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2014 Week 7 Predictions


Friday Night Lights

Butler (1-5) @ Hanover Park (4-2)
L.A. Byrne: Hanover Park is back at home this week, and they’re going to be hard to beat. But Butler’s Cirillo and Gentile are going to put enough points on the board to make it a tight race. If Butler plays like they can play, I wouldn’t be shocked if they pulled off the upset. PICK: Hanover Park 28-27
Brian Kenney: HP is on a 2 game losing streak but that ends today. Although he came in second in QB of the Year voting, Bass will show why he should be #1 as he has week-after-week. Look for him to throw for 2 scores and run for another in a blowout. PICK: HP 35-7
George Muha: This has trap-game written all over it! Butler’s CC Brothers (Cirillo and Castiglia) are shocking teams with their speed. Hopefully Tomasz Radomski can keep these speed demons in check and get the Hornets back to winning again. PICK: HP 24-17

Vernon (3-3) @ Montville (0-6)
L.A. Byrne: Tyler Soltes completed 14 of 19 passes at Cougar Field and he’s going to take that aerial confidence on the road against a Montville team Vernon has had a history of beating. PICK: Vernon 28-20
Brian Kenney: The Vernon offense, led by Tyler Soltes and RB Tim VanLenten, will be too much for the Mustangs. Vernon runs away with this one. PICK: Vernon 28-13
George Muha: When I was a kid there was this TV series called “V” – which stood for “visitors”. It was about these aliens that assimilated into our society and ultimately took over the world. They looked like people but were really these lizard-ish looking people with human-like masks. I remember being totally addicted to the show. This week “V” is back. And I am not talking about Vernon or “visitors”. I am talking about Luke “Sack Machine” Venskus and Tim “Rip” Van Lenten. PICK: “V” 34-6

West Morris (3-3) @ Mendham (3-3)
L.A. Byrne: Last year there were so many Mendham fans at this rivalry game, a section of the West Morris away bleachers collapsed. My Minutemen are going to draw on all that support, and play with the intensity this matchup brings out. PICK: Mendham 24-23
Brian Kenney: West Morris is coming off a big win over Morristown and unfortunately Mendham is just getting over a rough loss at the hands of Delbarton. Look for West Morris to keep their momentum going as they look to the playoffs by winning a close one on the road. PICK: WM 14-13
George Muha: My wife sat next to a Mendham sophomore player’s mom during last week’s game. The mom, not knowing that the woman she was talking to was the wife of somebody famous (wink, wink), said her son never played football before. She mentioned he isn’t much of a contributor on the field, but he loved being on the team. She remarked at how her son looks up to the senior captains because they act like true leaders and are always encouraging and helpful to the younger players. In case you were wondering, THAT’S what it’s all about. I don’t care what your record is, if your program is producing that kind of leadership and encouragement, then you’re already winning. I tip my cap to Coach Carpluk if that’s the kinds of things are going on in his locker room. With that said, no way are the Minutemen dropping this one with that kind of culture in what is basically a home playoff game! PICK: Minutemen 35-34

Mount Olive (1-5) @ Randolph (4-2)
L.A. Byrne: The Rams big, blowout win against Morris Knolls has them back on track for another “W”! PICK: Randolph 28-14
Brian Kenney: The Rams’ D looked impressive last week and they will be looking for another shutout against Mt. Olive this week. They almost get one. PICK: Rams 27-6
George Muha: Mt. Olive playoff’s hopes are unfortunately dashed. So they get to play the spoiler, which also can be fun. I believe they are better than their record is and I think they’ll surprise the Rams a bit. Look for Mt. Olive linebacker Joe “Hold” DeMeo to rack up 10 tackles and a forced fumble in the loss. PICK: Randolph 30-24

Jefferson (2-4) @ Hackettstown (3-3)
L.A. Byrne: Hackettstown’s Connor Sterphone had a huge game against Hanover Park, making it clear: the Tigers have all they need to finish this season strong. And even though Jefferson lost to Madison, they showed up in every play. Head to Hackettstown for this matchup! PICK: Jefferson 21-20
Brian Kenney: H-Town just beat HP and evened their record. This week they will go above .500. Connor Sterphone from Hackettstown certainly didn’t “phone” it in last week against the Hornets, while running and throwing for over 200 yards (I couldn’t resist). Look for another combined two hundred plus yards again this week. PICK: H-Town 28-10
George Muha: Last week H-Town’s QB Connor Sterphone ran for over hundred yards and passed for over a hundred. Pretty impressive Sterphone! You know what’s more impressive, if you catch your own passes for a hundy too. I think you can do it. PICK: H-Town 28-24

