Category: Notebook

VIDEO: No. 8 Hillsborough takes a knee to finish off No. 1 Phillipsburg in Rumble on the Raritan

A huge win by Hillsborough on Sunday at the Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers University in Piscataway is sure to throw a wrench into the rankings after Week 4 of play.

Click below to watch the final kneel-down by the Raiders, with Justin Sontupe on play-by-play at SHI Stadium on Sunday, September 24, 2023:

Gladden-Boone’s end zone INT on a 2-point try stymies No. 7 Sayreville, lets No. 2 North Brunswick avoid upset

It was a game bookended by two amazing plays.

On the first play from scrimmage, Sayreville’s Zaimer Wright scored on a gargantuan 61-yard touchdown run – after not playing in the last two games – and it looked like the 7th-ranked Bombers might be off to the races and have upset on their minds against second-ranked North Brunswick.

But he was held to just over 80 yards the rest of the game and the North Brunswick defense held.

In particular, it held on the next-to-last play of the game. Sayreville – down 21-14 – got a one-yard TD run from Nick Nunez to make it 21-20.

The Bombers elected to go for two, but when Nunez threw a flare just over the goal line, the Raiders’ Tamir Gladden-Boone picked off the pass, and allowed the Raiders – after recovering an onside kick attempt – were able to take a knee to close the game out.

The win keeps North Brunswick undefeated, at 4-0. The Raiders have won at least four straight to start three of the last four seasons under Mike Cipot. Sayreville fell to 3-2.

Wright finished with 144 rushing yards and two touchdown runs, the only player in the game to rush for over 100 yards.

Click below for postgame reaction from Marcus Borden presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Two first-half TDs enough to fuel No. 8 Hilsborough’s 14-13 upset of top-ranked, unbeaten Phillipsburg at Rutgers

Touchdown runs from Jackson Jankowicz and Shayne Powell – and some solid defense – were all Hillsborough would need to pull off the biggest upset of the year so far in the Big Central Conference.

The 8th-ranked Raiders hung on, surviving a late score by the top-ranked and previously-undefeated Stateliners when they failed on a two-point conversion that would have given them the lead, for a 14-13 win in the Rumble on the Raritan at SHI Stadium in Piscataway.

No one threw up any gaudy numbers. In fact, the game saw neither team have a hundred-yard rusher despite rainy conditions one might think would keep the ball on the ground. And neither quarterback could muster 100 yards passing either.

It was a fairly even game stat-wise, but they key number for Hillsborough was this: 3-for-3 defensively on Phillipsburg fourth downs, inlcuding a 13-play drive they stopped cold to start the second half.

Hillsborough is now 4-1 on the year, while Phillipsburg falls to 3-1, taking its first loss. Hillsborough had just lost to Ridge the week before, and now the top three teams in the American Silver Division – the Raiders, Red Devils and Stateliners – all have one loss.

Click below from postgame reaction from Marcus Borden, presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Two top ten Big Central clashes on tap at Sunday’s Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers

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.


Hillsborough: Humbled Hillsborough wants to get back on track in clash with Phillipsburg at Rutgers

Phillipsburg: Top-ranked ‘Liners look to keep it going when Phillipsburg and No. 8 Hillsborough Rumble on the Raritan Sunday



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.

Sayreville celebrates after winning the North 2, Group 4 title in 2016 at Rutgers University in Piscataway, it’s most recent trip to “the Banks.” (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

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.


Sayreville: Wright or not, Sayreville in good shape heading into North Brunswick clash at Rutgers Sunday

North Brunswick: No. 2 North Brunswick looks to build on early momentum against No. 7 Sayreville in Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers



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

North Brunswick:

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

No. 2 North Brunswick looks to build on early momentum against No. 7 Sayreville in Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers

As North Brunswick and head coach Mike Cipot embark on another strong start in his seventh season leading the Raiders (3-0), they face a solid test in the Sayreville Bombers (3-1), taking place in the Rumble on the Raritan played at SHI Stadium on the campus of Rutgers University in Piscataway.

While the first three games have all been wins for North Brunswick, they’ve come as a sort of mixed bag.

A 38-6 win over South Brunswick served as a dominating win for the squad, but they were tested a bit more in a 23-16 victory over Edison. A 29-2 triumph over Old Bridge may seem like a breeze, but it took three fourth-quarter touchdowns from the Raiders for Cipot and his team to feel comfortable in the win.

It’s been a year of transition for North Brunswick, as they replaced long-time starter Frankie Garbolino at quarterback. Al Trevelise has been impressive since taking over, passing for 434 yards and five touchdowns while being a steady presence as the leader of the offense.

A ferocious Raiders defense will be put to the test, as through three games they have allowed an average of eight points per game, led by linebacker Jack Garbolino. Sayreville’s strong running game figures to be a test for Cipot and North Brunswick’s defense.

The Raiders and the Bombers will kick off at 3 pm from SHI Stadium in Piscataway, following the matchup between Hillsborough and Phillipsburg as Mike Pavlichko and Alec Crouthamel have the call. Click here to listen.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Alec Crouthamel speak with North Brunswick head coach Mike Cipot about this weekend’s matchup against Sayreville:

Humbled Hillsborough wants to get back on track in clash with Phillipsburg at Rutgers

After starting the season 3-0, Hillsborough hit a speed bump last week when the Raiders dropped a 28-7 game at Ridge last week.

Raiders’ head coach Kevin Carty Jr. says maybe it was a good thing. Maybe it’s getting the bugs out now, rather than in a sectional semifinal.

Whatever the reason, whatever the result is when the helmets and pads go away for the winter, it won’t be easy to get back on the winning track, at least not this week.

That’s because No. 8 Hillsborough (3-1) will be back in action Sunday at Rutgers University in the Rumble on the Raritan against the top-ranked team in the Big Central Conference – Phillipsburg (3-0) – in the first of an all-BCC doubleheader that starts with the Raiders and Stateliners at noon, followed by No. 7 Sayreville and second-ranked North Brunswick at 3:00.

You can hear all of it on Central Jersey Sports Radio starting with pregame at 11:45 am from SHI Stadium with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe on the call. Click here to listen.

Hillsborough is led on offense by junior runningback Jackson Jankowicz – the son of former Middlesex coach P.J. Jankowicz, who’s also on Carty’s staff – with 407 rushing yards and five touchdowns, while the defense is paced by Jon Lobello, a holdover from the 2021 Central Jersey Group 5 championship team along with Shayne Powell, who has two picks and two sacks on the season.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Hillsborough head coach Kevin Carty about the Raiders’ season and matchup with Phillipsburg:

Top-ranked ‘Liners look to keep it going when Phillipsburg and No. 8 Hillsborough Rumble on the Raritan Sunday

Over the last year-and-a-half, Phillipsburg has stood up to every in-conference challenge it’s faced.

The Stateliners went undefeated in last year’s regular season and have started 2023 with three-straight wins, including two against fellow Big Central top-10 opponents. With the highest of expectations, the winningest program in the history of New Jersey high school football hasn’t lost a Big Central game since October 1, 2021 at Bridgewater-Raritan.

But new challenges await this weekend, and it’s not just the opponent.

No. 1 Phillipsburg draws No. 8 Hillsborough (3-1, 1-1 Big Central – American Silver) in the Rumble on the Raritan on Sunday at Rutgers’ SHI Stadium.

Such is to say that it’s actually three challenges: a top-10 division rival, a Sunday game, and a 53,000-seat stadium.

Ask head coach Frank Duffy, in his 8th season in charge at Phillipsburg, about the different elements and his tone doesn’t change. It’s exciting to play in a big-time venue, and while they’ve changed some things this week timing-wise, how Phillipsburg prepared remained a constant. The focus is on doing what it takes to beat a really good Hillsborough team and improve to 4-0.

Junior quarterback Jett Genovese has thrown for 477 and six touchdowns this season. Classmate Matthew Scerbo Jr. has 229 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Thunder and thunder backfield tandem Caleb Rivera and John Wargo have combined for 465 rushing yards and four scores. The defense has allowed just four touchdowns all season. There are few teams in the state, if any, playing better football than Phillipsburg is right now.

The Stateliners will put their 3-0 record to the test on Sunday, a test that includes a rainy Sunday forecast, a Division 1 stadium, and, of course, a stout Big Central rival in Hillsborough. Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe will call the action from SHI Stadium. Coverage begins at 11:40 with kickoff set for 12:00 on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Click here to listen.

Click below to hear Phillipsburg head coach Frank Duffy talk with Justin Sontupe about Sunday’s game:

INSTANT REPLAY: Westfield 31, Scotch Plains-Fanwood 0

Quarterback Max Cho threw three touchdown passes and the Westfield defense held solid in a 31-0 road win at Scotch Plains-Fanwood on September 22nd, 2023. It was the 60th meeting between the schools, and the first matchup between the two under the lights. The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 44-13-3.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe call all the action live from Perry Tyson Field in Scotch Plains:

1st Half
2nd Half

Spotswood extends Big Central-best win streak to seven with 30-0 win at South River in “backyard brawl”

The rain didn’t spoil South River’s homecoming, as Rams’ fans braved the raw, wet, windy weather to cheer on their team and see old classmates.

If anything spoiled their homecoming, it was the Spotswood football team.

And maybe the mud.

The Chargers won their seventh straight game dating back to last year – and improved to 5-0 in 2023 in the process – thanks to a convincing 30-0 win at Bill Denny Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Spotswood led 17-0 at the half on a pair of touchdown runs by senior quarterback Trey Lazar and a 21-yard field goal, then continued adding on in the second half. They built up to their final margin, 30-0, by the end of the third quarter.

Lazar also threw for a TD in the second half.

Click below for postgame reaction with Marcus Borden in South River, presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Wright or not, Sayreville in good shape heading into North Brunswick clash at Rutgers Sunday

Zaimer Wright has played in two of Sayreville’s first four games this season. He’s missed the last two and is likely a game time decision this week, says his head coach Don Sofilkanich.

But as the No. 7 Bombers proved last week in a 24-12 win over Edison, they still have plenty of talent on the field.

Quarterback Nick Nunez got the ball to eight other players on offense in that game: six rushed it, including him, and four caught passes, with senior Xavian Pena doing both. Shaun Jackson rushed for two touchdowns, and Travis Gaston ran for another. The Bombers even kicked a field goal.

Not only that, but the offense used the entire field. They ran it left, right and up the middle. They went for short and long passes.

All that should make for a good matchup Sunday with second-ranked North Brunswick (3-0) when the Raiders and Bombers (3-1) tussle at 3 pm in the second of two all-Big Central Conference games at the Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium in Piscataway. We’ll have coverage of that game on Central Jersey Sports Radio, right after the first game between No. 8 Hillsborough and top-ranked Phillipsburg at noon. Click here to listen.

Click below to hear Sayreville head coach Don Sofilkanich talk about the Bombers’ and their game against North Brunswick at Rutgers on Sunday: