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Every week Morris Sussex Sports predicts football games across all 37 morris and sussex county teams, and the warren county teams we cover. Participating in these selections is Morris Sussex Sports’ Laura Byrne and George Muha, along with George’s long time friend Brian Kaes. In an attempt to make the predictions as objective as possible, Morris Sussex Sports will give the writer with the best prediction percentage at the end of the season a cash prize–which should make things interesting and impartial. Here are this week’s picks:

Friday Night Lights

Jefferson (2-2) @ Parsippany (0-4)

LAByrne: Icemakers all over Jefferson were smoking from overuse following Jefferson’s brawl with Hopatcong last week. But bruises are healed. And Jefferson’s ready to go. PICK: Jefferson 21-14
Brian Kaes: Jefferson is coming off a big win over Hopatcong where their defense was outstanding. J-Town’s Jalen Torres was incredible with 18 tackles and a pick. Their momentum and desire to get above .500 will continue this week as they bulldoze Parsippany on the road. PICK: JTown 22-7
George Muha: Jefferson runningback Connor Brown is bad. How bad? Well, he’s the baddest man in the whole damned town, badder than old King Kong, and meaner than a junkyard dog. He’s also going to all but seal the Redhawks playoff hopes on their beautiful new turf field. He’s that bad!  PICK: Jefferson 30-0

Hanover Park (4-0) @ Lenape Valley (4-0)

LAByrne: For this game, I’m ordering tickets on StubHub and then I’m parking outside the stadium three hours ahead of kickoff for a tailgate. And George and Brian are not invited because they’ll come with their faces or chests painted or something like that. It’s going to be a nail-biter all the way to the end but I’m putting my money on Lenape Valley, and their record of beating four of the best teams in the division. PICK: LV 28-20
Brian Kaes: This is clearly the first game of the week. How about the Hornets’ ground game? Their O-Line is making holes you can drive a truck through! How about Rory DeLuca finding the endzone 3 times last week? Almost half of his 8 carries resulted in TDs! I don’t except it to be that easy in the Valley, but I think HP is playing great ball this year, and they will win this one in a nail biter. Look for the Valley’s Stevie Leyden to find the endzone once, but HP will win on the legs of DeLuca and Michael Vick-like (in his prime) Donato Casolaro, who will find the endzone 1-2 times each. PICK: HP 28-21
George Muha: Hornets, you CAN NOT allow Stevie Leyden to touch the ball on the return game. Kick the ball out of bounds I do not care. Also, if we are losing at the half, I am going to put on my 1992 Hanover Park jersey from my senior year and I am going to tap someone on defense out of the huddle. If you see a fat old guy on the field wearing a uniform that doesn’t match, it’s just me and I am there to help. On second thought, it would be horribly embarrassing if I did that and ended up having a heart attack on the field in front of 3,000 fans. Just get it done HP. PICK: Hornets 35-34

Pequannock (3-1) @ Hopatcong (2-2)

LAByrne: After two brutal losses Hopatcong is ready to leave it all on their home field and change the season—starting now. Hopatcong: 10-7
Brian Kaes: I had so many wrong picks last week and it killed me after an amazing week prior. This is a tough game, because the Cong is coming off a tough loss, but they are a good team playing at home. I think that Pequannock will win this one though, look for Sean Klimek to run for 2 scores and 150 yards in a close one. PICK: Pequannock 24-17
George Muha: Hopatcong has way too much firepower on both sides of the ball to stay at .500 for long. I think Jake “The Snake” Dorman uses his leadership qualities to help this team settle in. No way these guys drop this game in front of their home crowd. PICK: DaCong 34-10

Boonton (4-0) @ North Warren (4-0)

LAByrne: Gage-the-Rage Cabalar rushed for almost 200 yards against Mountain Lakes. I’m not sure there’s a team out there than can beat Boonton right now—not even a stacked North Warren lineup. PICK: Boonton 28-20
Brian Kaes: Another game of the week! North Warren was not tested that much in an easy one last week and Boonton fought their hearts out and won a squeaker against Mountain Lakes. Both these teams have a ton of momentum going into this one but only one is coming out still undefeated. Last week’s Player of the Week Gage Cabalar will look to run for 200 yards and a few scores this week against a decent NW defense. Look for Boonton’s Dave Koval and the rest of the defense to make the difference in this one in barn burner. PICK: Boonton 34-21
George Muha: Boonton has literally been knocking teams out of their shoes week after week. I don’t think they can expect that kind of win against NWR but I think they will be the victor. The biggest thing that scares me is North Warren’s Jerry Rice-esk receiver Darian Redmond. Redmond has the ability to run up the score in a hurry. He’ll be a factor but again, I think the 6-8, 325 lb Charles “Chucky Z” Zarzecki and the Bombers pull it off in front of the Patriot fans. It will be reggae music on the bus ride home for Coach Gallagher. PICK: Boonton 34-30

