Tag: Carteret

Four advance on opening weekend of newly-expanded GMC Tournament

South River, Metuchen, Piscataway and Carteret all won opening round games Saturday afternoon the the GMC Tournament, part of the pilot program format that expanded the Championship field to 20 teams this season. All will go on to play Monday at higher-seeded teams – the top four – that had first round byes.

(16) South River 4, (17) Colonia 3

The 16th-seed, South River, had perhaps the most dramatic win of the day, a 4-3 walk-off at Grekoski part against 17th-seed Colonia. The Rams trailed 3-0 heading into the sixth inning, but scored twice in the bottom half on a Julius Rosado home to pull within a run, then twice more in the bottom of the seventh for the victory.

Click here for the full story on the South River win, with postgame reaction from head coach Mike Lepore.

The Rams (10-4) move on to play at top-seed North Brunswick (11-5) on Monday at 4pm at Community Park.

(19) Metuchen 4, (14) JFK 2

It was an all-Blue Division opening round game, as 19th-seed Metuchen also had to rally for a 4-2 first-round win, coming back from down 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh. Kennedy – the 14th-seed and home team – scored in each of the first two innings, and held that lead until the seventh when Metuchen got all four of its runs, on RBIs from Marcus Malamug, Daniel Cordes, Lucas Weiss and Simon Rosal.

JFK fell to 9-8 with the loss.

Metuchen (7-8) won’t have to go far for its second round game on Monday, visiting 3rd-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen for a 4 pm first pitch.

(15) Carteret 2, (16) JP Stevens 1

The 15th-seeded Ramblers – the GMC Gold Division champion – fell behind in the fourth, but took the lead in the fifth and hung on for a 2-1 win over 16-seed JP Stevens (3-14).

The game didn’t see much offensive action, with the teams combining for just ten hits, and the only two extra base hits – doubles – coming from the Hawks’ lineup. They scored a run in the top of the fourth, but Carteret took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, and got solid pitching from the combo of starter Nick Kee and reliever Justin Santana. Kee allowed just a run on four hits in 5 and 2/3 innings, while Santana threw an inning-and-a-third of no-hit, shutout ball to earn the save.

The Ramblers (14-2) will visit second-seed Old Bridge (13-6) at Fred Cole Field, Monday at 4 pm.

(20) Piscataway 7, (13) St. Thomas Aquinas, 4

The higher-seed Trojans (No. 13) never got a chance to lead in the game, as the 20th-seed Piscataway led 6-0 before Aquinas could get on the board with a run in the bottom of the second. The Chiefs scored a run in the first, then had a five-run outburst in the top of the second.

They added another insurance run in the third.

Troy Hutchinson and Jason Hoffman each had two RBI’s in the game, with Hutchinson’s coming on a pair of walks. Terrance Bell, Jr., was 4-for-5 with an RBI while Piscataway starting pitcher Jaden Peace went the distance to get the win, throwing seven innings, scattering six hits and allowing just one unearned run.

The Chiefs (5-12) now move on to play at 4-seed Monroe Monday afternoon at 4:00 in the second round.

South Group 3 Playoff Analysis: It’s “Win and Get In” for Carteret and Somerville

With Cutoff Weekend just a couple of days away, Central Jersey Sports Radio is taking a look at every team in the Big Central to see where we think they’ll land in the playoffs.

We’re not looking at too many tiebreakers just yet, and even adding the few residuals to be had can make for infinitely more possibilities – although there are none up for grabs from any Big Central opponents at this point – so we’re not doing those either. But we are looking at where we think teams will fall in the top 16. Tune in to our Playoff Projection show Saturday at 6 pm on Central Jersey Sports Radio for all our unofficial pairings.

Below is our analysis, with each team’s current ranking in the UPR standings noted.

(Click here for official standings on Gridiron New Jersey)

Top Seeds: We’re projecting Delsea will be the overall top seed. Why? Even if they lose this weekend, it’ll be to St. Joseph-Hammonton, a multiplier. So, they’ll get massive points. Behind them is up for grabs, however, and we project the top seed could be anyone of four teams, with varyig degrees of likelihood: Seneca, Camden, Ocean Township or Hopewell Valley.

