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2020 Week 5 Football Predictions (Halloween Edition)

*Headline image is was captured by Pete Hagedoorn.  To view more of Pete’s stunning photos from this season, visit PH Photography.

The 2020 Morris Sussex Sports Football Predictions are sponsored by the Orthopedic Institute of NJ with locations in Newton, Sparta, Cedar Knolls, Morristown and Hackettstown.  If you get injured on the field, visit them for urgent care and see an orthopedic specialist with in minutes.  And they’ll see you after-hours up to 8pm on every week day and 8am to 12pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Thursday Night Nightmares

Dover (0-3) @ Indian Hills (0-4)

Brian Kenney: I mean, this isn’t really close to Halloween, so can we really consider it “Thursday Night Nightmares”? Speaking of nightmares, I think I have said this before but when I saw the “Blair Witch Project” (the original) when it came out I was freaked out. It was so scary. I watched it the other night (well, part of it) and meh.. not as scared. I think the real world is much scarier now. Anyway, I digress. I don’t know much about Indian Hills, but I’ll go with the Tigers.  Why not?  Daniel “Kujo” Barker runs for a buck ten and a score in this one for Dover. PICK: Tigers 13-6
George Muha: Did you know that Dover actually has a middle school football team? I love that and I know that will be why Dover will become a regular contender in the upcoming years. I know no one likes to lose, but these current players are paving the way for the kids that are coming up. I think a win will happen soon but I just don’t think it’s this week for the Tigers. Pick: Indians 21-14
Owen: Tigers 47-20

Friday Night Frights

Vernon (0-4) @ Morris Catholic (2-2)

Brian Kenney: I think Morris Catholic will win this one. Stanford “Devil” Davis will run for almost 100 yards while scoring twice, and “Double D” Dean Denobile will throw and run for scores as well. PICK: MC 27-12
George Muha: Zach Thomas is legit one of my favorite players in Morris-Sussex this year. Expect him to scare the Vikings back to the bus as they send them home with a loss. For you fantasy players, Walter Quick is a must start this week as he is projected to have 100-yards receiving and two TDs.  PICK: Crusaders 33-21
Owen: Vikings 42-30

Mountain Lakes (3-0) @ Hanover Park (1-1)

Brian Kenney: I know for a fact the Hornets are just happy to be out on the field again after a two-week Covid break. That being said, the missed games were pivotal to warm up for this one, against a Mountain Lakes team that is on fire. Last the Herd exposed Madison in a rout. Jack “Buzzsaw” Buzby went off in that one, rushing for a buck-fifty and three scores. He will do some damage this week as well, especially with the cold, wet weather. Nobody had momentum like the HP offense running into their break, with QB Christian Valvano accounting for almost 500 yards of offense and 6 TDs. Insane. He will have to keep up the pace, and with Sodano, Siciliano, Zirpoli and the rest of the line leading the way, he just might. Throw in another solid performance by Mikey Filippone (150 yards and 2 scores) I think HP can hang with the Herd offensively. The question will come down to which one of the defenses that will certainly bend but not break in this one. I think Paul “Coz” Cosentino will rack up another 15 tackles along with an interception in this one. Bearded Wonder Dan Gregory (kid looks like he is 25, and he may have been cast as a member of the Knight’s Watch in “Game of Thrones,” I’m not sure) will contribute another 10 tackles as well, as HP wins by a point. PICK: HP 28-27
George Muha: This is basically the Divisional Championship Game for these two teams. And whenever my Hornets (Class of ’93) get into a big game like this, I literally cannot help but to start trash talk the other team. But in the spirit of journalistic integrity, I will stay impartial. So if you happen to see a fat guy squeezed into a Christian Valvano Hanover Park away jersey sitting in the Mountain Lakes stands on Friday night giving Coach Fusco the death stare from the crowd all game long, just know that is not me trying to play mind games to help my Hornets win. It’ll definitely be a barn burner and as much as this pains me to say this, I think the Herd will win by one-point.  And by the way, for my old Hanover Park cronies, the over/under of this game is 100-points and I recommend taking the over.
PICK: ML 58-57
Owen: Hornets 26-13

Passaic Valley (3-1) @ Jefferson (2-1)

Brian Kenney: The Valley is tough, but I think the Falcons’ offense, while slowed down by the weather, is impressive this year. Eric “Gorger” Garv will throw and run for a score, while Michael “Count” Gould will break off over 100 yards and a couple of scores as well for Jefferson. Dylan “Punisher” Patscher will record a dozen tackles and force a fumble in this one for the Falcons. PICK: J-Town 33-20
George Muha: Jefferson’s coach Count Venturino will surely game plan for a dog fight against a very good Hornet team. And while I do anticipate Michael “The Ghoul” Gould to rush for 150-yards and two TDs, I predict PV to avenge last week’s loss to Sparta at J-Town’s expense. PICK: PV 35-30
Owen: Falcons 30-5

Chatham (0-3) @ Newton (2-0)

Brian Kenney: The Cougars will put up a fight, but Newton has been getting it done the past two weeks. I have two words – the Nolan brothers!!!! Combining for 28 tackles for the Braves, I can only imagine how much they practiced on one another growing up. I picture those “Office Linebacker” commercials. Anyway, they have me sold, look for them to tackle everyone and Jack “O’Lantern” Young will throw for a score and run for another one. PICK: Braves 20-0
George Muha: Just in case anyone was wondering, Newton’s coach Matt Parzero should be coaching some college team in the SEC. This guy is a an absolute wizard. I watched last week’s 10-7 win over an amazing Lenape Valley game literally five times. And yes, Fantasia, Young, the Nolan’s, etc all played exceptional football. But there were also all kinds of little things that stood out to me. Linemen where making insane blocks, defensive personnel where always in the right spots, little 140-pound kids were making form tackles on players twice their size. I know the Newton faithful think my predicting against them is good luck for them. But this team is just too good to pick against them again. PICK: Braves 34-19
Owen: Braves 30-27

Lenape Valley (3-1) @ High Point (1-2)

Brian Kenney: The Valley is ready to rock after dropping a close one the Newton last week. That does not bode well for the Wildcats. Trey “Killer” Kaplan will run for over 100 yards and two scores in this one. PICK: LV 27-8
George Muha: Considering both of these teams are Wing-T teams that love to grind it on the ground, expect this game to be over under an hour. And I predict it to be a barn burner too. I am going with the Pats but only by 1-point. PICK: LV 31-30
Owen: Wildcats 70-28

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

Brian Kenney: The Dodgers had a rough one last week, but the Panthers are on a three-game losing streak. I think this one will come down to the final seconds, but Madison will pull it out. Jack “O’Lantern” O’Hearen” will find the endzone at least once for Madison in a witch burner. PICK: Madison 17-14
George Muha: Madison was on the receiving end of a lopsided loss last week to Mt Lakes. I predict them to pay that favor forward this week in their game against the Panthers. PICK: Dodgers 40-19
Owen: Panthers 40-14

Montville (2-2) @ West Essex (1-0)

Brian Kenney: Montville is playing well this year and West Essex won out of the gate and then has had almost a month off (like many teams this year) because of Covid. There could be some rust, or the Knights could just come crazed like the War Boys or something. I think either way, the ‘Stangs will handle it, as Blaine Franc will generate a couple scores on offense and John “Warlock” Walsh will record ten tackles and have a pick six on defense. PICK: ‘Stangs 27-21
George Muha: I saw West Essex’s Chris Corbo play a few games last year against Par Hills and Sparta. That kid is a dude. While I do think the Stangs will play valiantly I think the Knight’s will be too tough to beat at home. PICK: Knights 30-26
Owen: Mustangs 22-18

Woodbridge (3-0) @ Parsippany Hills (4-0)

Brian Kenney: While Par Hills isn’t playing Morris Hills, they caught another game against undefeated Woodbridge instead. I guess they didn’t just want a week off or an easy W! Can Par-Hills come through with another big win? Not for nothing, but yes, I think they can. Jacob “Psycho” Smith had himself a day last week against River Dell, including a huge pick-six and a receiving touchdown. He will need to dial it up again, especially on defense, along with Jordan “Terrifying” Thompson, Aidan “Crazy” Caravello, James “Ghosty” Garcia and Andrew “I ran out of T Halloween Nicknames” Thomas, who combined for 40 tackles last week. It’s going to be a close one, but I think the Vikes will stay undefeated. PICK: Vikes 21-17
George Muha: I am going starting a petition right now to get Par Hills and Randolph to play each other this year. That would be an awesome matchup. And if any year that can happen, it’s in this Covid year where teams are able to schedule games with each other. Let’s go Viking Faithful, let’s make that a reality! Oh yeah, Ty Sallie will have two TDs in an easy home victory for the Hills.  PICK: Vikes 40-21
Owen: Vikings 44-29

Morristown (0-3) @ Roxbury (0-4)

Brian Kenney: The good news is somebody is coming out of this game with a W. Both teams need it. I think I have to give the advantage to Motown this year, even though the Gaels have won the last five years in a row. Look for Joel “Joker” Torres to run for a score and record a bunch of tackles as well, spurning the Colonials to victory. PICK: Motown 20-13
George Muha: I am going to name my next band “Jackson Willette & the Colonials”. On the album cover will be the Motown QB spiking the football in he endzone…something I expect him to do at least three times in this game. PICK: Motown 35-14
Owen: Gaels 29-6

West Milford (2-2) @ Sparta (2-1)

Brian Kenney: Austen Frattura was nearly perfect last week in a big win over Passaic Valley. Sammy “The Bull” Esposito ran for three scores in that one as well for the Spartans. While I think West Milford puts up a fight, I believe the Spartans will spook them in the second half and pull away. PICK: Sparta 24-10
George Muha: I LOVED how Austen Frattura bounced back this past weekend against a good Passiac Valley team. That’s what big time football players do!  I don’t expect Frattura to be losing any time soon, especially not this week. PICK: Sparta 38-10
Owen: Spartans 35-33

Mount Olive (4-0) @ West Morris (4-0)

Brian Kenney: The game of the week for sure. The weather, as I mentioned, could be scarier than Halloween itself this year, so that could hurt the offensive production and kicking games of both squads. That being said, I think this one will be won by the defense that steps up the most. Speaking of defense, both of them pitched shutouts last week. Mount Olive’s Hunter Perez and Cory Campbell will be all over the place on defense against this week, combining for 25 tackles and forcing a turnover. However, I think I give the advantage to West Morris here, mostly due to the fact they are home. Look for Collin Leonhardt to record two sacks and force a fumble in this one for the Pack, while the O-Line gets it done so Trevor Hillier can run for a score and throw another to Chris Bell. PICK: WMC 20-14
George Muha: With everyone focused on Randolph and Par Hills, these two teams have quietly have emerged as Morris-Sussex power houses. West Morris has a knack for shutting down their opponent’s strength. Look at two weeks ago when they crippled Sparta’s passing game. I expect Coach Hennelly to focus on halting MO’s run game, and forcing MO to try to beat them through the air. This will be one of the first games that Marauder QB Gavin Lockwood will be expected to take matters into his own hands without the help of his run game and I predict he will answer the call. Despite less than ideal weather conditions, I think the Marauders will eke by in the waning seconds. PICK: MO 35-34
Owen: Pack 24-17

Saturday Afternoon Horrors

Seton Hall Prep (1-3) @ Pope John (1-3)

Brian Kenney: I think the Lions will score more than 2 points this week. But how much are the Pirates going to score? Pope John will have to figure out a way to stop Jaden Craig (QB) and Myles Thomason (RB) and that is no easy feat. I think Tyler “Rabid” Ruscher and Sean “Hold The” Line will combine for 20 plus tackles for the Lions while their offense scores a decent amount of points, but I’m going with the Pirates in this one. PICK: SHP 31-28
George Muha: The Johnnies are due for a big win against a big opponent. Will it happen this game? Well the Ruscher Bros, Brennan and Delaportas will definitely make a game of it but I predict the Pirates will come out on top. PICK: SHP 30-18
Owen: Pirates 27-10

Boonton (4-0) @ North Warren (1-2)

Brian Kenney: I don’t know what’s scarier, Halloween or playing the Bombers. North Warren is going find out. I have to say this, Hunter “Steven” Van Zant went off last week, for almost 200 yards and 4 TDs. The Boots’ O-Line will pave the way again for another 150 yards and at least 2 scores. Jonathan Lockette and Donte “Bloody” Brooks will lead the way on defense, recording a combined 30 tackles with a couple of sacks. PICK: Boots 34-19
George Muha: How about North Warren playing their guts out last week against Wallkill. I loved seeing the fight in them! I expect to see that fight continue against the Bombers. But openly, nobody has an answer for Hunter “Little Steven” Van Zant so I expect him to rush for four touchdowns for the forth week in a row. PICK: Bombers 42-24
Owen: Bombers 24-12

Hudson Catholic (2-2) @ Delbarton (4-0)

Brian Kenney: The Green Wave continues to roll, and the Hawks won’t be able to stop it, especially on the road. Cole “Freak” Freeman was fantastic last week, and will continue to impress this week, throwing for over 200 yards and 3 scores, while the Delby defense will swarm around like a bunch of zombies at a neighborhood barbeque. PICK: Delby 41-10
George Muha: Delbarton is literally the Greatest Show on Turf this year! And while Hudson Catholic definitely has the ability to score points, the Cole Freeman-to-Dylan Hakes connection will be too much to handle for the Hawks. PICK: Green Wave 40-14
Owen: Hawks 38-21

Hopatcong (2-2) @ Sussex Tech (0-3)

Brian Kenney: The Techies are in a rebuilding year, and the ‘Cong is going to be tough to handle. Mike “Monster” Mostroeni will run for over 140 yards and 2 scores while the ‘Cong’s defense only allows one score in this one. PICK: ‘Cong 27-7
George Muha: I don’t like to say “I told you so” but I did predict this Hopatcong team was going to win a bunch of games this season. Don’t expect A-Rod and the Mastroeni cousins to slow down their winning ways. PICK: DaCong 34-20
Owen: Techies 38-7

Randolph (3-0) @ Morris Knolls (2-2)

Brian Kenney: Knolls is beating the teams it should, but having problems with the teams that are just a little better than them. The Rams will be kind of a nightmare for the Golden Eagles, as their ground game will accumulate 200 plus yards on the day with a few scores between Townsend, Pepe and the QB Koenigsberg. Connor McDermott will record over 10 tackles and force a fumble for the Rams as well. PICK: Rams 39-20
George Muha: I’d love to see at some point Randolph and Par Hills battle it out this season. Perhaps with these extra games at the end of the year Coach Nahan and Coach Albano can make that happen…unless they are too scared to play each other. I know I am causing trouble…but that’s the game we all want to see. Oh, about this game. Justin Townsend rushes for two, throws a halfback pass for a TD, has two sacks and intercepts a pass (no pressure bro) in a convincing dub. PICK: Randolph 45-21
Owen: Golden Eagles 42-18

Pingry (1-2) @ Morristown-Beard (2-0)

Brian Kenney: MoBeard wants a bunch of “treats” on Halloween, and they include: 4-5 sacks, long TD runs by Major Jones, a bunch of big plays by the Marinello family, etc. This one isn’t that close. PICK: MB 49-13
George Muha: Major Jones is going to be a major problem for Pingry.  I predict a convincing win by the Beards.  PICK:  Crimson 30-20
Owen: Pingry 40-27

Whippany Park (1-3) @ Wallkill Valley (3-1)

Brian Kenney: The Valley is off to a good start, and the Park is going to have their hands full, much like when Monarch tried to control all those monsters in “Godzilla, King of the Monsters”. For the record, Godzilla is the best and if they ever make another movie where he battles King Kong there is no way King Kong would beat him. It’s ridiculous. Godzilla can shoot nuclear beams out of his mouth! It would be over before it started. Anyway, the Rangers will win with Shane “Nightmare” Nugent running for a score and then tackling everyone on defense while forcing at least one turnover. PICK: WV 27-13
George Muha: Some moms just seem to produce good football players and Mrs Nugent of Wallkill Valley is one of those ladies. First it was Sean who was a nightmare for opposing teams. Now that he’s playing in college, younger brother and sophomore Shane is following right along in his footsteps. I don’t know if Shane can better his 13-tackle, 90-yard rushing and 1 touchdown performance this week but knowing that family, you know he’s going to try. PICK: WV 30-20
Owen: Wildcats 47-11

Mendham (1-3) @ Immaculata (0-2)

Brian Kenney: Mendham gave Morris Hills a scare last week, and I think they will win big over Immaculata on Halloween. I feel like there are more ghosts in Mendham with all those old houses and the woods, too bad the game isn’t there on Saturday. Look for Sean “Boo” Bierals to score twice in this one, as Declan McDevitt finds the endzone on a slant inside the 5 yard line as well. PICK: Mendham 27-17
George Muha: I’d like to see Mendham do the wildcat offense with direct snaps to 6-4, 230-pound TE Declan McKevitt. I know it’d be a little bit backyard football-ish and I guess that’s why I am not a coach. All I know is when McKevitt’s in the open field, NOBODY is tackling that human man. PICK: Minutemen 21-20
Owen: Spartans 35-12

Monday Night Terrors

JFK Iselin (0-2) @ Par High (1-3)

Brian Kenney: I don’t know much about JFK, but I know the Redhawks are ready to head towards a .500 record. Nick Sherry will have a bunch of tackles for Parsippany as their defense plays outstanding as a whole in this one. PICK: Parsippany 17-0
George Muha: Okay, let me get you caught up on the story line. JFK Iselin is coached by Tarig Holman. Yes, the same Tarig Holman that was an All American track athlete and football player at Iowa from good ole Randolph, NJ. This is the same Tarig Holman who picked off Tom Brady in a single game in college (true fact) and went on to play in the NFL. Last year Holman was the head coach at Neptune. And yes, that’s the same Neptune team that new Par High coach Derrick Eatman was an assistant for. And as luck would have it, they face each other the very year after they were wearing the same colors. And as much as we love Holman for all that he did for our area as a player and coach, Coach Eatman is now our boy. So sorry Tarig, we are doubling down on our Coach E and the Angry Birds of Par High. PICK: Birds 35-28
Owen: Mustangs 27-24

How We Picked Them Last Week

Brian Kenney 14-5 (73.68)
George Muha 15-4 (78.94%)
Owen 13-6 (68.42%)

How We’ve Been Predicting So Far

Brian Kenney 61-19 (76.25%)
George Muha 59-21 (73.75%)
Owen 37-20 (64.91%)

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 14-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

Owen is 6-year old sports nut who calls it like he sees it.  He loves his mom, goes to bed at 7pm and believes Saturday’s and Sunday’s are for wearing eye-black (even when it’s not football season). Have an opinion about Owen’s picks? You best keep that to yourself because you don’t want this guy knocking on your door.

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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