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Friday Night Lights

Madison (1-1) vs West Essex (2-1)
Ryan Sudol: West Essex is often a thorn in the side of their Morris-Sussex opponents, and the trend will continue here. Madison had a great showing against Hackettstown with RB Austin Schmitz’s 3 rushing TDs, and I see him having a similar outing against the Knights. However, West Essex’s 3-headed monster rushing attack of Farro, Bell, and Cataldo will be too much for the Dodger D to handle. PICK: West Essex 33-24
Brian Kenney: West Essex is tough at home, and between Bell and Cataldo rushing the ball for the Knights Madison is going to have their hands full. Looks for Adam Schmitz to rush for a buck ten and two scores but in the end West Essex is too much. PICK: WE 24-19
George Muha: West Essex has had it’s way with Morris-Sussex teams the last few years. They’ve especially have given Par Hills and Hanover Park a rough go. But there is something about this Madison team that I think they can avenge their Morris-Sussex constituents. I predict Austin Schmitz will rush for over 100-yards in a typical Chris Kubik-esk kind of ground control kind of win. PICK: Dodgers 21-14

Kinnelon (1-2) vs Pascack Hills (2-1)
Ryan Sudol: Kinnelon nearly pulled off yet another upset this young season after losing to Wallkill on a last-second FG last week. I got a feeling this is going to light a fire under the Colts’ hooves and will send the Cowboys back to the ranch packing. RB Nick Matthew and will rush for 2 scores and QB Duffy will toss 2 in this one. PICK: Kinnelon 28-14
Brian Kenney: Kinnelon is going to have to find a way to stop Eric Guillemain, who can run and pass all over the field for the Hills. Kinnelon’s Nick Matthew will be looking to build off his great game last week and will score twice on the ground and record a bunch of tackles as Kinnelon falls just short in this one. PICK: Hills 27-24
George Muha: I am LOVING what Kinnelon is doing this year! They clearly have put the work in the off-season and it’s paying off on the field. Don’t pay attention to their record because they are two plays away from being 3-0. Look for Nick Matthew rush for close to 200-yards on his way to getting his Colts the dub. PICK: Kinnelon 40-10

Kittatinny (2-1) vs North Warren (1-2)
Ryan Sudol: Kittatinny rebounded in a big way last week vs. Hopatcong after losing to Wallkill, and this week should be more of the same. The defending N1G2 champs will have an easy way with the Patriots, whose only win is over a struggling Dover team. The Mafaro Bros. Band should have a lot of fun running all over the field Friday night. PICK: Kittatinny 38-13
Brian Kenney: The Kits dominated last week and will look to continue their win streak this week. Look for the Mafaro brothers to find the endzone at least once each in this one as the Kits roll. PICK: Kits 34-13
George Muha: Look for Kittatinny QB Luke “Doug” Williams to put a few in the endzone through the air as sophomore Brycen Mafaro rushes for another one in the dub. PICK: Cougars 40-19

Lenape Valley (3-0) vs Hopatcong (1-2)
Ryan Sudol: I picked Lakeland to beat LV last week by a field goal. The Pats won that game by 23. For that, I would like to sincerely apologize to the nice folks of Stanhope. OK, now where was I? Oh yeah! I’m not sure which Lenape Valley RB is starting this week, but it’s not gonna matter. There is simply no stopping them. PICK: Lenape Valley 44-6
Brian Kenney: The ‘Cong is tough at home but will outmatched by the Valley this week. Look for Trey Kaplan to run for over 200 yards and 3 scores in this one, which is a TD short of how many he had last week against the Bankers. PICK: LV 39-20
George Muha: I’ve been waiting for Rocco Bonavolonta to make his senior debut all season but he’s been nursing an injury and I am hoping he comes back soon. If he comes back in this one, Hopatcong can expect a long evening. But the Pats have been holding their own without him up to this point so whether he’s back or not, expect LV to continue to roll. PICK: Pats 30-19

Hackettstown (0-3) vs Vernon (1-2)
Ryan Sudol: Here’s the sleeper pick for best game of the week! Yes, I know I got it totally wrong last week with Lakeland/LV, but hear me out! The Tigers are hungry for their first win of the season and the Vikes are looking to get back to .500, which they haven’t been since 2014. Also, both defenses have struggled so far so WHO WANTS SOME POINTS?! Therefore, I think that RBs Kuehner, Castro, and Burke will override QB Kowalski & Co. in a shootout and send the Tigers back to H-Town with a victory. Watch for a last minute drive to put them ahead! PICK: Hackettstown 35-33
Brian Kenney: Vernon is looking to even their record in front of the hometown fans this week, but I think this one could go either way. H-Town’s Kuehner will run for at least 100 yards and score in this one as H-Town gets on the board and wins against a tough Vernon squad. PICK: H-Town 20-14
George Muha: There is just something in the air in Vernon and I have a feeling they are going to be .500 after this game. Look for John Kowalski and the rest of his Madagascar Penguin teammates to dig deep for a home win in front of their home fans. PICK: Penguins, er Vikings, 28-21

Hanover Park (0-3) vs Parsippany Hills (1-2)
Ryan Sudol: QB Matt Tuli picked a BAD week to come back to the field. Par Hills is MAD. Losing to Roxbury in OT?? Sheesh. That’s not gonna get by Coach Albano and the boys. The Vikes will show up and show OUT against the Hornets and prove they belong and that last week’s game was just a fluke. This offense has been relatively subdued these last two weeks and have been begging to be let out of its cage, and this is a perfect chance to do so against a lackluster HP D. The Breslauer-Comerford connection will be back in full force; combining for 2 TDs in this one. PICK: Par Hills 37-17
Brian Kenney: Tough loss by HP last week in a game they almost had to win. While Christian Valvano is getting more comfortable in the starting role at QB (he ran for over 100 yards and threw for over 200, accounting for a score on the ground and two in the air, to Justin Tuli and Brett Behre) there is no question that senior Matt Tuli is missed. That being said, the defense will need to bend but not break against this high-powered Hills offense. Last week the Hornets showed flashes of fantastic defense, including Kyle Junda, Luka Zirpoli and Eddie Luzniak recording a ton of tackles (including the hardest hit of the game by Luzniak) and Mike Filippone nabbing two interceptions, but it wasn’t enough. Hills, coming off two straight losses, will be tough at home. Look for JD Breslauer to connect with Ty Sallie and Dennis Wilson in this one but I think the Hornets will pull it out with a defensive stop on the Hills’ last drive. PICK: HP 27-24
George Muha: Watching Hanover Park sophomore Mike Filippone get two INTs in last week’s Cedar Grove game gave me flashbacks of his dad Joe from 1990’s 11-0 state championship team…of which I was a sophomore on myself.  Seems like the football genes have gotten passed down, which bodes well for the future of my alma mater.  The Hornets are in a bit of a hole they need to dig out fast.  Getting a dub in this game is nearly critical.  However, I just don’t see Wilson, Comerford and Verducci losing this one after an OT loss to Roxbury last week.  PICK: Par Hills 44-21

High Point (1-2) vs Newton (1-2)
Ryan Sudol: Both of these squads picked up dominant first wins last week, but this one is going to be much closer. If you like knock-em-down and drag-’em-out football, this one’s for you! Both rushing attacks will be used immensely, but each D-line will be well prepared for that. However, I see High Point RB Travis Tallamy putting on a 100+ yard 2 TD performance against the Braves. I also think that High Point will handle RB Sibblies and dual-threat QB Young. All in all, ‘Cats get back to .500! PICK: High Point 17-10
Brian Kenney: Both of these teams had nice first wins of the season last week but who is going even up their record after this one? Tough call. Newton’s fans are top notch, and they will be going wild at home. That may give them the edge. Look for Jack Young and Julian Sibblies to combine for over 200 yards on the ground and a few scores to give the Braves the edge in a close one. PICK: Newton 27-21
George Muha: If you are a football fan, you have to watch this game. This pits two of Morris-Sussex’s best coaches against each other. Look for a well executed ball game, with good form tackling and textbook blocking. It’s going to be close by I am going to go with High Point who is going to win on a Statue of Liberty play that will catch Newton off guard. PICK: HP 33-32