Madison (4-1) @ Parsippany (2-4)
L.A. Byrne: A.J. Schmitz ran for 92 yards and a TD and threw for 49 yards and two TDs. I heard he plays in the band at halftime too and sells hotdogs before the game as well. What does this guy NOT do? PICK: Madison 35-14
Brian Kenney: Dodgers are starting to gain some momentum as their offense exploded for 36 points last week against Jefferson. Look for more fireworks on O this week from Madison, led by AJ Schmitz. PICK: Madison 44-13
George Muha: How about Parsippany’s Kwaku Agyemang (this kid just broke my computer’s spell checker) returning a kick 80-yards to the big house last week! He’s a threat the Dodgers will have to keep in check. But Madison’s Jo Jo Mobley will make sure the Dodgers continue their winning ways! PICK: Dodgers 37-14

Dover (3-3) @ Lenape Valley (5-1)
L.A. Byrne: After 300 wins, Don Smolyn knows how to get the job done, and Jimmy Fluke is his big-play guy to help it happen. PICK: Patriots 27-20
Brian Kenney: The Valley is coming off a big win over North Warren last week and their D was off the charts in that game. The Tigers have had a decent season but they will be under .500 when the dust clears this Friday and LV’s coach gets #301. Look for Jimmy “Not a” Fluke to catch another TD this week for the Valley. PICK: LV 34-10
George Muha: Dover needs this win in the worst way if they hope to make the playoffs. But I don’t think this will be their week. Lenape’s Dan “El Dorado” Mejorado and Greg “Fumble Scooper” Cooper seem to be turnover-happy in recent weeks and I think that trend continues. PICK: LV 43-29

Kinnelon (3-3) @ Whippany Park (3-3)
L.A. Byrne: The Presti (19-31-495-6)—Chiuchiolo (9-274-3)—Anello (2-163-3) scoring machine is running like an Aston Martin on high-octane fuel. PICK Colts 42-28
Brian Kenney: What can I say about last week’s POW that hasn’t already been said? Kid throws for almost 500 yards and 6 scores? Two of his WRs combine for 400 of those yards? The Jets should take some pages out their playbook. Look for the Presti to Chiuchiolo hook up to find the endzone at least twice in this one. PICK: Kinnelon 35-20
George Muha: If Whippany Park makes it to the playoffs this year I will be so happy for them. Even a loss this week doesn’t knock them out. That’s good, because I think Kinnelon’s Kyle Presti is still in touchdown throwing mode after last week’s wild shootout vs. Pequannnock. PICK: Kinnelon 40-30

Wallkill Valley (0-6) @ Mountain Lakes (6-0)
L.A. Byrne: The last two teams Mountain Lakes beat ended with 42-7 final scores. This is a home game for the Herd, so I’m predicting more of the same. PICK: Mountain Lakes 42-7
Brian Kenney: I’m pretty positive Lakes will stay undefeated after this game. Look for Brad Landry to find the endzone at least once in a decent game. PICK: Lakes 23-14
George Muha: No offense to their players, but I am the only one bored by Mt. Lakes? I wish they would take a page from Delbarton’s and Pope John’s playbook and schedule some larger schools on their calendar. I bet the Herd players would love that…and so would I. PICK: Herd 52-0

Newton (1-5) @ Pequannock (6-0)
L.A. Byrne: Last week Ben Sibblies rushed for a jaw-dropping 251-yards against Wallkill Valley but he’s going to have a tough time against a Pequannock team that shut down a prolific Colts offense. PICK: Pequannock 28-14
Brian Kenney: What impressed me so much in Pequannock’s game last week is that they literally showed why the best defense is a good offense. They were lit up like a Christmas tree on defense but still won the game. I am sure that they worked on some new defensive schemes in practice this week, as it seems pass coverage is their Achilles heal. Newton likes to run, and why wouldn’t you if you had Ben Sibblies running the ball? He had a quarter of a 1000 yards last week. But Pequannock isn’t going to stumble this week, especially at home and with Dan Jachera running and catching the ball. PICK: Pequannock 41-24
George Muha: I don’t care what their record is; Newton will bite you in the butt if you sleep on him. The Brave’s RB Ben Sibblies channeled his inner Walter Payton last week and busted out for 250-yards and three TDs. But the ‘Nock’s QB Tim “Hulk” Horgan is the consummate field leader and he’ll make sure his Golden Panthers stay perfect. PICK: ‘Nock 30-20

Kittatinny (2-4) @ North Warren (4-2)
L.A. Byrne: The score in last week’s Kittatinny/Mountain Lakes matchup doesn’t reflect how hard those Cougars showed up. But at North Warren, they announce Luke Robertson’s name so often I thought there was an echo in the stands. PICK: Patriots 20-10
Brian Kenney: NW is coming off a tough loss last week and I’m sure they are fired up for a tough Kittatinny squad. Baird/Soisson/Burns/Robertson etc. on defense will make a stand this week. I can’t say enough about this Robertson kid, he can’t not run for at least 100 yards every game. Look for him to run over 200 in this win. PICK: NW 24-14
George Muha: Kittatinny plays with an unbelievable amount of heart. You have to hand it to guys like Josh Klimek and Derek Hirsch for continuing to fight hard. North Warren won’t lose this one but Kitt will make them earn every yard. PICK: NW 27-17

Saturday Afternoon Delight

Hopatcong (3-3) @ Morristown-Beard (4-2)
L.A. Byrne: Two of Hopatcong’s biggest losses were to Pequannock and Lenape Valley with final scores of 7-0 and 6-0. Those were hard-fought battles that show exactly how much these guys bring to every game. This is going to be another crazy matchup with talent on both sides of the field but the Chiefs toughness is going to make the difference. PICK: Hopatcong 28-21
Brian Kenney: I know it won’t be easy but I really think that Hopatcong can pull this one off at the Beard. Look for H’s Shea Bongiovanni to run for over 100 yards and at least 2 scores in a close one. PICK: Hopatcong 21-17
George Muha: This will be a death-match kind of game that is decided only by whom has the highest score when time runs out. Considering MoBeard is home and McFadden is basically a freak show, its going to be the Crimson who will be victorious in the end. PICK: Bearded Ladies 38-37

Boonton (4-2) @ Morris Catholic (0-6)
L.A. Byrne: Boonton is big, and strong, and making teams miserable this year. PICK: Bombers 35-14
Brian Kenney: Unfortunately for MC the are not going to get a W this week. Boonton has been playing well and coming off a big win against Whippany Park last week. Boonton’s Smith and Corporan both went over the century mark last week, and look for them both to find the endzone again in a rough one for MC. PICK: Boonton 33-12
George Muha: How about Morris Catholic’s Peter Palumbo digging deep last week with 13 tackles? It’s tough playing hard when you know your playoff hopes are dashed. So my hat is off to the Crusaders for keep fighting. The Josh’s (Smith and Corporan) combine for 200-yards again in a convincing win. PICK: Bombers 43-12

Roxbury (6-0) @ Delbarton (6-0)
L.A. Byrne: Mendham played Delbarton last week, and someone made a mistake and sent the Jets by accident. But I hear the Cowboys have been suiting up in blue and gold, and we all know how Tony Romo is doing. Actually, I think Grant Dixon is better than Romo–but the Delbarton line is so huge his Gaels might struggle. PICK: Delbarton, but barely 28-21
Brian Kenney: If this isn’t the game of the week I don’t know what is. Probably the game of the season so far. Somebody is walking out of this one with a L. Both dominated their foes last week, both have good QBs and RBs, and both teams can play defense. I think Sammy Johnson will pick off one of Grant Dixon’s passes late in the game and that will seal the deal in a close one that Delby wins at home. PICK: Delby 21-17
George Muha: I know what I’m doing Saturday afternoon! First off, if it is 3rd or 4th and short, Delbarton is going to do the shovel pass play. Don’t Delby opponents watch film? Nobody ever seems prepared for that play. Secondly, this game is going to be a great battle of two of the most disciplined and physical teams in the county. Thirdly, Delbarton’s Andrew Papantonis’s #4 away jersey is the hottest selling of all Morris Sussex players right now. It’s going to be super close but I am going with the home team. PICK: Delby 31-28

