Week 7 of the NJAC football season is highlighted by two undefeated divisional rivals going head-to-head, a Jefferson club looking to get back on track and a winless team looking for win No. 1 against what may be its biggest test this season.
Two Unbeatens Meet in a Week 7 Matchup
Two undefeated NJAC teams going head-to-head in a Week 7 matchup is sure to get some attention. Throw in the fact that it’s a divisional game, as a 5-0 Butler team heads to Mountain Lakes (6-0), and it becomes easily one of the most highly anticipated games of the week.
Both these teams are playing at an unbelievable level in 2011, and doing so in a very similar way. Through six weeks, Mountain Lakes has racked up an average of just over 31 points per game and allowed opponents to score just over 10 points, while Butler has been pummeling opponents to the tune of 47 points per contest, and holding opposing offenses to just 13 points, including two shutouts.
Setting the tone for the Bulldogs' explosive offense is running back Mike Tenned. The Butler senior, who has a 12.7 yard per carry average this season, has rushed for 799 yards 12 touchdowns on the ground, according to NJ.com. In addition to the unbelievable rushing stats, Tenned has six catches for 108 yards and three touchdowns, as well as one punt return for a score. Tenned’s 96 points this season are a team-high.
Junior signal-caller Chris Heredia has also been a force this season, completing 53 passes for 605 yards (69.7 percent) and seven touchdowns.
On the other side, Mountain Lakes quarterback Pete Breslauer has completed 39 passes for 631 yards and 11 touchdowns. According to NJ.com, Breslauer’s favorite target through six weeks looks to be receiver Max Boerstoel, who has caught 23 passes for 449 yards and scored seven touchdowns.
This Week 7 matchup is sure to be a fun one, as Friday night's winner will take control of the tough Independence Division.
Jefferson Visits Pope John
Through the first three weeks of the season, the Jefferson football team looked to be rolling. But since that Week 3 win over Mount Olive, the Falcons have struggled, recording losses in two of three games, including a Week 6 loss to Morris Hills.
This week, the Falcons will look to get back on track as they head to Sparta for a divisional matchup with Pope John (3-3) on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Pope John has also lost two of its last three games heading into this week, with the most recent a 13-6 loss at home to National Division leading Sparta (6-0) last weekend, according to NJ.com.
The issue with both of these clubs looks to be a certain level of inconsistency on offense. With both defenses holding opponents to under 15 points per game defensively (and both offenses scoring around 14 points per contest), this game should be a terrific defensive matchup.
For both clubs, the past three weeks have been an offensive struggle, as neither has been able to manage more than 14 points in any of their combined six games.
While it’s just a stat, and not anything to stake your fortune on, against teams with a .500 record or better, the Jefferson offense has produced a nine point per game average (3 games), compared to Pope Johns’ 16 points per contest through four games.
Unbeaten vs. Winless
Another Week 7 matchup taking place on Saturday will include unbeaten Sparta hosting a winless Montville team. With two teams on the opposite end of the NJAC spectrum, Week 7 may not be Montville’s best opportunity to earn its first win of 2011.
But every week has its share of surprises, and if Sparta allows it to be, this week could be a trap game for the 6-0 Spartans, as Montville has stayed competitive in at least four of its six losses.
While Montville’s record shows a team struggling through six weeks, most of the Mustangs' problems can be directed at its lack of offensive production. With an offense grasping to learn a new system installed by head coach James Delaney, Montville has averaged a paltry seven points per contest.
On the bright side, though, quarterback John Jespersen and the Mustang offense have produced 13 points in each of its two most recent losses.
But with the offense struggling as mightily as it has, the defense has remained effective, holding opposing offenses to just under 19 points per game.
The Mustang “D” will have its work cut out for them, though, when they visit Sparta. Running back Codie Aromando and Jake Melville have been Spartan workhorses in 2011, combining for 772 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground, according to NJ.com. Aromando has also caught 10 passes for 79 yards and one score.
But the real strength of this team comes on the other side of the ball, as Sparta’s defensive unit has amassed 16 sacks and six interceptions through six weeks, holding teams to a 10 point per game average.
It looks like the Jespersen and the Montville offense are getting a better handle on Delaney’s offense as of late, but Saturday might be their biggest test yet.
Those aren't the only games happening this week that will impact the standings. Here's the breakdown of some important NJAC games:
- Kinnelon (4-2) at Boonton (1-5), 7 p.m.
- Dover (3-3) vs. Hopatcong (4-2), 7 p.m.
- Hanover Park (3-3) at Parsippany (0-6), 7 p.m.
- Vernon (3-3) vs. High Point (2-4), 7 p.m.
- Kittatinny (3-3) at Madison (5-0), 7 p.m.
- Morristown (3-3) vs. Roxbury (2-4), 7 p.m.
- Randolph (3-3) vs. Par Hills (4-2), 7 p.m.
- Wallkill Valley (2-4) at Hackettstown (3-3), 7 p.m.
- Chatham (4-2) vs. Newton (1-5), 1 p.m.
- Delbarton (6-0) vs. Mendham (0-6), 2 p.m.