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2014 Week 5 Predictions

 

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

Pope John (2-3) @ Montville (0-4)
L.A. Byrne: Montville’s numbers are going to change soon. Fano, Jespersen, and Harty are too athletic and too tough to keep that zero hanging around for much longer. But Pope John’s in a bad mood after last week and their going to take out on anyone in a jersey. PICK: PJ 48-7
Brian Kenney: Do I ever pick against Pope John? I know too many alumni who compare them to Notre Dame. That was a ridiculous game against Sparta, and I was surprised at the outcome. This week nobody is going to be surprised when PJ’s Sonny Abramson throws for 200 and 3 scores and Mr. Guzman forces a turnover on one of his three sacks in a big PJ win. PICK: PJ 28-13
George Muha: Pope John’s Andrew Nieves is Ray Lewis, Lawrence Taylor and Darth Vader wrapped up in one person (except he’s meaner than all three). At least he’s like that when he puts a helmet on. PICK: PJ 44-6

Sparta (3-1) @ Vernon (2-2)
L.A. Byrne: Both teams are coming off big wins but with Anthony Argula throwing for 345 yards, and 4 TD’s with 98 yards rushing and 1 TD, and defensively James Cartier, Skyler Francisco, and Dylan Bray making huge plays against PJ, this team was contacted by the Jets for pointers. PICK: Sparta 42-14
Brian Kenney: I guess I’m dumb but Sparta seems to surprise me every week. They are no joke! Sparta’s QB Argula connected on 75% of his passes for almost 350 yards and 4 TDs against a decent defense last week. He better be on the lookout for Vernon’s Brandon Lockhart though, as Lockhart will be looking for two weeks in a row of a Pick-6. PICK: Sparta 28-14
George Muha: Attention college recruiters, if you are looking for a quarterback look no further. Sparta’s Anthony Argula. He’s your man. The kid operates out of the no huddle, changes plays at the line of scrimmage, throws to seven different receivers every game, and he just beat Pope John with his star players Teddy Fischer and Lucas Faria injured and on the sidelines!!! PICK: Sparta 40-31

Parsippany Hills (3-1) @ High Point (0-4)
L.A. Byrne: Angelo Gallego rushed 13 times for 166 yards in the week 4 Par Hills battle with Morris Hills in that ground and pound offense that makes opponents miserable. PICK: Par Hills 42-10
Brian Kenney: The Hills were alive last week in a bounce-back victory over the other Hills. Look for Little Ang Gallego to cross the century mark for the second week in a row as he leads the Hills to an easy W. PICK: PH 35-14
George Muha: Doesn’t Par Hills pass anymore? Oh well, I guess you don’t have to when your RB Angelo “Galileo” Gallego rushes for a buck fifty every week. PICK: Vikes 35-19

Hackettstown (2-2) @ Dover (1-3)
L.A. Byrne: Dover has all the weapons it needs to turn things around on their home field even though Hackettstown’s solid run game with Matt Milelli and Connor Sterphone isn’t going to make it easy. PICK: Dover 28-14
Brian Kenney: Dover had a rough week against Madison and unfortunately H-Town is going to bring it in front of their home crowd this week. H-Town lost a nail-biter last week and is angry. Noah Aussems is going to record over a baker’s dozen tackles and H-Town’s D will make the difference in this one. PICK: H-Town 14-6
George Muha: I want Dover to get to the playoffs so badly because they have such a loyal following (and they have an awesome stadium). But the running attack of H-Town’s Connor “Your So Funny” Sterphone and Matt “Milli Vanilli” Milelli will prove to be too much for the Tigers of Dover. PICK: H-Town 23-15

Parsippany (2-2) @ Jefferson (1-3)
L.A. Byrne: Jefferson, you’re back! Now, unleash Sheruda and you’ll stop even a tough Parsippany team. PICK: Jefferson 21-14
Brian Kenney: Jefferson won its first game last week and has some confidence going into this tough match up at home. Look for Connor Brown to get in the endzone this week and go for over 100 yards for Jefferson in a mild upset. PICK: J-Town 20-13
George Muha: My bookie thinks I’m crazy for betting against Jefferson on their brand new turf field. But there is something about these Redhawks that is different from years past. PICK: Redhawks 32-24

Lenape Valley (3-1) @ Hanover Park (4-0)
L.A. Byrne: This is an insane match-up! Christian Bassolino has been lighting up the scoreboard over Route 10 and Rylan Pangborn with Joey Labell and Frank Orlando have their own fireworks going up north. Defense will make the difference here, and Bruke and Trapasso will put it away for the Hornets. PICK: HP 12-14
Brian Kenney: Well this could be the game of the week. HP continues its home stand, which I still don’t get because they are home more than I am these days since Muha has me working so hard on these friggin’ predictions. Anyway, how many times do you all have to hear me talk about the Bass? The kid delivered again in HP’s 4th straight W. Well what about what the Valley’s players did last week? QB Pangborn connected on over 75% of his passes for over 100 yards; both Frankie O and Joe “Ring” La- Bell rushed for over 100 yards and 4 TDs combined and Jim “No” Fluke caught basically every pass Pangborn threw. Needless to say, there are a lot of offensive weapons in the Valley. The difference in this one will be 1) Can HP keep up? and 2) Can HP stop them? If they can’t and don’t, it’s going to be a long night. There is no question this is biggest challenge of HP’s season, and I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they win a close one. But if their D doesn’t hold up, I’m going to be wrong. PICK: HP 34-28
George Muha: I just looked at my old year book…when I was at Hanover Park, back in the colonial times, there were literally 32 kids name Bassolino in my graduating class. Well, one of them must have married Frank Franco and had a kid named Christian. PICK: Hanover Park 32-24

Whippany Park (2-2) @ Wallkill Valley (0-4)
L.A. Byrne: Whippany Park’s Mike Poulter is in a rage over last week’s OT loss and he’s taking it to the field this week. PICK: Wildcats 24-7
Brian Kenney: Whippany Park’s Mike Poulter will again break the century mark in a game that will be closer than the Park would like. PICK: WP 21-16
George Muha: You got to hand it to Whippany Park’s coach Todd Callaghan! The guy actually has his Wildcats in a position to do something special this year. Given it’s his fourth year coaching and he’s had these current seniors since freshman year, it only makes sense that it would come together now. PICK: Wildcats 21-13

Mountain Lakes (4-0) @ Newton (0-4)
L. A. Byrne: Newton you’re KILLING ME. Your record is just not telling the whole Grant/ Sibblies/Papas offensive story. KEEP GOING, Braves! You’re going to turn things around, but not this week. The Herd just battered Boonton, and they’re not easing up anytime soon. PICK: Mountain Lakes 35-14
Brian Kenney: These two teams are opposite of one another and that does not bode well for the Newtonians. Nick Grant will leave it all on the field but Lakes runs away with this one and the Lakes’ Bobby Frawley will run for over 100 yards and 2 scores. PICK: ML 28-7
George Muha: In case you are wondering how Mt. Lakes coach has transitioned from taking the reigns from legend Doug Wilkins a few years back, he’s 35-3 since 2011 and is currently on a 16-game win streak. Bobby “The Mauler” Frawley keeps the Herd loseless in convincing fashion. PICK: Herd 34-18

Hopatcong (2-2) @ Pequannock (4-0)
L.A. Byrne: I haven’t seen too many teams that—week after week— leave it all on the field like Hopatcong does…except Pequannock. Pequannock just refuses to give up, with another nail-biter comeback against Whippany Park. Buckets of sweat will be the only thing left on the Chiefs field on Friday. PICK: Pequannock 14-13
Brian Kenney: This is going to be a close game but Pequannock’s Brendan Monaghan will score a fourth quarter TD to put his squad up for good. PICK: Pequannock 21-14
George Muha: Hopatcong’s Tobi “Or Not To Be” Olugbenga will be trouble for Pequannock’s passing attack. But Pequannock’s workhorse Brendan Monaghan won’t allow their undefeated season to be jeopardized in front of the home fans. PICK: Golden Panthers 30-20

