High School Football

Summit – shown here in a Week One home game against Woodbridge at Tatlock Field on September 2, 2023 – is in the Big Central Media Poll for the first time ever. (Source: Hudl)

Ridge remains No. 1 in Big Central Media Poll; Summit joins the mix

There was very little change in the Week 6 Big Central Media Poll, a week after then-top-ranked Phillipsburg’s loss to Hillsborough threw upheaval into the rankings. Again, North Brunswick got three first-place votes, while St. Thomas Aquinas got two, but it was Ridge that took the top spot based on the poll math: 10 points for a first place votes, 9 for second, etc. In fact, the top five teams stayed the same, while Montgomery and Watchung Hills flip-flopped after the Cougars’ win over the Warriors Saturday night. Bernards and Union also flip-flopped – the Farmers falling to Hillsborough at…

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North Brunswick – shown here against Franklin on September 29., 2023, is tops in the CJSR Top Ten for a second straight week. (Source: @NB_RaiderNation on Twitter)

North Brunswick takes No. 1 in CJSR Top Ten for second straight week

Things appear to be settling in past the halfway point of the high school football season, at least as far as the rankings are concerned. In the Week 6 Central Jersey High School Football Top Ten, North Brunswick is at the top of the list for a second straight week. The Raiders are 5-0 after a shutout win over Franklin Friday night, their first of the season. There was very little movement this week, with the top two teams (North Brunswick and Ridge) staying the same, the third and fourth place teams (Hillsborough and Phillipsburg) flipping, and the two teams…

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The Carteret Ramblers stretch out and warm up before their home game against JP Stevens on September 29, 2023. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

INSTANT REPLAY: Carteret 46, JP Stevens 7

Junior Jakir Thomas scored four touchdowns to lead Carteret to a 46-7 win over visiting JP Stevens in a Big Central Conference United Silver Division game at Walt Overholt Stadium in Carteret. Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe call all the action on Friday, September 29, 2023:

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Montgomery’s Matt D’Avino hauls in a second half touchdown pass from Michael Schmelzer, Jr. – one of three on the night – in a 28-21 win at Watchung Hills on September 30, 2023. (Photo: Marcus Borden)

No. 6 Montgomery pulls away in second half to top No. 5 Watchung Hills in battle of unbeatens

In a game where Montgomery never trailed, but never led by more than a touchdown until the fourth quarter, the No. 6 Cougars topped No. 5 Watchung Hills Saturday night, 28-21, in a battle of undefeated teams. The win clinches the Liberty Silver Division title for Montgomery. Senior quarterback Michael Schmelzer, Jr., figured in all four touchdowns, throwing three TD passes to his favorite target, fellow senior Matt D’Avino, and running for another. It was a tight game throughout, with the teams trading touchdowns. D’Avino caught a 31-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to put Monty up 7-0. In…

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Former Phillipsburg head coach Bob Stem inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2021. (Source: @MichaelBlouse on Twitter)

Legendary Phillipsburg football mentor Bob Stem passes away, aged 84

Former Phillipsburg head coach Bob Stem – who won 112 games with the Stateliners in two separate tours of duty as head coach – has passed away at the age of 84, his death first reported by Lehigh Valley Live. Stem’s first go-round with P’burg was from 1973 to 1981, then he coached another six years from 2005 to 2010. A native of the Phillipsburg, Stem starred in football and wrestling in the mid-1950s. He was an All-State and All-American in 1957, and also was a state champion wrestler in 1958. He went on to play at Syracuse, where he…

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The Hillsborough cheerleaders are all set to go before the Raiders’ game at Union on September 29, 2023. (Source: @LetsGoBoro on Twitter)

Little rest, but not weary: Hillsborough hangs on for 15-7 win at Union on four days’ rest

Jackson Jankowicz has set the tone often in games for Hillsborough. The junior – a starter last year as a sophomore – is a veteran now, and he knows what his team, when it needs it. What it needed – and got – Friday night at Cooke Field in Union was a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the game, staking 4th-ranked Hillsborough to an 8-0 lead over the No. 8 Farmers after a converted two-point pass play.. The Raiders (5-1) then got a defensive stop, and marched all the way downfield for a scoring drive, capped by…

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Phillipsburg beat Hunterdon Central 21-7 at home Maloney Stadium on September 29, 2023. (Source: Raymond C. Pratt/@Raymond81579 on Twitter)

Stateliners shake off injuries, beat Hunterdon Central 21-7 to get back in win column

Phillipsburg’s rumble with Hillsborough on the Raritan back on Sunday left the Stateliners with a number of injuries at key spots, including tight-end and quarterback. Next man up. Third-ranked P’burg got two second quarter touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead into the half at Maloney Stadium Friday night against ninth-ranked Hunterdon Central to beat the Red Devils 21-7. Backup quarterback Nick Stettner – in for Jett Genovese, who injured his ankle against the Raiders Sunday but shouldn’t be out long, according to head coach Frank Duffy – threw two touchdown passes in the second quarter, one each to John Wargo…

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Piscataway players signal touchdown as Horace Thompson scores his second touchdown of the game in a 28-7 win at Old Bridge on September 29, 2023. (Photo: Marcus Borden)

Piscataway handles Old Bridge in the rain with 2 TDs each from Stephens, Thompson

Football coaches love a kid who can score many different ways. De’shaun Stephens scored twice, both in different ways, Friday night in the rain for Piscataway. The Chiefs got a two rushing touchdowns from Horace Thompson, and two more from Stephens – a receiving touchdown and a pick six – to help seal the deal. But it didn’t start the way Piscataway (3-3) wanted. Old Bridge (1-5) got on the board first on a Jaden Griffiths touchdown after the Knights’ recovered a Chiefs’ fumble. But Thompson scored twice in the second quarter to give Piscataway the lead for good, en…

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Carteret head coach Kevin Freeman. Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Thomas’ 4 TDs, perfect first half, proper Carteret to 46-7 win over JP Stevens

The night belonged to Jakir Thomas. The Carteret junior runningback – already over 2,000 yards coming into the game for his career – scored four touchdowns in the first half – and the Ramblers scored the ball every time they touched it except for the final drive of the game where the clock ran out – en route to a 46-7 win over visiting JP Stevens Friday night, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Thomas had TD runs of 29, 31, 11 and 35 yards, finishing with 10 carries for 154 yards. Carteret’s game plan was to…

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Governor Livingston QB Lucciano Santamaria converts on fourth down to set up a Highlander touchdown in the first half of their game at South Plainfield’s Frank Jost Field on September 28, 2023. (Photo: Marcus Borden)

Highlanders do it with defense: Governor Livingston stymies South Plainfield, 25-6

Governor Livingston entered Week 5 play Thursday night in 16th place in the North Group 3 playoff chase, despite being 4-1. All they can do is win games at this point, and so far, just about all they have been doing is winning games. The Highlanders made it their fifth in a row with a 25-6 win at South Plainfield’s Frank Jost Field Thursday night, pulling away in the second half and blanking the Tigers after halftime. Quarterback Ryan Balent found Patrick Smith four minutes into the game on a 15-yard touchdown pass, and after a failed two-point pass, they…

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