Tag: Bernards

North Brunswick claims top spot in Big Central Media Poll, edging out Union in Week Two

A week ago, North Brunswick had three first place votes in the Big Central Week One Media Poll, while Union had just one.

But the voters that didn’t pick Union first had the Farmers higher than those who didn’t have the Raiders in the top spot, so Union took Number One.

In Week Two, the first place votes went the same way – with Somerville and Woodbridge each getting a nod – but a win over ranked Old Bridge on the road boosted the Raiders in the minds of voters, and this week, they earned the top spot with 52 points, two more than Union.

There was little other change in the poll. Hillsborough jumped over Phillipsburg following a 21-14 overtime home win over the Stateliners, while Edison and Watchung Hills both dropped out. Three teams – Bernards, Cranford and Linden – tied for tenth, with five other teams getting votes.

Below is the Week Two Big Central Media Poll:

North Brunswick win over No. 4 Old Bridge keeps Raiders at No. 1 in CJSR Week Two Top Ten

Going on the road is never easy. Going to Vince Lombardi Field in Old Bridge is even tougher, where the Knights’ student section is loud. Coming out of there with a victory is even tougher.

But that’s what No. 1 North Brunswick did on Friday, pulling out a 34-27 victory at then No. 4 Old Bridge. And so, the Raiders remain No. 1 this week in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten, picking up both first place votes.

Woodbridge and Summit made their season debuts in the rankings, while Edison and New Providence dropped out, though the Pioneers were more of a mathematical casualty, having still received a vote in the poll.

The Media Poll will be out later Monday afternoon.

Below are the Week Two CJSR Rankings:

North Brunswick takes over top spot in CJSR Week 1 Top Ten

Locked in a 21-all tie Friday night against their old Thanksgiving Day rivals, North Brunswick used a balanced attack to score four touchdowns in about five minutes of game action and 35 unanswered points to pick up a season-opening 56-21 win over South Brunswick.

That win, coupled with Somerville’s loss to Northern Highlands – albeit a very good Highlander team, the defending North 1 Group 4 champ from 2019 – flipped the top two spots in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Week One Top Ten.

Somerville finished atop CJSR’s first-ever final rankings in 2019, after beating Woodbridge in the first round of postseason games. The Barrons had been a unanimous No. 1 most of the year. And the Pioneers led the preseason CJSR rankings this year.

But after Week One, North Brunswick has taken the top spot, gaining both first-place votes.

Hillside was the only team to drop out of the rankings, doing so after a 14-7 loss to unranked Bernards – their first loss to the Mountaineers since 2016 – which jumped into the Comets’ spot in the Top Ten. Bernards was the only Big Central team to beat a ranked opponent in Week One

Here’s the Week One Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten:

Instant Replay: Bernards 14, No. 10 Hillside 7

Click below to listen on-demand to the “Big Central Game of the Week” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland from Sunday, September 5, 2021, the first game of a doubleheader broadcast by Central Jersey Sports Radio from Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium in Piscataway.

Mike Pavlichko hosts, while Justin Sontupe and Tim Catalfamo call the action, with guest color commentator and Bernards High School junior Matt Lesnik.

1st Half

2nd Half

PHOTO GALLERY: Bernards wins first game over Hillside since 2016

Click below to view a photo gallery of Bernards 14-7 win over No. 10 Hillside in a “Big Central Game of the Week” driven by Autoland at the Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium in Piscataway on Sunday, September 5, 2021.

Leanza, Bernards ground and pound Hillside en route to 14-7 win

Bernards came out of the box playing ball control offense Sunday afternoon, and though it wouldn’t pay off until after halftime, the result was a 14-7 victory over the Comets in the first part of a doubleheader “Big Central Game of the Week” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

In a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, the victory by the Mountaineers in the “Rumble on the Raritan” was their first against Hillside since September 23, 2016, almost five years. That was a string of five losses over the four previous seasons, including twice in 2018, in the regular season and the playoffs.

Bernards controlled the ball for nearly the first ten minutes of the game, and had a major advantage in time of possession the entire game, holding the ball for almost 34 of the 48 minutes, though they trailed 7-0 at halftime after a Caleb Salters 81-yard touchdown pass to Justin Mays.

But Bernards would score a pair of unanswered touchdowns in the second half. Quarterback Connor Laverty threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Brady Walsh just past t he midway point of the third quarter, while Chris Dietrich broke the tie and put the Mountaineers ahead for good with 8:36 remaining on a one-yard touchdown run, capping a nine play, 47-yard drive in 3:09 of game time.

Bernards moves to 1-1, while Hillside drops to 0-1.

Though he never reached the end zone, Michael Leanza was the workhorse all day for Bernards, grinding out 150 yards on 37 carries an average of 4.1 yards per touch. Leanza was named the Big Central Player of the Game, and will receive a custom game ball at the end of the season, courtesy of Autoland. He was also named the Rumble on the Raritan game MVP.

Click below to hear Bernards HS student Matt Lesnik with postgame reaction from Leanza and head coach Jon Simoneau:

Senior runningback Mike Leanza

Head coach Jon Simoneau

No. 10 Won’t take anything for “Grant”ed when Comets rumble with Bernards Sunday

The Hillside football team is responsible for handing Bernards four of its last five losses over the past three years.

But head coach Barris Grant recognizes those were different players and different teams; all that is in the past.

That’s the mindset when the Comets face the Mountaineers Sunday in Piscataway, in the Rumble on the Raritan showcase at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium.

It’ll be Game One of a doubleheader on the “Big Central Game of the Week” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 pm Sunday; air-time on Central Jersey Sports Radio is set for 1:45 pm with Mike Pavlichko hosting the pregame show. Justin Sontupe and Tim Catalfamo will call all the action, with Bernards High School sports broadcasting student Matt Lesnik joining the booth as well.

Click here to listen live to the broadcast.

READ MORE: Bernards looks to get off schneid against Hillside in “Rumble on the Raritan” Rivalry Game

Game Two, scheduled for 5 pm, will feature Somerville and Northern Highlands.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Tim Catalfamo talk about Hillside with Comets’ head coach Barris Grant:

Bernards looks to get off schneid against No. 10 Hillside in “Rumble on the Raritan” Rivalry Game

Bernards High School football has lost just six games over the last three-plus seasons, tallying 24 wins over that same timeframe. But four of those losses have come at the hands of one foe: Hillside, who Bernards prepares to battle Sunday afternoon in the Rumble on the Raritan at SHI Stadium.

It’s Game One of Central Jersey Sports Radio’s season-opening “Big Central Game of the Week” doubleheader, driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

Coverage begins approximately 1:45 pm on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with Mike Pavlichko hosting the pregame show. Justin Sontupe and Tim Catalfamo will call the action, with Bernards sports broadcasting student Matt Lesnik joining the broadcast as well. Kickoff is scheduled for 2p. Click here to listen to the game live.

“They’re just a very good football program,” said Bernards Head Coach Jon Simoneau. “They just happen to be in our league, so we have to play a very difficult team. They’ve all been close games.”

Bernards will have a golden opportunity to change that narrative Sunday afternoon in front of the Rumble on the Raritan crowd. But it won’t be easy. The Mountaineers are replacing a senior starter at quarterback in Teddy Gouldin and 2020’s leading receiver, Pat Caldwell. In Bernards’ season opener last week at Penns Grove, the Mountaineers struggled following a mid-game weather delay, falling 40-20.

Mike Leanza will be the focal point of Bernards’ attack. The senior running back led the team in rushing last season and ran for 146 yards and a score in the season opener.

At stake Sunday is the chance to snap the skid against No. 10 Hillside and avoid opening the season 0-2 for the first time since 2017. But if the last few years are any indication, one can expect Bernards to be prepared for the challenge.

“We’re past this as a program, saying we are in a rebuilding year,” Simoneau said. “Everything at this point is a reloading year. Seven wins is the goal.”

Click below to hear Justin Sontupe talk with Bernards head coach Jon Simoneau about his team and the Rumble on the Raritan contest against Hillside:

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 2: The Sitkowskis

Week Zero is in the books, and the bulk of the Big Central opens up this weekend on Week One, unless Ida’s aftermath has anything to say about it.

Either way, it’s time for Episode 2 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

This Week on TWiBC, Mike Pavlichko talks to former Rutgers and Old Bridge quarterback Art Sitkowski, who came off the bench to rally Illinois to a season-opening win over Nebraska.

Then, he’s joined by NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire to talk about her first year at the helm as we head into 2021-22.

Finally, it’s a look at the official NJSIAA football classifications, released Wednesday, and a peek ahead at the weekend’s games.

Bound Brook outlasts Bernards – again – to advance to Skyland Gold title game, stay unbeaten

Just one more win. That’s all the Bound Brook boys’ basketball team needs to complete a 14-0 season, and win the Skyland Conference’s Gold Division Championship.

All that was made possible by beating Bernards for a third time this season – and 22nd straight time overall. The Crusaders (13-0) beat Bernards (9-3) at home Thursday night, 47-42 as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Bound Brook hit nine treys in the game, including three each from junior forward Donovan Nwenyi – who scored 11 points – and junior guard Quadir Harrell, who led all scorers with 16.

LISTEN: Postgame reaction: Bound Brook nets clean sweep of Bernards to remain undefeated, earn berth in Skyland Tournament Gold title game

Bound Brook led by eight at the half, and as many as 13 in the third quarter, but Bernards – fueled by four triples from senior guard Jacob Insler – pulled to within a single possession in the fourth quarter, a little past the midway point.

But in the end, it wasn’t enough to hand Bound Brook its first loss of the season.

Click below to listen to the full broadcast: