On Day Two of the Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium in Piscataway, the Big Central Conference will take center stage.
Central Jersey Sports Radio has you covered with its team of reporters. Mike Pavlichko, Justin Sontupe and Alec Crouthamel will bring you all the live play-by-play, while Marcus Borden will be tweeting video updates and highlights and providing postgame reaction presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen.
Here’s a closer look at both games:
#8 Hillsborough (3-1) vs. #1 Phillipsburg (3-0), noon
Weather Forecast: 64 degrees, 69% chance of rain, winds ENE 12 MPH
Every week is a test for both of these teams, and there are major implications for this one.
To begin with, it’s a key divisional game for the two, with the Raiders already having a loss to Ridge. A P’burg win would put them 2-0 in division with Ridge having one loss and Hillsborough having two. A Boro win and all three would have one loss.
Second, while the Raiders and Stateliners are in separate playoffs supersections, there’s a big OSI and power point number at stake for the winner.
And then there are the rankings, which don’t officially determine anything, but with Phillipsburg having been a unanimous No. 1 all season, they’ll need to keep proving it each week against one of the toughest schedules in the Big Central. For Hillsborough, it’s a chance to move up, knock off the big dog, and price they belong in that realm, coming off a humbling loss to Ridge last week.
Passing: Alex Reiling, 390 yds, 4 TD
Rushing: Jackson Jankowicz, 407 yds, 5 TD
Receiving: Chimmy Ozokpor, 121 yds, 1 TD
Tackles: Jonathan Lobello, 40
Sacks: Shayne Powell, 2
Interceptions: Shayne Powell, 2
Passing: Jett Genovese, 477 yds, 6 TD
Rushing: Caleb Rivera, 302 yds, 2 TD
Receiving: Matthew Scerbo, Jr., 229 yds, 3 TD
Tackles: Cameron Bohal, 16
Sacks: Grifton Friday-Johnson, 1
Interceptions: Kevin Burgess, 1
#7 Sayreville (3-1) vs. #2 North Brunswick (3-0), 3 pm
Weather Forecast: 65 degrees, 86% chance of rain, winds ENE 12 MPH
It took the Raiders 21 tries before they picked up their first-ever win against Sayreville in 2019. But since then, North Brunswick has won three of the last four get-togethers.
Today, it’s another first for them: playing a game at Rutgers. When the Raiders fell to Sayreville in the 2018 Central Jersey Group 5 title game, it was played at the Bombers’ home field, the first year the NJSIAA went back to higher seeds for sectional title games with the expansion of the playoffs that year to the “bowl games.” (Those eventually became “regional championships” and now serve as state group semifinal games.)
Sayreville won a state title at Rutgers in 2016, the first of two under Chris Beagan, who retired after last season.
For Sayreville, senior Zaimer Wright is a game-time decision. But last week against Edison, the Bombers were fine enough without him, spreading the field as quarterback Nick Nunez got the ball to multiple receivers and runningbacks and used the entire field to get it to them.
The Raiders are adjusting to life after Frankie Garbolino, a steadying force at QB having been the starter for the past three years. Their defense deservedly gets a lot of attention, too, averaging eight points allowed through three games, having surrendered six points to South Brunswick, a season-high 16 to Edison and just a safety to Old Bridge.
Passing: Nick Nunez, 164 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Zaimer Wright, 306 yds, 4 TD
Receiving: Ky’von Mitchell, 75 yds, 1 TD
Tackles: Diego Jesus, 36
Sacks: Diego Jesus, 2
Interceptions: Shaun Jackson, 1
Passing: Al Treveliese, 434 yds, 5 TD
Rushing: Tamir Gladden-Boone, 209 yds, 2 TD
Receiving: Demba Conteh, 153 yds 1 TD (Jack Garbolino, 3 TD)
Tackles: Jack Garbolino, 32
Sacks: Anthony Walker, 1
Interceptions: Samaad Hicks, 1