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2021 Round 1 Football Playoff Predictions

By George Muha, 11/04/21, 10:15PM EDT


Photo 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!  *Also, vote who you think will win this weekend's games (to the right of this article on a desktop or on the bottom on a mobile device).

North Jersey, Section 1, Group 1


7 Wallkill Valley (4-5) at 2 Hasbrouck Heights (5-3)

Brian Kenney: The Rangers are going to have their hands full in this one. I think they leave it all on the field, Jason Fisher will rack up a dozen tackles and two sacks, but they they fall just short in the Heights. PICK: HH 17-13
George Muha:  The Rangers are playing with house money and Hasbrouck has all the pressure on them.  Hasbrouck will win but Wallkill will have them on their heels for three quarters.  PICK:  HH 28-24

6 Kittatinny (5-4) at 3 West Side (5-4) 

*Watch this game live on the Morris Sussex Sports Network at 2pm on Saturday
Brian Kenney: West Side Stories are good, but the Kits can hang with them for sure. Luke Brex will do his thing for the Cougars and score at least twice, but I think in the end the Stories are too tough at home. PICK: WS 21-20
George Muha:  This is a great matchup and honestly it’ll go either way.  West Side has some stellar athletes but in the end, I think it’ll be Cerbo to Brex in some kind of end-of-game trick play that’ll be the difference.  PICK:  Cougars 32-27

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1


8 Butler (4-5) at 1 Mountain Lakes (6-2) 

*Watch this game live on the Morris Sussex Sports Network at 7pm on Friday
Brian Kenney: The Herd learned some lessons last week and won’t be stopped in the first round. How far can they go after this week? Who knows, but I think Nico “Get ‘er” Dunn scores twice in this one for the Herd. PICK: Herd 28-13
George Muha:  The Herd got a little humbled by a very talented Weequahic team this past Friday night.  I think that loss will do more good than harm for Mountain Lakes as it’ll let them know to not take any game for granted.  I think Dunn, McLaughlin and company have the ability to go all the way and they’ll make a big Round 1 statement to set the tone.  PICK:  Herd 40-19

6 Brearley (7-2) at 3 Boonton (8-1) 

Brian Kenney: Das Boots have a tough first round opponent but they will do what they do and pull this one out. Van Zant will score 3 times in this one (that’s two less than last week) and the Boots’ O-Line will pave the way for over 400 yards in the ground. PICK: Bombers 42-28
George Muha:  I absolutely love that my 85-year old mother can tell you what Boonton will do on every play and there is nothing anyone can do about it.  That’s called executing better than anyone else and there’s nobody better than that then the Boonton Bombers.  I predict the Bombers will run exactly 42 times, will have 345-yards and 5 touchdowns and will pass once to get a first down on 4th and three play and will win by 20-points.  PICK:  Boots 45-25

North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2


8 Hanover Park (4-4) at 1 Ramsey (9-0)

Brian Kenney: As I said in the beginning of the year, I’m completely biased in favor of HP, now more this season than in prior years. So now is as good a time as any to step back from predicting their games from now until my official conflict with the team ends in 2024. That being said, I wish all the seniors on both teams good luck in their future endeavors. It was especially fun watching Hornets Filippone, Cosentino, Behre, Siciliano, Defranco, Rispoli, Barisciano, DiRocco, Colegrove and Ferrantelli play all these years! (Rooting for HP lol) 
George Muha:  Ramsey is the bully in this Section and I want more than anything than for my Hornets to pull off the upset.  If anyone can it’s this group if they keep turnovers to a minimum, execute perfectly and our playmakers do their thing.  I predict HP has one of those 50+ offensive shootouts but I think Ramsey has just a few more points.  I hope I’m wrong.  PICK:  Ramsey 56-54

7 Whippany Park (7-1) at 2 Caldwell (8-0) 

Brian Kenney: The good news is WP has a heck of a season, and their defense has been lights out. The bad news is, they have to face the Chiefs the first round of the playoffs. This game will not define the Cats and they will have a lot to build on next year, but Caldwell is just too good. Harry Boland will run for a buck fifty and score twice, in addition to racking up 10 tackles and a sack on defense for the Chiefs. PICK: Caldwell 21-17
George Muha:  Everyone and their mother is picking Caldwell to win this game…except for me and here’s the reason why:  1) Caldwell has not faced a defense as tough as they will in Whippany, 2) teams win championships and no team in Morris-Sussex is playing team-football better than the ‘Cats and 3) nobody gives a better pre-game speech than coach Don Morgenroth and I guarantee he’ll deliver an insane one for this game.  To me, this won’t be an upset.  This Wildcat team has the ability to beat anyone in this section, just watch.  PICK:  ‘Cats 35-30

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2


6 Jefferson (4-5) at 3 Hawthorne (7-1)

Brian Kenney: Props to J-Town for getting a 6-seed, and this is going to be a close one.  Peter Delaportas will leave it all on the field in his last high school game, throwing for over 200 yards and rushing for another 50, but I think Hawthorne is too much for the Falcons. PICK: Hawthorne 39-35
George Muha:  Last week J-town looked like what I expected they’d be.  It was great to see there play-makers do their thing and Peter Delaportas looked like he has a 99 Madden Rating.  I always say big time players make big time plays in big time games.  I think this team has the mojo to pull off this upset and I’m doubling down on the Falcons.  PICK:  Falcons 45-42

5 Lenape Valley (6-3) at 4 Ridgefield Park (7-2)

Brian Kenney: The Valley had their ups and downs this year, but they have every shot at winning this game, even on the road. Jack LaVere will rush for over 150 yards and three scores and I think the Valley will win a close one. PICK: LV 23-18
George Muha:  The way this Lenape team has responded after QB JJ Worthington went down is super impressive.  The Pats seem to get better and better with each passing week.  This is definitely a team that deserves to play beyond Round 1.  PICK:  Pats 35-27

7 Verona (4-4) at 2 Newton (9-0)

*Watch this game live on the Morris Sussex Sports Network at 7pm on Friday
Brian Kenney: Newton is a beast, and I’m kind of surprised they are not a 1 seed. Either way, they are going to beat the Hillbillies pretty soundly, and that’s no easy feat. Cael Zebrowski will have a decent game in his last for Verona, but between the Sibblies brothers and Jack Young I think the Braves will win big. PICK: Newton 42-20
George Muha:  In my initial prediction I said watching Newton games was boring because they all were basically over by the first quarter.  Of course we don't think Newton is boring and I've said all year that the Braves are our pick to go the distance.  That was just my sad attempt to be funny.  Of course I expect the Braves to win by their typical three scores in this one.  Look for Matty May to have at least one sack on D and a few pancake blocks on O.  PICK:  Braves 43-26

North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3


8 Summit (5-4) at 1 West Morris (6-3)

*Watch this game live on the Morris Sussex Sports Network at 7:30pm on Friday
Brian Kenney: The Pack suffered a couple surprising losses this year, but they won’t be one of them. Stefano Montella will be working hard on both sides of the ball for the Pack, while Trevor Hillier is doing the same. Look for them to combine for 4 scores and 30 tackles. PICK: Pack 35-17
George Muha:  I got two words for you; Charlie Schaffer.  The dynamic Summit QB has been a superstar all year.  Look for this dynamo to score three times (once with his arm, twice with his legs) to advance to the state semi’s.  As talented as the ‘Pack is, I think this season has finally come to an end.  PICK:  Hilltoppers 40-12

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3


5 Montville (6-3) at 4 Pascack Valley (6-3)

Brian Kenney: I have to say I’m all in on Montville here. Between their excellent coaching staff and the Lamar Jackson of this conference (Triston Perez, in case you didn’t know), I think they will pull the upset here. PICK: ‘Stangs 27-24
George Muha:  I am totally drinking the Montville green flavored Koolade this year!  I know last week’s trouncing was a tough pill to swallow but I guarantee Coach DeBonta made the team forget that on the way home from the game.  If Montville plays this postseason right, they can be knocking on the door of MetLife in a few weeks.  PICK:  ‘Stangs 34-28

7 Vernon (6-3) at 2 River Dell (7-2)

*Watch this game live on the Morris Sussex Sports Network at 6pm on Friday
Brian Kenney: The Vikes had a decent run this season, but, the River Dell, man. They are tough. Either way, the Vikes take this to the final minutes, with Derek Lazier throwing for over 200 yards and a couple of scores and Gage Moskovitz adding another 100 on the ground. The Dell will still squeak out a victory at home. PICK: Dell 34-28
George Muha:  Vernon has every ability to make a playoff run.  Playing perfect is going to be the key.  I think the bus ride out to River Dell will be filled with quiet contemplation and the ride home with exuberant jubilation.  This is a playoff winning team, trust me!  PICK:  Vikes 30-25

6 Warren Hills (6-3) at 3 Sparta (6-3) 

*Watch this game live on the Morris Sussex Sports Network at 7pm on Friday
Brian Kenney: The Streaks had a decent season but the Spartans will be too much to handle at home. Look for Austen Frattura to throw for three scores while Justin Smith rumbles for 90 yards and a score on the ground. Paul Gennat will record 10 tackles and a sack as well for the Spartans. PICK: Sparta 41-27
George Muha:  We’ve broadcasted these two teams more than any other.  Both teams are super dynamic and can beat you in a multitude of different ways.  I predict it’ll be an all out shootout with the Spartans coming up with the victory.  PICK:  Spartans 45-42

North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4


7 Chatham (6-3) at 2 Ramapo (8-1) 

Brian Kenney: Chatham had a heck of a year and should be proud of all the hard work they put in. Ramapo is a beast though, and it’s going to be a tough one, especially on the road. The Cougars will leave it all on the field, especially Owen Walewander, who will rack up 15 tackles and a sack, along with Jax Ulbrich, who will run for a buck ten and a score. PICK: Ramapo 34-19
George Muha:  First of all, how about a standing O for rookie head coach Evan Picariello for taking the team from a dud to a stud!  I do believe the Cougs wil give Ramapo a run but I think their dream season comes to an end.  But don’t you worry Chatham Nation, your program is in great hands.  PICK:  Ramapo 30-24

5 Mount Olive (7-2) at 4 Morris Knolls (6-3)

Brian Kenney: This is going to be an awesome game! I don’t know who to pick, as Knolls beat MO back in September. Look for the Knolls’ Joey DelleMonache to run for over 100 yards and rack up 15 tackles on defense. But, the Maurauders are on fire and I think they will escape with the victory here. Hunter Perez carried the ball 41 times last week. Dude put in time and a half in a monsoon. I think this week he will have half that many carries and still total 150 yards and two scores in the W. PICK: MO 24-17
George Muha:  It had taken me quite a while to start drinking the Mount Olive Koolade but I totally am now.  In fact, I really love the Marauders chances of going the distance.  Beating the Veer on the road in front of the Knolls Holes student section won’t be easy but MO will get it done.  PICK:  Marauders 35-29

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4


5 Colonia (7-2) at 4 Randolph (7-2)

*Watch this game live on the Morris Sussex Sports Network at 7pm on Friday
Brian Kenney: This one is almost too close to call, but that’s why George pays me the big bucks! I think the Rams at home are extra tough, but it will go down to the last team with the ball who prevails.  I see the Rams’  Aidan Matheny scoring on a short run after a long Clark to Petruziello pass sets it up. PICK: Rams 28-24
George Muha:  I know a lot of pro athletes so I’m not inclined to be star struck but there are two guys I’d love to meet, Joe Nameth and Randolph QB Sean Clark.  The way the season has been going for the Rams, Nameth is probably more accessible.  Either way, the Rams roll!  PICK:  Randolph 40-22

Non-Public, Group A


13 Pope John (1-8) at 4 St. Peter’s Prep (6-3)

Brian Kenney:  You don’t see many 1-8 teams getting into the playoffs, but it just goes to show you how hard the Lions’ schedule is. Their school is in a higher group, but some of these parochial schools are all boys. PJ has more girls than boys from what I have heard, so is it fair they play all these powerhouses, especially schools with a pool of 500 potential football players ? Heck if I know, it’s just food for thought. Also - I’m not saying girls can’t play football, because they can and they do. I just don’t know how many are playing for the Lions. PICK: SP 30-12 
George Muha:  I love the young guns coming up for the Johnnies and their future is bright.  I tip my cap to Line, Stoll and the rest of the seniors for playing hard every game.  I am afraid this season ends here for Pope John but expect them to be back next year with a vengeance.  PICK:  SPP 40-29

10 Camden Catholic (6-2) at 7 Delbarton (4-5)

Brian Kenney: The Green Wave have an advantage already as they don’t have to travel 2 plus hours to the game. Long bus rides are tough, they are much worse on the way back if the team loses. I think that Delby pulls this one out in a close one. Look for Ryan Carey to total 15 tackles and force a fumble in this one for the Wave. PICK: Delby 27-20
George Muha:  The Wave has fire power to make a run at this section.  They’ll definitely advance here and expect the receiving corps of Dylan Hakes, Nick Petrillo and David Link to account for over 200-yards receiving and at least three touchdowns.  Oh yeah, and make sure you start Wave QB Robert Russo on your fantasy team.  PICK:  Green Wave 35-29


Brian Kenney:  16-9  (64.00%)
George Muha:  16-9  (64.00%)  
Fans:  19-6  (76.00%)        
Owen:  0-1 (00.00%)


Brian Kenney:  136-63  (68.34%)   
George Muha:  134-65  (67.33%)      
Fans:  143-56  (71.85%)   
Owen:  7-12  (36.84%)  


Non-Public, Group A

1 - Bergen Catholic
2 - St. Augustine
3 - St. Joseph (Mont.)
4 - St. Peter’s Prep
5 - Seton Hall Prep
6 - Don Bosco Prep
7 - Delbarton
8 - Donovan Catholic
9 - Notre Dame
10 - Camden Catholic
11 - Paul VI
12 - St. John Vianney
13 - Pope John

Non-Public, Group B

1 - DePaul
2 - Red Bank Catholic
3 - St. Joseph (Hamm.)
4 - Hudson Catholic
5 - Holy Spirit
6 - St. Thomas Aquinas
7 - Morris Catholic
8 - Immaculata

North Jersey, Section 1, Group 1

1 - Park Ridge
2 - Hasbrouck Heights
3 - West Side
4 - Wallington
5 - Becton
6 - Kittatinny
7 - Wallkill Valley
8 - Shabazz

North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2

1 - Ramsey
2 - Caldwell
3 - Westwood
4 - Waldwick
5 - Glen Rock
6 - Lakeland
7 - Whippany Park
8 - Hanover Park

North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3

1 - West Morris
2 - West Essex
3 - Lincoln
4 - Old Tappan
5 - Nutley
6 - West Milford
7 - Wayne Valley
8 - Summit

North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4

1 - Northern Highlands
2 - Ramapo
3 - Woodbridge
4 - Morris Knolls
5 - Mount Olive
6 - Ridge
7 - Chatham
8 - Montgomery

North Jersey, Section 1, Group 5

1 - East Orange
2 - Ridgewood
3 - Passaic Tech
4 - West Orange
5 - Westfield
6 - Montclair
7 - Columbia
8 - Elizabeth

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1

1 - Mountain Lakes
2 - Cedar Grove
3 - Boonton
4 - Weequahic
5 - Wood-Ridge
6 - Brearley
7 - Cresskill
8 - Butler

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2

1 - Rutherford
2 - Newton
3 - Hawthorne
4 - Ridgefield Park
5 - Lenape Valley
6 - Jefferson
7 - Verona
8 - Pompton Lakes

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3

1 - Cranford
2 - River Dell
3 - Sparta
4 - Pascack Valley
5 - Montville
6 - Warren Hills
7 - Vernon
8 - Demarest

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4

1 - Irvington
2 - Middletown South
3 - Sayreville
4 - Randolph
5 - Colonia
6 - Middletown North
7 - North Hunterdon
8 - Linden

North Jersey, Section 2, Group 5

1 - Union
2 - Clifton
3 - Phillipsburg
4 - Bridgewater-Raritan
5 - Paterson Eastside
6 - Union City
7 - Hackensack
8 - Livingston