NOTE: This story has been corrected to say a local story reported four players ejected, stead three.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood coach Austin Holman wanted to keep his players motivated. They’d have to be on good behavior if they had a hope of making the playoffs.
That was the case from Week Two on, after four players were ejected from a game 30-24 win over Plainfield all the way back on September 4th. The ejections made the game story on a local website, but that was the end of it. They didn’t talk about it again.
According to NJSIAA rules, any team with more than two disqualifications in a season is ineligible for the playoffs that season. The NJSIAA recently confirmed the ejections – and Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s ban from the 2021 playoffs – to Central Jersey Sports Radio.
Holman says two of his players came off the bench to get another player out of trouble on the field. But all three were ejected. Though there’s no appealing the officials’ decisions, Holman and school officials hoped they might be able to show video evidence and get the NJSIAA to overturn their postseason ban.
That effort bore no fruit this week, and Holman told his team the final result after Friday night’s 41-21 loss at Colonia, which left them 5-5 on the year, with a big win last week at Woodbridge they could be proud of.
The Raiders would have been in the playoffs, sitting in 13th after all the other Friday night results were calculated. Instead, it will open the door for whoever the 16th place team in the standings is.
Currently, that’s 17th place Bergenfield, which is 3-5. A win tomorrow at home against Demarest – also 3-5 – would keep them in 17th, and get them in the playoffs. Should they lose, they would drop to 18th, and Montgomery would move into 17th, and into the postseason.
Whoever gets the overall 16 seed would face overall top-seed Northern Highlands, which is 9-0 and ranked 8th in the state by NJ.com, the second-highest ranked public school in the state behind overall No. 4 Millville.