A Win Away From Playing For A Championship
Heading into the first weekend of November and it’s a big one for a dozen Shore Conference football teams while some have already finished their seasons. The NJSIAA Public School Playoffs have reached the sectional semifinal round and tonight’s featured contests find Toms River North hosting Freehold Township and Long Branch visiting Brick Memorial. These two games assure us of having local teams in a sectional final next weekend with the North Mariners looking to defend the overall Group 5 championship they won in 2022 during an unforgettable undefeated season. Despite two losses North is extremely dangerous especially if Micah Ford is healthy.
Brick Memorial is one of two teams at the shore and 16 in the state that heads into the weekend undefeated. The 10-0 Mustangs are led by record-setting quarterback Connor Dietz and an offense that averages nearly 38 points a game. On paper they would appear to be a decided favorite over a Long Branch team that is just 5-4 but the Green Wave has the ability to turn in a big effort and Memorial can’t get caught looking ahead as they seek a Central Group 4 crown.
Also tonight Point Boro will host Cinnaminson looking to earn a trip to the Central Jersey Group 2 finals. The 9-1 Panthers feature a senior class that has gone 27-4 over the last three seasons and desperately wants to add championships to their resume.
Other Shore Conference teams in playoff action tonight include Holmdel, Shore, Rumson-Fair Haven, Manasquan, Colts Neck and Marlboro. Donovan Catholic hosts Paramus Catholic Saturday night in the Non-Public playoffs while the shore’s top team, Red Bank Catholic, has a bye.
The somewhat new playoff schedule leaves teams like Jackson Memorial, Toms River South, Southern, Manalapan and Howell done for the season weeks before Thanksgiving.
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Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5