SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–The second week of the 2013 Greater Middlesex Conference football season gets underway on Friday night with 11 games. Â GMC Gridiron plans to be at the Red Division clash between Edison and Sayreville. Other key matchups include South Brunswick at Old Bridge in a Red Division Clash and Monroe at Woodbridge in Red vs. White crossover matchup. Â Below are our picks for Friday night’s contests.
Sayreville (1-1) @ Edison (1-0)â€“This is a bit of a surprise, but Edison was in top form against Piscataway on opening weekend. The Eagles led 34-14 late in the fourth quarter before Piscataway got a score and two point conversion to round out the final score. P-Way then turned around and defeated Old Bridge on the road after the Knights defeated Sayreville on opening weekend. The Bombers did recover with an easy win over East Brunswick last week. This will be a tough test for the Eagles, but they’re playing at home, and have a lot of experience and talent back this year including QB James Waldron, RB Aqeel Daniels, and WRs Kyle Boyer Tucker, Nick Wales, and Donnell Wright. Sayreville counters with QB Malik Pressley, and RBs Deon Miller and Myles Hartsfield. Parity in the GMC Red this year? Very likely: Edison, Old Bridge, Monroe, and even Stevens are much better. Â Prediction: Â Edison wins, 21-20.
South Brunswick (1-1) @ Old Bridge (1-1)â€“-Both teams fell in tough losses last week. The Vikings did on the road at Monroe against a much improved Falcon team while Old Bridge lost in a one point heartbreaker to Piscataway in a game that the Chiefs needed badly. The Knights have QB Nick LaVecchia and RB Marcus Hominy leading the attack while South Brunswick counters with the experienced backfield of RB Dontae Strickland and FB Dahrae Ford. Old Bridge lost twice to South Brunswick last season including a semifinal matchup in the CJ Group V playoffs with both games being close affairs. Â Expect another close thriller. Prediction: Â Â Old Bridge wins, 24-21.
Monroe (2-0) @ Woodbridge (2-0)â€“The Falcons are off to its best start since moving up to the GMC Red several years ago, and have proven that they can play with the big boys following its week two win at home over South Brunswick. Woodbridge started the season with identical 41-12 victories over rebuilding GMC White programs Perth Amboy and New Brunswick. QB Stephen Karoly, RB Akeer Franklin, and WR David Betancur led a methodical Monroe attack that is averaging 40.5 points per game through the first two weeks. Woobridge is led by QB Zahneer Shuler and WRs Matt Opoku, Griffin Thomas, and TEs Percy Martin-Ogunike and Ryan Alcott. Prediction: Â Monroe wins, 35-17.
South Plainfield (1-0) @ Carteret (1-1)â€“-The Tigers are coming off a bye after handily defeating New Brunswick in week one while Carteret rebounded last week with a 12-7 victory over Raritan of the Shore Conference. So far this season, the Ramblers are averaging just 13 points per game, and only edged a Raritan team that was shut out in its opener to Neptune (24-0), and has lost 13 straight dating back to the end of the 2011 season. South Plainfield has experience back in the backfield with QB Kyle Moroney and RB Roemello Monroe while it also has a very talented and athletic squad at the skilled positions. Carteret has defeated South Plainfield in 19 of 21 all time meetings with the Tigers only winning in 1986 and 2007. Â Prediction: Â South Plainfield wins, 18-13.
St. Joseph’s (2-0) @ J.F. Kennedy (1-1)–The Falcons are for real after defeating the two top teams in the White Division last year in Carteret on opening weekend (23-14), and Colonia (16-7) last week. St. Joseph’s played a very smart game, especially on special teams where they kicked the ball away from the likes of Elijah Williams of the Patriots last week. The Falcons also play great defense and have a solid running back in Matt Olivo, who ran for 211 yards and two TDs. Andrew Cunningham isn’t bad in the backfield either for Joes. Kennedy will counter with Anthony Roberts, who had a solid game against Colonia in week, and had the game winning score in overtime against Bishop Ahr last week. Â Prediction: Â St. Joseph’s wins, 20-7.
Piscataway (1-1) @ J.P. Stevens (1-0)–Stevens had a bye last week after defeating Marlboro in the season opener. Meanwhile, Piscataway came up with a much needed win when it defeated Old Bridge on the road in a one point, low scoring battle. The Chiefs have two talented freshman in QB Danny Haus and RB Elijah Barnwell while veterans Dajon Foat and Justin Strothers provide experience and leadership for the squad. The Hawks counter with multiple threat RB Chiekuba “Chewie” Chukwuneke. Stevens has had a history of playing tough at home in recent years. Chiefs will have to claw out another hard fought victory. Prediction: Â Piscataway wins, 24-19.
North Brunswick (0-2) @ East Brunswick (0-2)–Both of these teams are winless, and have struggled to put points on the board against some of the higher echelon teams in the GMC Red. North Brunswick has had two bright spots in Joe Manley and Dan Castellanos while EB has had good play from QB Keith Hemmings and RB Jonathan Gerhartz. The Bears are playing at home, and Bob Molarz will get his first win at EB. Prediction: Â East Brunswick wins, 21-12.
Perth Amboy (0-1) @ Bishop Ahr (0-2)–Both teams enter this game winless, but the Trojans have been much more competitive in their two losses with a 17-7 defeat at Matawan on opening weekend, and a 20-14 OT loss at home versus JFK last week. Â Meanwhile, the Panthers lost at home to Woodbridge (41-12), and are in the midst of rebuilding. David Holder leads BGA at QB while Nelson Thomas anchors the running game, and WRs Mike Viggiano, Robert Gee, and Tim Howard provide big play capability. Prediction: Â Bishop Ahr wins, 26-13.
New Brunswick (0-2) @ Colonia (1-1)–New Brunswick has opened the season by being outscored 88-31, but they have the ability to score. However, Colonia is coming off a tough defeat versus St. Joseph’s at home, and are looking to get the offense back in gear. Look for big games by QB Tenny Adewusi, RB Sam Pero, and WR Bryce Barneys. Elijah Williams also provides additional big play capability on special teams for the Pats. The Zebras have some bright spots in QBs Kristian Tejada and Trevon Blakley, RB Maurice Ffrench, and WR Samad Davila. Â Prediction: Â Colonia wins, 35-6.
Metuchen (0-2) @ Shore Regional (1-1)–Tough game for the Bulldogs on the road against a Shore Regional team that has dominated GMC teams in recent years. Metuchen will be looking to Stephen Walsh to carry the load at running back while Shore Regional will be looking to Brian Miller to lead the way on the ground after he gained over 100 yards in a win over Asbury Park last week. The Blue Devils have also rolled over GMC teams at home. Â Prediction: Â Shore Regional wins, 28-8.
Middlesex (0-2) @ Highland Park (0-2)–Both teams are young and inexperienced, but have some athleticism and talent. Middlesex looks to have more though as they have been much more competitive in their first two games. The Blue Jays came within a point of Holmdel on the road, and limited a high powered Spotswood team to just 20 points in their opener. The Owls have been outscored by an average margin of 42-10 in their first two games. Prediction: Â Middlesex wins, 27-12.
Note: Cardinal McCarrick’s Friday night game against Keyport has been forfeited by the Eagles due injuries and a shorthanded squad. GMC Gridiron travels to Drawl Field in Edison on Friday night to see the Eagles in action against perennial GMC Red powerhouse, Sayreville. Next week, we’ll be at Columbia Park in Dunellen to see the Destroyers play Keansburg.