Montville (3-0) vs Jefferson (3-0)
Ryan Sudol: Can you say “Game of the Week,” boys and girls? Battle of Unbeatens pitting an established contender from last year against a rising program in 2019. The atmosphere in the Falcons’ Nest is going to be ELECTRIC! However, I think the soaring Falcons are going to be brought back down to Earth by a hunter by the name of QB Mike Burke. He has been wreaking havoc everywhere he has set foot, and that will not change here. He’ll run and throw for a TD in this game, and maybe even get an INT on the other side of the ball. Jefferson will be the first team to score a point against the ‘Stangs, but the Montville D will keep the potent J-Town offense (led QB Anthony Johnson and RB Michael Gould) relatively quiet. PICK: Montville 28-17
Brian Kenney: Did somebody say game of the week?? Both of these squads have had a great start to the season. J-Town has the home field advantage (on creepy Weldon Road, mind you, I would be shocked if the Jersey Devil doesn’t live in those woods) and that could give them the edge here. But Montville is firing on all cylinders, and isn’t going to let up now. Look for Mike Burke to account for at least three scores and Zach Walch will run for almost 100 yards and a score as well to seal it on the road for the ‘Stangs. PICK: Montville 35-27
George Muha: Wow, this is a hard one to evaluate. I LOVE the way Bam Johnson has been thriving in this offense and Caleb Rippey might just have the coolest name in Morris-Sussex. But Montville’s defense hasn’t let up a point yet all season and QB Mike Burke is playing like he has a demon inside him. PICK: Mustang Sally’s 10-7

Pequannock (1-2) vs Mountain Lakes (3-0)
Ryan Sudol: Boy, I am LOVING the HERD this year! They are looking to go 4-0 for the first time since their unbeaten 2014 season, and they are primed to pull through with that. After Pequannock suffered a tough loss against Morris Catholic last Saturday, RB Wesley Dunn and crew are ready to pick up the scraps the Crusaders left behind. Expect another 100+ yard multi-score performance from him. PICK: Mountain Lakes 30-14
Brian Kenney: The Lakes are rolling through opponents, and beat the ‘Quan last year. I don’t see a different result happening this year. Herd senior Wesley Dunn will run for almost 200 yards and 2 scores in this one. PICK: Lakes 39-17
George Muha: What is this the mid-2000’s with the way Mountain Lakes is romping? Well, Coach Fusco and the HERD don’t seem like they are slowing down any time soon. PICK: HERD 30-12

Sparta (2-1) vs Mendham (0-3)
Ryan Sudol: QB Austen Frattura and RB Austin Castorina (a.k.a. “The Austin & Austen Show) will combine for 5 TDs in this game. PICK: Sparta 47-7
Brian Kenney: Sparta won a close one when I picked against them last week. Usually, I never pick against Sparta, and last week they showed me why. Mendham will put up a fight and played tough in a close game last week, but this week Sparta will roll. Look for Spartan Castrorina to run for over 150 yards and 2 scores in this one. PICK: Sparta 40-17
George Muha: How about Mendham sophomore QB Frankie “Frank the Tank” Contelli filling in for the injured Gage Armijo. He looks like the second coming of Ronnie ‘Sunshine’ Bass. He’s got the wavy blonde hair, the charming good looks and the arm to go with it. There’s a lot of good energy coming out of Mendham. Their student section (dubbed “The Mosh Pit”) is also stepping up to be one of the premier fan sections in all of Morris-Sussex. They are definitely in the running for All Morris Sussex Sports Fan Section of the Year. But I don’t want the Mendham faithful to get too excited because, and to cut to the chase, Sparta will win. Sparta DT JJ Valentin will record at least 5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and Austin Castorina will account for a minimum of 200-yards and three touchdowns. PICK: Spartans 44-10

