Tag: Delaware Valley

Group 2 playoff analysis: Bernards benefits from big win at Del Val, while Terriers drop

With high school football season at its midway point, it’s time to start taking a look at the playoff picture, with Cutoff Weekend just four weeks away. Here’s a look at Group 2 teams in the Big Central Conference, and where they stand:

NORTH (Click here for official standings)

The only Big Central team here is Bernards, whose game Friday night at Delaware Valley was billed as a boon for whoever won. It was the Mountaineers, 17-14, and they jumped from eighth place to third with the victory over the Terriers; it was a solid Strength Index and power points game. OSI went from 49.01 to 53.52, while power point average climbed from 10.75 to 12.80. That puts them behind leader Westwood (4-0, 1.6 UPR) and Caldwell, owner of the state’s longest winning streak, now at 19, dating back to their last three games of 2020.

Caldwell may not lose again this year, and the SI of their last four opponents are all 67 or higher. Bernards, on the other hand, has winless North Plainfield and Bound Brook, plus Governor Livingston and New Providence. The Highlanders have won three straight since starting 0-2. If they can continue that run, it’ll help the Mountaineers.

We don’t think they’re a solid top four team yet – which would mean they’d be a 2-seed in either section and guaranteed home field at least through the sectional semifinals – but if they run the table, they at least have a shot at it. It depends who can come up from behind on them. Bernards has a 3.6 UPR, but at 3.8, Ramsey (4-0) is right behind them. Rutherford, though, in fifth, is a healthy 2.8 UPR points behind Bernards.

SOUTH (Click here for official standings)

Little surprise here that Rumson-Fair Haven is in familiar territory, atop the supersection. It could be surprising when you look at their 2-2 record, until you realize one of those losses is to a multiplier, in Donovan Catholic. And since they also play Red Bank Catholic – another multiplier – on cutoff weekend, well, you can just sew it up right now for the Bulldogs. (Is that fair? Definitely not, but that’s a rant for another time.)

The highest-ranked team here is Delaware Valley, which dropped from third to tenth after Friday night’s home loss to Bernards, its first of the season, leaving them 3-1 on the year. And they’ve still got Hillside to go, with the Comets’ powerful run game. Likely bet that the Terriers will make the playoffs, barring a collapse, but they may be hard-pressed to get a first-round playoff game out of it – unless they can knock off Hillside, Saturday afternoon road game the week before Cutoff Weekend, October 15th.

Johnson is right behind Del Val, at 4-0, having a nice year so far, with a UPR of 11, one full point behind the Terriers, who have a 10 UPR. They’re at New Providence this Friday night, with the Pioneers in 14th with a UPR of 15. That’s a big game for either team, and a loss could relegate whoever’s on the short end of the stick to bubble status, though likely on the inside – and it’s more harmful to New Providence than the Crusaders.

Dayton is in a 16th place tie for the final playoff spot with Haddon Heights. The Bulldogs are 2-2, while the Garnets are 3-1, both with 16.6 UPRs. Dayton will need to keep winning, and have a middle of the road schedule the rest of the way.

They play their next three on the road, and the games get progressively tougher – at Highland Park this Friday night, at Spotswood the following Saturday, and at South Hunterdon on Friday, the 14th – before coming home to face Metuchen the Friday night of Cutoff Weekend. They might have to win out.

The next question is: What about Spotswood? The Chargers are 4-1, their best start since 2016. Can they pick up enough power points and OSI value to get in, even if they go 4-0? The jury is still out and it’s probably too early to tell. JP Stevens is their final opponent – yes, Group 5 JP Stevens – and that will at least soften the blow from the Hawks not having won a game yet this season. (They’ve lost 27 straight, in fact, the second longest streak in New Jersey at the moment.)

Will it be enough? Stay tuned.

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South River – despite a 2-2 mark – sits in 24th place, and would be hard-pressed to make a dent. Then again, their last three games are at Delaware Valley and Governor Livingston, then home to Johnson. Should they win at least two of those, maybe – maybe – they have a shot. Check back in a couple of weeks.

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 4: Liners stake their claim, and who had the biggest upset?

On this week’s trip through “The Big Central in Two Minutes,” Mike Pavlichko weighs in on Phillipsburg’s claim to the No. 1 ranking in the league, who had the biggest upset wins of Week Four, and whether Somerville should be in a division with Group 5 schools/

Click below to listen to the Week Four edition of “The Big Central in Two Minutes”:

INSTANT REPLAY: Bernards 17, Delaware Valley 14

Bernards rallied from 7-0 and 14-10 deficits to beat Delaware Valley on the road, 17-14, to take the Mountain Valley rivalry trophy, and get clinch the Patriot Gold Division title.

Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe called all the action on Friday, September 23rd from Tap Webb Memorial Field in Alexandria Township.

Click below to listen:

1st Half

2nd Half

Bernards rallies twice to hand Del Val first defeat, take back Mountain Valley trophy, with 17-14 win

It was a tale of two halves for Bernards at Tapp Webb Memorial Field out in Hunterdon County Friday night, in a game heard live on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The offense just couldn’t put points on the board in the first 24 minutes, managing just a 31-yard field goal by Jonas Gonzalez that left Bernards down 7-3 going into the locker room after Delaware Valley had opened the game with an eleven-play scoring drive to take an early lead.

Typical was a 14-play drive by the Mountaineers that ended the first half without a score.

But with the first possession of the second half, Bernards got a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Connor Laverty to Enzo Britez to take a 10-7 lead, their first TD of the game. The Terriers defense had been settling in to that point, but all of a sudden in looked like Bernards might hold.

Patrick Garlinghouse came out of a pile – almost going down to a knee – and sprinted the remaining 45 yards of a 50-yard touchdown run to give the Terriers a 14-10 advantage with 6:10 to play, but the awakened Mountaineer offense wasn’t done yet.

They put together a seven-play, 71-yard drive, in just 2:40, scoring with 3:24 to go on a two-yard leap into the end zone by Laverty, and after getting the ball back on a four-and-out turnover on downs, picked up a critical first down on fourth down on their next possession to allow Laverty to take a couple of knees to run out the clock.

The defeat was the first of the year for Del Val, which fell to 3-1, while Bernards improved to 4-1, all but giving them the Patriot Gold Division title. They are 3-0 in the division with one game left against winless Bound Brook (0-4), which scored its first points of the year Friday night in a 41-6 loss at Voorhees. The Crusaders have been outscored 110-6 in their first four games.

Click below for postgame reaction with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

Bernards junior quarterback Connor Laverty
Bernards head coach Jon Simoneau

Bernards clicking ahead of “Mountain Valley” rivalry game at Delaware Valley

Bernards head coach Jon Simoneau is well aware of what lies ahead Friday night as his Mountaineers visit division rival Delaware Valley: the 30-mile trip, an elite home field advantage, and an explosive Terriers’ offense. But make no mistake, Bernards is embracing the challenge.

“We kind of like that,” Simoneau said. “It’s fun to be the bad guy sometimes.”

The Mountaineers (3-1, 2-0 Big Central Patriot Gold) are clicking ahead of Friday’s Big Central Game of the Week against Del Val (3-0, 1-0 Big Central Patriot Gold). In back-to-back weeks, Bernards captured 35-0 road wins over South River and Voorhees.

Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe will call all the action, with pregame at 6:45 and kickoff at 7:00. Click here to listen.

Junior quarterback Connor Laverty tossed three touchdown passes at South River, and then bested it with four at Voorhees. The defense hasn’t allowed a score since the fourth quarter against Hillside — three weeks ago.

But undefeated Delaware Valley will provide a stiff challenge. Bernards has beaten Del Val just four times in 15 tries, and all four wins came between 2018 and 2020, the latter of which is their only “W” in Alexandria. Last season, Bernards turned the ball over six times in a two-score loss off Senator Stout Road.

For the Mountaineers, it’s going to take a complete performance. Laverty is off to an outstanding start to the season under center, and he has numerous weapons at his disposal. Running back Nick Kouflie (5 touchdowns) and wide receiver Enzo Britez (3 touchdowns) are threats to score any time they touch the ball.

On defense, linebackers Charlie Gonnella and Kai Dallimore lead a unit that has allowed more than 6 points just once this season.

Click below to hear Justin Sontupe talk with Bernards head coach Jon Simoneau:

Delaware Valley a “confident bunch” with Bill, Garlinghouse powering the offense

For the last 17 years, over two coaches – first Mike Columbo, now Mike Haughey – one things has been a constant for Delaware Valley football: winning.

They’ve been at least .500 every season in that stretch.

That’s not easy for a public school. It’s the best streak in the Big Central. And when you think of the programs in that league that have been successful for a long time – Phillipsburg and Piscataway immediately come to mind – it’s even more astounding.

The Terriers will put their 3-0 start on the line Friday night when they entertain Bernards (3-1) in the Big Central Game of the Week on Central Jersey Sports Radio. The game not only could determine the Patriot Gold Division title in the Big Central, but will have major playoff implications when it comes to power points and OSI.

Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe will call all the action. Click here to listen.

Del Val is led on offense by Jack Bill, who threw for 1,682 yards and 14 TDs last year, while rushing for 490 and ten scores. But this year, its a bit more even. Through three games, he’s thrown for 255 and 2 TDs, running for 246 and five scores, while fellow senior Patrick Garlinghouse has rushed for 261 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Defensively, Haughey likes his secondary, which has already notched five interceptions through three games.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Delaware Valley head coach Mike Haughey:

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 3: Did we mention multipliers need to go?

On this week’s trip through “The Big Central in Two Minutes,” Mike Pavlichko throws out laurels for Piscataway and Dunellen, points out one of the playoff formula’s quirks, and looks ahead to two huge matchups Friday night, with Central Jersey Sports Radio covering both.

Click below to listen to the Week Three edition of “The Big Central in Two Minutes”:

North Brunswick moves into top spot in Big Central Media Poll

With a 19-0 win over South Brunswick in its season opener, North Brunswick picked up one more first place vote in the Week One Big Central Media Poll, and the Raiders used it to climb into the top spot.

Sayreville, which got one first place vote last week, fell to fifth after a 14-7 home loss to Phillipsburg in the season opener for both teams. The Stateliners got the other two votes.

It may be up to one or the other to trip up the rest of the way, as North Brunswick and Phillipsburg don’t play each other in the regular season. They’re also in separate playoff supersections, with the Raiders in South 5 and the Liners in North 5; the only way they could meet this year is if both won sectional championship and advanced to the NJSIAA’s first-ever Group Finals.

P’burg got two first place votes, just as they did last week, and came in second, up one spot. Somerville held in third. Hillsborough went up one spot to fourth.

After Sayreville, Hillside – ninth last week – and Ridge – number seven last week – tied for sixth. Edison and Bridgewater-Raritan held at eight and nine, respectively, while Delaware Valley jumped in at 10 after receiving votes last week.

Union, after a 7-6 season-opening loss to Bridgewater, dropped out.

The field of teams with votes also narrowed a bit after the first two weeks of play. The Preseason and Week Zero polls saw 20 teams get votes from the five voting members. This week, that number was down to 17.

Below is the full Week One Media Poll:

Instant Replay: (5) New Providence 35, (4) Delaware Valley 13 (South Group 2, First Round)

Xlow to listen to the “Big Central Game of the Week” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland from Friday, November 5, 2021.

It’s an opening round playoff game in the South Jersey, Group 2 section.

Fifth-seed New Providence got three touchdowns from senior runningback Charlie Barth en route to a 35-13 victory over 4-seed Delaware Valley to improve to 8-1 on the season.

The Terriers fall to 7-3.

New Providence moves on to play next Saturday at top-seed Pt. Pleasant Boro in the sectional semifinals.

Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino call the action from Tapp Webb Memorial Field in Alexandria Township, NJ. Scroll down to listen.

1st Half
2nd Half

New Providence runs Barth, runs him again, then runs him some more, en route to 35-13 playoff win over Del Val

Charlie Barth rushed 43 times for a career-high 326 yards en route to a playoff-opening win over Delaware Valley, 35-13 in Alexandria Township, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio

In the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland, Barth also scored three touchdowns as the fifth-seed in the South Group 2 section advanced.

The win improves the Pioneers to 8-1, while the Terriers drop to 7-3.

Barth was impressive from the get-go, but not just on offense.

In fact, when Del Val got the ball to start the game and was marching downfield, Barth picked off a Jack Bill pass in the red zone to give his team the ball for the first time, leading to his first score of the game.

And Barth feeds Barth, who was named the Autoland Player of the Game, and will receive a custom football at the end of the year.

Barth accounted for 326 of his team’s 343 rushing yards and 355 yards of total offense.

His three TDs also gave him 70 for his career.

The 35 points also marked the first points New Providence has ever scored against Del Val, which had won the only two prior meetings by virtue of shutouts.

The Pioneers will move on to play top seed Pt. Pleasant Boro on the road next Friday night at 7. The Panthers beat 8th-seed Monmouth 34-14 Friday night at home.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko on the field with the Pioneers:

Senior runningback/linebacker Charlie Barth
Head coach Chet Parlevecchio, Jr.