The Big Central’s longest active winning streak is now up to six games, but Spotswood is all alone.
The Chargers and Summit both had five-game winning streaks heading into Week Three, but while Spotswood blanked Highland Park in a rare home night game – they brought in temporary lights – the Hilltoppers fell to the juggernaut that is St. Thomas Aquinas, 44-20, for their first loss of the season.
There’s less of a chance to carry a long winning streak into another season these days, since the NJSIAA last year played its first-ever group championships. Before expanding to “regional championships” – essentially group semifinals without a group title game – in 2018, there were 20 public schools that could carry a winning streak to the next year after winning a sectional crown.
Now that those teams can potentially play two more rounds, only five public schools (who made the playoffs) can go into the next season on a win streak. (There are others, but more on that later.)
After Spotswood, no one in the Big Central has a five game winning streak, but six have won four in a row. The only streak of those six that carries back to last season is Phillipsburg, which is 3-0, and beat Easton in its last game of 2022 after getting knocked out of the state playoffs in the North 2, Group 5 title game by West Orange.
The others who have won four straight are all 4-0 this season, uncluding HUnterdon Central, Montgomery, Watchung Hills, Bernards, and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Statewide, Caldwell still owns the longest active winning streak in New Jersey, currently at 31 games. After winning their last three games of 2020, they went 13-0 last year and won the state Group 2 title over Rumson-Fair Haven, and are now 3-0 this year. The Indians host West Essex (2-2) Friday night.
The second-longest streak in the state ended Friday night when Toms River North lost 21-7 to Donovan Catholic. That streak ended at 17, and to add injury to insult, star quarterback Micah Ford went down with an injury, the extent of which is not yet known.
The next-closest streaks are nine games, owned by three teams. Old Tappan won its last six last year en route to the state Group 3 title; they’re 3-0 this year. Woodbury – last year’s Group 1 champ – won its final five last year and is 4-0 this season.
Meanwhile, Fort Lee also has won nine-in-a-row. Though just 2-0 this year, they won their last seven games last year, en route to an 8-1 season. How?
They’re in the NJIC’s Ivy White division, a division allowed by the NJSIAA where struggling programs can play each other, but are not permitted to make the state playoffs due to the intentionally weak schedule they play. There are two such divisions in the NJIC and another two in the Super Football Conference.
As for losing streaks, Highland Park and JP Stevens remain the longest and second-longest statewide.
The Owls are at 45 games after a 34-0 loss to Spotswood Friday. They’re 0-3, and host Roselle Park (1-2) this Friday.
The Hawks are at 35, with an 0-4 record this season after a 34-0 loss THursday to Governor Livingston. They host South Plainfield (2-2) Friday.
Behind them is Ferris, whose streak swelled to 26 with a 43-8 loss at KEarny on Friday. They host Dwight Morrow/Englewood (2-0) on Friday.