Morris Knolls (1-5) @ Morristown (2-4)
L.A. Byrne: Morristown’s record shows just how insane their schedule is: with Jordan Powell, Tre’ Gywn, Dallas McCall, and Ricky Lorenzo this team should be celebrating every week. PICK Colonials 42-35
Brian Kenney: I think I say every week that Morristown should be better than their record indicates. I think they will win this week but if not then I’m just flat wrong. PICK: Motown 17-13
George Muha: Motown is playing for their playoff lives so I see them being extra explosive this week. If they win this weekend and next week against Delby, they most likely have a ticket to the dance. They’ll have to do their job this week before they can focus on next week’s big task, but I think they’ll win. PICK: Motown 34-18

Morris Hills (3-3) @ High Point (0-6)
L.A. Byrne: Three of High Point’s losses are to Sparta, Par Hills, and Pope John—you see where I’m going with this? The record doesn’t tell the whole story. If they get that offense firing we’re going to have a great game against a strong Mo Hills team led by quarterback Daymon Fleming. PICK: Morris Hills 24-14
Brian Kenney: The Hills be alive with the sound of…a victory. Even though they are not playing in the Hills. PICK: MH 21-7
George Muha: High Point is looking to end their season on a…high point. They can by playing the spoiler to MoHills. Beating the Scarlet Knights will likely sink their postseason chances and give the Wildcats something to cheer about. I don’t think it will happen but I think HP makes a valiant effort to do so. PICK: MoHills 34-19

Chatham (2-4) @ Pope John (4-3)
L.A. Byrne: Chatham might not come out on top in this matchup but playing a strong PJ team will help them sharpen their game—and they’re going to bring that to the rest of their season. PICK: Pope John 42-10
Brian Kenney: Pope John is going to score almost 30 points in the first half and coast the rest of the way in this one. Look for Nicky Esposito to run for 150 yards and 2 scores in this one. PICK: PJ 47-17
George Muha: I’m already starting to miss my favorite player of all time, PJ senior runningback Nick Esposito who will be graduating at the end of the school year. Luckily we still have three regular season games and the playoffs so he can rack up some serious stats for my fantasy team. PICK: Johnnies 40-12

Sparta (5-1) @ Parsippany Hills (5-1)
L.A. Byrne: Does football get any better than this? This is Seattle and San Francisco, but better because we have Anthony Argula versing Nick Verducci, both top-performers every week. PICK: Sparta 28-21
Brian Kenney: Wow…I think the final scores may be 75-69 in this one!!! Both teams scored half a hundred last week in crazy games. Their offenses are ridiculous. Par Hills has Verducci and Gallego, Sparta has Argula leading the charge, it’s too close to call. Somebody will step up on defense, I think it will somebody on Par Hills at home. PICK: PH 47-35
George Muha: In case you were wondering, this is the Conference Championship game. It’s also going to be an off-the-hook exciting game. Here is exactly how it’s going to play out. Viking’s coach Dave Albano LOVES (with a capital LOVES…with an exclamation point…and a yellow highlighter) throwing the ball. And despite his offense hasn’t done much of it that this year, I GUARENTEE he throws 92% of the time in this game. Sparta will be caught off guard (unless they read this scouting report) for about two plays. After that, this is going to be an all out aerial campaign on both sides. In the end, I believe Sparta QB Anthony Argula (who is going to be a first ballot MSF Hall of Famer) is far too versatile to keep contained for four quarters. PICK: Sparta 55-54

Newark Collegiate (2-3) @ Sussex Tech (2-4)
L.A. Byrne: The Fighting Mustangs are going to come out swinging in this game. PICK: Sussex Tech 35-10
Brian Kenney: I was wrong about ST last week I apologize. This week they win. PICK: ST 21-14
George Muha: Right now there is one hudl highlight of Sussex Tech runningback Shyheim Outland. In it he takes the hand off, gets seemingly tackled by five guys, then ultimately breaks free and starts knocking kids down like bowling pins. Not to think ahead, but I can’t wait till next year when he’s a senior. PICK Sussex Tech 30-22

Laura 14-5 (73.68%)
Brian 15-4 (78.94%)
George 13-6 (68.42%)

Laura 75-38 (66.37%)
Brian 76-37 (67.25%)
George 74-39 (65.48%)

What are your predictions for this weekend? Comment below.

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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