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It seems so appropriate that the Week of Death – the week of the 8-game cutoff, in which the last game of the season that counts towards the postseason is played – happens to fall on Halloween weekend. Considering there are a lot of teams that are literally playing for their playoff lives, it’s no surprise that postseason hopes can come to a deadly stop this weekend. To help you enjoy this frightful weekend, we are presenting to you our Week 9 Predictions, Halloween Edition.

Friday Night Frights

Madison (4-2) @ Hackettstown (4-3)

LAByrne: Hackettstown is a team I can’t get my head around. They surprised me last week with their big defeat of Jefferson, and they surprised in earlier weeks with their loss to Dover. This week Hackettstown’s Field of Screams with Kyle Connelly and Nick Renne will haunt this Madison squad—but the Dodgers still get the job done. PICK: Madison 20-14
Brian Kaes: Madison is looking to scare Hackettstown this week on the field, as they are priming up for a showdown at Lurker Park against Hanover Park next week. They better not get caught in a trap game by a decent H-Town squad though. Look for Patrick “Spooky” Sullivan to score once for H-Town. Should be a close one. PICK: Dodgers 21-17
George Muha: The Hackettstown Hatchets have been showing they have the ability to hang with anyone this season. I think they’ll have Madison on their heels for a lot of this game. But I see JoJo “Morbid” Mobley busting out for some late game heroics to give the Dodger’s the “W.” PICK: Madison 24-21

Morris Catholic (2-5) @ Parsippany (0-7)

LAByrne: Mo Catholic Nation, our prayers are with you. I’m betting you’ll win this one for Madison. PICK: MC 28-7
Brian Kaes: Parsippany is going to give MC a run for its money in this one. MC is coming off a beat down last week and will be pumped up to score some points and win one on the road. PICK: MC 21-13
George Muha: Parsippany’s Kwaku “Angry Man” Agyemang is due to bust out for a multi-TD game. I think it’ll be this week. However, Peter “The Plague” Palumbo is a machine on defense and he won’t allow the Redhawks much more than that. PICK: MoCatholic 40-14

Dover (3-4)@ Hanover Park (7-0)

LAByrne: These bone-rattling and blood-curdling brothers-in-black are going to bring another spooktacular win to their hometown fans. PICK: HP 28-14
Brian Kaes: HP is on a roll and the Tigers won’t be able to keep up. It’s insane. Donny “Brasco” Casolaro will throw for 200 yards and at least one score to Rory Deluca in this one. Look for Sean “Casper” Conley to get to picks for the Haunted Hornets in this one. PICK: HP 42-12
George Muha: Dover controls their playoff destiny in this one with a W against HP. The Tigers’ senior linebacker Brandon “The Guillotine” Quiles will do his best to contain HP’s deadly offense. But Rory “The Demon” Deluca has not gone this far to allow the Hornets’ perfect record to drop in their first win in front of home fans. PICK: Hanover Park 42-21

Jefferson (3-4) @ Lenape Valley (6-1)

LAByrne: That “1” after the “6” is giving LV nightmares, and they’re going to make this the Lenape Valley Horror for the visiting Jefferson team. PICK: LV 28-21
Brian Kaes: The Valley at home is usually a lock except when HP comes to town. Look for Michael “Machete” Josephs to score 2 Tds in this one. PICK: Valley 34-21
George Muha: This is game seven of the World Series for Jefferson. If they win they are in the postseason. If they lose, their playoff hopes are dashed. They can pull it off but I think the line will need to win the battle of the trenches. Problem is LV’s defensive end Greg Cooper is going to be like Michael Myers in the movie Halloween. Every time the Falcons break from the huddle, they will be staring into the face of Cooper wearing a crazy mask (I think he’s actually going to wear the mask to the game). PICK: LV 45-18

High Point (0-7) @ Montville (0-7)

LAByrne: I predict George Klag is going to have a monster game, mowing guys down for that yardage he’s been blood-thirsty for. PICK: HP 21-10
Brian Kaes: I’m glad somebody is walking out of this one with a win. It’s a tough call but I’ll say the ‘Stangs win a close one at home. PICK: Montville 20-16
George Muha: This is kind of a playoff game for these two teams in the fact that one of them will finally get that elusive win. In the end it will be George “The Ghost” Klag who will make like an apparition and disappear into the endzone three different times. PICK: High Point 39-20

Chatham (5-2)@ Par Hills (4-3)

LAByrne: Par Hills hung in there last week with a talented Sparta lineup and this week they’re well-prepared for the challenge from the Crazy Cougars. This one’ll be all Hills. PICK: Hills 21-10
Brian Kaes: I think the Cougars are favored in this one but Par Hills is driving to get back to the playoffs and they know they have to keep winning to do so. Nick “Vampire” Verducci throws for 250 and 3 scores And the Hills have eyes in this one. PICK: The Hills 35-28
George Muha: Chatham definitely has the ability to end Par Hill’s playoff hopes. But Viking’s linebacker Jared Salgado is going to be like Jason Vorhees in Friday the 13th and take down Chatham’s offense one by one. PICK: Vikings 35-34

Mountain Lakes (5-2) @ Pequannock (6-1)

LAByrne: This weekend, playoffs are on the line for Pequannock and they’re playing in Panther-land. I predict they’ll hand ML their third loss of the season making it a Nightmare on Sunset for the Herd. PICK: Panthers 21-10
Brian Kaes: This will be a great game as both teams are hitting their stride. If the game were at Lakes I would probably pick them but the home town crowd is going to help Pequannock carry the day. Dylan “Gargoyle” Gottesman will score two for the Lakes in a tough loss PICK: Pequannock 22-17
George Muha: The G-Pants have been on flipping fire this season. But the Herd’s Anthony Aiello will be standing at midfield with a bucket of water to dampen the Pequannock’s flame in the form of a late-game sack or forced fumble. PICK: Herd 28-24

Hopatcong (3-4) @ North Warren (5-2)

LAByrne: North Warren has that huge Nick Heinz and Ricky Baird run-game going, the deep pass to Darian Redmond in place, and a big-stop defense from Conor Frehill and Trevor Baldwin all over the field. This gruesome group is going to make their home field a North Warren Horror for Hopatcong. PICK: NW 21-20
Brian Kaes: North Warren is gearing up for a playoff run so look for them to explode out of the gate and score a lot in the first half. The ‘Cong isn’t going to just roll over though so it should be a good one. Look for Trevor “Batty” Baldwin to goes nuts with 12 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 INT on defense for NW. PICK: NW 24-18
George Muha: Hopatcong has to win this one if they have a chance to play in the postseason. But I think North Warren’s play maker Darian “Red-rum” Redmond will be the nightmare that prevents DaCong’s postseason dream. PICK: North Warren 42-35

Butler (4-3) @ Kinnelon (1-6)

LAByrne: After last week’s brutal defeat Bulldogs Dan Castiglia, Davon Smith and Alfred Battipede will be rattling bones and curdling blood as they smother the Colts offense. PICK: Butler 28-10
Brian Kaes: If Butler wins they are pretty much in the playoffs. I would imagine that is motivating them to tear into Kinnelon like a zombie does a human. It may not be pretty. Dom “Ghostbuster” Gentile will throw for 3 scores in this one. PICK: Butler 38-14
George Muha: Butler needs a lot of help from the playoff gods this weekend. First they need to win this one against a very confident Kinnelon team. Then they need a lot of teams losing in their section. I think they’ll do their part in this game. PICK: Butler 42-20

Roxbury (6-1) @ Randolph (3-4)

LAByrne: Roxbury wants to get back out on the field—now. The team was issued Halloween costumes: this year, they’re the Avengers. PICK: Roxbury 28-20
Brian Kaes: The bad news for the Rams is that Roxbury got brought down to Earth last week by Delby. They are going to take it out on Randolph and while it may not be like a scene from a horror movie it’s going to be scary. Of course the Rams are at home and their fans will be rooting for them hard. The scene will be like “Don’t run in that hole” instead of “don’t go in the basement” as Roxbury’s defense will be in beast-mode all game trying to stop the Rams’ Carlo “Zombie Killer” Zarro. PICK: ‘Bury 28-19
George Muha: I am sure Roxbury is not happy about last week’s big loss to Delbarton. In the end, I bet it will be the best thing that happened to them because it will show them that even though they are good they still need to work hard every week. They’ll bounce back big this weekend. PICK: Roxbury 50-30

Morris Knolls (6-1) @ West Morris (5-2)

LAByrne: It’ll be a night of chills and thrills, but West Morris will pull out the huge upset win in this contest. PICK: WM 21-14
Brian Kaes: This looks like a great game and I think either team has a chance to win. Kind of like Godzilla vs.. King Kong. My favorite has always been Godzilla but he lost in the movie, which makes no sense to me. I am pretty sure Godzilla had home field advantage too. Although I can’t remember. Anyway I think in this game West Morris is like Godzilla except I’m picking them to win in a slight upset. #godzillarules PICK: WM 20-14
George Muha: I had a conversation with this week’s FBU Player of the Week, Sam Johnson of Delbarton. I asked him about this Morris Knolls team and he was very complimentary of the athleticism of the Golden Eagles players. I love how hot this team is. However, something tells me that WMC’s Coach Hennelly has been playing Morris Knoll’s triple option veer too long to not be totally prepared. It’s going to be a dogfight but in the end the Ware-wolves of Long Valley will be the victors. PICK: WMC 40-39

Saturday Afternoon Scares

Morris Hills (3-4) @ Sparta (5-2)

LAByrne: Sparta has paranormal activity going down in their games this season. This week they’re channeling the ghost of Ray Lewis to shut down the Nick Walls-running game. PICK: Sparta 35-20
Brian Kaes: The Hills Have Eyes 2 looked like an awful movie and I never saw it. That has nothing to do with this prediction. Sparta is going to end the Hills postseason hopes in this one. Look for Johnathan Byers to catch a TD pass for Sparta as Sparta wins at home. PICK: Sparta 34-19
George Muha: MoHill’s Nick Walls is a wicked player. But Sparta QB Matt Maute has filled in terrific and I see him throwing for a cool 300-yards and 3 TDs in another hometown win. PICK: Sparta 35-21

Vernon (2-5) @ Pope John (6-2)

LAByrne: True story: yesterday several hundred yellow jackets found their way into my kitchen, relentlessly sending themselves at me, despite my Royals-inspired heavy hitting with a fly-swatter. With Pope John guys like Berrell Neal and Sekayi Rudolph, the PJ offense operates like those yellow jackets: relentlessly coming at defenses play after play, and sting after sting. PICK: PJ 35-10
Brian Kaes: Pope John is not going to stop until they have gone deep into the post season. Berrell “Nightmare” Neal is going to slash through the Vernon defense for three scores in this one. Look for Elvin “Freddy” Febus to score one for Vernon as they don’t go down without a fight. PICK: PJ 42-20
George Muha: Last year Vernon had a moment like when your little brother, who you’ve been picking on his whole life, hits puberty and gets out of the headlock you had him in, throws you on the ground, and starts pounding you in the head. This year Pope John is still the older brother and this time they are going to try extra hard to make sure Vernon doesn’t get out of the headlock – and they are going to act all cool like they are not trying while doing it–but they will have to work hard if they want to keep them from another beating. PICK: PJ 34-13

Newton (3-4) @ Whippany Park (1-6)

LAByrne: Newton’s got the goods to make this one happen but the gargantuan Frankinstein-ian Andrew Lake is going to make it very difficult. PICK: Braves 21-20
Brian Kaes: Newton’s Scott “Pinhead” Price is going to scare the you-know-what out of the Park on defense in this one. He may even score on defense. PICK: Newton 14-6
George Muha: Whippany Park has had some real flashes of brilliance this season. I think they’ll make this competitive. But I think Newton’s Van Ness brothers will be too much. PICK: Newton 35-25

Wallkill Valley (2-5) @ Kittatinny (4-3)

LAByrne: All season I’ve picked Kittatinny wrong and I think I’m finally getting it through my thick head: this team is THE REAL DEAL and Cody Romano is the dark knight helping to get the job done. PICK: Kittatinny 28-10
Brian Kaes: Between Kitt’s Cody “Rotting Ray” Romano and Nick “Ghastly” Geimer running for over 200 yards and 3 scores it’s going to be a rough day for the Valley. PICK: Kitt 29-14
George Muha: I heard Kittatinny stud Tyler “Arian” Foster will be coming back this weekend. If that is the case, I don’t see anyone stopping the Cougars. PICK: Kittatinny 30-21

Boonton (6-1) @ Morristown-Beard (0-7)

LAByrne: Boonton squad has been rumored to turn into werewolves before games, which is the first explanation I’ve heard that sensibly explains their superhuman play. PICK: Bombers 28-14
Brian Kaes: Boonton is rolling and the Beard is going to get squashed by them in this one. Look for Amaro “Animal” Anderson to get a pick 6 in this one for the Boots. And vote for Matt Dilauri for mayor of Boonton! PICK: Boonton 28-7
George Muha: MoBeard is due for something to build on for next season. A win here will do the trick. But I don’t see that happening and the Boonton Bombers are one of the hottest teams in Morris Sussex. PICK: Boonton 34-10

Morristown (3-4) @ Delbarton (5-2)

LAByrne: The Wave is going to be a tsunami this weekend. PICK: Delby 42-14
Brian Kaes: How about Delby’s Luca “Bonesy” Tria running for over 100 yards last week against Roxbury? Look for more success on the ground for him this week in a blowout. Fear the Wave. PICK: Delby 42-12
George Muha: Morristown sophomore runningback Drew “The Chiller” Chilson has really come on this season as a playmaker for the Colonials. Delby has some super sophs of their own. I think it will be Delby’s varsity rookies Tre “The Zombie” Zgombic, Cole “Me Eat Apple In One Bite” Kreshpane and Anthony “Goosebumps” Siragusa who help the Green Wave clinch the National Division championship. PICK: Delby 30-13

Mount Olive (1-6) @ Mendham (1-6)

LAByrne: This game will be Friday the 13th Part Fifteen: Mendham takes Mount Olive. It’s going to be a hair-raising, bone-rattling brawl. PICK: Minutemen 35-10
Brian Kaes: These teams both hoped for better seasons but it’s a rough conference. Mendham will likely win in a close one. PICK: Mendham 13-6
George Muha: Both teams have had bad breaks and tough injuries this season. With Jack Anderson coming back from an injury for the Minutemen and guys like Robshaw, Randolph and Sica, they will make sure to deliver their fans a long-awaited home victory. PICK: Mendham 32-28

Highland Park (3-3) @ Sussex Tech (3-4)

L.A.Byrne: Beware Highland Park: Sussex Tech vamps are going to be fang-tastic. PICK: ST 35-21
Brian Kaes: The Techs are getting there but they need to keep winning! I think there is no question the OLine and Mr. Outland want to win, wow what a workhorse! Look for the Terrifying Techs to win a close one. PICK: ST 27-21
George Muha: For those of you that don’t know this, Sussex Tech has not made it to the playoffs ever in school history and the school has been in existance since 1969. If they win this game, they should be in with room to spare. If they lose, their destiny is out of their control. Let’s git ‘er done Mustangs!!! PICK: ‘Stangs 31-7

How We Did Last Week

Laura: 16-3
Brian: 16-3
George: 13-6

How We’re Doing So Far

Laura 98-36 (73.13%)
Brian 101-33 (75.37%)
George 94-40 (70.14%)

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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