Bernards looking to keep the ball rolling in North Group 2 semifinal matchup at Westwood

Bernards head coach Jon Simoneau. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

The Bernards football team already has set a program record for wins with 12, and the Mountaineers are keen to keep it going.

They could have as many as two more opportunities, and become the first-ever Big Central team to win 14 games in a season. But to have that chance, they’ll have to win Friday night.

That’s when North 2, Group 2 champion Bernards takes on North 1, Group 2 champion Westwood (11-0) out of Bergen County and the Super Football Conference, in a game you can hear live on Central Jersey Sports Radio Friday night at 7 pm, with pregame at 6:45. Click here to listen.

Bernards players practice at Olcott Field in Bernardsville on November 14, 2023, in advance of the Group 2 semis against Westwood Friday night. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

The Mountaineers have been tremendous all season long. Besides being undefeated, second-seed Bernards won its first playoff era sectional title last Friday night, beating 5th-seed Lakeland 23-17 in overtime, rallying twice. Connor Laverty’s pass to Jake Caldwell on fourth-and-goal from the 11 with one minute to go gave Bernards a two-point lead, with the PAT making it three.

Though Lakeland tied the game on a field goal as time expired, sending the contest to overtime, Bernards held on defense, as the Lancers missed a field goal on their chance in OT, before Laverty ran a touchdown in virtually unscathed to win it.

Now, it’s a battle of unbeatens for the championship, and the similarities go beyond that. Each team has scored a ton of points, and allows very few.

Bernards is averaging 38.4 points per game, allowing 7.4, for a differential of +31, while Westwood is scoring 32.2, but only allowing 5, for a differential of +27.2 points per game. The teams have combined for seven shutouts; Bernards has recorded three, Westwood four.

Simoneau says he expects a very athletic, hard-hitting, well-coached team Friday night.

Just like his.

Click below to hear Bernards head coach Jon Simoneau preview Friday night’s Group 2 North semifinal:

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