North Warren (4-0) @ Boonton (2-2)
L.A. Byrne: Josh Corporan and Josh Smith are going to meet guys like North Warren’s Frehill and Jones, making this week another huge battle but the Bombers have what it takes to get through the traffic. PICK: Bombers 21-10
Brian Kenney: NW is on a mission this year, much like the Blues Brothers. Granted, they are not smoking and drinking like those guys, but somebody is going to be singing the blues when the dust settles after this one. It ain’t going to be Luke Robertson and the North Warren Wolverines, or whatever they are called. PICK: NW 38-20
George Muha: Hey, North Warren does have other players besides Luke Robertson. Like quarterback Sean Thornton who threw for 150-yards and two touchdowns last week. Boonton’s too good to get routed, but NW will still be victorious. PICK: Pats 34-30

Morris Catholic (0-4) @ Butler (0-4)
L. A. Byrne: Both teams have records that just don’t speak to what they can do. This week Ryan Cirillo is going to make the difference, and get Butler back on track. PICK: Butler 28-21
Brian Kenney: I think I have picked Butler to win at least twice, I’m not sure. I think that this time they will prove me right! Although Mo Catholic’s Joe Lapiniski may tackle over 20 in this one and make me wrong again. PICK: Butler 14-10
George Muha: A few weeks back when I interviewed AJ Schmitz for Player of the Week for his OT heroics over Butler, all he was talking about was this #7 on Butler. He said he was one of the fastest kids he’s ever seen. His name? Danny Castiglia. The kid runs like a gazelle with a horse’s body. PICK: Butler 24-21

Mount Olive (1-3) @ Morris Knolls (0-4)
L.A. Byrne: Morris Knolls has a dangerous QB/receiver package that moves the ball efficiently but after three tough losses Mount Olive’s too hungry to let this one go. PICK: Marauders 21-20
Brian Kenney: Mt. Olive played a great Delby team last week and they will bounce back and win a close one this week at Knolls. PICK: Mt. Olive 21-20
George Muha: Going 0-5 all but sinks your chances for any postseason hopes. I think at its core, Knolls has an untamed heart that is looking for an opportunity to shine. I am feeling an upset in Denville on Friday Night. PICK: Golden Eagles 18-12

West Morris (2-2) @ Roxbury (4-0)
L.A. Byrne: The Gaels are going to get this win too, and officially become the most unanticipated powerhouse to be let loose in the conference. PICK: Roxbury 28-14
Brian Kenney: West Morris is playing well and had a big win against the Rams last week but they are no match for Michael “Frantic” Franzi and the rest of Roxbury’s defense. PICK: ‘Bury 28-7
George Muha: Roxbury is all the rage in the National Division of the NJAC. Quarterback Grant Dixon and his big moose up front are romping on teams. It won’t be the Gaels offense that wins this one though. Look for defensive lineman Michael Franzi to cause a frenzy in the Wolfpack backfield. PICK: Rox 17-14

SATURDAY AFTERNOON SHUFFLE

Randolph (3-1) @ Delbarton (4-0)
L.A. Byrne: Randolph’s balanced offense executes on both pass and run but Delbarton’s defensive wall is going to cause huge problems for the Rams. PICK: Delbarton 21-17
Brian Kenney: Randolph was upset last week in a game they should have won. Bad timing for them because they are running into a buzzsaw at Delbarton this week, which scored 54 points last week. How about this Andrew Papntonis kid from Delbarton? Kid likes to catch balls and score TDs. He had three catches on offense for TDs last week and caught the other team’s QB’s pass for another TD. I don’t think he will score 4 TDs this week, but the kid is getting into the endzone with a ball he caught at some point this Saturday. PICK: Delby 34-21
George Muha: Delbarton’s Andrew Papantonis reminds me so much of myself when I was a sophomore in high school. Just like him, I was 6’1”, 180lbs, ran a 4.50 forty and started varsity. The only difference was I scored more touchdowns at this point in my career. Kidding, none of was true about me…but those are his real stats. This kid is the real dealio. PICK: Delby 32-28

