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Friday Night Lights

North Warren (0-5) @ Verona (1-4)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: An off year for the Hillbillies after running the table and going 12-0 a season ago. Look for them to bounce back from a tough loss last week against Glen Ridge and get win number two for the season. PICK: Verona 28-14
Brian Daniel: Unfortunately North Warren is having some issues finding the promised land this year, as they were shut out last week by Lenape Valley. Verona is having a rough year as well and this is going to be a close game. I think at the end Verona will squeak out a victory. PICK: Verona 14-10
George Muha: North Warren DT Ryan Durling will have two sacks, three QB hurries and a forced fumble (no pressure big man). But I still predict Verona will have the higher score in the end. PICK: Verona

Sparta (4-0) @ Roxbury (3-1)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Game. Of. The. Week. No questions asked. Can Roxbury’s Mr. Everything (Tucker Voelbel) put this team on his back and lead the way for the Gaels? At home, I think so. PICK: Roxbury 28-27
Brian Daniel: This could be the game of the week. Sparta scored 56 points last game and they are rolling. Roxbury put up 42 points against a decent Knolls team last week while winning. It’s going to be an exciting shootout for sure! This is like those old Brady vs. Manning matchups. Matty Maute is one of the best QBs in the league and he will be tough to stop, he will throw for 200 plus yards and 2 scores easy. Meanwhile “Ray” Donovan Brady will have close to those numbers as well. Alex Miliken may tip the scales in favor of the Spartans in this one. Look for him to get in the endzone late in the 4th quarter to put Sparta up for good. PICK: Sparta 35-31
George Muha: To me this is like Rocky Balboa vs. Ivan Draggo in Rocky IV. Roxbury is Rocky with their scrappy bunch, never quit players led by Michael Roumes, Donovan Brady and Justin Werder. They even have their punishing left handed knockout punch in the form of Mr All Everything Tucker Voelbel. Then on the other side you have the tall, perfectly built Russian in QB Matt Maute, RB Alex Milliken and WR Rich McDonald. They even have the KBG agents in the form of the Sparta O-line who looks like they could be the starting line up for a college team (and they could). Unfortunately for the Gaels, although I do see this match going the distance, this movie will not end as well as the movie did. PICK: Spartans 45-40

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

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Randolph’s Jeremie Simmons had a great stat line last week (8 catches, 117 yards, TD) and hopefully he and quarterback Justin Suarez can continue their chemistry as they take on the Minutemen. Look for that combination to get the Rams back on track. PICK: Randolph 21-17
Brian Daniel: Mendham lost a heart-breaker last week and scored a ton of points. Randolph played undefeated West Morris as close as can be in a tough loss last week as well. I’m glad one of these teams will win this week, but I wish both could. Justin Suarez had a great game last week for the Rams and will throw and run for a score this week. Guiseppe Canino will score twice again for Mendham but the home team will win this one in a nail biter. PICK: Rams 21-20
George Muha: How good is Randolph receiver Jeremie Simmons? That guy is huge, and he can move! The Suarez-to-Simmons connection is a tough duo to stop. If you are a Mendham fan, here is what you need to know. To make the playoffs they need to basically go 4-0 from here on out. I feel they have the tools to do it but they will have to dig a little deeper. Considering they have their backs against the wall, I am going to double down on the Minutemen and will be taking no points. PICK: Mendham 36-35

Morris Hills (3-2) @ West Milford (0-4)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: The Hills have Eyes! And for the Knights, they’re looking to get a little bit of a win streak going. Look for them to do so against West Milford.  PICK:  MoHills 21-12
Brian Daniel: The Hills’ Jeremy Busel will find the endzone this week as they stay hot and win their second game in a row. PICK: Hills 26-13
George Muha: With Valerio, Walls and Busel running behind fullback Dajon “Mustard” Chappell there won’t be any need for QB Damon Fleming to take his arm out of the gun case. PICK: Red Knights 30-14

Morris Knolls (3-2) @ West Morris (5-0)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Knolls had a tough loss to the Gaels  in Week 5. Unfortunately, things do not get any easier for the Golden Eagles as they meet mighty West Morris on their home turf. Look for the Wolfpack to give Knolls’ their second straight loss. PICK: West Morris 35-10
Brian Daniel: West Morris’s Ryan Finlay made the throws he needed to make last week to beat Randolph and will continue the hot hand this week as well against Knolls. Cole Trickle will find the endzone twice in this one. PICK: West Morris 17-14
George Muha: First of all, are you kidding me about WMC receiver Jake Ligos? This kid is by far my most favorite player in Morris Sussex right now! He must be 6-2, 220-pounds and last week I watched him slice through a very athletic Randolph secondary and catch the ball with the softest hands I’ve seen all year. Considering nobody has been able to keep RB Cole Draghi under 125-yards all season and now that the Wolfpack apparently have an unstoppable weapon through the air in Ligos, they’ll be a tough act for Knolls to contend with. The X-Factor however, will be 300-pound kicker Michael Bolla who is money from anywhere from the 40-yard line inward. How can you not love these guys! PICK: Wolves 33-28

Mount Olive (0-5) @ Vernon (2-2)

Vernon sent this victory pic from their bus after got the better of Mendham in Week 5.

Vernon sent this victory pic from their bus after got the better of Mendham in Week 5.

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Mount Olive has put points up on the board for most of the season, unfortunately they give up a lot as well, which has lead to their misfortune this season. The Vikings won a close game against Mendham 35-32 and look for them to squeak out another close one against the Marauders. PICK Vernon: 21-20
Brian Daniel: Vernon played great against Mendham in a win last week and they are looking to build off that win and will do so against Mt. Olive this week (who put up decent numbers against H-Town last game). Mike Stefkovich scored 4 TDs for Vernon last week, that’s cray. He will only score 2 this week. PICK: Vernon 35-21
George Muha: I wouldn’t be worrying if I were a Mt Olive fan. Trust me, you are in great hands with new coach Brian O’Connor. They are giving every team they face heartburn. Despite the 0-5 start, they have great energy coming out of there. Vernon’s got the hot hand and they will win behind the Stefkovich-inator. But be patient Marauder Nation. PICK: Vernon 28-21

Parsippany Hills (2-3) @ West Essex (3-2)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: The Vikings have had a roller coaster season so far. Win, loss, win, loss has been their ‘MO’ so far this season. I think they have the fire power to take care of West Essex, get back to the .500 mark and maybe look to get a little win streak going. PICK: Parsippany Hills 28-24
Brian Daniel: West Essex lost a barn burner to Chatham last game, and they are riled up to play a Par Hills team that got smoked last week. Par Hills has something to prove but I’m not sure they will be able to handle West Essex. Look for both of these teams to be .500 after this week. Nick Verducci shows up big time for the Hills this week. PICK: Hills 21-18
George Muha: Par Hills is swinging back and forth a bit in their games. Perhaps they are trying to find their identity. I think they start to come into their own this week as linebacker Dylan McDonald puts on a clinic on how to form tackle all night against the Knights. PICK: Vikes 33-22

Pequannock (3-1) @ Hanover Park (5-0)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Yes, Hanover Park is undefeated but looking at their schedule, sorry to say, none of their wins really impress me. Their best win is maybe against Cedar Grove at the beginning of the year? Debatable. I am not sure if I am going to call it an upset alert but I think Pequannock is going to hand the Hornets their first ‘L’ of the season. PICK: ‘Nock 17-14
Brian Daniel: HP played a heck of a game last week in a total team win. Pequannock beat up Kinnelon pretty bad and scored 42 points in the process. HP’s first order of business is keeping the ‘Quan’s Sean Klimek in check. The Hornets’ defense is up to the task, and then some. Look for Sean “The Irish Maniac” Conley to go off the chain on D again this week (as if two safeties the past two weeks isn’t enough), along with his bro Eddie Schimminger. These guys will get 30 tackles between them. Rory DeLuca reminds me of a young John Riggins, I think his nickname “Diesel” can even apply to the kid. He will find the endzone in this one, as he usually does, and what can I say about HP QB Donato Casolaro that I haven’t already said? The kid is playing lights out. That being said, he will need to play well with ball hawks Matt Unger and Craig Macagney lurking for Pequannock on the defensive side of the ball. Both had pick 6s last week. I think HP will get it done, and win a close one at home before a bunch of crazy fans. PICK: HP 23-19
George Muha: Uggh…this Pequannock team scares the hell out of me. Forget that Sean Klimek is a freak runningback, their line is huge, also Matt Unger and Craig Macagney are beastly defenders. Pequannock is coming into games and physically beating teams up. This is the best team my Hornets have faced to-date in my opinion. Can they come out the victors? Yes, but defense will be where they need to lock it down as much as possible. PICK: HP 35-34

Chatham (2-3) @ Newton (4-1)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Watch out! The Cougars are on a 2-game winning streak after starting the season 0-3. Look for the streak to continue as they get back to the .500 mark against Newton. PICK Chatham 13-10
Brian Daniel: Newton played tough on defense last week, and Chatham, coming off a great win against West Essex, is ready for the challenge. Timmy “John Quincy” Adams will find the endzone twice for the Cougars, but in the end I think Newton’s defense will find a way to win this one for the Newtonians. Look for Scott Price “Tag” and Ryan “Herr” Kaiser to cause all sorts of havoc on defense for Newton and one of them will score a defensive TD. PICK: Newton 21-12
George Muha: If I were the coach of Chatham I’d just hand the ball off to tackle Graham LeMon like ten times a game. I’d just put him in the Wildcat and see what he does. At 6-7, 300-pounder with athleticism something good would have to come out of it I’m sure. With that said, I think this night will belong to the Fig Newtons. I anticipate the running attack of Will “The Thrill” Larsen and Chase “Cosmo” Cramer will be too hard for the Cougars to contain. PICK: Braves 32-20

Butler (3-2) @ Parsippany (2-3)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: After two tough loses to out of conference opponents Butler came back to Morris County and won convincingly against Morris Catholic. Look for the Bulldogs to get their second consecutive win against Parsippany. PICK: Butler 28-0
Brian Daniel: These two teams played opposite games last week, with Butler shutting out Morris Catholic and Parsippany getting shut out. It’s going to be close, but I think Butler will win this one on the road. How about Butler’s Billy Verrico scoring TDs on both sides of the ball last week? He won’t get a pick 6 this week but I bet he will get a pick, along with two more rushing scores. PICK: Butler 35-12
George Muha: I got a fever! And the only prescription…is more cowbell! When I say cowbell, what I mean is Will Verrico. Keep running this guy Butler and we’ll be seeing you at MetLife. PICK: Butler 34-25

Delbarton (2-3) @ DePaul (1-4)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Spartan running back Chase Hebron will be a tough test for the Green Wave defense. Delbarton has been competitive in every single one of their games since joining the “big boy super conference” and I would expect nothing less from a team coached by Brian Bowers. However, in my opinion, DePaul has played on this level for a long time so they know to do to take their game to the next level. PICK: DePaul 20-17
Brian Daniel: Delby keeps playing powerhouses so they are better than their record indicates. But they could use a win here. I think they will get it against DePaul. Look for Chris “Bartolo” Colon to have a pick 6 in this one. PICK: Delbarton 21-10
George Muha: Between Cole’s “House of” Kreshpane rushing attack and Greg Olsen’s aerial assault from the receiver position, DePaul will be kept on their heels for most of this game. If Delby can come away with the W they will have made a big statement to the Super Conference gods. I think DePaul will pull it off, but I guarantee the Green Wave takes it to the final minute. PICK: DePaul 40-35

Dover (1-4) @ Kinnelon (2-2)

Dover

Dover was exuberant during after getting their first win over Newark Central in Week 5.

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: I know I know, Dover got their first win of the season and they are riding “rocky mountain high” but the Colts will look to recover after their lopsided loss to Pequannock. PICK: Kinnelon 14-7
Brian Daniel: This a tough game to call, as Dover finally got their first win last week and has some momentum going into this game. Kinnelon got beat pretty bad by Pequannock so they are looking to rebound. Masyn Sanchez will run for over 150 yards and 2 scores in this one for the Tigers. I think that Deshea Wilfong will record a baker’s dozen worth of tackles for the Tigers as well. I’m going for the upset. PICK: Tigers 14-10
George Muha: Rene Garin and his Dover Tigers looked like they meant business last week as they picked up their first win. They’ll look to build on that but Jonny Toye and Seamus Nelson have other ideas. PICK: Kinnelon 36-30

High Point (2-2) @ Kittatinny (1-4)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Running back Chad Musilli will look to lead the Wildcat offense as High Point will be focused on breaking through the .500 wall. PICK: High Point 20-10
Brian Daniel: This is a tough game to choose. Kittatinny’s defense was busy making tackles last week, including Josh Klimek and Jake Sikora, but they lost. High Point also lost and only managed 14 points. I think the Point will win this one in the last few seconds on a QB keeper by Jake “The Snake” Lisinsky. PICK: HP 21-17
George Muha: Musilli and Lisinksy got tripped up last week but they’ll have HP back to their 300-yard rushing ways this week. PICK: HP 35-28

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

The vibe in the Boonton bus was electrifying after last week's victory over Shabazz.

The vibe in the Boonton bus was electrifying after last week’s victory over Shabazz.

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: This is a tough one to pick as both teams seem to be getting into a groove at the mid point of the season. Can the Bomber defense slow down the Chiefs running back Jake Wilkerson, who had a monster game last week? That is the big questions heading into this one and I am not sure that will happen. PICK: Hopatcong 28-27
Brian Daniel: Das Boots played great against Shabazz last week and they have a lot of momentum going into this one with the ‘Cong. At the same time, ‘Cong just beat up on an underrated Kittatinny team. It’s going to be a heck of a game, but I’m going with the home team in this one. Look for “Double A” Amaro Anderson to break the century mark and score for the Boots. This prediction is based on the idea that the Boots will figure out a way to contain the ‘Cong’s Jaker Wilkerson of course. He will still run for over 100 yards and 2 scores, because you can only really slow him down, he won’t be stopped. PICK: Boonton 28-21
George Muha: I literally just starting taking guitar lessons last week just so I can name my band “Joe Bob and the Bombers”! Tell me that doesn’t have an awesome ring to it! There is no doubt Jake Wilkerson and his DaCong teammates will bring the firepower this week. But I like Joe Bob at home this week. It will be a battle though. PICK: Boots 33-30

Lenape Valley (4-1) @ Hackettstown (3-1)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Another great game on tab this week. After Roxbury v Sparta this is game of the week number two. I’ve been on the Don Smolyn train since the beginning of the season and I do not think I am getting off anytime soon. PICK: LV 21-20
Brian Daniel: One of the best games of the week! Both of these teams are coming off wins, and H-Town’s offense exploded in their victory. I think the Valley’s Leyden and DuPont will combine for 200 yards and 2 scores (at least in this one), and the Valley’s defense will barely hold on to win in the final minutes of this game. PICK: Valley 24-20
George Muha: Blah, blah, blah…Stevie Leyden…blah, blah, blah…three touchdowns…blah, blah, blah…175-yards in the first half…blah, blah, blah. I know, I say that every week!  PICK: LV 32-21

Jefferson (5-0) @ Montville (1-4)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: The Falcons need to keep their foot on the gas and do what they have been doing all season long.. running over their opponents. PICK: Jefferson 35-0
Brian Daniel: J-Town surprised me how they shut out Par Hills last week, and they are riding high from that victory. Montville had a rough one against Caldwell last week, and unfortunately this week is going to be tough as well. Look for Montville to score a couple of times, but J-Town’s Brandon Magnotta is going to not only run for almost 200 yards but he will get to the promised land 2 times as well. PICK: J-Town 28-12
George Muha: I have this feeling that Montville is going to sting a team out of nowhere soon. These guys got the players. I think it is just a matter time before it all comes together. Between Teresa, Fox, Weiss, Khalaf, Trezza and others there is no reason this defense can’t lock it all down on a team. Can that be this week? No reason it can’t. I am picking Jefferson but again, but don’t be surprised if Montville pulls off an upset. PICK: Falcons 14-10

Saturday Afternoon Delights

Whippany Park (3-1) @ Mountain Lakes (0-5)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: It is very odd for me to see Mountain Lakes winless at this point of the season. I hate to say it but I think they drop to 0-6 after this week. PICK: WP 21-0
Brian Daniel: Sometimes good programs have off years. That is what is happening to the Herd this year. They will be back, as all the youngsters that are playing now are getting experience and they will remember this season when they bounce back next year. Whippany Park is having a surprising year, look for Crane and Papa to run for almost 200 combined yards in this one as Park wins tight game. PICK: Park 20-13
George Muha: When was the last time Whippany Park was 4-1? Luke Papa doesn’t care. All he knows is that come Saturday morning, that will be the record of his Wildcats after he throws three TDs to receiver Justin Keating. PICK: ‘Cats 40-14

Lakeland (3-2) @ Wallkill Valley (1-3)

Wallkill Valley celebrates in the bus after overtaking a very good Sussex Tech team in Week 5.

Wallkill Valley celebrates in the bus after overtaking a very good Sussex Tech team in Week 5.

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Lakeland rebounds and gets back in the win column. PICK: Lakeland 31-7
Brian Daniel: Lakeland had a rough game last week losing to Newton. The Valley, on the other hand, upset Sussex Tech. I think that the Valley will build off that win and start to get on a roll. Look for “ABC” (Alfred Boye-Cadjoe) to collect a dozen tackles and 2 sacks for the Valley, along with Andrew “Chuck” Berry, who will tackle a bunch of Bankers. The Valley’s Dylan Harlos will throw and run for at least 3 scores. PICK: Valley 35-28
George Muha: How about Dylan Harlos and the Army Rangers taking down the undefeated Techies in blowout fashion last week! They definitely have momentum behind them. But Lakeland has played the spoiler all season against Morris Sussex teams and I think they’ll continue their winning ways. PICK: Lakeland 20-14

Montclair (3-1) @ Morristown (1-4)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: This is a tough out of conference game for Mo-Town. The Mounties play a much tougher schedule and will make quick work of the Colonials. PICK: Montclair 42-7
Brian Daniel: I’ll tell you one thing, Morristown is not one to shy away from big teams and big games. After a tough loss to West Orange last week they take on an even better team in Montclair. They will play tough but Montclair is at another level. PICK: Montclair 39-20
George Muha: Motown is another team playing for their playoffs lives right now. Nothing will do them better than going on a 3-0 tear now starting with this week. There is little doubt Josh Szott will be a man possessed and I predict he makes 12 tackles and has a Pick-6 (no pressure big man). In the end, I do see the Mounties end up the victor in this one. PICK: Montclair 39-21

St. Anthony (4-1) @ Morris Catholic (1-4)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Most people think that St. Anthony (Jersey City) is just a basketball mecca but so far, on the gridiron, the Friars are looking sharp as they are on a 3-game winning streak. Look for that to go to four against MC. PICK: SA: 28-10
Brian Daniel: Morris Catholic got shut out last week, and they will have another rough game against St. Anthony this week, but look for them to find the endzone a couple of times. PICK: St. Anthony 42-22
George Muha: Morris Catholic has their playoff backs against the wall and will have to win the next three if they have any hope of making it to the dance. I predict they’ll step it up and I see DT Zach Sieb wreaking havoc in the Friar’s backfield. But I don’t know if I see the Crusaders being the victor here. PICK: St Anthony 40-28

Sussex Tech (4-1) @ Keansburg (0-5)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: My Fighting Mustangs suffered their first loss of the season!! No worries, the guys bounce back and get their fifth win of the season against Keansburg. PICK: Tech 35-10
Brian Daniel: I’m not sure what happened to the Techhies last week but they will rebound against an overmatched Keansburg squad this week. Richie Hoffman will get 15 tackles and force a fumble in this one. PICK: ST 28-7
George Muha: Keansburg has been struggling so far this year and will be looking to deliver their home fans their first W of the season. But I predict they will be left in utter disbelief when Kevin Utter accounts for 100 yards of offense and will be in on 10 tackles on D. PICK: Sussex Tech 32-10

Morristown-Beard (2-3) @ Hackley, NY (4-0)

Dan Exter from Layups 4 Life: Tough draw here for the Crimson as they take the road against undefeated Hackley. I think the home teams comes out with the ‘W’ in this one. PICK: Hackley 21-7
Brian Daniel: I don’t know anything about Hackley besides they are 4-0. I’ll be rooting for the Beard, but it’s going to be tough for them to win this one. PICK: Random NY Team 28-10
George Muha: With the Tahj-manian Devil out with injury, I see a lot of a Kelly-to-Cipriano aerial assault being part of the game plan for MoBeard. Look for Russo to bang some heads on D. I don’t think the Beards will come away victorious but New York will certainly know that New Jersey means business. PICK: Hacks 30-24

How We Did Last Week

Dan: 17-7 (70.83%)
Brian: 20-4 (83.33%)
George: 18-6 (75.00%)

Who We Are Doing So Far This Season

Dan: 81-32 (71.68%)
Brian: 77-36 (68.14%)
George: 78-35 (69.02%)

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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