West Morris (2-1) vs Randolph (3-0)
Ryan Sudol: If you want to see a great football game, just hop onto the Wolfpack’s tour bus. Last week they played an instant classic against Sparta and they are destined to have another one on the road against the Rams in one of the bigger games this week. Sorry though, Pack. I see a similar result coming. I see Jimmy Pepe being the entire offense for the Rams, picking up all three TDs they score. The Pack will hang tough with QB Joey Spano doing much of the work through the air, but I say this will come down to a missed 2-point conversion in the final minute to hand WMC another heartbreaker. PICK: Randolph 21-19
Brian Kenney: This is going to be a fantastic game but I think the Rams have the edge at home. These two teams battle each other every year and this year won’t be any different. Look for Ram QB Matt Klevan will throw for over 200 yards and 2 scores in this one. PICK: Rams 27-21
George Muha: If this game was being played in WMC, I would be picking the Wolfpack. And while I know they will deal Randolph body blows all game long, I do believe Randolph will edge them out off a big play by Pepe. PICK: Rams 33-30

Whippany Park (0-3) vs Boonton (2-1)
Ryan Sudol: BOMBERS! What happened?!! Verona beat you guys by WAY more than they should’ve last week. You guys gotta get back on track real quick! Don’t worry too much for right now, this game vs. WP will be a great tuneup for future opponents. Watch them spread the wealth with scoring in this game. I see 5 different Bombers finding the end zone. PICK: Boonton 47-7
Brian Kenney: Boonton’s defense needs to retool a little bit after letting up 50 points last week, but I think they will make the adjustments necessary to beat a scrappy Whippany Park squad at home. A special shout out to Michael Apicelli from the Park, who last week had 20 tackles. I love that stuff man! Kid tackled the world in a game where they were behind from the jump. PICK: Boots 27-13
George Muha: Whippany’s been struggling and it won’t get any easier as they visit the Boots. I call Coach Gallagher doesn’t call one pass play in an effort to keep the clock a rollin’. PICK: Boots 30-7

Saddle Brook (0-2) vs Butler (3-0)
Brian Kenney: Butler is just lighting teams up, and this week will be no different. Last year the Bulldogs barely won this matchup, but this year things are different. Look for Evan Smith to connect with Jason Polons for two scores while they are still on the field together. PICK: Butler 42-17
George Muha: I wish Butler was still playing other Morris-Sussex teams. But I do love how they are representing our area in their new conference. Yup, they’ll continue to roll this week. PICK: Butts 40-12

Saturday Afternoon Specials

Roxbury (1-2) vs Morris Hills (2-1)
Ryan Sudol: The Gaels picked up their biggest game in recent memory last week as they shocked Par Hills on the road in OT. Their defense also held the Vikings to 7 points that game, so they go into Morris Hills this Saturday with a lot of confidence. But Hills has RB Joe Dawson who went OFF with 257 rushing yards and 4 TD against Vernon last week. He will be held behind just a bit this time around by that Gael defense, but he and the rest of the Knights’ rushing attack’s efforts will be enough to eek out a win. PICK: Morris Hills 24-17
Brian Kenney: Roxbury is riding high after their upset win over Par Hills last week, and they will be tough to beat in the Saturday heat that is expected. Look for Charlie “T” Rex and Daunte White to record 30 tackles between them as the Hills’ defense keeps the ‘Bury in check in a barn burner. PICK: Hills 17-14
George Muha: How about Lucas Spitzer and the rest of the Gaels taking down the mighty Vikings last week?! This is going to be a total meat-and-potatoes type of game with two veteran coaches slugging it out all game long. I think it’s going to go down to one play. Look for Knights FB Jeremy “The Bus” Busel to be the guy with the ball in his hands in crunch time. PICK: MoHills 30-29

Parsippany (2-1) vs Wallkill Valley (3-0)
Ryan Sudol: Wallkill Valley barely escaped Kinnelon in an unexpected shootout last week and Parsippany picked up an upset win over Passaic Valley. What shall happen when these two teams face off? I say the Rangers remain undefeated. Redhawks QB James Riedinger will be a one-man wrecking crew out there like he was last week, but I think the Ranger D will get back on track this week and hold him just enough. Add on “The Master of the Universe” QB Alex Mastroianni’s ever-present influence on the offense, the Rangers will match their 4-0 start from last year. PICK: Wallkill Valley 27-17
Brian Kenney: Parsippany continues to impress and prove me wrong, which is fantastic. The Valley is on a roll to start the season off, and plays tough at home. Between Mastroianni and Mizeski running the ball for the Valley Parsippany is going to have their hands full, especially on the road. PICK: WV 24-20
George Muha: My favorite linebacker in Morris-Sussex is WV’s Ryan Nugent.  He’s the Ray Lewis of our area!  But I am telling you, Parsippany has the mojo to hang with anyone and I predict this will be their coming out party where they let everyone know what they are made of.  PICK:  Parsippany 35-30

Morris Catholic (2-1) vs Sussex Tech (3-0)
Ryan Sudol: These are two teams that never seem to get love from a lot of local media, but after this one they will have no choice. This is gonna be a barnburner! It’s going to be a battle of air against land with the Crusaders’ QB Jeff Chaplin facing off against Tech RBs Brendan Hall & Austin Durham. As for Chaplin, I see him throwing 3 TDs here. On the other hand, Catholic’s defense will have their hardest time so far this year, but I say they make one final stop in the final seconds to help the Crusaders escape with a win. PICK: Morris Catholic 28-27
Brian Kenney: Morris Catholic is playing lights out and putting points on the board, led by Jeff Chaplin at QB. He had another great game against the ‘Quan last week, throwing for over 200 yards and 4 TDs. But Sussex Tech is not be denied their fourth straight victory, and if it’s one thing Bo Knows, it’s scoring touchdowns. Maroney will have 3 for the Techhies in a close one. PICK: ST 33-28
George Muha: Man, there are a lot of great match-ups this week! This one is going to be a close one. While I do think the Crusaders will have to adjust their high flying offense to the slower grass playing surface, I predict they’ll get it figured out by the end of the game. Look for tight end Matt Luttenberger to carry five Mustangs into the endzone in an inspired late go-ahead touchdown. PICK: MC 28-24

Mount Olive (2-1) vs Morris Knolls (1-1)
Ryan Sudol: Both of these teams had tough losses last week and are in desperate need of a rebound. I feel that the Golden Eagles are going to pick up the victory and get back to their winning ways. I say that a couple rushing TDs by RBs Nick Parente & Dave Turner should do the trick. That being said, I believe MO is way better than what their record says. Their defense is MORE than solid and each time they’ve lost has been by one possession. I see that trend continuing here. PICK: Morris Knolls 17-10
Brian Kenney: Knolls got shut out last week, but will put up some points this week. That being said, it won’t be enough to be a Mount Olive squad that is trying to sort out who they are this season. Look for Jordan Leonard to throw for over 200 yards and 2 scores for the second straight week while AJ MaKay finds the endzone on one of the passes and another on a reverse. PICK: Mt. Olive 22-17
George Muha: Geez, I am blown away by all the great match-ups this week! If you go to this game, don’t even watch the ball. Focus in the trenches to linemen Essex Deberry of Mount Olive and Chris Tavarone of Morris Knolls. Both are soon-to-be college players and it is going to be cool to watch these heavy weights compete against each other. I’m going with the home team though. PICK: Knolls 24-21

Chatham (0-3) vs Morristown (1-1)
Ryan Sudol: Morristown is looking for their best start since 2015 here, and this week’s opponent is perfect for this occasion. Chatham is 0-3 and have lost all of their games in convincing fashion. On the other hand, Morristown had 400 yards of total offense against Mendham last week and QB Jackson Willette threw for 275 yards himself. The Colonials are going to continue feeding Willette’s hot hand and pick up their first home win of 2019. PICK: Morristown 40-23
Brian Kenney: Morristown exploded for 34 points last week, but the Cougars put some points on the board as well, thanks mostly to Peter Schelling, who ran for 95 yards and 2 scores and took a kick return back for a TD as well. I think Motown edges this one out in the final seconds though. PICK: Morristown 24-21
George Muha: Motown’s Jason Jones might just be the best receiver in Morris-Sussex and last week Chatham struggled against the pass. But I see the Cougars making some adjustments in the secondary and I expect Peter Schelling to continue to make big plays. PICK: Cougars 30-28

Dover (0-2) vs Snyder (0-3)
Ryan Sudol: First off, I can’t wait for the new Ivy division to debut next year so that the Tigers can finally get some Ws on their schedule! As for this week, I think that Dover is capable of pulling off the road upset! Snyder is on nearly the same plane as the Dover, but I believe it will be more of the same for the boys from TigerTown. Here’s to hoping RB Cris Vindel and company prove me and everyone else wrong! PICK: Snyder 24-10
Brian Kenney: Everyone has Dover on their minds after the terrible accident that occurred weeks ago. I think they will come together as a team as their school and community have and will win their first game of the season. Look for Chris Vindel to run for a buck ten a score for the Tigers. PICK: Dover 14-10
George Muha: I believe the Tigers are playing for a higher cause after losing classmate Steven Gomez-Restrepo. Our hearts go out to all of the Dover students and Steven’s family (on that note, please support the family’s GoFundMe Page to allow them to eliminate the financial burden and just focus on grieving). With that said, look for Coach Hartman to give a pregame speech that will have these players running through walls. PICK: Dover 30-0

DePaul (2-1) vs Delbarton (1-2)
Ryan Sudol: Man, oh man! The skill on both these teams is insurmountable! You got the superstar QB in Cole Freeman along with RB Gary Lewis for Delby, and an insane rushing attack and formidable passing game for #9 ranked DePaul. The Spartans were schallacked by national title contenders St. Joe’s (Mont.) last week and want to show why they still belong in the top 10. A win in a shootout against the talented Green Wave should make that point very clear. Watch for RBs Jordan Sellers, De’Mere White, and Sean Kelly to combine for 4 TDs in this big win. PICK: DePaul 40-28
Brian Kenney: DePaul is just a powerhouse and they are tough on the road, at home, at a neutral site, in space, wherever. The Green Wave will put a fight at home but it’s going to be a long afternoon. PICK DePaul 44-28
George Muha: DePaul is home to my favorite non-Morris-Sussex player Elijah Calautti. The kid is a heat-seeking missile on defense and their is virtually no stopping him. But I believe this Delbarton team is capable of beating DePaul for the first time in many years and I expect the Cole Freeman Show to be in full effect in front of his home crowd. PICK: Delby 35-30

Hopkins School CT (1-1) vs Morristown-Beard School (1-2)
Brian Kenney: I don’t know much about the team from CT except there is always traffic in CT. Rumor has it the bus left 3 days early just so they could get through the traffic and get to New Jersey by Saturday. But I digress, I think they will be so angry from the road trip they will be tough to beat. Look for Will “Sherlock and” Watson to record a couple of sacks and Major Jones to find the endzone in this one for the Beards. PICK: Beards 22-21
George Muha: Expect Major Jones and company to put up a valiant fight in this one! But Hopkins has been a thorn in the Beard’s side and I see that continuing! PICK: Hopkins 30-10

How We Picked Them Last Week

Ryan 15-8 (65.21%)
Brian 17-7 (70.83%)
George 17-7 (70.83%)

How We’ve Been Picking Them So Far

Ryan 15-8 (65.21%)
Brian 44-25 (63.76%)
George 49-20 (71.01%)

About the Predictors

Ryan Sudol is a veteran play-by-play broadcaster for Morris Sussex Sports and current broadcast student at William Paterson.  Have an opinion about Ryan’s picks? Tell him what you think via his Twitter handle:  @birdieguy13

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 13-years. George is a 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

Morris Sussex Sports is passionate about covering high school sports in Morris, Sussex and parts of Warren Counties. With every piece of content that we put out, we try to make you "laugh, cry and think", a la the great Jimmy Valvano. Connect with us on Twitter @MorrSussSports and Instagram @morrissussexsports

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