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NJ football rankings: Statewide Top 25 after Week 8

The Record, Bergen County logo The Record, Bergen County 11/25/2020 Darren Cooper, Greg Mattura, Andrew Tredinnick, Greg Tufaro, Steven Falk, Tom McGurk, Josh Friedman and Tom Rimback, NorthJersey.com
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The 2020 football season is almost over, but it looks very different, with a shortened season and no championships being awarded.

Voters from across USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey continue to rank the top teams in the Garden State, expanding this year's rankings to a Top 25.

We'll also be handing out trophies to the top teams in the state.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey, along with presenting sponsor RWJ Barnabas Health, will crown a statewide Team of the Year in each of New Jersey’s five public school groups, and we’ll crown one overall non-public school Team of the Year.

a group of football players on the field: Donovan Catholic vs Wall Township football. Wall's Casey Larkin (23) gains yards on the ground.   Wall Township, NJFriday, November 20, 2020 © Doug Hood Donovan Catholic vs Wall Township football. Wall's Casey Larkin (23) gains yards on the ground. Wall Township, NJFriday, November 20, 2020

After a Week 8 that included a couple big North Jersey vs. South Jersey match-ups, two new teams entered the Top 25 rankings.

25. Rahway (4-1)

Last game: COVID-related issues led to the cancellation of the Indians’ Week 8 game against Edison. 

Next game: vs. St. Joseph (Metuchen), Wednesday

a group of baseball players on a field: High school football game between Mount Olive High School and Morris Knolls in Denville onSaturday October 10, 2020. Mount Olive celebrates after Mount Olive #21 Hunter Perez scores. Mount Olive won 51:21. © Anne-Marie Caruso, Anne-Marie Caruso/NorthJersey - USA TODAY NETWORK High school football game between Mount Olive High School and Morris Knolls in Denville onSaturday October 10, 2020. Mount Olive celebrates after Mount Olive #21 Hunter Perez scores. Mount Olive won 51:21.

24. Mount Olive (6-1)

Last game: The Marauders knocked off previously-undefeated Randolph, 21-7. Gavin Lockwood finished 13-of-17 for 175 yards and three touchdowns in the victory, which helped the Marauders clinch a share of the Freedom Division title. AJ McKay reeled in eight catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns. 

Next game: Season complete.

23. River Dell (6-1)

Last game: The Golden Hawks saw their game canceled due to COVID cases within the school district.

Next game: Season complete

22. Phillipsburg (6-1)

Last game: After learning their game against Somerville was canceled due to COVID-related issues, the Stateliners attempted to move their annual Thanksgiving game against Easton (Pa.) to Week 8, but executive orders banning interstate competition from the governors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania thwarted the maneuver.

Next game: Season complete

21. West Essex (5-0)

Last game: Senior RB Giancarlo Farro rushed 14 times for 201 yards and four TD to pace the Knights to a 28-0 lead in an eventual 35-7 victory Friday over Parsippany Hills.

Next game: vs. Hanover Park (5-1), Wednesday

20. Rumson-Fair Haven (6-2)

Last game: Senior running back John Volker ran for 154 yards, with TD runs of 4 and 49 yards, Von Factor had a 4-yard TD run and Geoff Schroeder as the Bulldogs defeated Freehold, 28-3, and gave head coach Jerry Schulte his 100th career win.

Next game: Season complete

a group of football players on the field: Brave Back Peyton Nolan (32) breaks free for a big gain at the Mountain Lakes at Newton football game at Newton, November 20, 2020. (Photo by Warren Westura for the New Jersey Herald) © Warren Westura/For the New Jersey Herald Brave Back Peyton Nolan (32) breaks free for a big gain at the Mountain Lakes at Newton football game at Newton, November 20, 2020. (Photo by Warren Westura for the New Jersey Herald)

19. Newton (6-0)

Last game: The Braves closed out an undefeated season by blowing away Mountain Lakes, 42-7, on Friday. Newton racked up 553 yards of total offense, with Jack Young finishing a perfect 7-of-7 for 219 yards and two touchdowns and Peyton Nolan breaking off 196 yards and four touchdowns. The Braves picked o three passes in the win.

Next game: Season complete.

18. St. Joseph (Hammonton) (6-2)

Last game: The Wildcats closed out their inaugural season as St. Joseph Academy with a 13-0 win over crosstown-rival Hammonton, the first time the two teams played in seven years. Jahqir Haley led the defensive effort with three interceptions while Ahmad Ross and Cohl Mercado each rushed for touchdowns.

Next game: Season complete.

St. Joseph’s Cohl Mercado runs the ball during the football game between St. Joseph and Hammonton played at Hammonton High School on Friday, November 20, 2020. St. Joseph defeated Hammonton, 13-0. © Chris LaChall/Courier-Post St. Joseph’s Cohl Mercado runs the ball during the football game between St. Joseph and Hammonton played at Hammonton High School on Friday, November 20, 2020. St. Joseph defeated Hammonton, 13-0.

17. Red Bank Catholic (4-2)

Last game: The Caseys did not play due to a COVID-19 issue in the program. 

Next game: Season complete 

16. West Orange (6-1)

Last game: The Mountaineers stretched their winning streak to six games – all by double digits – with Friday’s 27-14 victory at Clifton.

Next game: Season complete

15. Ocean City (6-1)

Last game: The Red Raiders’ unbeaten streak came to a screeching halt with a 49-22 home loss to DePaul. Ocean City, which had surrendered 37 points in its first six games, yielded 35 straight points that turned a two-point lead into a 49-16 deficit.

Next game: at Pleasantville, Thursday

14. Camden (4-1)

Last game: The Panthers’ game at Ocean City was scrubbed when the Camden School District denied the team to travel due to COVID-19 concerns. Camden also had to cancel its Thanksgiving game with crosstown rival Woodrow Wilson, a rivalry that dates back to 1933. The Panthers finished their season on a four-game winning streak.

Next game: Season complete.

13. Don Bosco (2-3)

Last game: The Ironmen’s home showdown Friday against DePaul was called off due to another COVID-19 setback, so they only played two games over the past five weeks.

Next game: Season complete

12. DePaul (3-2)

Last game: The Spartans, playing their first game since Oct. 23, defeated host Ocean City, 49-22, on Friday, with senior QB Andrew Butler completing 17 of 25 passes for 237 yards and four TD and running for two scores.

Next game: vs. St. Joseph (Montvale) (5-2), Wednesday

11. Woodbridge (5-1)

Last game: Forced to quarantine after playing Somerville, which discovered a COVID-related issue within its program following the Pioneers' 39-26 victory over the Barrons on Nov. 13, Woodbridge's Week 8 game against North Brunswick was canceled.

Next game: TBD

10. Cherokee (5-2) 

Last game: When Winslow Township was shut down with a COVID-19 situation, the Chiefs accepted an opportunity to play St. Joseph (Montvale) on short notice. After falling behind 20-0 in the first quarter, Cherokee rallied back to take a five-point lead in the fourth quarter before falling short in a 36-35 loss

Next game: Season complete

a man playing a game of baseball: Holy Spirit football defeats Lenape 21-7 in Absecon, NJ on November 20, 2020. © Peter Ackerman, Peter Ackerman-South Jersey Holy Spirit football defeats Lenape 21-7 in Absecon, NJ on November 20, 2020.

9. Lenape (5-1)

Last game: The Indians had their five-game unbeaten streak end with a 21-7 loss at Holy Spirit in the unofficial South Jersey championship. Lenape’s offense struggled early, and didn’t dent the scoreboard until Brady Long connected with Tyler Davis on a 65-yard touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter.

Next game: at St. Augustine, Wednesday

8. Donovan Catholic

Last game: The Griffins’ came up six inches short of the unofficial Shore Conference championship as a fourth-and-goal from the 2 was stopped with 1:06 left in an 18-15 defeat to Wall. Senior running back Jahdir Loftland capped a superb season with TD runs of 4 and 39 yards.

Next game: Season complete

7. Bergen Catholic (4-1)

Last game: The Crusaders’ game Saturday at Delbarton was called off minutes before kickoff after the hosts announced a Green Wave player had a positive COVID-19 test.

Next game: vs. St. Peter’s Prep (4-0), Saturday

6. Somerville (7-0)

Last game: Forced to quarantine after learning of a COVID-related issue within its program following a 39-26 win over Woodbridge on Nov. 13, the Pioneers’ game against Phillipsburg was canceled.

Next game: Season complete.

a person wearing a costume: Holy Spirit Devin Lee intercepts a pass meant for Lenape Kobi Ray-Reed to break up a comeback drive in the fourth quarter. Holy Spirit football defeats Lenape 21-7 in Absecon, NJ on November 20, 2020. © Peter Ackerman, Peter Ackerman-South Jersey Holy Spirit Devin Lee intercepts a pass meant for Lenape Kobi Ray-Reed to break up a comeback drive in the fourth quarter. Holy Spirit football defeats Lenape 21-7 in Absecon, NJ on November 20, 2020.

5. Holy Spirit (7-0)

Last game: The Spartans captured the mythical South Jersey championship with a 21-7 home win over Lenape in a battle of unbeatens. Patrick “Cheeks” Smith rushed for a pair of first-half touchdowns, including an 80-yarder, raising his season rushing TD total to 16. 

Next week: vs. Atlantic City, Thursday

4. Delbarton (6-0)

Last game: A positive COVID-19 test for a Green Wave player before kickoff forced its game against Bergen Catholic to be postponed.

Next game: TBD

3. St. Joseph (5-2)

Last game: Senior RB Audric Estime rushed for 303 yards – his second 300-yard game of the season – and the Michigan State commit scored four TD in Saturday’s 36-35 victory at Cherokee.

Next game: at DePaul (3-2), Wednesday

2. Wall (7-0)

Last game: A heroic goal-line stand in the final minutes, capped by Keisun Sanders’ tackle at the 6-inch line on a fourth-and-goal from the 2 with 1:06 remaining, enabled the Crimson Knights to defeat Donovan Catholic, 18-15, and capture the unofficial Shore Conference championship.

Next game: Season complete. 

1. St. Peter's Prep (4-0)

Last game: The Marauders haven’t played since Oct. 24, a 25-7 victory over Paramus Catholic. They are scheduled to visit Seton Hall Prep on Monday and Bergen Catholic on Saturday.

Next game: at Seton Hall Prep (2-3), Monday

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES (listed alphabetically): Becton, Cranford, Mater Dei, Randolph, West Morris, Winslow Township.

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: NJ football rankings: Statewide Top 25 after Week 8

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