In a year where fan attendance for high school football is expected to be extremely limited, Central Jersey Sports Radio has announced a broadcast schedule including nine games over six weeks of the regular season.
Postseason games will be broadcast as well, to be announced at a later date.
New Jersey rules for outdoor gatherings currently stand at a maximum 500 people. Live broadcasts like CJSR’s will be “can’t miss” programming for fans who cant make it to their local high school to watch their favorite team.
The slate begins with a doubleheader on the new NJSIAA opening weekend. First, it’s a matchup of two of the top public schools in Union County in recent years, as Westfield visits Union on Friday, October 2nd for a 7 pm kickoff. the Blue Devils are coming off a 7-4 season in 2019 but prior to that completed three straight full seasons without a loss, winning three straight state sectional title, beating Bridgewater-Raritan in all three championship games. The Farmers are coming off a state title under 8th-year head coach Lou Grasso, his first since in two title game trips since taking over in 2013.
The second game of the double-dip is on Saturday, October 3rd at 1 pm as St. Joseph-Metuchen opens its brand-new stadium at Brenner Family Field against Elizabeth. The Falcons’ facility was renovated over the summer, and now includes full stands along the south side of the playing field overlooking the Plainfield Avenue campus. They are the top non-public school in the Big Central Football Conference. The Minutemen were 2-8 in 2019.
Another weekend twin-bill features two former Thanksgiving Day rivalries, beginning Friday, October 9th at 7 pm when the Battle of Route 18 takes place at Lombardi Field, where Old Bridge hosts East Brunswick. The Knights have owned the Bears since they first met in 1994, following the merger of Madison Central and Cedar Ridge to form OBHS. Old Bridge owned a 22-3 series lead, and won again last year 17-14 in a Week One meeting at Jay Doyle Field.
Then, on Saturday, October 10th at 1 pm, rivals South River and Spotswood will square off at historic Bill Denny Stadium. The Rams were 7-3 last year but missed the playoffs with a 6-3 record at the cutoff, due in part to a weak schedule that didn’t help them in the state’s new playoff calculus. The Chargers are coming off a 4-6 year. The schools have been rivals since Spotswood opened in 1976; prior to that, students from the town had attended South River High School.
Our first foray to the Western half of the Big Central Football Conference takes place on Friday, October 17th at 7 pm when Bound Brook entertains Voorhees out of Glen Gardner at LaMonte Field. The Crusaders have a new head coach, as Dom Longo is out after nine seasons, and his offensive coordinator Dave LePoidevin takes over. His son Patrick is a junior quarterback for the Crusaders. The Vikings, meanwhile, were 3-7 last season, but one of those wins came at Bound Brook, 13-10.
It’s another old “GMC” matchup on Friday, October 23rd at 7 pm, when North Brunswick travels to Edison. The Raiders got knocked out of the sectional semifinals last year by Cherokee, ending the Myles Bailey era in North Brunswick (he’s headed to Central Michigan) without a coveted – and in some circles, expected – state title. The Eagles were 4-6 under Matt Fulham, now in his 16th season, though he brings on another Matt – former Carteret head man Matt Yascko – as his offensive coordinator this year. Yascko’s son – yes, also named Matt – had a breakout year as a true freshman for the Eagles, following the transfer of Lucas Loffredo to Piscataway. The promotion to starter and the younger Yascko’s success led to the elder Yascko leaving the Ramblers.
It’s an in-town rivalry, when JFK-Iselin visits Woodbridge on Friday, October 30th at 7 pm. The Barrons are expected to return a vast majority of the key parts from 2019’s sectional runner-up squad, including runningback Ali Lee, Jr., quarterback Anthony Santino, and three of five starters on the offensive line. Woodbridge lost to Northern Highlands in last year’s North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 final, and was the only Middlesex County team to reach a title game in 2019. The Mustangs, meanwhile, finished 1-9 last season, Pete Christathakis’ fourth as head coach in Iselin.
We close the regular season just like we started, with a double-dip of potentially critical contests on the final week before the postseason begins. On Friday, November 6th at 7 pm, it’s a Somerset-Hunterdon County battle as Somerville takes on Hunterdon Central. The Pioneers finished 10-2 last year under second-year head coach Dallas Whitaker, and made it to a third straight state sectional final. They lost in the South Jersey Group 3 title game to Woodrow Wilson-Camden, after falling to Rumson-Fair Haven in the Central Jersey Group 3 final in 2018. The Pioneers beat Rumson in 2017 as then-head coach Jeff Vanderbeek brought home the school’s first title since 1994.
The regular season schedule concludes on Saturday, November 7th, as Woodbridge travels to Metuchen to take on St. Joe’s, in a battle of likely the top parochial and one of the top public schools in the Big Central. Depending on what form the postseason takes in New Jersey – which the NJSIAA is still considering – the game could be immensely critical for both squads.
For a more compact version of Central Jersey Sports Radio’s 2020 high school football broadcast schedule, click here.