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2014 Round 1 Playoff & Consolation Game Predictions


2014 Football Playoffs
Round 1 Schedule

North 1 Group 1
5 Hasbrouck Heights (6-3) @ 4 Boonton (6-3)
L.A. Byrne: Boonton’s season-opening win over Butler set the tone for the magic that followed this season. Joe Norton’s offense was a big part of it, including RB Josh Smith—who had a monster game against Dover—and they are supported on defense with guys like LB Gage Cabalar and DB Amaro Anderson and Josh Corporan. This is a balanced team with talent all over the turf, and they’ll march it out on their home field again. PICK: Boonton 32-7
BRIAN KENNEY: Home field advantage is going to play a major role in this one. Boonton is going to have their hands full for sure. They are coming off a tough loss, but in this case it makes them more determined to win. Gage Cabalar will find the endzone twice in huge win for the Boots. PICK: Boonton 21-17
George Muha: Not for nothing, but how about a round of applause for Boonton’s Coach Gallagher! Even Hasbrouck Heights is going to be impressed with how discliplined, well coached and conditioned Boonton is…after the Bombers shell the heck out of them of course. PICK: Bombers 35-28

North 1 Group 2
8 North Warren (6-3) @ 1 Waldwick (9-0)
L.A. Byrne: It’s easy to focus on Luke Robertson, rushing leader, or Luke Robertson, defensive stud. But there’s so much more to this team. Ricky Baird is one of the best in the area on both sides of the ball. Richard Jones and Nick Heinz both had huge defensive games against Boonton. This is a physical team that has everything it needs to upset an undefeated Waldwick squad. PICK: North Warren 24-14
BRIAN KENNEY: North Warren pitched a shutout last week and their D is going to have to step it up even more (if possible) against an undefeated Waldwick team. Johnny Burns and RJ Jones will be putting pressure on Waldwick’s QB all day but it may not be enough. Here is one thing I know, Luke Robertson is going to leave it all on the field in this one. Waldwick will focus on stopping him, but you can’t stop the Robertson. He will still run for over a 100 yards and 2 scores. But NW will fall just short in a barn burner. PICK: Waldwick 28-21
George Muha: Some day in the future, somebody is going to ask me to tell them what it was like during the 2014 football season in Morris Sussex. I am going to simply reply, “Luke Robertson” slam my fist on the table and point my finger right in their face and stare at them with the angriest look I can make until they break the silence with a terrified, “I am sorry sir. Can I leave now?” I am going to miss this guy. Sad to say, I think this might be his last high school football game. PICK: Waldwick 30-25

5 Elmwood Park (7-2) @ 4 Pequannock (8-1)
L.A. Byrne: Tim Horgan to Ian Campbell – that’s some magic right there. And if Campbell has eight players on him—like he has had all season—how about Dan Jachera who rushed for over 180 yards in the Kinnelon game? Or Brendan Monaghan who got it done with over 100 yards rushing against Whippany Park? Need some help on defense? How about John Tachon with another game-ending pick, Ernie Benson for a fumble return for a TD. MSF fans can sit back and smile as we watch this game. PICK: Pequannock 34-21
BRIAN KENNEY: This is going to be one heck of a game. Pequannock fans better come out in droves to make home field count in this one. Look for John Tachon to pick another late-game pass off to seal this one too. PICK: Pequannock 14-10
George Muha: I don’t think there is a more reliable runningback in Morris Sussex than Pequannock’s Brendan Monaghan. Every single week #21 rushes for 25 carriers, 145-yards and two TDs. It doesn’t hurt that he’s got five 250lb rhinoceroses up front, but still. Pequannock’s ability to control the clock will be what kills Elmwood Park. PICK: Pequannock 34-20

6 Glen Rock (5-4) @ 3 Lenape Valley (7-2)
L.A. Byrne: This team is going to win for two reasons: first, they’re playing for their coach who hasn’t learned how to lose; and second, Joey LaBell wants to keep his season going so he doesn’t have to start wrestling practices. PICK: LV 49-21
BRIAN KENNEY: The Rock is coming to the Valley, and it’s on! Rylan Pangborn is going to have to step it up big time in this one. I think he will. Look for him to throw for 2 scores and run for another in an awesome game. PICK: LV 24-21
George Muha: Can you picture what it is like for an Essex County team like Glen Rock traveling up to contend with Lenape Valley’s storied program? First they drive through what seems like a hundred miles of woods, and then they come to a school with literally cars strewn all over the place like people are gearing up for 4th of July fire works. Then they go to this field that resembles what Field of Dreams would look like if it were a football movie. Mix in the bats flying overhead, the flutists dressed in colonial garb and Mr. Wormann “Don’s House” signs and you know these kids are going to be, “Coach, did we step into a worm hole or something?” All that is too much to overcome in a Round 1 playoff game. PICK: Pats 28-15

North 1 Group 3
8 West Milford (4-5) @ 1 Sparta (8-1)
L.A. Byrne: I feel a little sorry for West Milford (just a little). We all know Anthony Argula has Lucas Faria but he also has receivers Tyler Trzcinski, Alex Miliken, Dean Gennat, Skyler Francisco, and Teddy Fischer (who can kick. Seriously, the guy just doesn’t miss on PATs.) And on defense? DB Dylan Bray had a monster game against PJ. And the line is so big, I heard Sparta got a flat on the way to the Mo Hills game and the o-line carried the bus so they wouldn’t be late. PICK: Sparta 49-7
BRIAN KENNEY: The Spartans are already planning for next week’s game, but they will show up for this one too. Anthony Argula should be on the bench by the fourth quarter of this one, after he throw for 200+ yards and 3 scores. PICK: Spartans 42-14
George Muha: You know what’s funny, three years ago I would tell you that Teddy Fischer was the best player on Sparta. Last year, I would have told you it was Lucas Faria. This year, I’d tell you that it’s Anthony Argula. The crazy thing, they are all on the same team right now. Throw in guys like Dean Gennat, Robby “The Hamberger” Hornberger, Tyler “T-Bone” Trzcinski, Skyler “San” Francisco, Dillon “Hey, hey, hey” Bray and Alex “The Milkman” Miliken – all who would be superstars on any other team in Morris Sussex – and forgetaboutit! Sorry, no way West Milford has a chance. PICK: Spartans 50-14

North 1 Group 4
7 Randolph (5-4) @ 2 Roxbury (7-2)
L.A. Byrne: Re-match!! Randolph is a solid team that knows how to adjust mid-game, but Roxbury has every attribute needed on a winning team: strong defense, quick, precision offense, special teams that play with intensity, good decision-making. They can kick, pick, and punt. Their fans are crazy. Parents are nuts. This game is theirs. PICK: The Gaels 28-14
BRIAN KENNEY: There has no question that Randolph has done a hell of a job this year. They have overcome tragedy and played their hearts out every week. Considering the circumstances, I think that the fact that they made the playoffs means their season was a success, and they should be proud. Emotion is a powerful thing, and it could carry the day to victory, but it won’t be easy. Roxbury, at home, is a beast. It’s a shame these two teams are facing each other in the first round, because I would like to see them play next week as well! Roxbury got upset by a decent Par Hills team last week and it pissed them off. Rumor has it practice has been rough this week for the Roxburians. Look for Grant Dixon to go off the chain in this game. He doesn’t want his season to end and he will throw 3 TDs and run for 2 to make sure it doesn’t. PICK: Roxbury 35-31
George Muha: If you think because Randolph lost to Roxbury 49-35 two weeks ago means that this is an automatic W for Gaels, you better think again. Randolph has the ability to play absolutely brilliant football. When they keep penalties to a minimum and allow James Bertelle and Carlo “Zorro” Zarro to do their thing, they are absolutely deadly. Roxbury will come to play as well, but I see a virtual mistake free Randolph team advancing to the second round in my “Upset Pick-of-the-Week”. PICK: Rams 38-35

North 2 Group 2
8 Caldwell (5-3) @ 1 Mt Lakes (9-0)
L.A. Byrne: Mountain Lakes linebacker Brian Olshanski is going to make sure Caldwell wishes it’d won either a few more or a few less games—anything to have avoided this matchup. PICK: The Herd 35-3
BRIAN KENNEY: Mountain Lakes hasn’t lost all year, and I think they pretty much realize now isn’t the time to start. Bobby Frawley will run for over 150 yards and 3 scores in this one as the Lakes cruises to the second round. PICK: ML 38-17
George Muha: Caldwell will be still mesmerized by all the pregame horse riding and spear throwing spectacle by the time they realize Mt. Lakes’ “Sammy” Davis “Jr” Thompson already has an INT and Kevin “Justin” Beimfohr has a sack on them. Look for the Jack Palazzi Show to continue as the Herd advances to the next round. PICK: Herd 45-7

5 Hanover Park (6-3) @ 4 Ridgefield Park (6-3)
L.A. Byrne: Back in ’08 a very talented HP player took out my son’s knee during a game, ending his football and wrestling career. It was totally unintentional. My son never viewed it as anything but good football, and bad luck for him. But that HP player contacted my son to apologize, and to ask how he was doing. My son tells the story all the time—even now, years later—because he can’t believe how awesome that HP player was. There’s something in HP that breeds guys that are talented, competitive, and…something else. HP’s totally got this Ridgefield Park team. PICK: Hornets 35-7
BRIAN KENNNY: Last year I saw HP lose in the first round of the playoffs on the road to a higher seed. I am hoping that history does not repeat itself, but they need to step it up big time if they want to win in Ridgefield Park. Christian Bassolino can’t do it alone, (although he will damn well try because the kid is awesome), and their defense needs to make some stops when it needs to. It can bend, but it can’t break. Oliveri and the rest of his defensive crew will leave it all on the field and I’m going against my better judgment and picking the Hornets to win, on the road, against a higher seed. I know they have it in them, I hope they deliver! PICK: Hornets 28-24
George Muha: Back when I was scoring lots of touchdowns and winning state championships at Hanover Park, I used to LOVE the pregame pasta dinners! They were always at different Italian’s mom house every week. The food was insanely good! And I wasn’t shy about going up for seconds and thirds. They also would teach me how to speak in Italian in between stuffing my face. They used to refer to me as “Gavone”, which they said translates to handsome looking blonde boy. There is no way Tom “So What If I Can’t Move My Arm” Radomski is going to let Ridgefield Park rack up that many points. PICK: Hornets 32-21

7 Newark Central (7-2) @ 2 Madison (7-1)
L.A. Byrne: Newark Central’s been having nightmares all week because they know if AJ Schmitz doesn’t feel like passing or handing off, he just bolts. Madison is going to have second string playing by halftime. PICK: Dodgers 49-10
BRIAN KENNEY: The Dodgers are always in the mix, and this year they scored a No. 2 seed but with a tough first game. That being said, look for AJ Schmitz to run roughshod all over NC while gaining almost 200 yards and scoring 3 times. PICK: Dodgers 38-20
George Muha: I am so glad my nephew, and Madison junior, Gareth Jones traded me Dom Lupino for a conditional pick in next year’s draft before last week’s fantasy game! The kid lit it up for me with 200 yards and four touchdowns. Good move Gareth! I guess you’ll have to answer to Lupino why you traded him in the first place. Good luck with that! What am I talking about again? Oh yeah, this one will be over in the third quarter. PICK: Dodgers 44-12

North 2 Group 3
6 Orange (6-3) @ 3 Par Hills (7-2)
L.A. Byrne: Nick Verducci is a freshman quarterback. A FRESHMAN that played on a team that went 7-2. That—alone—speaks volumes to coaching, the running game, a strong line… all the reasons Par Hills is going to skate through this round. PICK: Vikings 49-10
BRIAN KENNEY: Par Hills is coming off an excellent win over Roxbury and is totally geared up to run the table in the playoffs. Will they do it? I don’t know, but I know for darn sure that Orange isn’t going to stand in the way of their dream this week. I wonder how many times Angelo Gallego can run the ball this week, because he almost had 40 carries last week. Something tells me that Orange will be focusing on him, but the rest of the offense will help out in a good win at home for the Hills. PICK: Hills 27-17
George Muha: I know one thing for sure, Coach Albano is going to fire up his team by playing his three favorite rap artists; Eminem, Eminem and Eminem. The frosh QB looks like a seasoned vet while Angelo “The Italian Stallion” Gallego rushes for 170-yards to edge out the Orangemen. PICK: Vikings 32-21

7 Morris Hills (4-5) @ 2 Summit (8-1)
L.A. Byrne: With Mo Hills QB Daymon Fleming throwing to receiver Kyle Gaeb, and Nick Walls to keep the opposing defense honest, Summit will wish they’d been seeded third, not second. PICK: Morris Hills 21-14
BRIAN KENNEY: Morris Hills is backing into the playoffs, but they played their hearts out this season. They are going to have their hands full with an 8-1 Summit team and it’s going to be back to the drawing board for next year after this one is over for the Hills. They will be back in the playoffs next year though! PICK: Summit 28-13
George Muha: I just figured out that Kyle “The Babe” Gaeb’s football number is actually #3. That’s hilarious! What isn’t hilarious is that the Scarlet Knights are going to be ready to play. Let’s face it; they are the big underdogs in this one. But if MoHills can bring it with Dei-Shawn “Gang” Green penetrating the backfield and Sebastian “Pass The Hot” Suaza opening massive holes for the run game, there is no reason they can’t upset the big maroon elephant in the room. I am picking Summit, but hoping for the Red Knights. PICK: Summit 44-20

North 2 Group 4
5 West Morris (6-3) @ 4 JFK Iselin (6-3)
L.A. Byrne: The Wolfpack needs only to unleash Ray Law, and ground and pound their way into the semi’s. PICK: West Morris 28-7
BRIAN KENNEY: I don’t see why West Morris can’t win this game on the road. Granted, it won’t be easy. They will need all their backs to run their hearts out, but I can see Kevin Sears, Ray “Law Down The” Law and Connor Thompson all scoring one TD a piece in an upset. PICK: WM 28-27
George Muha: I am telling you that there won’t be any conspiracy theory on who took down JFK Iselin after this game. Even if West Morris wasn’t romping on teams by a 40 point differential, making it the hottest team in Morris Sussex right now, WMC would still be favored in my book. First the Wolfpack has the talent. Ray “Above The” Law, Collin “Loco” Sokolowski and Kevin “Runs A Lot” Sears seem to be clicking on all cylinders. Add in the fact that Coach Kevin Hennelly has more rings than fingers, I see the ‘Pack ending this one early. PICK: Wolfpackers 45-12

7 Mendham (5-4) @ 2 Phillipsburg (7-1)
L.A. Byrne: All season, Richard Masiello has been making huge plays from the line. And if he can’t get to his guy right away, he’ll run him down in the secondary—he’s that fast. My recommendation to P’Burg? Stay away from Masiello. And our beefy center James Govan. And Conner Brady, who has had huge games against Montville and Mt. Olive. And, don’t turn your back on Jack Powers because he’s coming…. PICK: Mendham 24-23
BRIAN KENNEY: P’Burg is no joke, and they had a great year. Mendham beat up on Montville last week and has a lot of confidence going into this game, and they are also better than their record indicates. However, it’s going to be difficult to pull out a victory against P’Burg on their home field. Mendham QB Mike Rikkola is going to have to duplicate his 100% completion percentage game with his 4 TDs for them to have a chance. And while the kid is good, that is a tall order, for anybody! He will play full tilt and have a heck of a game but in the end P’Burg wins it in the fourth quarter. PICK: P’Burg 35-27
George Muha: As much as I love the Thunder & Thunder tandem rushing attack of Chris Jones and Tim Byrne, I think Mendham’s only hope is to force the State Liners to play basketball. I don’t think a squad has more nifty receivers than the Minutemen within Morris Sussex this year. Heck, Mike Rikkola was perfect last week at the helm by going 10 for 10, 200+ yards and 4 touchdowns. Spread out Stephen “Big Game” Weiss, David “Hot Dog” Berkinsky, Spenser “Santa” Couse and Alex “The Afro” Tafro and let them chase down balls. As much as I hate to say it, I think it ends here for the Minutemen. PICK: Phillipsburg 45-28

Non-Public Group 1
5 Mater Dei (7-2) @ 4 Morristown-Beard (6-3)
L.A. Byrne: Morristown-Beard, fired-up, can beat ANYONE. They have a talented QB, a solid running game, reliable receivers, and Titus and Motley on the line to keep plays unfolding smoothly. PICK: MoBeard 42-14
BRIAN KENNEY: I don’t even know what Mater Dei is, but I am going to assume it’s a high school somewhere. I’m going to have to go with the Beards in this one. Just based on the fact that I don’t know what Mater Dei is. I’m kidding about that, but I think the Beards have it in them to win this one despite having less wins on the year. Look for Matty McFadden to break another long TD run and gain some yards on more than 2 carries in this one. PICK: Beards 21-13
George Muha: It is going to be sad when I am not going to see the names Grogg, McFadden, Reilly, Waters, Rella and Steinfeld every week. Well, I’ll still get to see Steinfeld week nights at 11pm on channel 11. But you know what I mean. I feel like my platoon buddies are going home after the war and I’ll never see them again. Luckily…we’ll get at least one more week of these Bearded Ladies as they leave Mater dead on Beard Field this weekend! PICK: Beards 30-25

7 Morris Catholic (2-7) @ 2 St. Mary (9-0)
L.A. Byrne: Senior FB Andrew Massefski is the Crusader’s workhorse that’s going to upset St. Mary’s plans for next week. PICK: Morris Catholic 24-21
BRIAN KENNEY: I am confused why MC is in the playoffs but good for them! The kids played well this year and they will put up a fight against St. Mary. Look for Madison Evans to run for 100 yards and a score in a tough loss. PICK: St. Mary 49-13
George Muha: One of the funniest tweets I saw all year was last week from a Morris Catholic player that said, “I can’t believe we made the playoffs.” Two years ago they wouldn’t have because the rules back then stated you needed at least four victories. So good for the Crusaders! Upsetting St. Mary will be a huge undertaking, but that’s why they play the game. I’m picking St. Mary but pulling for the Crusaders. PICK: St. Mary 42-19

Non-Public Group 3
8 Bishop Eustace (5-3) @ 1 Delbarton (8-1)
L.A. Byrne: Delbarton, everyone can pretty much take a little break here. Unleash Andrew Otterman on Bishop Eustace and you’re good for the semi’s. PICK: Delbarton 35-3
BRIAN KENNEY: Delby is not looking past Bishop but they don’t expect to lose either. Look for Andrew “Deion” Sanders to run for 150 yards and 3 scores in a blowout. PICK: Delby 35-6
George Muha: Whenever I play chess, I always try to eliminate the bishops before I move in for check mate. That’s exactly what Delby will be looking to do this week. Colonel Andrew Sanders carries for 30 times as the Green Wave looks to keep the clock running to end this one early. PICK: Delby 39-15

5 Pope John (5-4) @ 4 St. John Vianney (9-0)
L.A. Byrne: Can you believe PJ’s record? That record shows guts: on the coach’s part for playing tough teams, on the team’s part for taking on the challenge. They’re so ready for this game, it’ll feel like a no-pads practice in August. PICK: PJ 28-10
BRIAN KENNEY: I spoke to Pope John Alum Joe D’Onofrio to gain his insight as to whether his alma mater (for whom he played) can beat an undefeated St. John team and he was not optimistic based on their rough season. The Johnnies had a better team than their record indicated this year. The loss to Vernon (which prompted a meeting led by Mon. McCue) still is ringing in their ears and they want to prove that they are as good as everyone holds them out to be. Well, they are good, but St. John may be better. In order for PJ to win, they need Sonny Abramson and Nicky Esposito to play spectacular games. More than that though, they need their defense to show up. I think all three things will happen. PICK: PJ 35-34
George Muha: Here’s Pope John’s rough schedule is going to pay dividends. When you play teams like DePaul, Paramus Catholic, Sparta and Par Hills, there isn’t going to be anything you haven’t seen. St. John Vianney is a solid team, but only two of their 9 wins were against teams with winning records. Everyone will need to step up for the Johnnies, but I think they will. Look for Drew Daniel Island to contain the passing attack, while The Esposito, Bailey, Abramson Show get’s back in business on offense. PICK: Johnnies 45-40



Cedar Grove (3-6) at Hopatcong (5-4)
L.A. Byrne: I’m so mad Hopatcong isn’t in playoffs I don’t even want to talk about this game—but I will. The Chiefs played tough football this year, and they’re one of the best teams not to make it to the post season. They’re going to shellac Cedar Grove, on their home field, in front a crowd of insanely loyal fans. That ought to help wash the bad taste from their mouth and remind them the awesomeness about football goes way beyond records and scoreboards. PICK: The Chiefs 49-7
BRIAN KENNEY: I really think Hopatcong should have been in the dance. They had some quality wins, including last week over Boonton. It is unfair, but Vinny Giordano will make sure that they finish up 6-4 to end a decent season, scoring at least 2 TDs in this one. PICK: Hopatcong 27-14
George Muha: Hopatcong’s Kyle Dixon breaks becomes the school leading interception artist with a walk-off pick-6. PICK: Da Cong 40-38

Butler (1-8) at Emerson Boro (3-6)
L.A. Byrne: The Mike Warren-Corey Mack-Brian Jewett-Cole Rhinesmith-John Vitone wall will give Dominic Gentile all the time he needs to get the ball to Ryan Cirillo and Dan Castiglia. Butler’s going to get the job done. PICK: Butler 32-14
BRIAN KENNEY: Where the barnacles is Emerson? Sounds far away and not as cool as Butler. Butler will pull an upset and regroup for next season. PICK: Butler 17-13
George Muha: Ryan Cirillo scores four touchdowns as the senior passes the baton to junior runningback Danny Castiglia. PICK: 42-34

Kittatinny (3-6) at New Milford (4-5)
L.A. Byrne: Chris Russell connecting with Jordan Lorenzo, with some Carmelo Calascibetta working his big-play magic. Isn’t it obvious which team is coming out on top? PICK: Cougars 28-10
BRIAN KENNEY: Chris Russell will throw for 2 scores and run for 1 as the Kitts destroy New Milford. PICK: Kitt 35-13
George Muha: Kittatinny’s defensemen Tyler “George” Foster and Tommy “Gun” Hunt will combine for 22 tackles in a convincing win over New Milford. PICK: Kitt 30-20

Dumont (2-6) at Newton (2-7)
L.A. Byrne: I refuse to believe Newton is a 2-7 team. Period. Nick Grant and Steven Papis and Ben Sibblies will show everyone that some scorekeeper somewhere made a mistake. PICK: Braves 35-8
BRIAN KENNEY: Newton will win a close one at home after Benny Sibblies busts a 56 yard TD run in the 4th quarter. PICK: Newton 27-20
George Muha: Newton’s Ben “10” Sibblies breaks out for an 80-yard TD to seal the deal in overtime. No pressure! PICK: Newton 44-41

Ramsey (5-4) at Vernon (5-4)
L.A. Byrne: I used to say….any given Sunday. Now I say….Vernon/Pope John. That’s all the inspiration any team should need. Vernon, you’ve SO got this. PICK: Vikings 28-13
BRIAN KENNEY: Vernon had a decent year, as did Ramsey. This should be a good game but the home crowd will be treating this one like a playoff game and Brandon Lockhart will take one to the house on defense in a close win for the Vernonites. PICK: Vernon 17-10
George Muha: The toughest QB I saw this year was Vernon’s Tyler Soltes. Nobody got drilled harder and bounced right back more than he. No way Soltes is dropping this one in front of their home fans. PICK: Vernon 30-24

Jefferson (2-7) at Lakeland (3-6)
L.A. Byrne: QB Brendan Gill, LB Luke Bohn, CB Rob Ryan, kicker Austin Blood, OL/DL Brian Feti and John Malley RB/LB Chris Holleritter—these senior players are going to bring it to Lakeland for one last huge butt-kicking party. PICK: Falcons 28-7
BRIAN KENNEY: J-Town will end the season with a win. I didn’t know there is an actual town named Lakeland but I have heard of Lakeland Bank. I just thought it was a made-up name like TD or Wells Fargo. Anyway, J-Town will pull off an upset in their final game of the season. PICK: J-Town 33-27
George Muha: Jefferson’s Luke Bohn delivers a win in his last varsity football game. PICK: Jefferson 24-20

Tenafly (0-8) at High Point (1-8)
L.A. Byrne: QB Kyle Dyer and lineman super-stud Ryan Sunda may be suiting up for the last time as Wildcats, and they’re leaving a gigantic cleat-mark on that field as they stomp their opponents at Tenafly. HP 35-3
BRIAN KENNEY: Kyle Dyer scores two TDs as HP gets its’ second win of the year. PICK: HP 21-13
George Muha: Look for High Point’s Klag to rush for 250 and 3 TDs in a big win. PICK: HP 40-34

Montville (1-8) at Wayne Hills (4-5)
L.A. Byrne: After the Mendham/Montville game there are two players my son kept talking about: Graham Jesperson and Rich Harty. They are both hard-hitting, tough opponents, with unending capacity for leading in all the right ways. They’d be a gift on any team. This week they’re going to lead the Mustangs to a final huge win. PICK: Mustangs 24-7
BRIAN KENNEY: Anything can happen on any particular day, so I’ll say the Mustangs pull off a big win in Wayne this Friday night. PICK: Montville 17-9
George Muha: Although a formidable storm wreaked havoc on Montville’s season, I think DJ Jazzy Jesperson rally’s his troops to end the Mustang’s season on a positive note. PICK: ‘Stangs 30-29

Parsippany (2-7) at Fort Lee (1-8)
L.A. Byrne: Parsippany QB Dan Campbell and RB Malik Francis are going to ruin Fort Lee’s night. PICK: Redhawks 28-12
BRIAN KENNEY: Parsippany may be on the rebound next year and beating a inconsistent Fort Lee team by the GWB would be a good start on their way to a better season next year. PICK: Parsippany 21-14
George Muha: This game should be played in front of the Redhawk’s home crowd. Parsippany’s Andrew “The Bull” Massefski ends the season with a win so the younger players will have something to build onto next season. PICK: Redhawks 40-30

Morristown (4-5) at Kearny (4-5)
L.A. Byrne: I’m shocked that Morristown isn’t in playoffs. I can’t get past that, with Powell, Gwyn, Lorenzo, and McCall on the field. Never mind superstar lineman Alexis Villegas and kicker Ethan Bolson. I’m rubbing my hands together in anticipation of our Colonials cleaning up on Kearny. PICK: Morristown 56-10
BRIAN KENNEY: There is no way Dallas McCall and Jordan Powell are finishing their season below .500. Look for them to combine for 4 scores in a big win on the road. PICK: Motown 35-17
George Muha: Of course it’s my wise-cracking brother-in-law who has Motown’s Jordan Powell on his fantasy team. I couldn’t be happier for Powell who smashed a few school records last week with is phenomenal seven touchdown clinic last week, but I am not so happy I have to contend with my wife’s blabbermouth brother. PICK: Motown 55-21 (Powell scores eight in this one!)

Rutherford (3-6) at Dover (5-4)
L.A. Byrne: Dover’s been all over the place this season, and they’re going to end with a huge win. The monstrous Justin Ortiz, QB Mike Mendez and Jesse Maka at RB are going to show why this team should have been at the top of their bracket in playoffs. PICK: Dover 49-14
BRIAN KENNEY: I don’t understand why the Tigers were left out of the playoffs. It is ridiculous. They are going to take it out on Rutherford in a playoff-like atmosphere. PICK: Dover in a blowout 42-20
George Muha: I want to play for Dover when I grow up. Their band is amazing, their cheerleaders literally watch the game and know what’s going on at all time, the boosters are incredibly involved, the coaches are great, the administration are like proud parents and the players play with an incredible amount of heart…oh yeah, and their field is by far the most beautiful field in Morris Sussex. PICK: Dover 40-32 (I cheated)


Kinnelon (6-3) at Sussex Tech (4-5)
L.A. Byrne: Wow, two teams that should’ve made it to playoffs, in a consolation shoot out: good guys versus good guys. In this one, I can’t help but look at power points—or lack thereof. Kinnelon’s schedule was tough enough and their wins great enough to have made it into the post-season. The strength of that schedule is going to make the difference in this game. PICK: Colts 28-21
BRIAN KENNEY: This is the worst playoff snub of the year. It makes no sense to me. How do Kyle “Jason” Presti”ly” and the boys from K-Town not make it into the playoffs? They won six games, they are exciting as heck to watch, and they deserve it. If Rutgers can be bowl-eligible with a .500 record then any high school team with six wins should be playoff eligible. Lame. Anyhoo, they are going to have their hands full with ST, who surprised me this year. Shyheim Outland had an amazing year for the Techhies, and will score at least two TDs while running for almost 200 yards in this one. But in the end Kinnelon will get what it got all year from their QB, a solid 300+ yard effort with 3 TDs and a close win. PICK: K-Town 35-28
George Muha: I hate having to pick against a Morris Sussex team in a consolation game. I will say this, if Kinnelon’s Kyle Presti doesn’t win first team All State for QB I literally it will be a total travesty. By the way, Dan Struble, Charlie McCann and Matt Babcock from Sussex Tech are my heroes. PICK: Tie 55-55

Wallkill Valley (0-9) at Manchester Regional (2-7)
L.A. Byrne: Wallkill Valley’s Justin Bond had a 60-yard TD run against Mo Catholic, and he’s going to gun past MR all night, making sure this team’s bus ride home is an ear-splitting celebration. PICK: Wallkill Valley 28-21
BRIAN KENNEY: What is this a soccer team playing the Valley? On principle alone I’m taking the Valley, they want to get in the win column before this season is over. PICK: The Valley 20-19
George Muha: Junior Justin “James” Bond gives him and the younger Wallkill Valley players something to build upon for next season. PICK: WV 30-21

Morris Knolls (2-7) at Northern Highlands (2-7)
L.A. Byrne: DE Payton Campbell and LB Tyler Puzio are going to shut down NH, and bring home a last “w” for the golden eagles. PICK: MK 28-14
BRIAN KENNEY: MK notches their third win of the season in dramatic fashion in the Highlands of New Jersey (where the heck is that?????) PICK: MK 24-17
George Muha: Tough season for the Golden Iggles. But look for Chad Reilly to rally his fellow Morris Knolls’ teammates for a late season W. PICK: Knolls 44-35

Mount Olive (1-8) at Teaneck (1-7)
L.A. Byrne: Mount Olive does not believe that it’s a 1-8 team because they have guys on defense like Bobby Corpion, Jumuah Abdu-Salaam and Joey DeMeo. The Marauders are going to rob Teaneck of any final glory. PICK: Marauders 35-14
BRIAN KENNEY: Mount Olive’s rec football program has been in the papers way too much for bad things this month. The kids themselves, many of whom played in that program, have something to prove, that wasn’t all that bad. Hopefully the youngsters in Mt. Olive will learn a thing or two from the high school kids. They will win big over the Tea-necks. PICK: MO 34-15
George Muha: Donte “Randy Moss” Wise catches eight balls for 200+ yards and four TDs in a convincing Marauder win! PICK: MO 46-19

Cliffside Park (1-8) at Chatham (2-7)
L.A. Byrne: A much-improved Chatham squad has a lot to be proud of this season, with close games against both Randolph and Vernon that could have gone the other way. Alex Sands and Matt Nestler will get their last job done this year, capping a good season with another win. PICK: Cougars 28-10
BRIAN KENNEY: Cliffside Park? Man they must have been digging around for somebody for the Cougars to play in this consolation game. Regardless, it is a good choice as I think the Cougars will handle the Parkians nicely to close out the season. PICK: Chatham 27-19
George Muha: Chatham’s Matt Nestler continues to show that, despite their losing record, the Cougars have a ton of heart. PICK: Chatham 35-20

Lyndhurst (1-8) at Whippany Park (3-6)
L.A. Byrne: Whippany Park is a program with new life, thanks to the leadership of a solid senior crew led by Michael Della Donne, Mateo Soto, Michael Poulter and Justin Lam. While it takes hard work to lead a consistently winning team, it takes character to lead an up-and-down team. That brotherhood and these captains are going to bring WP one last big day. PICK: 49-14
BRIAN KENNEY: Rumor has it George has been invited to the tailgate before this game, I hope they bought enough donuts and wings. Anyway the Park should finish the season strong by beating Lyndhurst decisively. PICK: Park 21-7
George Muha: I totally tip my cap to Whippany Park coach Todd Callaghan and all the players. I truly feel these guys are turning things around at Whippany Park. They are also doing a great job with their youth program too. Look for the Wildcats stud defensive lineman Michael Della Donne to rack up two sacks, a fumble recovery, a tipped pass…and a pick-6 (why not!) in a convincing win over the Lyndhurst Yeti’s. PICK: ‘Cat’s 52-9

Laura 14-5 (73.68%)
Brian 12-7 (63.15%)
George 12-7 (63.15%)

Laura 116-53 (68.63%)
Brian 115-54 (68.04%)
George 117-52 (69.23%)

As we predict the last games for many teams this week, all of us at Morris Sussex Football want to thank all of the players and coaches for such dedication and hard work this year! For the players who have finished their high school playing careers, we want to welcome to the high school football player fraternity. You guys did it! Forever, you will be able to say that you made it through four years of grueling double sessions, daily practices that seemed to never end, heartbreaking defeats, inspiring wins and a camaraderie that you cannot manufacture any other way. You have now earned your right to tell as many Al Bundy stories as you want and nobody can ever complain. Congrats on finishing your football career and welcome to the club!

How do you think the games will play out? Please 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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