#10 South Plainfield: If the Tigers beat Monroe and complete the undefeated regular season 8-0 – which would be their first since their 9-0 state championship year in 1965 – they could finish as high as No. 7 and earn at least a first-round home game. They would need a lot to go right, like Timber Creek, Highland Regional, Manasquan, Cedar Creek and Camden Eastside to lose as well. They may not need all of that to get in the top eight. The most likely scenario is a No. 9 or No. 10 finish, though. And with a loss, they could go as low as No. 12 if everything breaks the wrong way.

#15 Carteret and #16 Somerville: We think the Ramblers get in with a win, and the lowest they could finish in that case – if they beat Hillside Saturday on the road – is eleventh. The Pioneers also would get in if they win at South Brunswick Friday night in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio with kickoff at 6:30 (click here to listen), but still could finish as low as 16. We think Carteret can get as high as No. 8 and Somerville No. 13 if both win, possibly higher if one or the other wins, but a win by either doesn’t necessarily automatically eliminate the other. Hillside would be a significant win for Carteret due to their success, as would South Brunswick for Somerville considering they’re a Group 5 school. If they lose? It becomes a little more tricky. Both teams would need help, though Somerville might need a little more. It’s possible though. We’ll have a much better idea once we see how Friday shakes out. And while the Pioneers are just 3-5, it’s a shame Carteret is in this situation at 6-2. Their downfall is they lost to perhaps the best two teams on their schedule to date: South Plainfield and Rahway. The last time they were 6-2 was at the cutoff in 2013, when they lost in the second round of the playoffs, and beat Perth Amboy on Thanksgiving to finish 8-3 under Matt Yascko.

UNOFFICIAL: Group 3 Playoff Standings Update

Somerville’s huge upset win over Hillsborough Friday night all of a sudden has them in the thick of the playoff race. Here’s a look at Central Jersey Sports Radio’s unofficial playoff standing update for Group 3’s North and South supersections:

West Morris and Old Tappan hang on to the No. 1 and No. 2 spots they each had last week, though Old Tappan slipped from a solid 2 to a 2.4 UPR.

Hillside and Cranford flipped this week, even though the Comets haven’t played yet. They go from fourth to third, while the Cougars slipped from third to fourth due to the OSI factor of Friday night’s win over Linden. Hillside plays Delaware Valley at home Saturday, and the question is: Can they move into second with a win?

This is where the system gets complicated. Because even though Hillside is third in UPR, they have limited room to rise, even though they’re just 0.2 UPR behind Old Tappan.

Teams can’t rise in UPR directly. They have to do it through power point rank or OSI rank. Every position up a team goes in power point rank is worth 0.4 UPR points shaved off, yielding a better UPR. So an increase in power point average rank of one spot would do the trick. But Hillside is second in that category overall, and Old Tappan is third. So even though Old Tappan is ahead of them in UPR, that’s not the team they’re chasing in power points. And West Morris (No. 1 in power points) is 5 points ahead of them.

Del Val is a 23 point game, but that still would only get Hillside to 18, well behind West Morris’ 21.5 average.

For OSI, Old Tappan and West Morris are ahead of them, and while a win Saturday vs. Del Val would increase Hillside’s OSI by about 3, they’re still two behind Old Tappan. But a win is still important to avoid falling back to fourth, where they could lose that spot next week.

Summit dropped two places – they play Colonia today – but still has had a meteoric rise from 24th to 7th (after last week) after starting the year 0-3 but winning its next three games. Huge chance against the Patriots Saturday, as a win could get them as high as 6th.

Bottom Line: Hillside and Cranford both need to win next week to lock up home field through at least the semifinals, assuming no one passes them otherwise with “stronger” wins. A win over Colonia might solidify at least a first-round home game for Summit.

South 3 is where it starts to get interesting. We’ll begin with the easy one, South Plainfield, which, despite a win Friday night over a “weak” Perth Amboy team, dropped a spot to 8th. The Tigers are in the playoffs, no doubt, but they’d love a first-round home game.

The next two Big Central teams are tied at the cutoff line.

Carteret – despite losing to Rahway Friday night – holds in 16th.

But Somerville, in desperation mode to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 2015 – when Jeff Vanderbeek was “co-head coach” – came up with a massive and convincing win over Hillsborough Friday night to improve to 3-5, and get back in the heat of the race. The Pioneers jumped from No. 21 to tie the Ramblers for 16th, with another must-win looming at South Brunswick next week. But if they could beat the Raiders, why not the Vikings?

One interesting thing to note here: Wall is in 15th, aided on the power point side by multiplier losses to Red Bank Catholic and Donovan Catholic. But with zero wins, and the NJSIAA making two wins the minimum this year, they’re essentially eliminated. Which means, as of this moment, Carteret and Somerville would be in.

Bottom Line: South Plainfield is in, but may need a win next week to guarantee a first-round home game. It looks like Carteret and Somerville both have must-win games next week to get in, but with losses by teams behind them, may be able to sneak in. The Ramblers may be able to better suffer a loss, considering their opponent is Hillside. Just know this: it’ll be an exciting Cutoff Weekend!

Group 3 playoff analysis: Cranford takes a big jump with win over Barrons

There are just three weeks to go before the state playoff cutoff for public schools in New Jersey, so we at Central Jersey Sports Radio will continue to dig deeper into the numbers to look at each team’s prospects:

NORTH 3 (Click here for official standings)

West Morris (6-0) – the defending North 3 regional champ – and Old Tappan (5-0) are the top two teams in this supersection, with UPRs of 1 and 2 respectively. It’s a jumble behind them, with Cranford next up at 3-2, with a 4 UPR. Not far behind them is Hillside (4-1, 4.2 UPR) in fourth place and Sparta (3-2, 4.6 UPR) in fifth. The Comets are down a spot after suffering their first loss of the season, a defeat last Friday night at the hands of St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Cougars – defending North 2, Group 3 champs – improved to 3-2 with a 35-0 win over Rahway, leaping Hillside in the process, coming all the way up from 7th place into third.

It might be difficult for Cranford or Hillside to gain a top seed here, because the teams above them are so far ahead in both power point average and OSI. With UPRs of 1 and 2, that means West Morris is first in both categories, and Old Tappan in second. and it’s not that close. In power point average, it’s West Morris 17, Old Tappan 15.4, Hillside 14 and Cranford 12. In OSI, it’s West Morris 65.77, Old Tappan 63.02, Sparta at 56.28, Cranford at 54.2 and Hillside at 53.02. Two factors are in play here: First, there are not many places to climb in either ranking to make up the difference in UPR. Second, the gap to jump a space or two is fairly wide.

But a good consolation prize is to finish in the top four, at least earning a home field advantage guarantee through the sectional semifinals, wherever they land. Both have a good shot at that if they can keep Sparta at bay.

After that, scroll all the way down to 13th place to find Summit, which has now won two straight to get to 2-3 on the season, with a 12.6 UPR. They’re not solidly in yet, but if they can continue their resurgence, there’s a good shot they’re in the playoffs. The schedule is difficult, but it’s been that way all season. We’ve seen them in person, and the Hilltoppers are better after Week Five than the team that lost at Woodbridge by a touchdown on September 2.

We think they’ll make it; the schedule the rest of the way features a road game at Linden this Friday night, then home games against Colonia and St. Joseph-Metuchen.

SOUTH 3 (Click here for official standings)

Delsea is the top team here, with a 1 UPR, meaning they are tops in both power point average and OSI, and without the benefit of a multiplier – yet. They play St. Joe’s-Hammonton on Cutoff Weekend at Rowan. So, they’re a lock for No. 1. (Should it really be this way, thanks to multipliers? Ah, another argument for another time.) Camden is second, followed by Seneca and Hopewell Valley.

The first Big Central team here appears at No. 9, where South Plainfield (5-0) is at No. 9, with a UPR of 10. They are on the bubble for the top eight, which guarantees a first-round home playoff game. There are six undefeated teams in this section, in addition to the top four already mentioned and Ocean Township at No. 6. The Tigers have the weaker schedule, to be sure, and probably deserving of where they are.

It’s too close to call on where they end up considering the teams bunched around them. Just 0.2 points ahead of them in eighth is Highland regional, and Burlington Township is 1.2 UPR ahead in seventh. Nottingham is right behind at 10.2, and Matawan is 11.8. Bottom line is they should be a top eight team if they win out, with a road game at Voorhees this Friday, followed by Perth Amboy at home next Friday, and at Monroe on Friday night of Cutoff Wekeend.

Carteret (5-1, 15 UPR) is in 15th, with a similar schedule to the Tigers, but one loss – to South Plainfield. There are four teams behind them in striking distance: Allentown (15.6 UPR), Triton (16.6) and Camden Eastside (formerly Woodrow Wilson, 16.8). The Ramblers have a super tough schedule the final three weeks of the regular season: Governor Livingston this Friday night at The Pit, then at Rahway and at Hillside.

This might be tough.

Somerville (2-4) is another story. Note that Gridiron has them 3-3, but our numbers match up, after that season-opening forfeit against Mastery Charter for using an ineligible player. They are 3.4 UPR points out of the playoffs, which is a lot of ground to make up. And it’s a good news/bad news situation. They have Westfield and Hillsborough at Brooks Field this week and next week, then are at South Brunswick on the Friday night of Cutoff Weekend.

So, the schedule is conducive to picking up a lot of ground; the trick is they have to WIN those games. They’re 2-3 minus the forfeit, but those two wins are not nearly against the caliber of opponent they’ll face the next three weeks.

Group 3 playoff analysis: Somerville needs some wins, and badly, while Cranford battles for a home game

With the midway point of the high school football season upon us, we start to take a closer look at playoff standing and the chase for the postseason, with Cutoff Weekend just four weeks away. Below is a look at Group 3:

NORTH (Click here for official standings)

Defending North 3 Regional Champion West Morris remains the class of the section this year, as the Wolfpack sit 5-0, with a UPR of 1.0, and Old Tappan behind them with a 2.4 UPR. Two undefeated teams lie ahead, both 4-0 at the moment: Morris Knolls this Friday night, and Randolph on the road two weeks later.

Cranford – which won the North 2, Group 3 section last year, but lost to West Morris in the regional final at Met Life Stadium – is the highest-ranked Big Central team here, at 2-2. They have wins over Summit and Woodbridge, with losses to North Hunterdon and St. Thomas Aquinas. If those schools continue to have good years, it will bode well for Cranford, with the goal here to earn at least a first-round playoff game, which necessitates a top eight finish.

They visit Rahway this Friday, which just took its first loss of the season Saturday on Central Jersey Sports Radio, 20-0 to winless Summit. That’s a big game, and then there’s a huge one cutoff weekend at home against North Brunswick. Should they beat the Raiders, that could seal the deal.

To find the next team in the section, you need to go all the way down to No. 17 to find Summit, a full UPR point behind Wayne Hills, with a 15.6 UPR. The Hilltoppers’ win over Rahway could be a turning point for the season, with winnable games against Scotch Plains-Fanwood (2-2) and Linden (1-3) the next two weeks before facing some of the big boys – Colonia (5-0) and St. Joseph-Metuchen (3-1) – the last two weeks.

After an 0-2 start, which has hurt them, Governor Livingston has all of a sudden won three straight. But they’re in 21st place, and the Highlanders have a tough schedule the rest of the way, though. South Plainfield, Carteret, South River and Bernards are a combined 14-4. The good news is this: beating those good teams will boost their chances a lot.

SOUTH (Click here for official standings)

This is a playoff section where – for the last several years, it’s been Somerville mostly trying to get over the hump to earn a top-seed despite their weak schedule. And more often than not, there was nothing they could do about except win and hope for the best.

That will be the thinking again this year, but that’s just to make the playoffs. After five straight playoff appearances (not counting 2020 where there were no playoffs) with one title and three finals berths, the Pioneers are in drastic danger of snapping that string under first-year head coach Ian Pace.

They sit in 23rd place, with a 22.2 UPR, ironically right behind Camden East Side (nee Woodrow Wilson), the team they lost to in their last finals appearance, in 2019. They will have to make up oodles of ground to get into the top 16, with Manasquan holding that last playoff position with four weeks to go, with a 16.8 UPR.

The good news is that if Somerville can get it in gear, their tough schedule will help it immensely. They play five Group 5 schools to finish the regular season, starting this weekend at Elizabeth, which just knocked off St. Joe’s in Metuchen Saturday afternoon for its first win of the season. Then, they have Westfield and Hillsborough at home before closing on the Friday night of Cutoff Weekend at South Brunswick. All will boost their power points and OSI – if they can beat them.

The highest-ranekd team here is South Plainfield in ninth, as Bill Hamilton has the Tigers 4-0 in his second season as head coach. Can they crack the top eight to earns first-round home playoff game? Too early to say, as their schedule the rest of the way is a bit weak after a Saturday afternoon road game at resurgent Governor Livingston. That’s the best team left on their schedule, with a road game at Voorhees the next week, followed by Perth Amboy at home and Monroe on the road.

