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Non-Public, Group 3
Red Bank Catholic (10-1) vs. Delbarton (9-1)
Sunday December 7 at MetLife Stadium 7pm
L.A. Byrne: Delbarton’s slugfest with Saint John Vianny highlighted superstar Andrew Papantonis, and RBC will do their best to shut him down at MetLife. But the Green Wave also has Sanders and Ahsler, behind a huge, athletic line anchored by Otterman, Murray and Parisi. And, no one game-plans like Delbarton. This isn’t going to be an easy win for the Green Wave, but they’re coming out on top. PICK: 28-20 Delbarton
BRIAN KENNEY: Delbarton’s use of the wildcat spurned their way to a victory over a powerhouse last week, what will the head coach of Delby think up to beat yet another powerhouse for State? Andrew Papantonis had a ridiculous game for Delby last week, rushing for over 150 yards. I don’t know how much they will go to the well this week, as they will have to come up with a different way to beat Red Bank – who will be up to snuff on the wildcat come this weekend. Tommy Spernal took advantage of the awesome Red Bank 0-Line last week and will be looking to do it again this week. Also, Red Bank beat last year’s State Champs St. Joseph to get to this year’s championship. All that being said, I think Andrew Sanders gets on the board this week for the Green Wave and they come up with a gameplan that beats Red Bank in the final minutes of the game. PICK: Delby 28-24
George Muha: Uggh…this game is going to be tough. Red Bank Catholic has two offensive lineman that are ready for NFL right now. With that said, Delby QB John Chiarolanzio has quietly been flawless all season and has been a key part of the emergence of sophomore sensation Andrew Papantonis. But there is another reason why I think Delby is going to pull off the upset. The reason is going to be 6’4”, 250-lbs of sheer stud muffin in the form of #66 defensive tackle William “The Fridge” Murray. This kid’s passion is incredibly contagious and the Green Wavers are going to feed off the big man’s energy to take down Goliath. PICK: Delby baby 33-31

Section 2, Group 3
Cranford (11-0) vs. Par Hills (9-2)
Sunday December 7 at MetLife Stadium 1pm
L.A. Byrne: Cranford hasn’t scored under 30 points in any game this year. They are a pound and ground running team that can also take to the air if necessary. If LBs Salgado and Keyes can make the big defensive plays, the Vikings can bring home the championship. PICK: Cranford 34-21
BRIAN KENNEY: This is one of the games when my heart tells me to pick Par Hills. And 99% of the time I would go with my heart and I sincerely hope the kids from PH prove me wrong. But I think it is Cranford’s year. Crandford signal-caller Jake Schetelich threw for 18 TDs and ran for another 24. Kevin Trotter and Niko Cappello are beasts on defense for the Cranberries or whatever they are called. They are undefeated and they have a lot of weapons. If the Hills’ Jared Salgado (156 tackles on the year – are you kidding me?) and the rest of the Hills’ defense can stop Schetelich then Par Hills will win the State Championship. However, I don’t know if that can happen. That being said, how about how the Hills has a freshman QB Nick Verducci who in four years may be playing on Saturdays? There is hope no matter what happens this year. Look for the Hills’ Angelo Gallego to run for over 100 yards to go with an amazing team effort that just falls short. And I know somebody in particular who is going to be mad at me for picking against them, but I am hoping they prove me wrong! Either way they should be proud! PICK: Cranford 27-20
George Muha: Cranford has everything going for them. They got the undefeated season, they got the hot streak, they got the big time players, etc. But do you know what they don’t got? A chance! Par Hills could be playing Paramus Catholic this weekend and they’d win. Par Hills has been physically beating teams up in the playoffs and they’ll have something extra special planned for this big game. And do you know what the key to this game will be for the Vikes? Or shall I say Keyes of the game? Yup, big JD Keyes is going to have a monster game. He and Luke “The Pancake Maker” Haltigan will deliver Coach Dave “Captain Lou” Albano a state title Rocky Balboa style. PICK: Vikes 45-40

Section 2, Group 2
Mt Lakes (11-0) vs. Lincoln (10-1)
Sunday December 7 at MetLife Stadium 10am

L.A. Byrne: Finally a challenge for Mountain Lakes! As impressive as Lincoln has been on both sides of the ball, Mountain Lakes has the mental edge after last year’s semi-final trouncing on Lincoln. PICK: Mt. Lakes 35-14
BRIAN KENNEY: This will be another sick game. Lincoln’s Devell Jones (I wonder if it is pronounced “Devil”, if so that is awesome) is almost impossible to stop. The RB has almost 3,400 career yards and is 60 or something away from a school record. The ONLY way Lakes wins this game is if Ryan Decker and Brian Olshanski make over a dozen tackles each and lead the Herd’s defense in a dominating effort. Look for Bobby Frawley to find the endzone twice in a barn burner. PICK: Lakes 34-31
George Muha: Mt Lakes is going about football in the right way. You don’t hear a lot of noise from them. There is not one guy that really sticks out. They play 11 as 1. Which is impressive. Devell Jones will bend the Herd’s D, but they will not break them. Brian Olshanski and the Mt Lakes D will end up being the Players of the Game at the end of this one. PICK: Herd 40-35

Section 1, Group 3
Sparta (10-1) vs. River Dell (8-3)
Saturday December 6 at MetLife Stadium 1pm
L.A. Byrne: Sparta’s line gives Argula all the time he needs to throw to Gennat or Trzcinski. Or, Sparta can unleash Faria for another million yards rushing. On defense, Francisco’s just waiting for another pick. Last year, River Dell was shellacked by this Sparta squad. This year will be more of the same with a back-to-back championship for this powerhouse program. PICK: Spartans 40-7
BRIAN KENNEY: This is the only game I know for sure I will get right. My playoff prediction percentage is better than my regular season percentage because I always pick Sparta to win. This is no different. Unfortunately for the Dell they know what it is like to face Sparta in a State Championship. Last year the score was 40-0 Spartans. This year is going to be like the sequel except don’t expect Rocky II when the underdog wins. Lucas Faria had 200 yards or something crazy like that last week with 4! TDs in Sparta’s win. He will break the century mark with 2 scores in this one. How about Salad Man Argula? He threw 37 TDs with only 5 picks this year, along with a 73% completion percentage. You can’t get much better. River Dell’s Jake Fletcher will have his hands full on defense but nobody is stopping the Sparta train. First stop, State Championship City. PICK: Sparta 35-7
George Muha: How about Lucas “Big Game” Faria busting out for 4 large ones last week! Expect more of the same, with a little Argula to Fischer and Francisco sprinkled in on offense while Dillon Bray and Tyler Trycinski lay the wood on defense. PICK: Sparta 40-0

HOW WE PICKED THEM LAST WEEK
Laura 5-4 (56%)
Brian 6-3 (67%)
George 5-4 (56%)

HOW WE’RE PICKING THE PLAYOFFS
Laura 13-11 (54.16%)
Brian 18-6 (75%)
George 16-8 (66.66%)

HOW DO YOU THINK THE GAMES WILL PLAY OUT? COMMENT YOUR ANSWER BELOW…
Chris J Chambers

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are a very important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community, to the Morris-Sussex area is his mission.

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