chant. I am so jacked for this game I cannot take it! You know what’s got me the most psyched? The fact that nobody thinks the Lions have a chance. Yup, that’s a fact PJ! Last week I was talking to a peer of mine that covers the Shore Conference and he swore that Pope John won’t even score. He even went on to tell me that this game will be over in the first quarter. I just quietly listened and was amazed at what this guy (who I respect) was saying. But I will tell you right now Pope John, they may not be over-rated and they may be one of the best teams in NJ history and they may be this or that. But they are beatable! Don’t think for a second you don’t belong in the ring with these guys. As for the PJ faithful, you better have the 12th Man thing in full effect. I was at the Final’s last year when Delby faced these guys. Do you know what was the turning point in that game? When 150 Green Knight fans walked down the stadium isles dressed as knights chanting crazy songs before the first whistle even blow. Delby saw that and basically said, “We’re screwed.” Listen PJ fans, your team is good enough to show the State that Pope John is for real. But they NEED you to be flat out insane for four quarters. Get your chants down, wear costumes and be obnoxious as possible. I’m not just talking about the students either. Mrs. Bailey cannot be the only parent fan who feels she can will a win for these boys. I am telling you, whichever team has the better 12th man will win the game on the field. DO NOT LET YOUR LIONS DOWN.
PICK: 50-0 St. Joes (How does that score feel PJ? That is how they all think this one is going to go. You are good enough to win. Show the state that PJ is inserting themselves into the St. Joes, Bergen Catholic, Don Bosco equasion and bring home the state championship!)

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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