A quick glance at the Friday night top ten scoreboard in the Big Central could make things even murkier in the Week 2 rankings when they come out next week.
To begin with, No. 6 Hillsborough overcame a very early 14-0 deficit to take No. 7 Phillipsburg to overtime, and came out with a 21-14 win, almost singlehandedly thanks to Tommy Amankwaa. He had the score and two-point conversion to tie the game, scored in OT to put the Raiders ahead, then sealed it with a pick on the Stateliners’ possession.
Talk about a game. He turned up big time.
Phillipsburg had won four straight against the Raiders, and even though Hillsborough was the higher-ranked team, it’s a huge win for them over a prominent Garden State program. A statement win that says they will be the team to beat in the division.
They get Franklin next week, which plays No. 5 Ridge this afternoon, and then will go at it in the Battle of Route 206 two Thursdays hence, in the “Big Central Game of the Week” driven by Autoland on Central Jersey Sports Radio.
That should be a fun one.
North Brunswick, meanwhile, the newly-minted No. 1 team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten, followed up an explosive second-half performance against South Brunswick – 35 unanswered points to end the game – with a 34-27 win at No. 4 Old Bridge.
This North Brunswick team is loaded, and to be honest, it was a tough pick making Somerville the preseason No. 1 over the Raiders. And though Somerville (2-1) lost a tough one to Northern Highlands last week at Rutgers out of conference, it looks like the Raiders are for real. That’s a good Knights team with Owen Haughney, Lawrence Hunter and company, but North Brunswick got a big road win here.
Now 2-0, the Raiders get Sayreville (0-2) at home next week. Their next biggest test will come in mid-October when Union comes to Steve Libro Field.
And how about Colonia. The Patriots took Woodbridge – which got a first place vote this week in the Media Poll – to the bring in Week One, but are in the win column after a 38-7 upset of No. 8 (tie) Edison (1-1). The Eagles were coming off a 37-0 shutout win over JP Stevens – admittedly, not much of a test – but were thoroughly dominated by the Patriots, who are now 1-1.
The Patriots led 24-0 at halftime, thanks in large part to quarterback Josh Oluremi. All he did was rush for touchdowns on 10, 20 and 24 yards, and throw 32 yards for another to Patrick Miller.
Colonia also had a pick-six in the win, and Jake Ciencin managed six sacks all on his own.
The real test will be in the next four games with three of them on the road. They start at South Plainfield next week, then have Montgomery at home before traveling to Linden and No. 8 (tie) Cranford, which edged out North Hunterdon Friday night 43-37 at home, on a tough week for the Union County town following major storm damage from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.