Woodbridge takes no hit after loss to Scotch Plains-Fanwood, but gets no closer to top-seeds in North 4; Montgomery inches closer

Despite its second straight loss – the first of which likely knocked them out of contention for one of the top seeds in the North Group 4 supersection Woodbridge didn’t take another hit after a 34-33 loss to Scotch Plains-Fanwood Friday night.

Sure, the Barrons’ power point average dropped, as did its OSI, but they maintained a UPR of 5 and were no further back from fourth place Ramapo, which also lost, yet held with a 4.2 UPR.

Easily ahead at this point, Northern Highlands (7-0, UPR 1) and Middletown South (5-1 after a Friday loss, UPR 2.4) remain Nos. 1 and 2 in the field.

Sayreville climbed to the 8th seed after a 28-9 win over New Brunswick Friday night, raising their power point average, though their OSI dropped a shade, less than two-tenths of a point. (That means the Bombers played almost exactly to the “expected result” – the difference between the two teams’ Strength Index values – in a 19-point win.)

That could change today, though, after Randolph (5-2, in 9th) visits Morristown (1-6). But, don’t forget, COVID forfeits get added back into the schedules early next week – assuming none are made up on Cutoff Weekend – so the Bombers will get a boost from a COVID forfeit win against multiplier St. Joseph-Metuchen.

Sayreville is in a good place to get a first round home game, but probably no more – at least by seed.

Of big interest is the group of Big Central teams in the bottom half of the supersection. Six of them – plus a seventh team, Chatham, are duking it out for the last six playoff spots, with Wayne Hills (18th) and Bergenfield (19th) outside shots to contend.

After Friday’s games, Colonia sits in 11th, followed by Ridge, Scotch Plains-Fanwood, then Chatham in 14th. The last two spots are held by North Hunterdon and Linden, with UPRs of 14.6 and 16.4, respectively. Then Montgomery is at 17th, with a 17.4 UPR.

The Cougars have a big game against Cranford next week. And it’s looking like a must-win. Cranford upped its SI value to 80.84 with a 42-13 win over Linden Friday night. With a loss, they’re worth 40.42 to Montgomery, and 7 power points. That knocks their power point average down a shade, depending on if they get other residuals, and doesn’t move the needle on OSI.

And winning wouldn’t hurt keeping anyone else at bay.

For Linden’s part, the Tigers have now lost four straight and visit reeling Woodbridge next Friday night. North Hunterdon (4-4) should win at Voorhees (1-7) on Cutoff Weekend. Linden is the most likely team to catch, and as a Woodbridge loss won’t hurt them that much, that further classifies next week’s battle of the Cougars a must-win for Montgomery.

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