Week 8 Analysis: Brearley a good bet for a top 8 finish in North 1; can Belvidere make it?

Brearley’s win over Bound Brook last Friday night made the Bears one of the biggest gainers of the week in the UPR standings, climbing out of the near-cellar with a 3-2 to record and in 15th place all the way up to 8th, now with a mark of 4-2.

They didn’t do it with smoke and mirrors, it was just a huge boost to their power point average, which went from an even 8.00 to a 10.33; but even that only got them over two teams. The win against the Crusaders helped them get all the way to 11th from 17th in OSI, even though they went up by fewer than two OSI points.

This section can be a volatile one; from six or seven down, everyone is tightly packed. Expect more fluctuation this week.

Add to that, a COVID-related cancellation by Dunellen will give Brearley a forfeit win this week. The Destroyers – a low power point (10) and Strength Index (23.45) team – don’t help them, but next week, a win over currently 2-4 Dayton might. The Bears might need some help this week and next; we’ll know more when we see the results of this week’s games, and when the SI values are locked heading into Week 9.

As for Belvidere, the County Seaters are 3-2 and tied with Secaucus and Shabazz for 17th place. They are one of four teams across the state with two or fewer losses to not be in the playoff picture; Manville is another. The trio is two full UPR points out of a playoff spot, with UPRs of 18.2, while Butler sits in 16th with a 16.2 UPR. Hoboken is just above at 16.2.

But here’s how quickly things can turn:

Belvidere ranks 14th in power points with an 8.40 average. But the next team up is Kittatinny at 8.43, then Cresskill at 8.50, and Weequahic and Wood-Ridge tied at 8.67, and Wallington at 8.83. That just 0.43 points separating six teams. A jump of a half-point could surge Belvidere right into the thick of things. And they only need two of those other five to falter, which isn’t our of the realm of possibility; Secaucus is just 1-4, Butler is 3-4, Hoboken is 3-2, Wood-Ridge is 3-4.

Maybe things don’t look so dire for the County Seaters after all? They host 2-5 North Warren tomorrow night, then play at 1-4 Roselle Park on Cutoff Weekend. Certainly a pair of winnable games. If they can sweep, will the rest play in their favor? Stay tuned.

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