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2021 Week 3 Football Predictions

By George Muha, 09/16/21, 9:30PM EDT

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Photos by Pete Hagedoorn

Make sure you subscribe to the Morris Sussex Sports YouTube channel so you don't miss all of our live game broadcasts and studio shows to keep you up to speed on everything football in Morris-Sussex.  Enjoy this week's football predictions!

Friday Night Lights

 

Park Ridge (1-0) @ Butler (1-1)

Brian Kenney:  The Bulldogs have relied heavily on Bobby Battipede this year, and he hasn’t disappointed.  Look for him to run for a buck eighty and three scores in this one as Butler wins a close one at home.  PICK: Butler 27-25
George Muha:  Park Ridge is a tough opponent and always gives our Group 1 teams a tough time in the postseason.  But Butler has Bobby "The Centipede" Battipede and I promise you, he will be the difference.  PICK:  Butts 30-27

Whippany Park (1-0) @ Boonton (1-0)

Brian Kenney:  The Boots have not lost to WP in many years.  Unfortunately, this ain’t gonna be the year that bucks that trend.  I think their offensive line could start for the Jets right now.  It will do its’ thing on Friday, making holes for Hunter Van Zant and John Rigas, among others, to run though on their way to 400 yards on the ground.  PICK: Boots 41-17
George Muha:  I love how Coach Gallagher just wears the heck out of his opponents with the run game (338-yards and 5 TDs) so when he does decide to throw, the opposing defenses are not expecting it (see QB Jeff DiLorenzo stat line of 1-1-15-1).  No team has more fun with the Wing-T than Hunter Van Zant and the Boots!  As for this game, Whippany Park is going to be gunning to make a big statement that they are different this year.  I think they can accomplish that but won’t get the dub.  PICK:  Bombers 51-48

Madison (0-2) @ Caldwell (1-0)

Brian Kenney:  Madison lost two close games, last week being a heart-breaker.  They are right there and could easily be 2-0 at this point.  I will say this, this one is not going to be that close.  Pat Capozzoli will score twice on the ground and Julian Casale will record a bunch of tackles and a sack for the Chiefs.  Brayton Boyer will hit Robert Ferris again this week for a score and run one in himself, but the Dodgers fall a little short in this one.  PICK: Caldwell 30-20
George Muha:  Oooh, I am really liking Madison!  After two heartbreaking losses to two top tier teams, I see it all coming together for the Dodgers.  Watch defense be the key as Dom DeVincenzo makes either a key goal-line stop, a sack or some kind of turnover during crunch time.  PICK:  Dodgers 21-20

Cedar Grove (2-0) @ Hopatcong (0-2)

Brian Kenney:  Da ‘Cong has put some points on the board this year and played well, but Cedar Grove is just good.  Mike Mastroeni will find the endzone twice, once on the ground and once catching a pass, but I think the Panthers are too tough.  PICK: Cedar Grove 34-21
George Muha:  Don’t discount the Hopatcong Chief’s just yet, they definitely have the firepower to win.  I think the second half of the season will be more favorable to them and expect them to be in the playoff hunt come Week 8.  The Grovers will win this one but Mike Mastroeni will continue to make Fantasy owners happy.  PICK:  CG 40-21

Chatham (2-0) @ Mendham (0-2)

Brian Kenney:  How about these Cougars??  Color me impressed.  Emmett Hynes and Owen “Wales” Walewander will lead the charge for Chatham on the way to another impressive defensive showing with 10 tackles each and a few sacks thrown in.  PICK: Chatham 20-7
George Muha:  After going 0-7 last year, Chatham is basically on a Revenge Tour right now with two big wins over Orange and a very good Jefferson team so far.  Frank “the Tank” Kontely and Mendham need a dub in the worst way.  But unfortunately it won’t come this week.  The Cougars’ 6-3, 230-pound DE Emmett Hynes is basically the Lawrence Taylor of Morris-Sussex and he’ll be too much to handle for the Minutemen. PICK:  Cougs 42-21

Pope John (1-2) @ DePaul (2-0)