Want a shot at a home game? GL is a must win.

Carteret is also having a fine season. Kevin Freeman’s squad is 4-1, their lone loss to South Plainfield, and they sit in 13th. Considering that among the teams behind them are Manasquan (0-3) and Triton (1-3) and the minimum number of wins to make the playoffs is two this season (up from one last year) it would appear Carteret, should they continue their excellent play this year, is a good bet to make the playoffs, and end up on the road in the first round. Next up is Group 5 JP Stevens in Edison this Friday night, the third Group 5 team they’ll play this year. (They’ve already beaten Perth Amboy and Plainfield.)

Senior leadership, perseverance, powers South Plainfield past Carteret

To say South Plainfield had a few heartbreaking losses in 2021 would be putting it mildly.

But to put a finer point on it, this year’s team has already matched last year’s win total, just two games into the season.

The Tigers improved to 2-0 with a 13-12 win over Carteret (1-2), outscoring the Ramblers 13-6 in the final quarter. Carteret missed an extra point, and failed on a two-point try on their second score.

Michael Green scored both touchdowns for South Plainfield, on a 76-yard run to open the fourth quarter scoring. After Carteret answered, he hauled in a 45-yard touchdown pass from Joe Moroney to put the Tigers’ up for good with about seven minutes to go in the game.

Last year’s South Plainfield squad went 2-8, losing four of those games by eight or fewer points. This year’s 2-0 start is their best since 2017, when the team went 4-6. Next week when they visit North Plainfield, they’ll look to go 3-0 for the first time since 2016, when the Tigers were 8-4 and lost to Tumson-Fair Haven 27-22 in the Central Jersey Group 3 final at Rutgers; they started 4-0 that year.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with South Plainfield coach Bill Hamilton about the win over Carteret:

Carteret off to hot 2-0 start after 13-0 win over arch-rival Perth Amboy

The last time Carteret won its first two games of the year was also the last time it won back-to-back games: in 2018, when the team went 3-8.

But the way things are looking so far, they very well may surpass that win total.

On the job only a year-and-a-half, Kevin Freeman has his Ramblers off to a 2-0 start, thanks to a 13-0 win over Perth Amboy at The Pit Friday night.

After a scoreless first half, Tyrece Parrot ran in a seven-yard touchdown in the third quarter and an 18-yarder in the fourth, while the Carteret defense pitched a full, 48-minute shutout.

The win gets the Ramblers a bit closer in the all-time series between the two schools, once the longest Thanksgiving Day rivalry in Middlesex County. Perth Amboy leads 50-43-2, but the win snapped a three-game win streak in the series by the Panthers.

The Ramblers will visit South Plainfield next Friday night for their first road game of the season, as they look to go 3-0 for the first time since 2016.

Click below to heard Carteret head coach Kevin Freeman talk with CJSR’s Mike Pavlichko about Friday night’s win over Perth Amboy:

Central Jersey Sports Radio announces “Specialty Awards” for 2021

Last year, we decided our inaugural awards show had too few awards to recognize all the truly great student-athletes in the Big Central Conference, on or off the field. So besides Players and Coach of the Year, we decided to give out “Specialty Awards.”

And we’re back with more for 2021, so get ready for some fantastic stories!

Offensive Line of the Year: Cranford

They literally paved the way for Cranford’s third state championship in eleven seasons. The five guys up front kept quarterback Shane VanDam on his feet, and cleared a path for Colin Murray, who had a career-best 334 yards in the North 2 Group 3 championship game against Sparta.

Cranford offensive lineman Kevin Shriner holds up the NJSIAA trophy as he and his teammates celebrate a state championship. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Geoff Gretta, Kevin Shriner, Kyle Fay, Ryan Heesters, and Matt Fries – who signed his National Letter of Intent this week to attend the University of Illinois – were all instrumental in Cranford’s success. Four of the five – with the exception being center Kyle Fay – are at least 6-2 and 280 pounds.

“It helps we have a bunch of large humans,” head coach Erik Rosenmeier told us earlier this season.

It also helps they can all flat out play.

Listen below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with all five Cranford offensive linemen:

The “Nobody Scores” Award:

It took eight games for someone to score on St. Thomas Aquinas, and nobody threw a touchdown pass against them all year.

Those were the kind of dominant defensive numbers the Trojans put up on 2021, not an easy task considering they led most of their games pretty big this year, and a bunch of 16- and 17-year-olds could easily have lost their focus.

They didn’t, only allowing nine points the entire regular season, all of them coming in their finale against Delaware Valley, on a mud-soaked field in North Edison.

Villanova-bound senior Jon Wyatt has been an integral part of the Trojans’ success on both sides of the ball. (Mike Pavlichko)

Senior Jon Wyatt, who’s going to Villanova, was a lock-down corner. Barely anyone threw toward him – and if they did, they couldn’t complete a single pass. If they did manage to get a ball caught, it was in the hands of Wyatt.

Click below to hear Wyatt talk about how it all worked out for St. Thomas Aquinas:

“Rising Star” Award

Last season, sophomore quarterbacks were making an impact, whether it be Franklie Garbolino, Matt Yasko, or a host of others around the league.

In 2021, sophomore Zaimer Wright of Sayreville is one who had a big impact for his team, leaving a bright future for the Bombers.

Sayreville sophomore Zaimer Wright helped his team knock off No. 1 North Brunswick on September 17, 2021. (Source: Twitter)

Wright was a Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week earlier this year, and finished the season with 1,401 yards rushing, 25 touchdowns, and five two-point conversions, scoring 160 total points. He also starts at safety, contributing on defense, and returns punts and kickoffs, as well as runs down on the kick coverage team.

He’s been under the weather recently, so we didn’t get a chance to speak to him, but we think we’ll have plenty of opportunities the next couple of years. Feel better, Zaimer!

Mr. Versatility

There’s no doubt this award goes to Alex Benitez, a senior from Montgomery. He has played runningback, moved back to quarterback, then back to runningback while also playing outside linebacker on defense.

Montgomery senior QB Alex Benitez gets ready to throw a pass in preseason camp on Friday, August 27, 2021 at Cougar Stadium.

A four-year starter, Benitez didn’t miss a single game, and only fumbled four times in his career – three of them coming in his freshman year!

He also punts, kicks off, kicks PATs, long snaps and return kickoffs. He’d probably drive the team bus if it wasn’t an insurance issue.

Coach Zoran Milich calls him “the best all-around player in New Jersey.”

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with jack-of-all-trades Alex Benitez:

“Mentorship Award”:

With a strong influence in his own family, Jehu Andrews realizes that not every boy in Carteret is as lucky as he is.

So that’s why, in addition to being a leader on his own Carteret Rambler football team, and being a great asset to first-year head coach Kevin Freeman, he’s involved with youth football.

Jehu Andrews of Carteret (source: Twitter)

Sure, he helped pave the way up front on offense and defense to a three-win season after not playing at all in 202 because Carteret cancelled fall sports due to COVID

But he laid some of that knowledge on the 14-and-under Bulldogs in town, becoming a father figure to, perhaps, a bunch of future Jehu Andrews.

Click below to hear Andrews talk with Mike Pavlichko talk about his season, community involvement, and influences:

Perseverance Award

Sure, a lot of football players face obstacles in their seasons. Maybe it’s a nagging injury, a tough defeat, or just some bad luck.

How many have a fire destroy everything they own, save only their football jersey, and show up to play that night?

Matthew Ihemsie of Hillside (Source: Twitter)

Matthew Ihemsie of Hillside does, and to be honest, there are no words that can do it justice, except for his. So give a listen:

“Mr. Dynamic” (Most Electrifying Player):

He can run, he can throw, but his ability to inspire his teammates to great heights, quickly shift the momentum of a game, make Josh Oluremi of Colonia the obvoious choice for most electrifying player in the Big Central Conference.

Mr. Dynamic, Oluremi rushed for 1,594 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, while throwing for 954 and 6 touchdown passes. He also had 32 tackles and a pair of picks from his cornerback spot on defense.

Josh Oluremi of Colonia (Source: Twitter)

He almost single-handedly got Colonia past Edison on September 10th, rushing for four and throwing another touchdown in the game, a 38-7 victory over the Eagles.

For his career, he finishes with 2,000+ rushing yards, and nearly 1,800 passing yards, responsible for a total of 36 overall touchdowns.

Click below to hear Josh Oluremi talk about his season, career, and style of play:

Red-Hot Recruit of the Year:

Picking these awards aren’t always easy. Which means sometimes it is. In this case, it was a no-brainer.