Delbarton (2-2) @ Randolph (2-2)

LAByrne: Andrew Papantonis tweeted that Andrew Sanders had 1,000,000 yards rushing last week. That’s minimally 10,000 trips down the field, and I’m not even sure he was exaggerating. And the Delby defense is not allowing first downs, let alone points. PICK: Delbarton 21-0
Brian Kaes: Delby is hitting their stride and that is bad news for the Rams. Andrew “Deion” Sanders will run for almost 200 yards as Delby wins by more than a few points. PICK: Delbarton 35-14
George Muha: Randolph’s Carlo Zarro is the toughest football player I know. I swear he runs at defenders just to see how far he can drag them. For those of you who have him on your fantasy team you’ll be happy because the Ram runningback will get 150-yards and 2 TDs rushing. But Delby QB Matt Zebrowski is running this office like he’s cutting a hot knife through butter. It will be close in the first half with the Green Wave taking over after halftime. PICK: Delby 40-25

Morris Knolls (3-1) @ Mount Olive (1-3)

LAByrne: If Knolls cleans up the penalties, they can beat nearly anyone. PICK: MK 28-10
Brian Kaes: Mt. Olive got blanked last week by a Delby team on a mission and they will play better this week. However, it won’t be good enough. Look for Knolls’ running backs to combine for a quarter of a century in yards and 3 scores. PICK: Knolls 30-15
George Muha: Okay, I am drinking the Morris Knolls Kool-Aid. Slick Nick Vittorio is running this option offense like he invented it. The fact that he can make every throw and can legitimately run is making Knolls very potent. PICK: Knolls 28-14

Roxbury (4-0) @ West Morris (3-1)

LAByrne: If Roxbury can shut down West Morris’s Cole Draghi and the running game, they’ll keep their perfect record. PICK: Gaels 28-21
Brian Kaes: This is another great game on Friday night! Roxbury is firing on all cylinders and Grant Dixon had a heck of a game last week throwing for over 200 yards and a couple of TDs. Of course, the ‘Bury better have an answer for WM’s Cole Draghi, who ran for over 200 yards last week. I think they will, but Draghi will get his yards and a couple of scores too. PICK: ‘Bury 27-24
George Muha: How about the Wolfpack’s Cole “The Dragon” Draghi busting out for two hundy on the ground last week! That was a great performance and WMC has shown they have some firepower this year. But keeping up with Roxbury’s Grant Dixon’s D1 arm, Tucker Voelbel’s amazing hands and Craig Roumes’ hansome hair is just going to be too much of a stretch for the Wolfies. PICK: Rox 42-28

Saturday Afternoon Specials

Montville (0-4) @ Pope John (3-2)

LAByrne: Pope John can take the Jets right now. PICK: PJ 35-10
Brian Kaes: Pope John will not disappoint at home. Berrell Neal ran for almost 250 yards last week and 3 scores. That is crazy. He will be on the bench in the second half of this one. PICK: PJ 45-7
George Muha: If Montville wins the next four games they will mostly likely make the playoffs with room to spare. If they lose this game, their postseason hopes are pretty much dashed. Anything can happen. But I see PJ’s Ty “The Harmonica” Hranicka nabbing two INTs and Big Bad Dalyn Wade-Perry racking up 5 sacks in lopsided victory. PICK: Johnnies 52-6

Vernon (1-3) @ Sparta (2-2)

LAByrne: Quarterback Brandon Lavorini will take the field with that Vernon hard-nosed single-mindedness, knowing his team’s speed and athleticism, and determined to bring it to the big boys of Sparta. PICK: Sparta, but not by much: 21-14
Brian Kaes: Sparta got dismantled by their cross-town rivals last week and they are pretty upset about it. Look for Alex Miliken to run for over 100 yards and score a couple of TDs for the Spartans in a big win over Vernon (who are riding high after notching their first W last week). PICK: Sparta 35-13
George Muha: The Tommie Marino story is just so inspiring. I love the whole thing Vernon’s got going over there. A big away win is just what the Vikings need too. But I think Miliken, Tommy DeG and Gennat are on too much of a roll to stop though. PICK: Spartans 38-21

High Point (0-4) @ Parsippany Hills (2-2)

LAByrne: Jared Salgado and Ryan Hill are an offense’s worst nightmare, each with double-digit tackles in their last game. PICK: ParHills 14-0
Brian Kaes: Par Hills has righted the ship at 2-2 and look to go over .500 for the first time this year when they beat an overmatched HP team. Look for Wilson “One and” Done to score two touchdowns in this one, angering nickname callers everywhere. PICK: PH 28-6
George Muha: The timing is right now for High Point to start racking up the W’s. But I am not seeing Par Hills linebacker Jared “The Punisher” Salgado and DT Ryan “King of the” Hill allow the Wildcats to get much productions. The Verducci-to-Lerman aerial attack will combine for 175-yards and 2-TDs in a big win. PICK: Par Hills 30-12

Morris Hills (2-2) @ Chatham (3-1)

LAByrne: Chatham isn’t losing on Cougar Day, and Nick Zack’s ready for another cool picture in the paper. PICK: Chatham 28-20
Brian Kaes: I think the Hill fights hard in this one but maybe the Cougars are for real this season. Maybe, we will see how it plays out. They are having a good season so far, that’s for sure. Tim “John Quincy” Adams will break the century mark for Chatham in this one. PICK: Cougars 15-7
George Muha: This will be a tight game but Chatham’s Justin “Willie Mays” Hayes will produce too much offense and keep the clock controlled in Chatham’s favor. PICK: Chatham 32-25

Dover (1-3) @ Hackettstown (3-1)

LAByrne: After losing to Lenape Valley for the second time in two years, both in close games, Hackettstown’s Christian Rodriguez and Ryan Snyder cracked two sleds in practice this week. They’re not losing this week, even to a strong, fast and athletic Dover squad. PICK: Hackettstown Tigers 28-10
Brian Kaes: Both of these teams are coming off losses but I think that HTown will rebound at home. How does HTown’s Nick Renne run twice for 2 TD and 141 yards? Did they not want to give him the ball again? Did he get injured? Was he like, “It’s too easy” and he decided to sit out the rest of the game to save the other team embarrassment? Whatever happened, I hope for HTown’s sake that he is back and healthy. If he is it will be a tough one for the Dover Tigers. PICK: HTown 21-10
George Muha: I agree that Hackettstown has been hot during the first half of the season. But I have not given up on the Dover Tigers. There are some players on Dover, and they started off with some big injuries. I have faith that things are healing up for the Dover Tigers and that it all comes together in this game. PICK: Dover 40-35

Wallkill Valley (2-2) @ Whippany Park (0-4)

LAByrne: Richard Stecher had a monster game with two TD’s, 2 picks and one for a Pick-6, proving that the Marko Bakovic-to-Stecher combination is working—as long as they can keep the WP monster Andrew Lake out of the backfield. PICK: WV 28-21
Brian Kaes: The Park can’t seem to get a W but I think it will come sooner rather than later, but not his week. Richard Stecher will lead the Valley to victory again in this one. PICK: Valley 21-13
George Muha: You have to love Wallkill Valleys Rich Stecher. He selflessly gives up his QB position for transfer Bakovic for the betterment of his team. Then week after week he shows he’s a baller on the field no matter what position he plays. Look for The Stech to continue his dominance in a convincing victory. PICK: WV 28-8

Kinnelon (0-4) @ Kittatinny (2-2)

LAByrne: Kittatinny QB Chris Russell was ALL OVER the field last week, throwing, running, making TD’s, picking stuff off, racking up the tackles. Then, he drove the bus back to the school, DJ’ed the locker room victory music, and offered to cook the team some late-night—but Coach sent him home to get ready for this week. PICK: Kittatinny 28-21
Brian Kaes: Kittatinny won a big one last week and look for Josh “Cousin of Sean” Klimek to run for two scores in another good win for the Kitts. By the way I have no idea if the two Klimeks are related, but come on, that isn’t a last name like “Smith” they have to be related! I’m going with that story. PICK: Kitt 33-19
George Muha: I feel for Kinnelon that they haven’t been able to get things clicking. Frankly, its now or never because if they don’t win the next four games they most likely won’t make the playoffs. Sadly, I think Chris Russell and his Kittatinny Cougars are two hot to allow Kinnelon to start their winning streak this week. PICK: Kittatinny 24-17

Newton (2-2) @ Mountain Lakes (2-2)

LAByrne: Mountain Lakes has had its losses this season but they’re still a dominating force, with bulls like Jake Spagnola grinding out the yardage. But Newton guys like Alex Van Ness and Cole Van Luvender are going to be in the Herd’s grill all game. This one won’t be easy for the Herd, but they’ll pull off the win. PICK: ML 21-14
Brian Kaes: These two teams are at a cross roads. The winner will get to the playoffs. The loser is facing an uphill battle. Because I coach with a guy who loves the Lakes (he attended there a million years ago) I’m going with the Lakes. Look for Jake “Spags” Spagnola to run for 120 yards and two scores in this one. PICK: Lakes 24-17
George Muha: I think it’s about time we see the Griffen Baker to Jimmy Schicke connection to start producing some touchdowns together. I see them synching up for two in this game. PICK: Herd 42-17

Butler (2-2) @ Morris Catholic (1-3)

LAByrne: Butler had a monster game last week with Sean Centinaro rushing for over a hundred yards, Castiglia rushing for almost two hundred, and Cory Mack and Alfred Battipede combining for sixteen tackles on defense. I’m not sure who’s going to stop this team this season. PICK: Butler 28-10
Brian Kaes: Butler will run the run and shoot offense as far as it will take them. MC is going to have a tough time defending against it. Sean Centinaro came down to earth running for ONLY a 104 yards and 2 TDs last week but Butler’s native son will run closer to 200 yards in this one with a couple of scores as well. PICK: Butler 34-15
George Muha: You know a team is settling in when there is a new star every week. For Butler it’s Centinaro one week, Castiglia the next and guys like Mefford, Gentile, Mack can be the headliner on any given week. This week it will be Alfred “The Centipede” Battipede with two sacks and a key fumble recovery. PICK: Butler 45-21

Morristown-Beard (0-4) @ Montclair Kimberly Academy(5-0)

LAByrne: Listen to these teams MoBeard has lost to: North Warren, Newton, Hanover Park and Butler. That’s a tough schedule, and all that competition is going to show in this week’s matchup. MoBeard is going to make this a very close game. PICK: MKA 21-20
Brian Kaes: This is going to be a rough one for the Beard. MKA is no joke against most teams. Unfortunately the Beard will not be getting their first W of the year this week. PICK: MKA 49-12
George Muha: The Beards have to win this weekend else their playoff hopes will be shot. Dees, Valentine, Cipriano and Russo have to focus on yards-after-catch in this one if they have any chance against the undefeated MKA. I think MB will play a spirited game, but I don’t think it will be enough. PICK: MKA 32-10

Morristown (2-2) @ Mendham (1-3)

LAByrne: The Minutemen have been competitive in every game they’ve played, and this week they’re bringing home the “w.” PICK: Mendham 28-10
Brian Kaes: Mendham has been going through it this year, and should have a better record than they do. I honestly can see them winning this game, but I am going to err on the side of caution and pick the favorite from the odds-makers in Vegas. I think the drubbing they got last week at the hands of Roxbury led to a tough week of practice for Morristown and that will translate on the field on Saturday. PICK: Motown 16-14
George Muha: Mendham has to win at least three out of the next four games to have a chance at making it to the postseason dance. That is a reachable goal but a win this Saturday is dire. I think they pull it off with Tommy Morrell continuing to be his bad self. PICK: Mendham 32-25

Middlesex (3-1) @ Sussex Tech (2-2)

LAByrne: Sussex Tech at home, and they’re not losing again. PICK: ST 21-14
Brian Kaes: Man this Sussex Tech team always gets me. I usually just pick them to win because I have no idea who they are playing. Who plays schools in PA? That’s bananas. Kevin Utter scored the only points for the Techhies last week on a pick 6. I think our friend Mr. Outlander will score 2 TDs but it won’t be enough in this one. PICK: Middlesex 27-17
George Muha: Okay Mustangs, enough playing around. Let’s just get the W this weekend. You guys are totally capable. Plus you’ve been killing my prediction percentage so you owe me one! PICK: ‘Stangs 21-10

How We Did Last Week

Laura: 15-4
Brian: 11-8
George: 13-6

How We’re Doing So Far

Laura 52-26 (66.66%)
Brian 52-26 (66.66%)
George 50-28 (64.10%)

Last Year’s Prediction Percentages

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

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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