High-SchoolNew-Jersey: Ridgewood

NJ Week 6 hoops rankings: Paterson Eastside enters top 10

January, 31, 2012
After games on Sunday, Jan. 29

After a slow start to the season, Paterson Eastside is off and running, winning its last nine games and vaulting into the top 10 this week. DeAndre Noble-Haywood and Ky're Jackson have led the way, with Jackson dropping 20 points in the Ghosts' win against Paterson Kennedy on Saturday. The Ghosts stand to make a big jump in the rankings in the near future, should they be able to knock off No. 5 Teaneck next Tuesday.

Hudson Catholic also moved up the rankings after downing then-nationally ranked Lincoln (N.Y.). It wasn't the best showing for either team, but Reggie Cameron's 16 points helped the Hawks secure a 58-50 victory.

Top-ranked St. Anthony has had to fight off rust after having the weather and rules have cancelled three of their games in the past two weeks. The Friars still pushed their win streak to 47 games and remain fourth in the latest POWERADE FAB 50 rankings. (St. Anthony beat a solid Newark Tech on Monday, after these rankings were done.)

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 13-0 (1)
Friars have had some time to rest after the SNY Invitational was cancelled. In just their second game in two weeks, they easily handled East Orange, 68-28. Next up: Ridgewood on Wednesday.

2. Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone) 13-2 (2)
Knights easily took care of Franklin and St. Peter's Prep last week. Contests against Rutgers Prep and Watchung Hills loom this week.

3. St. Benedict's (Newark) 19-1 (3)
Gray Bees pushed their win streak to 10 by capturing the Newark National Invitational with a 66-64 victory against Blair Academy behind Melvin Johnson's 20 points. Next up: Lawrenceville on Wednesday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

Wayne Hills, St. Joseph (Mont.) battle in Week 8 New Jersey football

November, 4, 2011
St. Joseph (Mont.) is in the middle of the octagon. Of course, the No. 9 Green Knights are a football team, not MMA fighters, but with the schedule they have to finish up this season, win or lose, they'll be beyond battle-tested.

Three weeks ago, it was No. 3 Bergen Catholic (a 30-17 loss). Last week, it was a talented Pascack Valley squad (a 42-3 win). And this weekend, it's No. 2 Wayne Hills for the finale.

The Green Knights will look to QB Spencer Aukamp, who has shown great athleticism from the pocket while totaling 13 touchdowns this year, and his favorite target in Ricky Jeune (five touchdowns) to lead an offensive attack that will need to be explosive to keep up with Wayne Hills.

After almost literally playing lights-out football in their first five games by outscoring opponents 185-7, the Patriots have survived upset bids from Ramapo and Ridgewood in the last three weeks. The Green Knights definitely provide their biggest test to date, meaning key players like QB Kevin Olsen (932 pass yards, 16 TDs) and WR/KR Andrew Monahan (11 total TDs) will have to step up even more.

But since the offenses for both teams are proven, defensive play will be the X-factor in this contest. In the Patriots' two close contests, the opponent hung with them early by shutting down their offense. Likewise, in the Green Knights' lone loss, they had to play keep-up after falling behind early.
My pick: Wayne Hills 28, St. Joseph (Mont.) 27

Sayreville vs. Piscataway
After a slow start, both of these teams ride into this matchup on lengthy win streaks. There have been some classic battles since these two started playing in 1995, as chronicled in this Star-Ledger story. I don't expect anything less in this year's bout.
My pick: Sayreville 17, Piscataway 14

Brandon Parker covers New Jersey for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.
Results as of Saturday, Oct. 8

As I said on Twitter this weekend, if you're the No. 6 team in the POWERADE FAB 50, it's best to avoid Don Bosco Prep. Before it was Mission Viejo (Calif.) that fell 35-7 to the top-ranked Ironmen. This past weekend, it was St. Edward (Ohio) that lost 38-7 to Don Bosco Prep in surprising fashion.

Granted, even though the Ironmen have proven to be on another level, they weren't the only Jersey teams who found success this past week. Bergen Catholic showed its resolve in a 48-26 comeback victory against a solid Friendship (Washington, D.C.) team. Likewise, Wayne Hills and East Orange put together shutout victories (again).

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 5-0 (1)
The Ironmen flexed their muscles as the nation's top-ranked team, easily beating St. Edward (Ohio), 38-7. With their out-of-state slate behind them, the Ironmen will finish out the season with Jersey squads. Following a much-needed bye week, they will face Passaic Tech on Oct. 21.

2. Wayne Hills 4-0 (2)
Another week, another shutout for the Patriots. This time around, they blanked Paramus 38-0 behind three touchdowns by Kevin Olsen. Next up: Ridgewood.

3. Bergen Catholic (Oradell) 3-2 (3)
The Crusaders beat their second out-of-state squad of the year, downing Friendship (Washington D.C.) 48-26 behind Jon Germano's five touchdowns. The schedule doesn't get any easier, as a matchup with No. 6 St. Joseph (Mont.) is next.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey football rankings.

Rivals Don Bosco Prep, Bergen Catholic clash in Week 3 NJ football

September, 30, 2011
Most New Jersey football fans have had this weekend circled on their calendar for weeks now. Not only are is national No. 1 Don Bosco Prep hosting rival Bergen Catholic on Friday but the next day, state No. 2 Holy Spirit faces off against No. 8 St. Joseph (Hamm.).

The five-time defending state champ Ironmen (3-0) have won the last eight meetings, with the most recent coming in last year's Non-Public Group 4 title game. But after losing a close one to Plant (Fla.) two weeks ago and with coach Nunzio Campanile in his second year after moving over from Don Bosco, the Crusaders (2-1) have upset on their mind.

Both teams boast stout defenses and inexperienced quarterbacks, so mistake-free football will be key for each squad. Don Bosco QB Mike Yankovich showed poise in the 22-16 comeback win against Manatee (Fla.) and threw two scores in last week's victory against Ridgewood — their 48th straight against New Jersey teams — but he's still raw under center.

Same goes for Crusaders QB Jonathan Germano. The junior totaled five scores in last week's win against Teaneck but struggled to find a rhythm amid the constant pressure from Plant. Friday won't be any different for either team, but both possess a wealth of weapons on offense to complement their QBs. That's why my guess is that a defensive turnover (and possibly touchdown) will decide this close battle.
My pick: Don Bosco 24, Bergen Catholic 17

No. 2 Holy Spirit (3-0) at No. 8 St. Joseph (Hamm.) (2-0)
An explosive offense meets a stingy defense in what should be an intense version of Saturday football. Holy Spirit boasts the productive tailback tandem of Donta Pollock and Nigel Jones while St. Joseph has All-State defenders Kaiwan Lewis and Max Valles clogging the running lanes. The Spartans are putting up more than 40 points per game, but the Tigers have outscored opponents 107-7 through two games. Last year's battle proved surprisingly lopsided, as Holy Spirit capitalized on five Tiger fumbles for a 35-0 win. It's safe to say this year's matchup will be much closer.
My pick: Holy Spirit 27, St. Joseph (Hamm.) 21

Westfield (3-0) at Elizabeth (3-0)
The other day, I told you about Elizabeth's offensive weapon in Elijah Hughes (533 total yards, six scores), but the senior tailback and his fellow Minutemen will be tested against a talented Westfield squad this Saturday. Tailback James O'Rourke (394 rushing yards, two TDs) leads the Blue Devils, who also possess an aggressive defense that's allowed just seven points in three games. Thing is, the Blue Devils will have to deal with Hughes and the Minutemen passing game, which was put on hold during last week's win against Linden due to a rain-soaked field.
My pick: Elizabeth 28, Westfield 17

Brandon Parker covers New Jersey for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Immaculata debuts, Piscataway falls out of Week 3 NJ rankings

September, 26, 2011
After games ending Saturday, Sept. 24

You can call this the calm before the storm for several of the state's top teams. No. 1 Don Bosco Prep and No. 3 Bergen Catholic got a in-state tuneup before facing up in their annual intense rivalry. Likewise, No. 2 Holy Spirit rolled while No. 8 St. Joseph (Hamm.) rested before facing each other this Saturday.

Last week proved to be restless for Piscataway, though, as the Chiefs lost their second straight game. Immaculata moved into the open slot in the rankings on the strength of a defense that's allowed just 32 points this season.

Oh and I have to give respect to West Orange, which hasn't allowed a single point through three games while averaging 48.3 points per game this season. Impressive stuff.

Nationally, Holy Spirit moved up to No. 43 while Don Bosco still rests 42 spots up in the top slot of the POWERADE FAB 50.

And without further ado, here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey) 3-0 (1)
The nation's top team won its first in-state game, a 35-0 victory against Ridgewood. Next up: the much-anticipated game against rival Bergen Catholic.

2. Holy Spirit (Absecon) 3-0* (2)
Tom Hehre threw two touchdown passes in a 38-0 rout of Bridgeton. Awaiting the Spartans this Saturday is No. 8 St. Joseph (Hamm.). (*does not include forfeit wins)

3. Bergen Catholic (Oradell) 2-1 (3)
Behind Tom Germano's five first-half scores, the Crusaders bounced back from last week's loss with a 62-12 win against Teaneck. A battle against rival and national No. 1 Don Bosco Prep.

Click here for full POWERADE New Jersey weekly football rankings.