Davison Igbinsoun of Union holds 30-plus Division I scholarship offers, and is still deciding where he’ll attend college, getting a lot of attention in the past week from Rutgers’ Greg Schiano – who arrived in a chopper for the second time this season – and Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin, who took him for a ride in a Porsche.

He originally committed to Rutgers, but withdrew that commitment after his recruiting ranting picked up a fourth star, though the Scarlet Knights remain in contention for him.

Union’s Davison Igbinosun (Source: Twitter)

One of the most dominant players in the area in recent memory, his numbers weren’t off the charts in 2021, but that’s because he’s an incredibly unselfish player, and the Farmers had a lot of athletes to go around.

This year, he had 18 total touchdowns, 76 carries for 903 yards and 12 touchdown, 20 catches for 405 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, he recorded 74 tackles, 4 picks, and two tackles for a loss.

He’ll be special wherever he goes.

Week Zero is in the books; Big Central goes 1-3 in Battle at the Beach, while Carteret begins new era with a big win

Only ten of the 60 teams in the Big Central opened their seasons on Week Zero, and only one of the four that played in Ocean City this weekend came home a winner.

But perhaps the biggest pleasant surprise was Carteret, which shutout JP Stevens in its first game since November of 2019.

The Ramblers got three first-quarter touchdowns from senior Kanya Groover, who carried five times in the game for 112 yards, en route to a 37-0 shutout win over JP Stevens at “The Pit” Friday night.

It was a night of firsts for the Ramblers:

It was the Ramblers’ first win since October 25th, 2019, and the first victory for new coach Kevin Freeman.

It was their largest margin of victory in almost five years, since a 40-0 win over North Brunswick on September 23, 2016. That was also their most recent shutout win before Friday night.

Down at the Battle of the Beach in Ocean City, a showcase put on by the West Jersey Football League Coaches Association, Woodbridge was the only one of four league teams to earn a win, beating Winslow Township 26-14 Sunday.

Scotch Plains-Fanwood dropped its opener Sunday 52-0 to Cedar Creek, while on Saturday, Union battled Millville to a tough 38-21 loss – in which both teams reeled off a number of big plays – and Bernards got doubled up 40-20 by Penns Grove.

In other area action…

Somerville blanked Olney Charter of PA Friday night 25-0 down in Philly.

And on Saturday, new South Plainfield head coach – and Tiger alum – Bill Hamilton picked up the first win of his tenure, a 35-14 win over South River at Denny Stadium.

READ MORE: Smith, South Plainfield ground game tame South River, 35-14

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of Big Central Conference football kicks into high gear Friday night, with the season debut of “The Big Central Game of the Week driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland,” as Piscataway comes off its one-year COVID hiatus, hosting #6 Phillipsburg, with game time at 6:00, air-time at 5:45 with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe calling all the action.

And don’t forget to catch our podcast, “This Week in the Big Central driven bu Autoland,” which drops on Thursday. We’ll have a look at the week gone by, a preview of Week One games, interviews and analysis, hosted by Mike Pavlichko.

Click here to subscribe at any one of your favorite podcast sites, including Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

New Carteret head coach will bring back old-style Carteret football

Run the ball, and stop the run.

It was a recipe for success for many years for successful Carteret coaches like Jeff Weiner, Bob Molarz and Matt Yascko.

So, while new Rambler head coach Kevin Freeman looks to the future, he’s also looking to the past, as part of an effort to keep things simple for a 2021 squad that will be his first as a head coach, and the first varsity season for virtually the entire team.

Click below to hear new Carteret head coach Kevin Freeman talk about how he got the job, and his plans for the Ramblers in 2021 and beyond:

Freeman’s hire was approved last week by the Board of Education.

No stranger to the Carteret program, Freeman was an all-state linebacker for Weiner in the 1990s, then played defensive end at West Virginia for Don Nehlen. He’s shown here in his playing days for the Mountaineers.

He was hired in 2019 by then-Carteret head coach Matt Yascko to coach the offensive line and linebackers.

Freeman will have a unique challenge, in that Carteret shut down all fall sports last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, any senior on the team would have only played in the Rambler program as a sophomore.

For now, Freeman’s emphasis is on the weight room, which he believes will be the great equalizer for Carteret in 2021. He’ll keep the game plan simple: run it, and stop the run on defense.

Freeman returns only two players with varsity experience.

Click below to hear Freeman talk about those two players: OL/DE Jehu Andrews and LB/FB Mark Gonzalez: