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Thursday Night Lights

Morristown-Beard (0-0) @ Newark Academy (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  The Beards start their season on the road, but they won’t let that stop them. Look for Will “Doctor” Watson to record a couple of sacks and pave the way with his fellow O-Lineman for Nate “Tony” Panza to rush for a buck fifty and two scores in a nice win. PICK: Beards 26-20
George Muha: Will Watson makes a name for himself by picking up a sack and five tackles to help the Beards start the season 1-0. PICK: Crimson 30-25

Friday Night Lights

Roxbury (0-0) @ Pascack Valley (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  Last season was rough for the Gaels but that was last season. It’s a new year, and they are playing with a chip on their shoulder. While they may be down in the Valley to start things off, that isn’t going to stop them from winning. Look for the ‘Bury’s QB Lucas Spitzer to connect with Tyler Keyes for a couple of scores in this one. PICK: Gaels 21-14
George Muha: Strong armed QB Lucas Spitzer will throw for 200+ yards in his debut for the Gaels. I have a good feeling about this kid!  PICK: Roxbury 32-24

Randolph (0-0) @ Livingston (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  Randolph was playing like its’ namesake in the NFL through most of the season last year. I doubt they skip much of a beat going into this season. How big is this Townsend kid? And how fast? Crazy! He’s going to be tough to stop this season. He will score three TDs in the opener as the Rams cruise. PICK: Rams 32-14
George Muha: Look for big Justin Townsend to rumble for over a 100-yards and two scores as Randolph wins the first of many games this season.  Also, make sure you start Rams receiver Jimbo Pepe on your fantasy team because he’s going to rack up some fantasy points as well.  PICK: Rams 34-20

Ridgefield Park (0-0) @ Whippany Park (0-0)
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Brian Kenney:  Whippany Park is a young squad, and every week they will improve. The few seniors that are starting are battle-tested and hardened vets, and they are imparting a lot of wisdom on the youngsters that will be taking the field on Friday nights this year. Look for QB Hunter Morganroth to throw for a score and run for another for Whippany, but in the end Ridgefield wins the battle of the Parks. PICK: Ridgefield Park 24-20
George Muha: It’s going to be the John Brulato Show at the Whip on Friday night. Expect a shootout with Brulato scoring a late go-ahead TD. PICK: Wildcats 28-26

Paramus (0-0) @ Parsippany Hills (0-0)
Brian Kenney: Paramus doesn’t mess around, and there is no question that Kyle Jacob is going to get his, running for over 100 yards and two scores. But I’ll still take Par Hills at home. First of all, this QB JD Breslauer has been at the helm for so long I had a full head of hair when he started slinging passes for the Vikings. The kid is as experienced as they come. And his receiving corps is unreal, Wilson, Comerford, Sallie, it’s crazy. He’ll throw a few TDs in this one and Ty Sallie will get a pick-6 on defense. PICK: The Hills 40-35
George Muha: I feel like we are about to throw a match on a massive pile of dry wood. Par Hills is chomping at the bit to launch their weapons. Expect to see multiple TDs from Wilson, Comerford and Verducci, and Breslauer to throw for close to 300-yards. PICK: Vikes 45-21

Wallkill Valley (0-0) @ North Warren (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  The Valley had a great season last year and have a couple of great seniors coming back to keep things going. QB Alex Mastorianni will throw for a score and run for another while LB Cole Weekley will rack up a baker’s dozen worth of tackles and force a turnover for the Valley. North Warren’s Danny Palmer will score a TD as the teams battle until the end. PICK: The Valley 28-23
George Muha: North Warren is a feisty bunch that will catch Wallkill on their heels at first. But expect Mastro and Nugent to settle in for a Ranger 1-0 start to the season. PICK: Wallkill 35-14

Weequahic (0-0) @ Morris Catholic (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  Morris Catholic fought hard all last year, and this year they will continue the fight and their record will show it. Being at home is a big advantage in week one, and having a QB like Jeff “Chappy” Chaplin doesn’t hurt either. He will hook up with Ryan McAndrew and Kiar Barnes for a couple of scores in a close win. PICK: MC 21-20
George Muha: Morris Catholic has their first test at home. While Crusader’s TE Matt Luttenberger cannot be contained, the Indian’s skill guys will be too much for the Crusaders. PICK: Weequahic 42-35

Sparta (0-0) @ Ramapo (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  Ramapo is always tough and at home. But come on, this is Sparta we are talking about! Look for Sparta’s Austin Castorina to run for another 1600 plus yards this year, and he will start out the season with 200 and a couple of scores in this one. PICK: Sparta 30-27
George Muha: Ramapo owned Morris-Sussex in the regular season and playoffs the last year. Look for Austin Castorina and TJ Hurley to avenge the last bunch of losses our area has endured at the hands of the Raiders. PICK: Spartans 35-34

New Dorp, NY (0-0) @ West Morris (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  New Dorp? It’s an unfortunate name for what I’m sure is a great school and bunch of kids. West Morris is looking to have a record well above .500 this year and Jack DiPietro and the offensive line will get that goal in the right direction when Jackie DiP runs for a buck ninety and three scores in the first win of the season for Wolfpack. PICK: West Morris 34-28
George Muha: Jack DiPietro, Mark Ward and Ryan Schilling have been waiting for this year their entire lives. Look for them to set the tone for the rest of the season with a convincing win. PICK: Wolves 42-10

Hopatcong (0-0) @ Dover (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  I feel like every team has those helmet protector things on their helmets these days. I remember when just Delbarton had them around here. It’s interesting. That observation has nothing to do with anything by the way. The Cong’s Roger “Walter” White is going to light up the Tigers on defense, accounting for 15 tackles, a sack, and an interception in this one. Dover will get a couple of scores from running backs Daniel Barker and Chris Aguirre. PICK: The ‘Cong 42-20.
George Muha: There is a ton of great energy coming out of Dover Nation and you have to be excited about new coach Justin Hartman. While they are going to have plenty of successes this season, Roger White and the Chief’s will come away with the dub in this one. PICK: Hopatcong 24-18

Hanover Park (0-0) @ Mountain Lakes (0-0)
Brian Kenney: Mountain Lakes is going to be a beast again this year. They are playing with legendary coach Doug Wilkins in mind, who passed away in June. Their hometown fans, from the grandma in the stands to even one of the water-boys’ Charles Conforti, are all maniacs. Look for the HERD’s D-line of Tsilikos, Raser, Roon and Ambrosani to cause the Hornets’ offense problems all game. That being said, I think the Hornets are going to pull this one out. TE Kyle Junda is a beast will catch at least one TD and running back Ethan Gale will account for two more scores while running for at least 120 yards. Look for John Borrello and Justin Tuli to get in on the action with several catches for decent yardage between them. All this being said, the Hornets defense will need to come up with a stop late in the game to pull it out. PICK: HP 35-33
George Muha: Mountain Lakes is going to need to heavily over compensate for Hanover Park’s dynamic QB Matt Tuli. The 6-2, 215-pound QB can pick apart any defense through the air. But the HERD cannot allow him to roam free because if he gets into the open field, he is requires 4-5 guys to tackle him. I am not sure how you do contain him, perhaps have one or two spies always focused on him? PICK: Hornets 34-21

Lenape Valley (0-0) @ Newton (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  Newton is young, but confident. There is no question they are playing with a heavy heart for their lost classmate Lexi Faye, but don’t let their compassion fool anybody for weakness. These Braves are as tough as they come. The Valley is going to have their hands full but will fight until the end. Look for Jake Spada to tackle a ton of Braves for the Valley, but in the end Peyton Nolan and Aaron Fantasia will combine for 300 yards rushing and 3 scores as Newton pulls it out. PICK: Newton 28-18
George Muha: Last year this game was a nightmare for Lenape Valley. Not only did they lose in overtime but they also sustained a few season ending injuries to a bunch of their players. But now, everyone is healthy and the Big Red Train is looking to avenge their 2019 contest. PICK: Pats 24-21

Jefferson (0-0) @ Hackettstown (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  My one buddy is a J-Town alumni and proudly told me “there is only one FALCONS team” when he heard the kids in the Florham Park/East Hanover are called the Falcons. You can take people out of Jefferson, but you can’t take the Jefferson out of the people. And people from Jefferson, they travel well. Mike Gould will run for a buck thirty and two scores while accounting for over 18 tackles for the Falcons in this one. That being said, Hackettstown is no slouch at home, and Logan Burke will be all over the field on defense, causing at least one turnover. This one can go either way. PICK: Jefferson 21-14
George Muha: Jefferson got nailed by the injury plague last year and are looking to rebound in a big way. QB Bam Johnson will throw for over 200-yards in a barn burner. PICK: Falcons 45-42

Kinnelon (0-0) @ Parsippany (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  The Colts will explode out of the gate in this one, scoring on their first three possessions with QB Reilly Nelson and Trey McDonald connecting at least twice. But Parsippany will right the ship in the second half, and Nana Agyemang will pretty much do what he does, scoring touchdowns and stopping them for the Redhawks. Joe Stull will add a pick-6 when he jumps a wide receiver screen. PICK: Redhawks 32-28
George Muha: This is going to be a great match as both teams are coming in with a ton of varsity experience. Anthony Rillo and Jared Hurta will combine for 12 tackles and 3 sacks to make a statement in front of their home crowd. PICK: RedBirds 35-29

Kittatinny (0-0) @ Vernon (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  The Cougars have one of the best players in the league in Jacob Mafaro, and man did he miss football. He’s going to be like my 5 year old on Christmas morning this Friday. 15 tackles, running for 3 touchdowns, who knows what that lunatic (I mean this in a good way) is going to do, but it will be impressive. The Vikings aren’t going to roll over though, and look for Joe Carosella and Jon Parisi to combine for 20 plus tackles in tough battle. PICK: Kitts 24-13
George Muha: Bring out the popcorn for this one as the Jacob Mafaro Tour starts it’s final leg. Expect the 6-3, 225-pound Kittatinny runningback to rush for over 150-yards and 3 TDs. PICK: Cougars 40-21

Mendham (0-0) @ Montville (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  The Mustangs are led on offense by QB Mike Burke – this kid threw for over 2000 yards and ran for another grand. He accounted for more TDs on the ground than in the air. Mendham is going to have their hands full on the road, but will hang in there thanks to their defense. Tommy Diegnan and Rob Smith will account for a bunch of tackles and a turnover or two, but the ‘Stangs will win their home opener. PICK: Montville 27-24
George Muha: Montville QB Mike Burke its at the top of the list for most Fantasy Draft cheat sheets for a reason. He’s an offensive threat in every category (rushing yards, rushing TDs, passing yards, passing TDs, etc.). Mendham defender Rob Smith won’t allow Burke to break any long gains but Burke will chip away until he gets the dub. PICK: Mustangs 35-23

Clifton (0-0) @ Mount Olive (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  Mount Olive has the advantage at home, but they need to figure out a way to stop Clifton running back Christian Boneparte, or else he is going to light them up for a few scores on the ground. That being said, Mount Olive’s O-line is spearheaded by Essex DeBerry, who is a straight up beast. Look for DeBerry to grab a couple of sacks on defense, while QB Justin Lockwood runs for and throws a TD in the home opener. PICK: Mt. Olive 27-20
George Muha: Expect the Marauders to come out guns-a-blazing with confidence behind their big line led by super stud Essex DeBerry. This will also be the coming out party for junior QB Justin Lockwood who has been all the rage in camp. PICK: MO 35-30

Butler (0-0) @ Pequannock (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  Can anyone stop this Giovanni Cancro kid? He is a giant! He will be working both sides of the ball and allow Nick Brizek to break free for at least a score or two for the ‘Quan. That being said, I’m not sure the Bulldogs’ high-powered offense can be stopped. Look for Evan “Dando” Smith to throw for two scores and run for another. PICK: Butler 42-28
George Muha: You have to love the Quan behind beefy lineman Giavanni Cancro. While Butler will struggle to have an answer for him on both sides of the ball, Bulldog QB Evan Smith is too hungry for another crack at a Bowl Game to not coming away with a Week 1 dub. PICK: Butler 35-21

Saturday Afternoon Delights

Chatham (0-0) @ Morris Hills (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  Chatham played tough all last year, and will continue to battle this year as well. Seniors QB Ryan Coughlin and Peter Schelling are leaders, and it shows. But Morris Hills is at home, and Jeremy Busel is tough to stop, especially when he is catching passes out in the flat. Look for a battle until the last few seconds. PICK: Hills 20-19
George Muha: While I do believe Chatham will have a successful season this year, I just do not see how they will be able to stop the Knight’s 6, 250-pound fullback Jeremy Busel. Expect the big man to have 80-yards rushing and a TD to give his home crowd a 1-0 start. PICK: MoHills 24-10

Delbarton (0-0) @ Landon School, MD (0-1)
Brian Kenney:  Delby’s junior QB Cole Freeman arrived last season, throwing for over 1600 yards and 13 scores, while completing 63 percent of his passes. Look for those numbers to improve vastly this year, as the offense is going to explode this year while he is at the helm. I don’t know much about Landon, but they are about to get washed over by a green wave. PICK: Delby 49-21
George Muha: I predict in about two weeks everyone in North Jersey is going to be talking about Delby QB Cole Freeman. This guy looks like a veteran college quarterback and has a competitive edge that won’t allow him to leave Maryland without a dub. PICK: Delby 32-24

Marist (0-0) @ Sussex Tech (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  I don’t know much about Marist except for the fact that my buddy Peter Foy went to Marist College. The Techies though, had a great season last year and look to improve on that. Brandon Hall is looking to have a heck of a senior year for ST and he will run for over 100 yards and 3 touchdowns in the home opener. His fellow senior Bo Maroney will have a pick-6 to put the game out of reach. PICK: Tech 34-22
George Muha: Sussex Tech might just be the funnest team to root for in Morris-Sussex. They have a ton of cast of characters like Maroney, Hall and Marshall and they have an edge to them after getting denied a playoff bid despite going 7-3 last season. Look for them to come out of the gates a blazing! PICK: Mustangs 44-21

High Point (0-0) @ Passaic Valley (0-0)
Brian Kenney:  Passaic Valley is tough to beat on the road, much less at home. High Point is going to have their hands full in this one. Senior Travis Tallamy will run for over a hundge with a score or two, but in the end, Jake Williams is going to have himself a game for the Valley, scoring three times while rushing for over one hundred and sixty yards. PICK: Valley 28-21
George Muha: High Point never gets the love they deserve. They quietly rack up the wins and make it to the playoffs every year. It’s a matter of time before coach Jim Delaney gets that elusive ring. Who knows, maybe it will be this season. I think they start off the season in that direction. PICK: Wildcats 32-28

Paramus Catholic (1-0) @ Pope John (0-1)
Brian Kenney:  Make no mistake, Paramus Catholic is the real deal. They always are, for the most part. But Pope John revels in their nearly impossible schedule every year. After playing a great DePaul team last week, Pope John has made some defensive adjustments and will be ready to rock. Look for QB Peter Delaportas to connect with standout receiver Jarrelle Robinson at least 8-9 times in this game in Coach Matsakis’ high-powered offense. Mike DeNucci will be a maniac on defense, accounting for 15 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. PICK: Pope John 35-28
George Muha: Pope John is going to settle in with new offensive coordinator Jim Matsakis’ high flying offense in this game. PC will win but the Johnnies will make it close. PICK: PC 34-29

How We Predicted them in 2018

Brian 162-57 (73.97%)
George 153-66 (69.86%)

About the Predictors

Brian Kenney is a Hanover Park alumni who really has nothing to do with high school sports. But he’s George Muha’s oldest friend and while he’s a better lawyer than high school football predictor, George gets a kick out of his comments and nicknames. Have an opinion about Brian’s picks? Tell him what you think via his Twitter handle: @bdk29

George Muha is a Hanover Park alumni who has been covering high school football for nine years. George is the founder of MSS and is also on the board of the Greater Morris Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

George Muha is a Hanover Park alumni who has been covering high school football for ten years. George is the founder of MSS and proud board member of the Greater Morris Chapter of the National Football Foundation. Have an opinion about George’s picks? Tell him what you think via his twitter handle: @MorrSussSports

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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