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2014 Week 1 Predictions


Friday Night Lights
Delbarton (0-0) @ Monsignor Farrell-NY (1-0)
L.A. Byrne: Delbarton’s up against a New York team that plays a brutal schedule of college-ready rosters, including the St. Anthony’s machine. PICK: Monsignor Farrell 26-13
BRIAN KENNEY: I’m a Jersey guy and my brother Billy went to Delbarton so I’m going to go with Delby in this one. PICK: Delby 34-13
George Muha: Monsignor Farrell got everyone’s attention with their 45-0 shellacking of Overbrook (Philadelphia) last week. You know their home town crowd will be filling their stands. Which will make it all the more sweeter when Andrew Otterman and his big horses up upset their Lions on their home court. PICK: Delby 45-30

Pequannock (0-0) @ Dover (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Pequannock is going to light up the field with the Campbell/Horgan combination while Dover’s smoothing out early season bumps after a big 2014 graduation and a new coach in the house. PICK: Pequannock 15-7
BRIAN KENNEY: I worked across the street from Dover High School for almost 8 years at a great law firm. I ate probably 100 lbs of ice cream from Dover Dairy and 200 cheesesteaks from the Dover Grill so I’m going with Dover. PICK: Tigers 20-14
George Muha: There is no better place in the county to watch a game on a crisp September night than Hamilton Field in Dover. The complex is actually beautiful! Unfortunately for the hometown fans, it’s the perfect setting for Pequannock’s strong-armed quarterback Tim “Hulk” Horgan to fling it to his array of nifty receivers for the win. PICK: Golden Panthers 38-20

Newton (0-0) @ Hanover Park (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: This explosive match-up is going down to the last second before it’s all decided. Hanover Park’s got the goods to come out on top but so does Newton, and Newton has the Grant/Sibblies chain-movers returning from last year. PICK: Newton 21-20
BRIAN KENNEY: HP is my alma mater so come on, who do you expect me to pick? Plus the EH/FP Falcons are being honored at half time, so HP won’t lose for their sake! PICK: HP 21-6
George Muha: There is nothing like starting the season off with a home win in front of your fans. It puts everyone in a good mood and gives your team a burst of momentum. Unfortunately for the Hornets, this won’t be their fate. Quarterback Nick Grant and his Braves want to send an early message to the rest of the conference that they mean business this year. PICK: Newton 28-14

Jefferson (0-0) @ Kinnelon (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Jefferson’s losing a star-studded class and Kinnelon’s been working together, quietly, steadily building a force. PICK: Kinnelon: 28-21
Brian Kenney: J-Town is rough and tumble and will win a close one. PICK: Jefferson 27-21
George Muha: Kyle Presti and Liam Nelson got a taste of a state championship ring earlier in their high school careers. Now that their seniors, they know this is do or die. Look for them to come out of this night 1-0 in I’m-Going-To-MetLife fashion. PICK: Kinnelon 35-14

Butler (0-0) @ Boonton (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Last year’s match-up was close, but this year Butler is rolling out locked and loaded. PICK: Butler 35-14
PJ Week 1 5Brian Kenney: I think Butler still uses the Run and Shoot offense and it should prove a little much for Boonton’s D even with the home team cheering them on. PICK: Butler 34-20
George Muha: I really think this Josh Smith-led Bomber team has the ability to do something special this year. They’ll definitely give their hometown fans something to cheer about this Friday night. But I think Ryan Cirillo’s offense will just be too much to fast. PICK: Bulldogs 35-34

High Point (0-0) @ Mount Olive (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Last year’s Mount Olive opener with Mendham was a stunning loss and the Marauders will be looking to charge out of that tunnel and onto their home field ready to set the record straight for this year. PICK: Mount Olive 32-15
Brian Kenney: High Point had some good games last year but I’m afraid they won’t start the season off with a win against a ground and pound Mt. Olive squad. PICK: Mt. Olive 28-7
George Muha: It is going to fun to finally get to see the 2014 version of Mount Olive’s super stud quarterback Alec Oriolo in the flesh. He should dish out a healthy amount of yards with his arm and with his legs. PICK: Marauders 28-8

Morris Catholic (0-0) @ Hopatcong (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Hopatcong has been waiting so long for this season-opener, and training so hard, they’re going to end this game in the first quarter. PICK: Hopatcong 48-7
Brian Kenney: Yesterday my son asked me if when I was growing up everything was in black and white (because I’m so old). That has nothing to do with my pick for this game but I thought it was funny. PICK: MC 14-8
George Muha: This Friday night Morris Catholic will learn that Caplan, Smith, Dorman, Yanko and Cranmer isn’t the name of an ambulance-chasing law firm. Nope, it’s they are the names of the key cogs in Hopatcong shut down defense. Soon everyone will know these guys. PICK: Da ‘Cong 33-10

Kittatinny (0-0) @ Lenape Valley (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Pangborn’s going to get it done, either in the air or on the ground. PICK: Lenape Valley 21-7
Brian Kenney: Lenape Valley finds a way to be in the mix most years and will start the season off right with a big win at home. PICK: LV 31-15
George Muha: The Rylan Pangborn Era is in its final chapter for Lenape Valley and he’s too talented of a player for this book not to have a heroic ending. Look for the Pats to support its senior leader by winning convincingly. PICK: Patriots 30-10

Madison (0-0) @ Mountain Lakes (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: This is an insane match-up of QBs and TEs, and I’m giving this one to the Lakers and their stacked roster of guys that just don’t know how to lose. PICK: Mountain Lakes 34-21
Brian Kenney: This is a great first game of the season although not for the teams in the game. What a matchup! Madison squeaks by. PICK: Dodgers 21-20
George Muha: Mountain Lakes doesn’t lose that many regular season games so why would they go and lose their first game of the season? Because Dodger QB AJ Schmitz and RB David Luttinger have the fire power to keep even the Herd on their heels. PICK: Dodgers 40-33

PJ Week 1 2Morris Knolls (0-0) @ Morris Hills (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: This game will be a defensive battle and 2014 Morris Hills has the C-4 to come out on top. PICK: Morris Hills 28-27
Brian Kenney: My sister-in-law teaches at MH so I’m going with them in this rivalry. PICK: MH 20-8
George Muha: This is too much of a rival game to be happening this early in the season. If anyone knows how to defend against Morris Knolls’ Veer, it’s Morris Hills. But this year’s Veer will be too big and strong for the Red Knights. PICK: Golden Eagles 21-18

Morristown-Beard (0-0) @ North Warren (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Luke Robertson, ‘nuff said. He and the Patriots will get it done. PICK: North Warren 21-7
Brian Kenney: I have a buddy who used to talk about beards all the time. I have to say beards are a pain to maintain and who wants one in the summer? Anyhoo I’ll give Mo-Beard the edge in this one because I drive by their field a lot and it’s so nice. PICK: MB 10-6
George Muha: This is probably the hardest game of the week to pick. I see MoBeard’s super senior Matt McFadden scoring on offense and special teams. But Luke Robertson pounding style of running will wear down the Crimson in a nail biter. PICK: Pats 33-32

Wallkill Valley (0-0) @ Parsippany (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Adam Vazquez’s Rangers are going to bring home the “W” for their new head coach. PICK: Walkill Valley 27-6
Brian Kenney: Parsippany will win a few games this year, but this probably won’t be one of them. PICK: WV 35-12
George Muha: It’s about time Parsippany opens up their season 1-0! I know it hasn’t actually happened yet, but Redhawks quarterback Dan Campbell and runningback Andrew Massefski are going to make sure it does. PICK: Parsippany 23-18

Saturday Games
PJ  Week 1 3Roxbury (0-0) @ Sparta (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Grant Dixon’s got the goods but he’s working against a Sparta line that’s built like a rebar-reinforced concrete wall. PICK: Sparta 42-14
Brian Kenney: Another great first game of the year that I bet both teams wish came later in the season. Nobody likes a battle game 1! This one goes to the ‘Bury. PICK: Roxbury 27-21
George Muha: Every time I think of Faria I can’t help to flashback to how Al Bundy used to reminisce how he once scored 5 touchdowns in a football game. In Faria’s case, he’ll be able to brag that he scored 6 touchdowns in a game and ran for 600 yards in that same game. Faria’s future looks much brighter than Al Bundy’s though. PICK: Spartans 48-18

West Morris (0-0) @ Parsippany Hills (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: At Par Hills, this game is going to be insane. Last year’s 22-21 loss to Central is the gas on the fire for an already explosive Viking squad. PICK: Par Hills 21-19
Brian Kenney: This should be another good one and I think the home field advantage will help Par Hills edge out WM in this one. PICK: PH 22-20
George Muha: Par Hills will unveil their “Greatest Show on Turf” this Saturday (even though they play on grass) as the strong-armed Nick Verducci passes over 250 yards to six different receivers. PICK: Vikes 34-25

Paramus Cath. (1-0) @ Pope John (0-1)
L.A. Byrne: The well-oiled Abramson/Bailey machine can make this a huge day for PJ. PICK: PJ 31-27
Brian Kenney: I know a lot of PJ alumni and if you ask them there is no way PJ can start the year off 0-2. That being said, PC is no joke and just got back from Maryland where it destroyed a team. Sorry everyone, PC isn’t stopping until it wins State. PICK: PC 28-15
George Muha: This quarterback match up is going to be like watching Aaron Rodgers (Willy Hansen) against Andrew Luck (Sonny Abramson). I think PJ learned a lot from last week’s loss and will come out a much different team. Look for runningback Nick Esposito to rush for 100 yards on the ground while Hansen gets shipwrecked on Drew Daniel Island. PICK: Johnnies 39-35

Montville (0-0) @ Morristown (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Jordan Powell is going to make Montville miserable this week. PICK: Morristown 14-7
Brian Kenney: News of Joe Gorga’s probable return to Montville sparks the team to beat Motown at home. PICK: Montville 13-7
George Muha: Look for Motown’s Coach Chris Hull to come out firing on all cylinders in a high scoring affair. The sure armed Dallas McCall will pass for 150 while bruising back Tre’ Gwyn rushes for 125 in a convincing win. PICK: Colonials 25-9

Vernon (0-0) @ Mendham (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Rumor has it Vernon’s 1’s will be sidelined for the season-opener. PICK: Mendham 28-7
Brian Kenney: Rumor has it too many kids from Vernon got injured at Action Park this summer and the team will face an uphill battle this season. (I’m kidding of course). PICK: Mendham 28-6
George Muha: Vernon will soon be introduced to the Mendham’s Thunder & Thunder offense (not to be confused with Thunder and Lighting). Fullback Tim Byrne brings the thunder while starting runningback Chris Jones dishes out the Thunder. It’s called Thunder & Thunder! You’ll see what I’m talking about on Saturday. PICK: Minutemen 35-7

Randolph (0-0) @ Chatham (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: This is an emotional opening for Randolph, and that translates to on-the-field toughness for the Rams. PICK: Randolph 35-7
Brian Kenney: This is an emotional one for Randolph and I think Chatham will hang in there but RHS gets the win. PICK: Randolph 12-7
George Muha: Tears are already starting to well up thinking about this emotional first game after the Rams lost their two brothers Jack Timmerman and Cal Verduga this summer. Randolph is playing for a higher cause this fall and it will show just how strong these young men really are in Week 1. PICK: Rams 40-14

Hackettstown (0-0) @ Whippany Park (0-0)
L.A. Byrne: Both rosters are packed with potential but I’m going with the Wing-T offense to decide this bout. PICK: Whippany Park 14-7
Brian Kenney: H-Town is not making the long trip to Hanover and losing. Park will put up a fight but lose in the fourth. PICK: HHS 34-28
George Muha: Look for the Joe Renne Era to begin as H-Town travels across the county to Whippany. The ‘Cats will leave the Tigers all scratched up, but Renne and Co. will be the victors. PICK: Tigers 30-28

Sussex Tech (0-1) @ Cardinal McCarrick (0-1)
L.A. Byrne: Running onto that field is a victory for Cardinal McCarrick but their northern neighbor’s going to get the job done on the scoreboard. PICK: Sussex Tech 36-7
Brian Kenney: Somebody is notching their first W of the year here. I’m thinking the Sussex Tech Cadalytic Converters pull this one out even though they are away. PICK: ST 14-7
George Muha: Shayheim “The Outlaw” Outland will rush for over 150 and two TDs in a convincing win over Cardinal McCarrick and their home town fans. PICK: ‘Stangs 30-21

How We Did Last Week
L.A. Byrne 1-0 (100%)
Brian Kenney 0-1 (0%)
George Muha 0-1 (0%)

How We’re Doing Overall
L.A. Byrne 1-0 (100%)
Brian Kenney 0-1 (0%)
George Muha 0-1 (0%)

Do you think these are fair predictions?  Who are your picks for Week 1?

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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