Mendham (2-2) @ Morristown (2-2)
L.A. Byrne: If Mendham executes, they’re unstoppable. PICK: Mendham 13-10
Brian Kenney: Mendham is coming into this game with some confidence off a big win, while Morristown got beat pretty handily by Roxbury. That being said, Morristown had a better opponent last week, and they will bounce back with a vengeance at home. PICK: Motown 21-13
George Muha: Motown brings the same kind of high octane firepower that Randolph unraveled Mendham with a few weeks ago. I think Mendham will better prepared, but I still think Jordan Powell and company will be too much. PICK: Motown 41-30

Chatham (2-2) @ Morris Hills (2-2)
L.A. Byrne: Alex Sands and his Cougars have resuscitated a program and they’re going to keep it alive and kicking this week. PICK: Chatham 20-7
Brian Kenney: Chatham won last week and Matt Nestler is going to run for over a buck and two scores to help the Cougars win two in a row. PICK: Chatham 27-21
George Muha: Unfortunately for MoHills they’ve been nailed by injuries. I see Chatham receiver Luke Sukiennik-ing a bunch of touchdown passes in a Cougar victory. PICK: Chatham 21-10

Kinnelon (2-2) @ Kittatinny (2-2)
L.A. Byrne: Kyle Presti is the kind of leader every team needs, and the Colts are going to come out on top again with him at the helm. PICK: Kinnelon 27-14
Brian Kenney: The battle of the K schools! Should be a great one. My money is on Kinnelon because this Kyle “I Am” Presti throws for mad yards every game and he will do the same this week in front of Kittatinny’s tough home crowd. Look for him to hook up with Aaron “Double A” Anello for at least two scores in this one. PICK: Kinnelon 35-27
George Muha: The Kittatinny Kids are turning things around and are on a two-game win streak. Chris “Kurt” Russell completed only 50% of his passes last week. But every one of his completions was a touchdown pass. PICK: Kitt 35-28

Montclair Kimberley (3-1) @ Morristown-Beard (2-2)
L.A. Byrne: With Colin Waters’ confidence on one side of the ball, and Dean Grogg taking care of business on the other side, Mo-Beard has got this one. PICK: The Crimson 28-7
Brian Kenney: Matt McFadden can do it all on offense for the Beard, but MK is usually pretty tough and travels well this year. It’s almost too close to call and I flipped a coin for this one. PICK: MK 28-21
George Muha: The Fog was the scariest movie I ever saw when I was a kid. There is something even scarier. It’s called The Grogg. The Dean Grogg that is. Look for him and linebacker Matt “The Irish Hurricane” Reilly to hold MKA to 12 points in a convincing win in front of the Crimson faithful. PICK: Bearded Ladies 42-12

Sussex Tech (2-2) @ Middlesex (4-0)
L.A. Byrne: Sussex Tech isn’t traveling all the way to Middlesex to lose, especially with a chip on their shoulders after last week’s fall to Pascack Hills. PICK: Sussex Tech 32-28
Brian Kenney: The Tech has impressed me this year but Middlesex is rough and tumble and playing before their home-town fans. I have to go with the favorite in this one. PICK: Middlesex 42-20
George Muha: “No one and I mean no one comes to our house and pushes us around.” -Dan Devine. That was a great line in the movie Rudy. But it’s not indicative of what’s going to happen this weekend when Sussex Tech runningbacks Dan Struble and Shyheim Outland come to town. PICK: ‘Stangs 30-25

How We Predicted Them Last Week
Laura 12-5 (70.58%)
Brian 13-4 (76.47%)
George 12-5 (70.58%)

How We’re Doing So Far This Season
Laura 47-29 (61.84%)
Brian 49-27 (64.47%)
George 50-26 (65.78%)

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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