After a 41-0 loss in Week 9 of the regular season, The North Brunswick Raiders got together, and talked about what needed to change.
Sure, they had wins against Old Bridge, Edison and St. Joseph-Metuchen. But they also had a 13-point loss to Sayreville, and were outscored in losses to Union and Hillsborough by a combined 83-0.
The up-and-down season, despite a 6-3 record and the third seed in Central Jersey Group 5, wasn’t enough.
Since that meeting three weeks ago, North Brunswick has won two straight against solid South Jersey competition in the playoffs, falling behind by two touchdowns in both games, but rallying back both times, against Eastern and Cherokee.
That has North Brunswick (8-3) feeling things will be different this Friday night at 7 pm, when they return to Noonan Field to face top-seed Hillsborough (11-1) in the Central Jersey Group 5 title game.
The Raiders (of Middlesex County) are seeking their first state title ever; they’re 0-2 in the title game all-time, having lost to South River in the 1979 Central Jersey Group 2 final, then to Sayreville in the 2018 Central Jersey Group 5 championship game.
Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with North Brunswick head coach Mike Cipot and runningback/safety Marquis Perry before practice on this week: