High School Football

“Mr. Old Bridge,” Ron Mazzola, second from right, with Old Bridge wrestling coach Bryan Garnett (middle) after winning his 100th match. (Source: Ron Mazzola on Twitter)

“Mr. Old Bridge,” Ron Mazzola, does a little bit of everything for Knights, Chargers, GMC

He’s been at it a while, seen a lot, and does a little of everything. Ron Mazzola is most well-known to the average fan as being the PA voice of Old Bridge football. His first game was by accident, a rescheduled game due to rain that ended up being played at Edison, and the main announcer, Gus Persch, was unavailable. The Knights beat No. 2 Hillsborough that day 49-0. The rest, as they say, is history. But even before that, Mazzola was busy behind the scenes, not long after he graduated Madison Central High School in 1978, having played baseball…

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Manville’s Shawn Purcell (Source: Twitter)

Week 3 Friday night hot takes: No. 1 upended, Cougars and Mustangs and more start hot

The big news of the night of course was the No. 1 North Brunswick Raiders, who surely won’t hold that position next week. That takes nothing away from the Sayreville Bombers, who upended the Raiders 35-22 on their home field Friday night to pick up their first win of the season against two losses, albeit to teams who are both in the top ten in the Big Central Media Poll (and maybe at least one of those teams warrant another look in the CJSR rankings). But that was the big story line Friday night, along with a host of others.…

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Sayreville students traveled to watch their Bombers knock off No. 1 North Brunswick at Steve Libro Field on Friday, September 17, 2021. (Source: Sayreville Athletics on Twitter)

Sayreville topples No. 1 Raiders, wins it with defense as much as offense

In a game that was tied 8-8 at the half, Sayreville made some halftime adjustments that paid off for a very young team. The Bombers knocked off Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Number One team the last two weeks, beating North Brunswick 35-22 on the road, to pick up their first victory of the year. Sayreville (1-2) was tied 8-8 with the Raiders (2-1) at the half, and led 13-8 in the third quarter, but pulled away to win by 13. Click below to hear Sayreville head coach Chris Beagan talk with Mike Pavlichko about the victory:

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Cranford players mug for the camera after routing Summit on September 17, 2021 at Memorial Field. From l. to r., seniors Will Gallagher (23), Shane Van Dam (4), Chris Blevins (42), and Colin Murray (13). (Source: @cranfordsport on Twitter)

Cranford wins a battle of top Union County QBs, Cougars off to 2-0 start

Cranford head coach Erik Rosenmeier believes football is a fall sport. He believes summer is for vacation, and that’s why his team didn’t play in Week One. It had nothing to do with the remnants of Ida that caused major damage in some parts of town along the Rahway River. Either way, his team is off to a 2-0 start, following up on a 43-37 OT win over North Hunterdon in the opener with a 45-8 home win at Memorial Field over Summit. Senior Shane Van Dam and the Cranford offense got the better of Summit and QB Charlie Schaffer,…

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Old Bridge players take the field for pre-game warmups at South Brunswick on Friday, September 17, 2021.

No. 5 Old Bridge routs South Brunswick as Hunter, Haughney star

Lawrence Hunter III was poised to have a big season for the Old Bridge Knights. And he came through Friday night in a big way. Hunter scored three touchdowns at Mike Elko Field in a 40-11 blowout of South Brunswick in the Big Central Game of the Week, driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland. The three scores give Hunter five rushing touchdowns on the season, all coming in the last two games, and for tonight, earned him Big Central Player of the Game honors; Hunter – who rushed two dozen times for 231 yards, unofficially,…

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When South Brunswick takes the field tonight against Old Bridge, it will be their first time in front of more fans than just their families in two years. (Source: @VikingsSouth on Twitter)

Vikings will need to use all “options” when defending No. 5 Old Bridge offensive attack

South Brunswick head coach John Viotto was impressed with his team’s Week Two defense. In a 27-0 shutout of Piscataway, the Vikings (1-1) limited the Chiefs – in their first game played in two years – to under 200 yards, and had four takeaways. It was a turnaround from Week One, when they allowed 56 points to now-No. 1 North Brunswick. Of course, Old Bridge (1-1) – the Vikes’ opponent tonight in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland – also had their problem with the Raiders, so maybe…

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Old Bridge senior QB Owen Haughney – shown here in a Week 2 game against North Brunswick – is fast approaching 2,000 career passing yards.

No. 5 Old Bridge looks to rebound at South Brunswick

The Old Bridge offense played well, according to head coach Anthony Lanzamafa, but the Knights need to limit the big play. That might have been easier said than done last week when the Knights lost 34-27 to No. 1 North Brunswick, but Old Bridge (1-1) hopes to right the ship tonight when they visit South Brunswick (1-1) in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland. Kickoff time is at 6 pm at Mike Elko Field in Monmouth Junction, with pregame set for 5:45; Justin Sontupe and Tim Catalfamo will…

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This Week in the Big Central – Episode 4: The Mr. Old Bridge

A pair of big wins for a pair of Raiders, and the Big Man in Old Bridge. Those are some of the highlights of Episode 4 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland. We take a closer look at the top-ranked North Brunswick’s big win at Old Bridge, thanks to a big night from Marqis Perry. Then Hillsborough came up with a statement win over Phillipsburg in overtime. Later, host Mike Pavlichko talks with Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week Tommy Amankwaa, and sits down…

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Brearley off to hot 2-0 start, looks to keep it going against rival Roselle Park in Week 3

Brearley head coach Scott Miller had been saying all summer his team’s success in 2021 would be a direct result of its offensive line, whether they could jell, and how far they could progress. Through two games, the results are better than he could have imagined. And that’s a big reason why the Bears are off to a 2-0 start. Of course, the skill positions need to come through, and that’s where the numbers have been. Brearley won its opener against Johnson two weeks ago 36-0, then went to Charger Stadium and beat Spotswood Saturday afternoon 32-0. Offensively, quarterback Matt…

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Hillsborough’s Tommy Amankwaa (Source: Hudl)

Big plays in big spots earn Hillsborough’s Tommy Amankwaa Week Two Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Honors

This week was a tough one for those who pick a player of the week award. Lots of guys scored lots of touchdowns or made big defensive plays. But Tommy Amankwaa had some of the biggest – and in some new ways – and that earned him Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week honors for Week Two of the season. In Friday night’s clash at Noonan Field between No. 6 Hillsborough and No. 7 Phillipsburg, the Raiders got off to an inauspicious start. Thanks in pert to a fumbled snap, the Stateliners jumped out to a…

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