Brian Kenney:  Pope John was on the giving end of a blowout this week, which gives them going into a tough game against DePaul.  I think the Lions will battle hard, but in the end AJ Rodriguez will throw for a few scores and run for another as DePaul gets the W.  PICK: DePaul 35-17
George Muha:  It was great to see the Johnnies get a dub last week and sophomore QB Zac Cusick looks like he’s settling in.  DePaul will be too much to handle at home but look for Pope John to continue to build for the future.  PICK:  DePaul 45-19

Dover (0-1) @ Fort Lee (1-0)

Brian Kenney:  The Tigers had a rough start to the season, but I have to say their uniforms, especially their helmets, are “fire” as the kids say.  I just recently learned how to use “fire”, it’s much different than something being “on fire.”  And apparently, something that is “lit” is different from something that is “fire.”  But I’m not sure how.  Anyway, Fort Lee’s Dean Park is a beast, and he will prove too much for the Tigers, despite their best efforts.  PICK: Fort Lee 27-10
George Muha:  Dover has by far the coolest helmets and uniforms.  Of course, that won’t win football games but coaching and players that buy in is how you build a successful program.  Trust me, head coach Justin Hartman has that covered so just be patient Tiger Nation.  I’m doubling down on the orange and black this week:  PICK:  Tigers 40-38

Verona (0-1) @ Hanover Park (1-0)

Brian Kenney:  This is going to be a good one.  Vin Rispoli went off last week, recording 3 sacks while knocking people all over the place on the offensive side of the ball.  This week the Hornets will have to get to Verona’s great QB Cael Zebrowski if they want to win another one before the hometown crowd.  I think between the offensive line giving Mikey Filippone some room to do his thing (he rushed for 199 yards and 4 TDs on 9 carries last week.  What the what?) and Mike Borrello opening things up with a few passes (one of which will be a scoring strike to Brett Behre) then the Hornets’ defense will do the rest.  Look for Lou Siciliano and Leo Ferrentelli to combine for a few sacks and for Anthony “AC” Carlucci to rack up all sorts of tackles in this one.  How about HP’s Nick Inglima hitting all 7 of his XPs last week!  PICK: HP 35-24
George Muha:  I need to apologize in advance to Mrs Rispoli but I am going to have to wear her son Vin’s #51 away jersey while I watch this game from the stands.  And I am probably going to have to apologize to Vin in advance as well because although I am pretty sure I can squeeze into it, I think the only way to remove it is to scissor it off my fat body.  Bottom line, Rispoli is absolutely my favorite Hanover Park player.  I love that kid’s fire!  Verona needs a win in the worst way.  Sadly, it won’t be coming against this Hornet team in front of their home fans.  PICK:  HP 52-21

High Point (1-1) @ Pequannock (0-2)

Brian Kenney:  Both of these squads are coming off tough weeks where neither scored a point.  That will obviously change this week, and I think this one will come down to the final minutes.  Dave Rigoglioso will find the endzone for the Golden Panthers, but I think HP will score on their last drive to steal this one.  PICK: HP 14-10
George Muha:  High Point and Pequannock are both reeling after blowout losses to Kittatinny and Whippany Park respectively.  I am going with the home team because I think the Panthers have the chops to handle the ‘Cat’s run offense and I think the Dave Rigoglioso-to-Colin Brath aerial connection is going to be a thing starting this week.  PICK:  Panthers 30-29

Sparta (0-2) @ Jefferson (1-1)

Brian Kenney: Sparta has had a good run against J-Town the past several years.  Will it end this year?  I don’t know.  I may have to flip a coin on this one.  Sparta is usually my jam, and I rarely pick them to lose, but they are off to an un-Spartan start.  J-Town is coming off a close loss to Chatham.  I think that Dale Jenkins helps the Falcons’ defense keep this one close, but Sparta will pull it out in the last frame, with Austen Frattura hitting Kevin Struble on a bomb to end it.  PICK: Sparta 31-28
George Muha:  Sparta in such an interesting position losing twice out of the gate, despite being one of the top teams in the area.  Jefferson won’t take it easy on them either.  But I think the losing woes go away maybe for the rest of the season for the Spartans starting this week.  Look for power back Sam Esposito to rush for at least 150-yards in a close win.  PICK:  Sparta 35-30

Lenape Valley (1-1) @ Mountain Lakes (0-1)

Brian Kenney:  The Herd had a tough one against Caldwell last week, and faces a Patriots’ team that just beat Verona.  The Herd will do what they can to stop the Valley’s Jack LaVere, but I think he will still rush for a buck twenty and two scores in a close one.  PICK: LV 21-20
George Muha:  Lenape made a big statement last week against Verona to give new head coach Wade Pickett his first win.  Jack LaVere and company want to continue their winning ways.  Look for Mountain Lakes to make it close but I predict it will be the Pats who will pull off the away win.  PICK:  LV 28-24

Roxbury (0-2) @ Montville (2-0)

Brian Kenney:  Triston Perez is trying to be all-world or something.  The guy is having himself a season for the ‘Stangs.  He will account for 300 yards and a few scores, while Zack Waltsak cleans up on defense for Montville.  PICK: Montville 38-13
George Muha:  How ‘bout them Mustangs!?  It looks like it is all coming together for Triston Perez, Joey Rehberg, Zack Waltsak and company.  The much improved Roxbury Gaels will put up a fight but no way Montville loses this one at home.  PICK:  ‘Stangs 35-25

Parsippany (1-1) @ Morris Catholic (2-0)

Brian Kenney:  Dean Denobile is the real deal.  Completing almost 60% of his passes with 6 scores already, he is looking to add to that this week.  Parsippany can throw the ball as well, so it should be an exciting one.  I think Campbell Pivnick throws for two scores to keep it close for the Redhawks but the Crusaders will pull away in the last quarter.  PICK: MC 34-20
George Muha:  You gotta love that Morris Catholic’s Coach Hack went for the win and not the tie last week in their double OT win over Madison last week.  If I am a player, I am doubling down on my coach for doubling down on me.  Look for the Crusaders to continue their winning ways over the Red Birds at home.  PICK:  MC 34-19

Mount Olive (1-1) @ Randolph (1-1)

Brian Kenney:  I have to be honest, it was a bit of an upset last week when Mount Olive lost to Knolls.  I think Anthony Moscatello finds the endzone at least once for the Marauders, while Sean Harris tackles every Ram he sees.  The Rams’ Sean Clark will throw for over 200 yards and a couple of scores to make this one of the best games to watch this weekend.  PICK: MO 31-28
George Muha:  I am having a hard time picking this one because I cannot completely figure both of these teams out yet.  So I am going to double down on the home team and linemen Darian Ghahary and Patrick Gilchrist since I am pretty sure I could run for 100-yards behind those two.  PICK:  Rams 24-21

North Warren (1-1) @ Vernon (1-1)

Brian Kenney:  This is going to be a good game, as both of these squads are tough.  I think Ricky Healy will record a baker’s dozen worth of tackles for the Vikings, while Ian Schmid finds the endzone on the ground for them as well.  PICK: Vikings 14-7
George Muha:  This is going to be a tricky game for the Vikings because I am telling you this NWR team is going to make it a game.  But I see Ian Schmid rewarding Fantasy owners with a lot of offensive output in their win in front of their home fans.  PICK:  Vikes 35-30

West Morris (2-0) @ Northern Highlands (2-0)

Brian Kenney:  I don’t know much about the Highlanders, but wow WMC’s defense is “lit” as the kids say.  Between Montella, Hillier, Panico, Turner and Brady, does anyone get away from these guys??  The Wolfpack attacks and dominates a tough squad from the Highlands in this one.  PICK: WMC 27-6
George Muha:  I hope Montella, Hillier and Brady took their O-line out for a steak dinner last week.  Boy can that group open holes.  Playing a good team like Sparta was good preparation for Northern Highlands this week!  We’ll be there to broadcast all the action.  Winning this game will give the Wolves statewide recognition.  But that will be easier said than done.  So I am going to do my part to give them some extra motivation in case they are feeling over confident.  PICK:  NH 35-3

Saturday Afternoon Delights

 

Delbarton (2-0) @ Bergen Catholic (2-0)

Brian Kenney:  Did somebody say “Game of the Week”??!  This one is going to be off the chain! Bergen Catholic has been playing schools from all over the world, destroying them (I think one was from Delaware, Ohio, North Korea, etc.).  Delby has settled for only one out-of-state team, (which they shut out), so both teams are ready to rock this Saturday.  Can the Green Wave wash over BC QB Steve Angeli?  That’s going to be a tall order, the kid is throwing the ball all over (to the tune of almost 400 yards last week).  The key will be for Delby to have some long drives and keep BC’s offense off the field, which could happen with Aidan Papantonis chewing up yards (I see at least 120 and 2 scores in this one), but I think at the end of the day BC will be just a little too much for the Wave to handle.  PICK: BC 28-21
George Muha:  Last season the Wave was #1 in the state and I loved it because I hated how the Big Bergens have been beating up on our area for years.  The only thing is because of Covid, Delby wasn’t able to prove their worth because of stupid Covids.  So I predict this year’s team shows the world that we can play football over here too.  PICK:  Green Wave 34-32 

Hackettstown (0-2) @ Kittatinny (2-0)

Brian Kenney:  H-Town will battle the whole game, but I think the Kitts’ Mike Cerbo will throw for at least two scores while Luke Brex runs for a buck ten and a score in this one.  PICK: Kitts 23-15
George Muha:  Hackettstown is hungry for a win but I think Kittatinny’s Cerbo, Michelman and Brex are just playing way too inspired football to lose at home.  Look for another big win for the Cougs.  PICK: Cougs 28-10 

Kinnelon (0-2) @ Wallkill Valley (1-1)

Brian Kenney:  The Colts’ Justin Tilton will find the endzone on the ground at least once in this one, while rushing for almost 100 yards.  However, the Valley’s defense will be extra tough this week, with Bobby McMillian and Chase Lorencovitz combining for over 14 tackles and a sack, as they hold the Colts at bay in a close one.  PICK: WV 17-10
George Muha:  I thought Wallkill only played on Sundays and Mondays…anywho, it won’t matter what day they play on as Shane “Ted” Nugent and company have the firepower to go on a big win streak after losing to Cedar Grove.  PICK:  WV 35-21

Parsippany Hills (0-2) @ Morris Hills (1-1)

Brian Kenney:  The battle of the Hills is always exciting.  Did anyone know that David Turner is averaging 14.4 yards a carry?  That’s banana-grams.  He will hit pay dirt twice in this one for Mo Hills.  Dom Verducci will run for a score himself but I think Mo Hills pulls this one out.  PICK:  MoHills 35-21
George Muha:  Par Hills is getting into must-win territory, a place they haven’t been in many years.  Winning in a hostile environment won’t be easy and as well as the Knights are on a mission.  Look for David Turner to be the difference in a big win for MoHills.  PICK:  Scarlet Knights 35-28

Morristown (1-1) @ Morris Knolls (2-0)

Brian Kenney:  I forgot how much I like the name “Jet Devlin”.  If that kid doesn’t become a secret agent or a professional football player I don’t know what I’m going to do.  Good job by those parents.  Anyway, the Knolls are having a great start to the season, and I expect they will prevail again this week.  Look for Nick Tavarone to account for a bunch of yards in the air and on the ground, and for Jet to reel in at least one of the TD passes from Nick.  PICK: Knolls 34-14
George Muha:  Two words, Slick Nick Tavarone.  Okay that was three but who’s counting?  Bottom line is Morris Knolls is for real and look for them to make their division very interesting this season.  PICK:  Morris Knolls 30-21

Newton (2-0) @ Sussex Tech (1-1) 

Brian Kenney:  Jack Young is doing it with his feet and arm and that will continue against the Techhies, who are riding high after a big win last week.  This one will be close, and I think the ‘Stangs’ Frank Cunha will record another sack, but I think Newton escapes with the win on the road.  Pasqual Festa will record over a dozen tackles for the Braves in this one, along with a sack.  PICK: Newton 28-20
George Muha:  Sussex Tech had a great home win last season and expect them to put up a valiant fight against the mighty Braves.  But Jack Young and company will make sure Newton remains undefeated.  PICK:  Newts 35-18

How We Are Predicting Them

 

Last Week

Brian Kenney:  14-8 (63.63%)
George Muha:  14-8 (63.63%)
Fans:  15-7 (68.18%)
Owen:  2-0 (100.00%)

Through This Week

Brian Kenney:  25-17 (59.52%)
George Muha:  24-18 (57.14%)
Fans:  25-17 (59.52%)
Owen:  2-1 (66.66%)

*Edited by Christie Smith