Tag: Hillsborough

“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”:

Stateliners grab another first place vote, still lead Big Central Media Poll, as other teams shake up

Another week, another vote for first in the Big Central Media Poll for Phillipsburg.

The Stateliners picked up a season-high 48 points and got four of the five first-place votes in Week Four, ahead of North Brunswick, which got the other first-place vote.

The teams don’t play each other this regular season, and could only meet if they both make the inaugural Group 5 final at Rutgers’ SHI Stadium the first week of December.

Hillside climbed a spot to third, while St. Thomas Aquinas jumped three spots from seventh to fourth.

The poll saw a bit of a shakeup this week, with previously-third ranked Hillsborough dropping two spots to fifth after a 34-0 loss at P’burg Friday night. Previously-No. 7-ranked St. Joseph-Metuchen dropped two spots after losing to unranked Elizabeth Saturday, 23-21. And Sayreville dropped from No. 6 to No. 9 after a 22-0 loss to No. 2 North Brunswick.

Montgomery – 5-0 for the first time ever- continued its ascent, up two spots to fifth. Colonia (5-0) dropped a spot simply by other teams making gains, and North hunterdon – which got votes last week – entered the poll in tenth.

Ridge (2-2) dropped out as well.

The full Week 4 Big Central Media Poll is below:

Phillipsburg takes stranglehold on top ranking in Week 4 CJSR Top Ten

Thanks to a 34-0 home win over then-undefeated and third-ranked Hillsborough Friday night, Phillipsburg took both first place votes in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Week Four high school football rankings.

The Stateliners are still followed by North Brunswick, close behind, which has the same record through the first four weeks as P’burg: 4-0.

For the first time this season, no teams dropped out of the rankings, and there were no “Also Received Votes.” All ten teams that got votes are in the rankings, just in a different order.

Click below for the full Week Four Top Ten:

No. 1 Phillipsburg dominates No. 3 Hillsborough with balanced scoring, stifling defense

HIllsborough came into Maloney Stadium in Phillipsburg Friday night riding the state’s third longest winning streak, at 16 games.

It got back on Route 22 to head home with its first loss since a 50-49 barnburner in late November 2020.

Top-ranked Phillipsburg got balanced scoring en route to a 34-0 win over the third-ranked Raiders, who won all 13 games a year ago to take the South Jersey Group 5 regional championship, returning the favor after a 21-14 overtime defeat in Hillsborough early last season.

Five different players scored for the Stateliners, who got on the board early with a one-yard TD run by Xavier Moore.

Quarterback Jett Genovese followed with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Scerbo, Jr., then Genovese took one in for himself, 67-yards to the house down the right sideline, giving P’burg a 21-0 halftime lead. The sophomore signal called was 14-for-18 for 171 yards and one TD pass.

In the fourth, Phillipsburg added two more scores, on a one-yard TD run by John Wargo, then an Isaiah Jackson 53-yard punt return for a score.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Chris Tsakonas:

Phillipsburg sophomore QB Jett Genovese
Phillipsburg head coach Frank Duffy

“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”:

Phillipsburg continues reign atop CJSR, Big Central Media Polls

For the second week in a row, it’s Phillipsburg atop the Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings, as well as the Big Central Media Poll.

In fact, the week three rankings have the same top three teams in the same order: the Stateliners, followed by North Brunswick and Hillsborough.

After that, things start to get different. But one common thread was Montgomery, which is off to a 4-0 start, making its debut in both polls this week: 6th place in the CJSR Top Ten, and tied for 7th in the Media Poll with two other teams, including Colonia, which also made its debut in the media survey.

Edison dropped out of both polls this week as the Eagles lost their second straight game, while North Hunterdon – after losing at top-ranked Phillipsburg Friday to fall to 3-1 – fell out of the media rankings, but remained in the CJSR Top Ten at No. 9.

Delaware Valley also received votes in both polls, but didn’t make the top ten, while North Hunterdon did get votes in the media poll, along with Edison and Bernards. Del Val entertains Bernards Friday night in the Big Central Game of the Week on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with kickoff set for 7 pm at Tap Webb Memorial Field in Alexandria. Click here to listen.

One other note is that the polls seem to be tightening, with fewer teams getting votes each week as the season begins to settle in, with next week being the mid-way point of the season. In Week 2, there were 16 teams receiving votes from the five voting members of the Media Poll, compared to 20 in the preseason rankings. This week, the number was down to 14.

Scroll down to see both polls in their entirety:

No. 3 Hillsborough extends win streak to 16 with gutsy home win over Ridge

The 2021 Hillsborough Raiders were a talented bunch, could score quickly, and had a lot of flash.

The 2022 Hillsborough Raiders – their opening game against East Brunswick notwithstanding – are a lot less flashy, and more reliant on defense to get them through games.

They didn’t lose a game in 2021, and they haven’t lost yet in 2022.

Hillsborough topped Ridge 21-11 at home Friday night, to improve to 3-0 and extend their winning streak to 16 games, matching Bergen Catholic’s mark and good for second-best active streak in the state. The Crusaders are home Saturday against Seton Hall Prep, while Caldwell – with the state’s longest streak – is now at 18 games after a 42-20 home win over Verona.

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Again, it was defense which got the job done. Hillsborough took a 7-3 halftime lead into the fourth quarter before going up 14-3, but Ridge battled right back, picking up a two-point conversion as well to cut to to 14-11. But the Raiders got one more TD to put it away.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Hillsborough head coach Kevin Carty Jr.:

Hillsborough puts 3rd best winning streak in the state on the line Friday night at Ridge

It’s only two games into the season, but the Hillsborough football team has kept the ball rolling from last year’s 13-0 squad that put up the program’s first-ever unblemished season, setting a school record for wins, winning two titles, and rewriting eleven different categories in the offensive record books.

That all goes on the line tonight when Boro (2-0) visits Ridge (1-1) up in the Somerset Hills.

Hillsborough is, no doubt, a different team. With the QB/WR tandem of Jay Mazuera and Thomas Amankwaa gone to graduation, there’s a little less flash, but new QB Ryan Tasetano (last year’s backup to Mazuera) has found a favorite target already with slot receiver Shane Donoghue, combining for 3 TD hookups already.

Ridge, on the other hand, has a season-opening 48-0 win over Monroe and lost 28-10 last week to Phillipsburg in a game that was closer than the final score indicated. The truth, for the Red Devils, may be somewhere more in the middle.

The teams have split the last two meetings.

Hillsborough is now on a 15-game winning streak, one of just four teams with streaks on the right side of the ledger of ten games or more.

The longest active win streak in the state belongs to Caldwell. The Chiefs have won 15 straight, dating back to their last three games of 2020. They went 12-0 last year and won the North 2 Regional Championship, and are 2-0 this year.

Bergen Catholic has won 16 in a row, going back to a win in their finale of the 2020 COVID season. They won the Non-Public Group A Championship last year, going 12-0, and are 3-0 to start 2022.

Then there’s Hillsborough at 15, with Irvington behind them at ten in a row. The Blue Knights won their last seven games last year en route to the North 5 Regional Championship; their sectional title was the first ever in program history.

Everyone else undefeated this season has fewer than ten wins. The next closest is West Morris at eight in a row. The Wolfpack won their last five games of last year, including the North 3 Regional Final against Cranford at MetLife Stadium. They’re 3-0 this season.


  • Caldwell: Friday night at home against Verona (1-2)
  • Bergen Catholic: Saturday at home against Seton Hall Prep (2-0)
  • Hillsborough: Friday night at Ridge (1-1)
  • Irvington: Saturday at Columbia (0-2)
  • West Moris: Friday night vs, Roxbury (0-2)

On the other side of the ledger, two Big Central teams continue to hold the longest active losing streaks in New Jersey.

Highland Park has dropped 36 in a row, with its last win coming on Thanksgiving of 2016, in the last game of the year, against arch-rival Metuchen, 35-7. Friday night, they host Spotswood (2-1).

JP Stevens is at 25, with the Hawks’ stretch going back to the last two games of 2018; their last win came over Monroe. Stevens – a Group 5 school – is down several divisions this year in the Big Central, and playing some Group 2 schools. This week, they have a Group 3 on the docket when Governor Livingston (1-2) comes to North Edison).

Behind those two is Paramus Catholic. The Paladins, remarkably, have not won since 2019, in their penultimate game of the season. They were 4-7 that year, and lost their finale, going winless in the 2020 COVID year, as well as last year.

They’ve been close this season, dropping their opener by a touchdown at Hudson Catholic, and getting edged by a single point last week, 37-36, at Pope John. Friday, they play Chaminade of New York, which was 7-3 last season, but dropped their first and only game of the year this year; they’re 0-1.

Even with a win, that streak would continue against New Jersey schools. Chaminade is the only out-of-state opponent the Paladins have faced during that entire stretch.

Behins PC is Ferri – at 16 games – having last won in 2019, followed by Paterson Kennedy at 14.

Gloucester Catholic snapped its 15 game skid last week with a 34-16 win at Bishop Eustace.

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 2: Great Starts and Wild Finishes

On this week’s whip around “The Big Central in Two Minutes,” Mike Pavlichko explains why North looks at some great starts for North Hunterdon, South Plainfield and Hunterdon Central, and the very early playoff standings that have come out, plus much much more!

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

One more first place vote puts Stateliners atop Big Central Media Poll in Week 2

After Week One, North Brunswick got three first place votes and Phillipsburg two from the Big Central media, but after Week Two – despite both teams winning – they flipped, and now the Stateliners sit atop the Big Central Media Poll heading into Week Three.

The Stateliners got 48 points from the five voters, the most of any team so far this season; the Raiders got 45 last week.

After North Brunswick in second, Hillsborough climbed a spot to third, with Hillside up two to fourth, and St. Joseph-Metuchen making its debut – after receiving votes last week – at No. 5. All the top five teams are off to 2-0 starts.

Sayreville – despite a win – dropped to sixth, while North Hunterdon’s 3-0 start got them from the also-ran category to No. 7.

Edison held in eighth, despite its first loss of the season, which came at the hands of North Brunswick, but without starting QB Matt Yascko and wide receiver Malcolm Stansbury, due to injury. Ridge dropped from sixth into an eighth-place tie with the Eagles, while St. Thomas Aquinas – which also got votes last week – also made its debut.

Dropping out were #3 Somerville, #9 Bridgewater-Raritan and #10 Delaware Valley.

The poll also got a little tighter this week in that only 15 teams received votes. Last week, 16 got nods for the top ten from the Big Central Media, down from 20 in the preseason poll.

Below are the full Week 2 rankings: