Connect with us
[is_not_paid] [easy-pricing-table id=”2352″] [/is_not_paid]

And then there were six. Roxbury, Lenape Valley, Hanover Park, Hackettstown, Boonton and North Warren are the only teams left with perfect records. There are also seven teams that have yet to win a game. Vernon, High Point, Montville, Parsippany, Kinnelon, Whippany Park and Morristown-Beard are all 0-3. However, the way the divisions and state sections are shaping up, no team is a shoe in or completely out of the playoffs as of yet. There is still a lot of football left. However, the way Week 4 unfolds could have ramifications come playoff time. This is how we are predicting how things will go for this week’s games.

Thursday Night Lights

Morris Catholic (1-2) @ North Warren (3-0)

LAByrne: MoCatholic has put itself on the football map this year, with playmaker Pete Palumbo making big defensive stops against Hackettstown and Jayner Gorospe with those 85-yard races into the endzone. They’re going to have a tough matchup with this North Warren crew including Brandon Mickelson, who had eight tackles in last week’s win. PICK: NW 21-13
Brian Kaes: Look for Ryan Durling of North Warren to have 2 more sacks in their win over MCU in a close one. PICK: NW 14-13
George Muha: This game is going to be a wild shootout with Morris Catholic’s Zach Poreman-to-Amir Allen aerial attack facing the Sean Thornton-to-Darian Redmond Greatest Show on Grass onslaught. The X-Factor of course will be North Warren’s running game led by none other than Nick “Mr Ketchup” Hienz. PICK: NWR 40-21

Friday Night Lights

Butler (1-2) @ Morristown-Beard (0-3)

LAByrne: True story: my family’s having fun, playing some backyard football, and my daughter and I score on my sons and husband. Suddenly it’s not so fun. I get the ball and my husband chop-blocks me—swear, took me out at the knees—and the boys took over, scoring nearly at will. I think something like that happened with Butler: they decided they HATED losing, they have all they need to win (even against The Madison Machine), and that losing-crap is over-with. Butler’s going to leave it all on the field this week. And next week. And the week after that. PICK:  Butler 38-14
Brian Kaes: Momentum is a big thing and it is totally weighing in favor of Butler after that huge win against Madison. Beard is going to key on stopping Centinaro. Good luck. I think Seanie will score 2 more TDs and run for over 100 in another rough loss for the Beard. Honestly, that win over Madison was just as attributable to the O-Line of Butler. No blocking, no running. Maybe Butler is coming around, we will see. By the way I don’t know if high school kids can pick an adult actor to play them in the movies. They have to pick a teenage actor. That is just a random comment, read Seanie’s Player of the Week interview on this site and you will understand what I am talking about. PICK: Butler 20-6
George Muha: The way you say one hundred in Italian is centinaro. The way you say two hundred is due centinaro. That is a coincidence because that is what Butler’s frosh sensation Sean Centinaro will be rushing for in a convincing win. Do what you do Seanie! Butler receiver Nick “Vince Lombardi” Guagliardi will add two more TD’s through the air. PICK: Butler 34-10

Chatham (2-1) @ Montville (0-3)

LAByrne: Chatham has this insanity about the way they support each other, like if one guy gets a hit or a block or something that helps the team, then the entire team goes crazy, including the sideline, the cheerleaders, the parents, and even the snack bar guys. Last week runningbacks Matt Nestler, Luke Sukiennik, Justin Hayes and Chris Kinder put up more than 300 yards. That’s team effort, and the Cougars have it down. PICK: Chatham 28-14
Brian Kaes: I wouldn’t want to go to this game, or any game Friday night, 50s and raining. That does not bode well for the ‘Stangs, as a hot Chatham team comes into town firing on all cylinders. Montville will be trying to stop the running game of Chatham, but they are built for this weather and will run for a combined quarter of a grand (do the math kids) in a big win. PICK: Chatham 27-6
George Muha: Look at you Chatham with your fancy uniforms coming off games all victorious and such. Way to go! You keep this up and you might find yourself in position to be fighting for a position at MetLife Stadium in December. Look for Chatham’s Luke “I Am Your Father” Sukiennik to get to the endzone at least once in the win. PICK: Chatham 30-6

Dover (1-2) @ Madison (1-2)

LAByrne: When Madison plays like Madison, they march down the field like an armor-plated bulldozer, scoring 89 points in their last three games. Dover’s got the talent to slow them down and Madison better not take this one lightly. But if they come out like they did against Mountain Lakes they’ll put up another “W.” PICK Madison 42-35
Brian Kaes: Madison is angry. You won’t like them when they are angry (if you are Dover). They lost a shootout last week (or a run out whatever you want to call it) and they are going to beat up on a Dover team that is still reeling from last week’s loss to Boonton. The Tigers’ Danny Castro will have a baker’s dozen worth of tackles but Madison is going to run for miles in this one. PICK: Madison 26-7
George Muha: I am not liking this game one bit. Dover’s Dan Castro and company have been banged up with injuries but are getting healthier. This could be a trap game for Madison. I think Jo Jo Mobley and PJ “Father” Mulcahy will pull it out, but not after a cat fight with the Tigers. PICK: Madison 21-18

Hanover Park (3-0) @ Parsippany (0-3)

LAByrne: Kwaku Agyemang is one of those players that can mess up anyone’s plans, including Hanover Park’s. The Hornets need to game plan around this guy, and avoid Joe Stanton and Nick Bucciarelli as well. Study your film, Hornets. These Redhawks are not going to roll over without leaving you bruised and battered. PICK HP 28-14
Brian Kaes: HP’s running QB Donato Casolaro is getting more comfortable at the helm and the Hornets’ defense is no joke. Look for Rory DeLuca and Anthony Olivieri to find the endzone again as the Hornets go to 4-0 on the road. PICK: HP 32-0
George Muha: Guess who was the smarty pants who started Hanover Park quarterback Donato Casolaro for his fantasy team last week? Yup, this guy!  Casolaro, who by the way, threw for 157-yards and 1 TD and rushed for 167-yards and 3 TDs. Looks like Donato is channeling his inner Frank Franco (that’s an inside thing for Hanover Parkers only, sorry for those of  you out of the loop). PICK: HP 35-7

Jefferson (1-2) @ Hopatcong (2-1)

LAByrne: Vince Giordano left the field last game with a shoulder injury. If you could win on having the coolest uniforms, my money’s on the Chiefs. If you need a healthy quarterback, I’m worrying. PICK Jefferson 14-13
Brian Kaes: Hopacong played a decent Lenape Valley team tough last week, despite getting shut out. Look for them to build on that when they dismantle J-Town in the slop this Friday night. PICK: Hopatcong 13-6
George Muha: I am going to tell you right now, this game is going to be won in the trenches. Cole Benfatti, Anthony Imperato and the rest of the Falcon line are going to have to dig deep against Hopatcong’s Brandon Caplan, Mike Maddaluna and entire Chief front. Yeah Jefferson’s Sheruda and Brown and Hopatcong’s Dorman and Wilkerson will get their names repeated over the loudspeaker all night. But this one is going to be the battle of the big men. It’s going to be close. PICK: DaCong 32-30

Kinnelon (0-3) @ Wallkill Valley (1-2)

LAByrne: Have you looked at the Colts roster? It’s like the players come from about three families. There are Chiuchiolo, LoCascio, Duffy and maybe one more name in the books. They’re playing mafia-style football up there in Kinnelon-land and for this contest? Forgetaboutit. PICK Colts 28-10
Brian Kaes: I think that Kinnelon is due, and since I was pretty awesome picking games last week I think I may be right. The only issue is that it is going to be rough for Jon Toye to complete passes in the rain on Friday. I think they run short slants and outs they may have enough success to get their first W of the season. Seamus Nelson is going to get at least 15 tackles in this one for Kinnelon as well, along with hmmmm, 2 sacks? Let’s see if somebody blocks him this week, or maybe he is just an animal and nobody can block him. I actually don’t know if anyone can, we’ll see what he does this week. PICK: Kinnelon 7-6
George Muha: Kinnelon, this has nothing to do with the fact that there is money in it for me if I have the highest prediction percentage this season and I have picked you to win three weeks in a row. But I feel the need to give you a little pep-talk. Don’t let yourselves get down. You guys are good. Over coming a 0-3 record is totally do-able. You guys got this. PICK: Kinnelon 28-21

Lenape Valley (3-0) @ Hackettstown (3-0)

LAByrne: H’town has had an incredibly productive offense as well as a lock-down defense in all three wins. LV hasn’t had quite the productivity and they given up more points. This is going to be a battle, but any team that can shut out Hopatcong is war-tested and knows it. PICK: LV 21-20
Brian Kaes: This is easily the Game of the Week. Matty O’Brien is going to run a TD and throw for another for H-Town but the Valley’s rushing combo of Khalid “Eric” Dickerson, Stevie Leyden and Mike Katz will take control of this one in the final quarter in what will be perfect running weather. PICK: The Valley 21-17
George Muha: Stevie Leyden has been playing like he’s trying to get on the starting line up of the All Unruly Team. He’s doing a good job at getting the attention of the All Unruly Team selection gods. Both Lenape Valley and Hackettstown are coming into this game sizzling hot. But I just feel Lenape Valley might be just a little hotter. PICK: LV 40-25

Mountain Lakes (2-1) @ Boonton (3-0)

LAByrne: What a game! If it isn’t bad enough to gameplan Gage Cabalar, Quinn Sweeney has also become everyone’s headache. And don’t forget bulls Connor Davis and Anthony Marino upfront. This team is so balanced and deadly, they’re in good position to hand Mountain Lakes their second loss of the season. PICK: Bombers 28-27
Brian Kaes: This is going to be another great game. Boonton is coming off a romp and the Lakes scored 34 points in their win last week. I think Boonton’s home field advantage will be relevant despite the low temps and rain, but my man Gage Cabalar will thrive for Boonton as he slips and slides his way to another 100 yard game and two scores. But look for Boonton’s TJ Green to get in on the action as well with a TD. Boonton’s D-Line is going to have their work cut out for them stopping Spagnola and Gottesman and the rest of the Lakes’ backs but they will step up at the right time and get the job done. PICK: Boonton 24-20
George Muha: The last time Boonton beat Mt. Lakes was in 2005. Since then, the Herd has beaten them by a total score of 326-56. That means the average score per game has been 36-6. The Bombers have wanted to give a little payback for a long time and this year they are able to do so. Plus, Boonton’s linebacker Quinn Sweeney has been foaming at the mouth all week. PICK: Bombers 33-24

Newton (2-1) @ Kittatinny (1-2)

LAByrne: It’s worth a trip through all those farms to watch Newton tackle Alex Van Ness’s quick feet, great balance, and vise-grip hands. He’s going to give his offense the time it needs to avenge last year’s loss. PICK: Newton 28-14
Brian Kaes: Did everyone run for almost 100 yards last week for Newton? Seems like they did. Newton played lights out last week but they will have their hands fun with Kitt this week. Tommy went Hunting last week to the tune of a sack and almost ten tackles for the Kitt but he is going to need some help stopping O’Doherty and company this week. Look for Newton to win a barn burner. PICK: Newton 21-19
George Muha: Newton is the hottest team in Morris Sussex the last two weeks, scoring 95-points during that time frame with sophomore sensation Chase Cramer leading the charge. But with Chris Russell back in the lineup for Kittatinny, he and Tommy Football (aka Hunt) will cool the Braves off. PICK: Kittatinny 24-21

Vernon (0-3) @ High Point (0-3)

LAByrne: All six games played by these two teams have been tough, making this matchup very interesting. Yarosz and Klag have a lot of firepower when they’re on the same page, and Lavorini and VanLenteen can put up some points too. But when you look at the numbers, HP has been more productive. But, if you take heart into consideration and I know Vernon’s got a ton of that. (I’m really struggling here…) Here’s what I think: if Klag can do what we know he can, and High Point takes the early lead, the game will roll that way. PICK: High Point 28-27
Brian Kaes: Good news is that somebody is walking out of High Point Stadium a winner this Friday. Even better news is that one of the teams should score a point, since neither of them did last week either. If I had to guess, I think that High Point has the home field advantage and their fans will literally will them to victory this week. PICK: HP 13-7
George Muha: I hung out with both of these teams in the offseason and I am very suprised they are both o’fer at this point in the season. They both have a ton of fight in them. I guarantee this is one of the best games of the weekend, despite their records. In the end, I see High Point’s Big Mike (Yarosz) and George “The Animal” Klag giving their home fans a W. PICK: High Point 42-41

West Morris (2-1) @ Randolph (2-1)

LAByrne: West Morris has this line we’ve been talking a lot about. Their players-of-the-week interview with George made me laugh for literally almost an hour. And, it cost me an entire night of work because I kept going back to re-read it. Somehow or other I’m sure that article has something to do with why they’re going to take down Randolph this week. PICK: West Morris 35-21
Brian Kaes: The third decent game of Friday night! The Rams are coming off a big win against Mendham and West Morris got blanked by Delby last week, ending their little win streak. The question is, will WMC bounce back or does Randolph continue to ride their momentum? I think that the running game of Randolph will carry the night here, look for Carlo Zarro to score twice for the Rams in a close one. PICK: Rams 21-17
George Muha: My new favorite player of all time is Randolph’s Carlo Zarro. This kid plays with an intensity that is flat out scary. Last week I watched him literally carry five Mendham players for ten yards. He puts the beast in beast-mode. This one will be close but Zarro literally cannot be stopped. PICK: Rams 28-24

Whippany Park (0-3) @ Pequannock (2-1)

LAByrne: Whippany Park needs its field finished! I’m convinced that playing most games on the road, with only one at “home,” with a makeshift satellite location, has affected this team’s ability to pull it all together. PICK: Pequannock 28-21
Brian Kaes: Pequannock destroyed Wakill Valley last week and is looking to build on that terrific win. Tommy “No Nickname Needed Because His Last Name Rocks” Crooks will throw for one TD and sneak for another as Pequannock wins at home and adds to Whippany Park’s tough season. PICK: Pequannock 28-13
George Muha: The time is now for the Whip to whip into winning shape. However, coming up with an away win against a Pequannock team that just put up 41-points against Wallkill Valley last week won’t be easy. Pequannock’s QB Tommy “The Burglar” Crooks steals the show in a convincing win. PICK: The ‘Nock 40-14

Saturday Afternoon Specials

Mendham (1-2) @ Morris Knolls (2-1)

LAByrne: Mendham’s Jeff Sica is one of those quiet, scary linemen that works so hard he needs to go home and eat a horse after every game. Watch Sica in this Knolls contest: every play is like a wrestling match for this bull. And, Mendham’s going to blow up Knolls’ playbook, but Knolls has this winning attitude that’s infected the entire team. PICK: Knolls 14-13
Brian Kaes: The weather should improve somewhat for this game but the ground will be wet so I hope Knolls has a good drainage system! Mendham is looking to bounce back and so is Knolls after playing Roxbury tough (for the first half at least) in their first loss of the year. I am going to go with the upset here, as I think Mendham will step it up and beat a decent Knolls squad in the final minutes of the game. Look for Tommy Morrell to “Rage” against the Knolls Machine and get a pick 6 in this one for Mendham. PICK: Mendham 19-16
George Muha: Playing Morris Knoll’s Jayson Parisi and the Veer will take three things to over come it; smarts, discipline and mental toughness. I LOVE the way Tommy “Gun” Morrell, Braden “I’m Going” Stagg and Tom “He Hate Me” Spinelli have been playing with all three of these characteristics. Plus, Coach Carpluk will have his Minutemen ready for all of the fakes and misdirection this offense has to offer. PICK: Mendham 30-25

Mount Olive (1-2) @ Delbarton (1-2)

LAByrne: Andrew Sanders is one of those players with enough talent to carry a team—and this team doesn’t need carrying. After reeling from the Papantonis loss to injury, this battleship is back at it again. PICK: Delbarton 35-10
Brian Kaes: Delby finally righted the ship. Mt. Olive is coming off a brutal OT loss and they aren’t pleased. The problem is that the game is being played at Delby and they are on a mission now that they are playing human teams again (as opposed to the power houses they started off playing in the beginning of the season). Delby needs to win, and win now. They will take care of that on Saturday. Andrew “Deion” Sanders will run for a buck fifty and two scores and while Jason Drury will throw and run for over 100 yards easily, Mt. Olive will just come up a little short. PICK: Delby 28-21
George Muha: Mount Olive’s Jason Drury showed he’s got a ton of guts in last week’s double overtime thriller against Motown. Although it was a loss, the Marauders proved they can ball with anyone. That kind of game will prepare them well for this Saturday’s battle against Delby. But in the end, I think Jon “How Ya Doin” Catania and Anthony “You Talkin’ To Me” Siragusa will put up too much D and the Marauders will come up short again. PICK: Delby 42-31

Roxbury (3-0) @ Morristown (2-1)

LAByrne: Any game against Morristown is a heated contest until the last seconds run out. Roxbury can keep their perfect scorecard if and only if they don’t underestimate the Colonials. PICK: Gaels 21-14
Brian Kaes: Roxbury is facing a decent challenge here, but they are up to the task. Grant Dixon will do his thing for the ‘Bury in this one, running for one TD and throwing for 2, but the Roxbury defense better be prepared to stop last week’s breakout star RB Jha’mil King, who ran for over 200 yards and 3 scores for Morristown last week. If they don’t stop the King, I’m going to be totally wrong on this one. PICK: Roxbury 27-22
George Muha: This has trap game written all over it. Morristown’s Jha’mil “It’s Good To Be The” King can just eat time off the clock with his running attack and keep the ball out of Roxbury’s super QB Grant Dixon. However, it will be the Gael’s Tommy Miller who will have some late game heroics to keep Roxbury perfect. PICK: Roxbury 30-28

Sparta (2-1) @ Pope John (2-2)

LAByrne: In PJ’s game against Par Hills their D didn’t allow a first down until the second quarter. And I heard Dalyn Wade-Perry grew six more inches and gained forty more pounds last week. PICK: Pope John 35-10
Brian Kaes: Here we go, the rivalry game is on! Do these guys play for anything? There should be some sort of trophy. I’m thinking a bronze goat or something. Or a real goat. Something farm-landy since it is so nice and rural up there. Anyway, PJ has won two in a row and Sparta is still celebrating with the Bronze Goat after beating PJ last year. This year it is anyone’s game! These teams exploded for over 40 points each in their last games, so the defense is going to have to step it up big time. The weather will make things a little sloppy, and that will hurt both Sonny from PJ and Tommy DeG from Sparta. I think that Berrell Neal will find a way to get in the endzone twice in this one for PJ, even if he doesn’t break the century mark. In the end that will make the difference. PICK: PJ 34-28
George Muha: Oh is there a game in Sparta this weekend? I didn’t know. I was actually at this game last year in Sparta when PJ’s Sonny Abramson came back from three plus touchdowns to almost win the game. I expect Sparta’s Dean “The Dream” Gennat to be his dominant self. But Pope John’s nose tackle Dalyn “The Refrigerator” Wade-Perry is playing like tackles don’t count unless they are behind the line of scrimmage. It will be a battle but the Johnnies will get payback for last year’s loss. PICK: Johnnies 45-38

Sussex Tech (2-1) @ Academy of New Church – PA (1-2)

LAByrne: These Sussex Tech superstars better get a Coach bus, complete with a three-course lunch and a five-star movie for that two-hour victory ride home. PICK: Sussex Tech all the way 28-7
Brian Kaes: Sussex Tech suffered it’s first loss last week to some random school and now they are going to PA to play? I’m concerned. They may be the real deal, but I’m always picking Jersey if it’s between NJ and PA. So I’m hoping the Tech pulls off a victory in enemy territory. PICK: ST 21-18
George Muha: The world will just be a happier place if Sussex Tech makes it to the postseason this season. And why the heck not, right now they are #1 in the North 1, Group 2 Power Point Rankings. Shyheim “The Dream” Outland will rush for 150, but it will be 6-2 sophomore QB Tyler “I have the coolest name for a quarterback of all time” Crum who will throw for 200-yards to send a message to the rest of the teams in their section that says, “You better be paying attention to us because we’re coming to get ya!” PICK: ‘Stangs 30-10

Morris Hills (2-1) @ Parsippany Hills (1-2)

LAByrne: MoHills defense has been lockdown in their last two contests but the entire Par Hills starting lineup has been frothing at the mouth all week, waiting to get back on the field after last week’s brutal shutout. PICK: Par Hills 38-14
Brian Kaes: The Hills are alive with the sound a knock-down, drag-out battle! Par Hills got beat pretty bad by Pope John last week, to the tune of getting shut out and letting up 41 points. No bueno for the defending State Champs. Their coach will have them amped up to win at home against a decent Morris Hills team, who is coming off shutting out Vernon 28 to zip. There is no question momentum is on Morris Hills’ side. Ugh this is too tough to call but I’m going with momentum. The problem is that if Par Hills loses this game their post season hopes are in jeopardy. They will be mindful of that, but still. PICK: MH 17-14
George Muha: Par Hills has been struggling to find momentum this season so far and this week they will hit another wall – or shall I say Walls. MoHills runningback Nick Walls has been the workhorse for the Red Knights and will be hard for the Par Hills Vikings to slow down. So it will take sophomore QB Nick Verducci to generate points through the air to help the Vikes to get ahead – which he will do. PICK: Par Hills 42-30

How We Did Last Week

Laura: 12-7
Brian: 16-3
George: 11-8

How We’re Doing So far

Laura 37-22 (62.71%)
Brian 41-18 (69.49%)
George 37-22 (62.71%)

Last Year’s Prediction Percentages

Laura (67.54%)
Brian (68.21%)
George (70.19%)

*Drawing by the spectacularly talented Emily Cody.

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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 + 1 =

More in Predictions