Tag: Linden

North Group 4 Playoff Analysis: North Hunterdon appears locked into a No. 1 seed

With Cutoff Weekend coming up Friday and Saturday this week, 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 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)

#1 North Hunterdon: Even if the Lions (7-1) were to lose Voorhees (3-4) at home Friday night, it still wouldn’t matter what Irvington, Ramapo, Randolph, and Morris Knolls do behind the, We think North is set as the top overall team, meaning they would be the North 2, Group 4 top seed. Who gets the other No. 1 seed is still very much up in the air; Irvington’s not a lock with a tough game against West Orange.

#7 Ridge: The Red Devils (5-2) – contrary to our initial take – can’t quite grab the second overall position and the other No. 1 seed. We thought if they’d won at Union (2-5) and had a ton go right, including losses by six other teams around them, they could do it. But two of those teams – Randolph and Morris Knolls – play each other. So unless both decide to use an ineligible player and are granted losses (yes it could happen!) a No. 1 seed is out of the realm of possibility, we now believe, for Ridge. A top four finish is possible, though, if the Red Devils win. Undefeated Wayne Valley should beat winless Mount OIive, so beyond that huge upset, Ridge would need Ramapo (5-2) to lose to Ridgewood (5-2), and Randolph (6-1) to lose to Morris Knolls (6-1). On paper, those games could go either way. So, if Ridge wins, we call that a 50-50 shot. A loss, and Ridge could drop as low as nine, going on the road for the first round if everything breaks the wrong way around them.

#8 Colonia: The Patriots and the next few teams have so many possible scenarios and combos of winning and losing and other teams’ results, so we’ll just give their range. They could legitimately go as high as No. 7 overall, guaranteed at least a first-round home game, or drop as low as 13 in a worst-case scenario.

#11 Rahway: With Colonia being a strong team with just one loss, should they beat the Patriots, they could finish as high as an eight or nine overall, meaning a first-round home game is still in play. But we believe they’re in regardless of what happens; it looks like the lowest they can drop is 14 with a loss.

#12 Montgomery: Even with a loss to Linden, it looks like the Cougars are in, but destined to be on the road in the first round, as we peg them for a range of No. 10 to No. 15 overall.

#14 Sayreville: Similar to Montgomery, we think Sayreville is in whether they beat Woodbridge or not Friday night, and in the same 10-15 overall range.

#16 Woodbridge: Here’s where things start to get tricky. We thing the Barrons aren’t guaranteed of anything, even if they beat Sayreville Friday night, and the reason is the tiebreaker. If somehow, the Barrons end up a spot ahead of Linden, the Tigers have the tiebreaker by virtue of winning their regular season matchup. That’s even the case if Woodbridge finishes 16 and Linden finishes 17, regardless of power points, OSI or UPR. So, the Barrons need to finish two spots ahead of Linden if they end up at No. 16. Win, and it’s easier: they just need a loss by Linden and nothing else, and they’ll be the last team in. With a loss, they would not only need Linden to lose, but also Barringer to win Friday night against Nutley and Bergenfield to beat Pascack Valley on Saturday. Those have to happen to bump Linden to 18 so that Woodbridge avoids the tiebreaker. *We think.

#17 Linden: The Tigers, even though they’re behind Woodbridge, have it easier. With a win, even if everything else breaks wrong – including the Barrons winning – we have them at 17, with Woodbridge in 16th, and Linden getting the tiebreaker over the Barrons. We’ll see how it shakes out. And, as stated above, they could still get in with a loss, if things break right regarding Barringer and Bergenfield losing.

UNOFFICIAL: Group 4 Playoff Standings Update

North Hunterdon keeps on winning, and keeps solidifying its position as No. 1 in the North Group 4 standings. Here’s a look at Central Jersey Sports Radio’s unofficial standings for both Group 4 supersections following Friday night’s Week 7 games:

With a win over Woodbridge, North Hunterdon remains a solid No. 1 – first in both power points and UPR – while Irvington remains No. 2, but dropped in UPR from 2 to 2.6, which is more breathing room for the Lions, whose only loss was a “good” loss – according to the OSI – to Phillipsburg.

Ridge‘s home win over Westfield helped it stay in 7th, inching closer to sewing up a top seed and a first-round home game in the sectionals. The Red Devils are at Union next Friday, and a win there should lock it up.

Colonia dropped from No. 9 to No. 10 based on other teams’ results, but still has to play this weekend – today at red-hot Summit, which is 3-3 but has won three in a row.

Rahway has pulled up behind them, from 14 to 11, after a win Friday night over Carteret, which snapped a three-game skid. And right behind the Indians are Montgomery, which pulled up from 13th to 12th after snapping a two-game losing streak with a win over Scotch Plains-Fanwood Friday night.

Sayreville drops from 10th to 14th with Friday night’s loss to Piscataway, which would have produced a good amount of power points to get the Bombers – we think – closer to the top eight. Now, that may not be possible.

On either side of the bubble are Woodbridge and Linden, both of whom lost Friday night. The two flip-flopped last week’s position, with the Barrons now in 16th and the Tigers now 17th. Why? The Barrons’ loss to North Hunterdon was “better” – according to the OSI – than the Tigers’ loss to Cranford.

Bottom Line: North Hunterdon should get that top seed. Ridge could wrap up a first-round home game with a win against Union, but might still be able to get it with a loss. Colonia may be in play for a top eight seed since they have two games to work with. Rahway and Montgomery maybe not so much. But we think they’re in the dance, so to speak. Sayreville should be. Woodbridge has Sayreville next week, and Linden is at Montgomery: consider them must-wins, and root against Middletown South.

In South 4, Middletown South and Hammonton switch places, but still hold the top two positions.

Group 4 playoff analysis: North Hunterdon continues to rise; is a top-seed in play?

With just three weeks before Cutoff Weekend, we take a deeper dive into the playoff standings, after Week 5 results are tabluated by Gridiron New Jersey.

NORTH 4 (Click here for official standings)

After a big win over Colonia last weekend, North Hunterdon (5-1) continues to make its push up the standings, climbing from fifth last week to third this week. They boosted their power point average from 13.4 to 17 with a 25-point win over then 5-0 Colonia last week. Their OSI went from 58.77 to 63.01.

Randolph (5-0, 1 UPR) sits at No. 1, followed by Morris Knolls (4-1, 2.4 UPR), while the Lions are a 2.6 UPR. That’s oh-so-close. But there are a few snags in the plan if North Hunterdon wants one of the two No. 1 seeds. They are already second in power point average, so there’s little room to climb. They’re also just 0.29 UPR points behind Morris Knolls, and 1.05 behind Randolph, which leads the group, so there’s little room to climb there as well.

But both teams are in the same boat as they try to gain – or not lose – based on their upcoming schedules. Other than Montgomery this Friday, home to Woodbridge and Voorhees the final two weeks isn’t all that great. But neither is Morris Knolls’ schedule, with 0-6 Morris Hills at home this week, at 0-6 Mount Olive next week, and home to 5-0 Randolph on Saturday of Cutoff Weekend.

Irvington (4th, 4-2, 4.8 UPR) has taken a major hit losing two straight after a 4-0 start, and they don’t exactly have a schedule to make much of a dent either.

Bottom line? If North Hunterdon can take care of business and run the table the next three weeks – not an impossible task, on paper – it could come down to some scoreboard watching on Cutoff Saturday.

Colonia, meanwhile, despite dropping to 5-1 with that loss in Annandale last Friday night, didn’t drop. The Patriots remain in seventh; it was a “good loss” at least OSI-wise. They have a 6.8 UPR, and a 1.8 UPR lead over ninth-place Chatham. If they can dust themselves off – and QB Jaeden Jones is healthy after suffering what appeared to be a lower leg injury in the third quarter against North Hunterdon – and win their last three regular season games against Perth Amboy, at Summit, and at Rahway – a distinct possibility – they should hold on to a top eight seed and get at least a first-round home game in the playoffs.

Montgomery (5-1, 9.6 UPR) took a hit with its first loss of the season last week, but could be in play for a top-8 seed if they get back on the saddle, though they may need some help. It’s a tight jumble in the middle of this section, with Ridge (3-2, 11.4 UPR) and Sayreville (3-2, 11.4 UPR) tied right behind them.

A win for Monty over North Hunterdon would pay huge dividends, but they would also have to win at Scotch Plains and back in Skillman against Linden the last two weeks to get that first-round home game gaurantee. Ridge is at South Brunswick, home to Westfield, and at Union. Sayreville hosts Franklin and Piscataway before closing at Woodbridge. It all looks pretty even to us, but Montgomery may have the upper hand among the three.

Rahway (3-2) is in 13th place after dropping two in a row, with a 12.4 UPR. They may need to win two of three to really solidify a playoff spot, but they have a challenging schedule. This Friday they visit St. Thomas Aquinas, which is red hot, and hasn’t lost a conference game this season. They they host Carteret and Colonia to close things out.

Linden (3-2, 15.6 UPR) is in 15th and Woodbridge (2-4, 17.4 UPR) are bubble teams at this point. The Tigers are at least on the right side of things, and close with Summit, then Cranford at home, followed by a road game at Montgomery, while the Barrons have JFK, visit North Hunterdon, then host Sayreville. They’re on the wrong side of the bubble and appear to have the tougher schedule.

Too close to call for those two at this point.

SOUTH 4 (Click here for official standings)

There are no Big Central teams in the South 4 supersection, but with Group Finals in the picture this year, take note that Middletown South and Hammonton are in the top two slots here, and South still has a second multiplier to play; they lost to Red Bank Catholic a couple of weeks ago, and visit Donovan Catholic the Friday of Cutoff Weekend.

They should be a lock for a top-seed because of that. Hammonton is also a good bet to hold on, as well, at 5-1 and with a mostly strong schedule the next two weeks against Timber Creek and Delsea, a combined 10-1.

Group 4 playoff analysis: North Hunterdon leads BCC teams packed tightly behind them

As we head into the final four weeks of the regular season before Cutoff Weekend in high school football, it’s time to start taking a closer look at the race for the playoffs. Here’s a look at Group 4; note that we only give a detailed breakdown of the North section since South 4 doesn’t include any teams from the Big Central Conference, the only such supersection in the state.

NORTH 4 (Click here for official standings)

Ramapo is the leader in this section, with Randolph right behind, but both UPRs are in the twos (2.2 for Ramapo, 2.4 for Randolph). That oddity is because while they are 1-and-2 in OSI, Ramapo is fourth in power points, while Randolph is third. (OSI weighs 60%, power points 40% in the state UPR formula).

The highest Big Central team is North Hunterdon in fifth, and there are a bunch of league teams sort of right behind them, and they play two of the three in the next couple of weeks. The Lions have a 5.6 UPR, followed by Wayne Valley (5.8) and Colonia (6.6). Rahway is eighth with a 9 UPR, and Montgomery – with a 10 UPR – is in tenth, followed by Sayreville (10.4 UPR).

That’s a fairly good-sized gap in the middle of the pack. It essentially means that the top seven teams are all tightly packed in the top of the power point and OSI standings; i.e. there’s no team in the top seven that’s very high (say, fourth) in one and very low (say, 12th) in the other.

North Hunterdon can really solidify things and maybe make a run at a top-four seed (and home field through the sectional semifinals) with wins the next two weeks. They host Colonia Friday night – where Central Jersey Sports Radio will have live updates during the Sayreville at East Brunswick game, which kicks off at 7:00 – and next week, North Hunterdon travels to Montgomery.

Now back to that gap: it’s a lot to make up, and if nobody can do it, we’ll have Rahway, Monty, Sayreville, Chatham and maybe more battling it out for that eighth spot, which means a first-round home playoff game.

Ridge in 14th is a good bet to make the playoffs, but Linden in 15th is a little more on the bubble, but at least on the good side.

Woodbridge, however, at 1-4, is in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 2018. They are in 18th, with a 17.4 UPR. They may need to run the table, which would include not only winning at Perth Amboy this weekend and beating in-town rival JFK at home next week, but then winning out in Clinton over North Hunterdon on October 14th, and beating Sayreville at home on the Friday night of Cutoff Weekend.

Put it this way: for the Barrons, the playoffs start now.

SOUTH 4 (Click here for official standings)

Again, there are no Big Central teams here, but with the NJSIAA going to group finals for the first-time ever this year, it warrants a brief look.

The top two teams here are Middletown South (3-1) and Millville (2-1). They might not be were it not for the multiplier effect, as Middletown South lost to Red Bank Catholic – and still has Donovan Catholic later on. Millville beat St. Augustine two weeks ago.

There’s only one undefeated team in this section: 4-0 Pennsauken, in 6th place right now, with a 7.2 UPR. Their power point total is what hurts them

North Group 4 Week 9 Breakdown: Big Central teams aplenty, with several jockeying at the bottom

Can Woodbridge or Sayreville earn a top four seed? And what about the jumble of teams at the bottom? Here’s a team by team unofficial look at the scenarios for all the Big Central teams in the North Group 4 supersection:

Woodbridge: The Barrons (6-2) sit in 5th place right now, but at one point were looking at a top seed. They’re reeling a bit after consecutive losses to still-undefeated Cranford and Scotch Plains-Fanwood. But can they finish in the top four to get first-round advantage through the sectional semifinals? The short answer is “Yes.” The long answer is they’ll need some help. It starts and ends with beating Linden (3-4) at Priscoe Field Friday night. Then, it appears they would need no more than one of the following three teams to win: Ramapo, Middletown South or Morris Knolls. If only one wins, Woodbridge can end up as the four seed, maybe even a three. If any two of those schools wins this weekend, Woodbridge can’t crack the top four. There’s a crack in the door, and we’ll see what happens.

Sayreville: The Bombers (6-2) are in sixth, right behind Woodbridge, and have a big “Battle of Route 9” matchup with Old Bridge (6-2) Friday night at Vince Lombardi Field. Where will they be when the head back up North? With a win, even they have a crack at the top four, but they need even more help than the Barrons. A Sayreville victory would also need losses by Woodbridge, Ramapo, Morris Knolls, Mount Olive and Middletown South. We believe if even one of those teams wins, the Bombers still will be top eight seed with a win, giving them a first round home game, at a minimum. In fact, they can even pass Woodbridge, as the Knights are much more valuable in power points and OSI than Linden, the Barrons’ opponent.

MORE CUTOFF WEEKEND COVERAGE: A team-by-team breakdown of every Big Central team’s postseason standing and chances heading into Week 9

Colonia: Sitting in 11th, the Patriots (6-2) face Scotch Plains-Fanwood this weekend. Even with a victory over the Raiders and some help, it’s likely the Patriots can only get as high as ninth, so it’s looking like they’ll be on traditional green turf when they open the playoffs next weekend.

Ridge: The Same can be said for the Red Devils (5-2), who sit in 12th, one spot behind Colonia. The best they can do, even with a home win over Elizabeth (3-5) and some help, is finish in 9th. So the Red Devils will be away from home, too.

North Hunterdon: In 15th place sits North Hunterdon (4-4), which is pretty much assured of a bottom four finish, this a 7 or 8 seed. With a trip to Voorhees (1-7) Friday night, the Vikings’ don’t provide enough power points to make a move up, but no one behind them has the wherewithal to knock them out either, by our calculations. We peg them for one of the last two spots.

Linden: The Tigers sit in 16th place behind North Hunterdon. They get Woodbridge (6-2) on the road here on Cutoff Weekend, and with a win, still are looking like a bottom four team. A loss could drop them out of the picture entirely. They trio to keep an eye on is Montgomery, Bergenfield and Warren Hills. If at least two of those teams win – and the Tigers lose to Woodbridge – we say they’re out, finishing in 18th place.

Montgomery: This won’t be easy for the Cougars (3-4), but getting help may be the easiest part. They have undefeated Cranford (7-0) at home this weekend, but Monty has been a different team of late, since moving Alex Benitez back to his natural runningback position and putting sophomore Michael Schmelzer at quarterback. Do they have a shot against the Cougars? Absolutely. We’ve always thought the Big Central’s Division 4 was tough, and full of parity. We’ve beaten that drum all year. Let’s put it this way, with a win, Montgomery could finish as high as 14, if Chatham, North Hunterdon and Linden all lose. A loss may leave them needing all kinds of help, and too many possibilities to mention here.

Week 8 Analysis: Can Woodbridge get back into the race for a top seed? And four teams battle it out for the last three spots

Heading into Week Seven of play in high school football, Woodbridge may not have been in the drivers’ seat, but they certainly had a shot at one of the top two seeds in the North Group 4 supersection, and by extension, one of the two top seeds once the teams were divided into sections.

That would have meant guaranteed home field advantage through the sectionals.

But after suffering its first loss of the season, falling to Cranford 38-28 at home last Friday night in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland, the Barrons may be out of the picture.

Last week, they were just 0.2 UPR points behind Ramapo, sitting in third place. But the loss to the Cougars knocked them down to 5th, with a 5.4 UPR. Ramapo is ahead of them at 3.8, followed by Irvington at 3.6, and Middletown South moving into second with a UPR of 2.

The Barrons may not have a strong enough schedule to make up the ground. Though they could gain in power points with wins over Scotch Plains-Fanwood (4-4) this week, and Linden (currently 3-3) next week, those teams’ SI valules are around 57, which will tick the Barrons’ OSI down a shade even if they sweep the Raiders and Tigers.

Bottom line: the Barrons should open the playoffs at home, and maybe can get a semifinal game at Priscoe Field if they advance. But they are unlikely to get one of the two top seeds, barring a major collapse by the teams in front of them.

In the middle of the pack are Sayreville, Colonia, and Ridge sitting at 9, 11 and 12 in the standings.

The Bombers – who are tied for ninth with Randolph – are most likely the only one of the trio in reach of a first-round home game. At 4-2 with an 8.8 UPR, they’re just one UPR point behind Mount Olive (7.8, in 8th) and within two UPR points of Middletown North (7.8). Add in the fact that Sayreville will pick up a forfeit win next week and get 42 power points for a win over St Joseph-Metuchen, that will give a huge boost to their 15.5 power point average, to 19.9 (not counting wins or losses by Sayreville the next two weeks). That kind of jump would be worth four places in power point rank, or 1.6 UPR points, which would put them around 7th or 8th in the standings, depending what other teams do. If they can beat Old Bridge this week and New Brunswick next – both on the road – I’d say they’ll be playing at home in the first round, for sure.

Colonia and Ridge are 2.8 and 3.0 UPR points behind Sayreville, respectively, and neither has a multiplier boost in the offing. They’re likely to get around a 5 seed in the sectionals and start on the road.

Then, at the bottom, are four teams vying for three playoff spots. North Hunterdon is in 14th, followed by Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Linden, and Montgomery. The Cougars are just 1.4 points our of a playoff spot, having won two straight after losing their first four. If they can take care of JFK this week, they get Cranford next week, and even a loss might get them in. Monty’s OSI is 39.61, and Cranford’s SI value is a 79.51, which is worth 39.78 in a loss. That wouldn’t hurt their OSI. But the power point loss would hurt them; right now it’s 27 for a win, but just six for a loss. Montgomery’s power point average is an 8.50. at the moment.

North Hunterdon is likely the safest of the group, with a UPR of 13.6 and 3.8 points away from Montgomery, 4.8 away from 18th place Wayne Hills. Only one of those teams would need to catch them to eliminate them, and that’s unlikely. Scotch Plains and Linden are in a little more of a murky situation. Best to win out and let the chips fall where they may.

Week 6 North 4 Playoff Analysis: Woodbridge aiming for a top-seed, six BCC teams in bottom half

NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect today’s cancellation of the Shore Conference pod championships.

The only Big Central team with any virtual certainty of their playoff positioning in the North Group 4 supersection should be the Woodbridge Barrons. With a big game Friday night against undefeated Cranford (CJSR, 7 pm), Woodbridge (6-0) currently sits third in the standings.

With the top two in the section getting home games throughout the sectional finals, the Barrons aren’t that far off. But neither is Middletown South. Both teams have a UPR of 3.2, which is just two-tenths of a point behind second place Ramapo. That means if either gains one position in power point or OSI rank, they’ll likely surpass Ramapo.

Continue reading “Week 6 North 4 Playoff Analysis: Woodbridge aiming for a top-seed, six BCC teams in bottom half”

Who are the eight undefeated teams left in the Big Central heading into Week 5?

As we head into Week Five of nine in high school football across New Jersey, there are dozens of undefeated teams remaining in the state – 52 to be exact.

Eight of them reside in the Big Central Conference.

The North Jersey Super Football Conference leads the pack with 19, including Immaculata, which is playing in the Independence Red Division after leaving the fledgling Big Central over a disagreement about their division and scheduling.

So who are these eight teams? Who’s having their best success in years? We take a closer look:

Hillsborough (4-0) ad Ridge (3-0): We put these teams together since they square off tonight in Basking Ridge, so one will have suffered their first loss of the season. The Raiders started 2019 with a 4-0 mark, and a win tonight would give them their best start since they won seven-in-a-row to start the 2014 season. That year, the Raiders made it to the Central Jersey Group 5 semifinals, where they lost 28-6 to eventual champion Manalapan, which beat South Brunswick 21-7 for the title at Rutgers.

Each team has a Bellamy & Son Player of the Week to their credit. Thomas Amankwaa of Hillsborough won for his outstanding performance in a 21-14 overtime home win over Phillipsburg a couple of weeks ago, including two touchdowns, a two-point run and an interception on the Liners’ possession in OT that clinched the come-from-behind win. Ridge quarterback Mike Olivo was honored this past week, as he accounted for all seven of his team’s touchdowns (three passing, four rushing) in a 49-20 win over Hunterdon Central.

READ MORE: Big plays in big spots earn Hillsborough’s Tommy Amankwaa Week Two Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Honors

READ MORE: Seven touchdown performance earns Ridge’s Olivo Week Four Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Award

It’s the best start for the Red Devils under second-year head coach Andy West. Bill Tracy was at the helm when Ridge last won three straight to start the year; they went 6-0 to begin 2018.

Bottom line, this kind of start is nothing new for these ballclubs.

Woodbridge (5-0): The Barrons did this last year, and the year before.

In the COVID-shortened 2020 season, they went 5-1, only losing their final game, in the first week of pod play to Somerville in a highly-anticipated 1 vs. 2 matchup. The Barrons had been No. 1 all season, with Somerville working its way to No. 2.

The ‘Ville took a 39-26 decision at Priscoe Field, and then both teams’ seasons ended due to COVID and contact tracing.

READ MORE: Whitaker and Desiderio postgame reaction after Somerville knocks off Woodbridge

Isn’t it great to see high school football back?

The year before, Woodbridge was 10-0 heading into the North 1, Group 4 title game, but lost 37-7 at Northern Highlands.

Cranford (3-0): The Cougars also got off to a hot start last year, beginning the year 3-0. But they were stopped by Woodbridge in their fourth game and finished 6-2, losing in their finale in pod play to St. Joseph-Metuchen.

READ MORE: Cranford wins a battle of top Union County QBs, Cougars off to 2-0 start

Cranford has Scotch Plains-Fanwood at home tonight, then hosts Colonia next Friday, before traveling to the other side of Route One for what could be a battle of two undefeated teams at Priscoe Field on Friday, October 15th, in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland heard live on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

If you’re looking for the Cougars’ next best start prior to last year, you’d have to go back to 2015, when Cranford ran the table at 12-0 and won the North 2, Group 3 title with a 50-23 win over Chatham at Kean University in Union.

Linden (3-0): Yes, make it three teams out of eight in what we felt heading into the season was one of the more balanced and competitive divisions in the Big Central, Division 4. In addition to Woodbridge and Cranford, the Tigers are unbeaten, and none of the three teams obviously have played each other yet.

It’s a nice turnaround for Linden, which managed just five games last year due to COVID and ended up 1-4. They had a 7-1 start to their 2018 season, but lost their opener before winning seven straight and dropping their last two.

This is their best start since going 7-0 to begin the 2014 campaign, which they finished 10-2, bringing home a North 2, Group 5 trophy; they beat Elizabeth for the title 27-20 at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands.

St. Thomas Aquinas (4-0): The Trojans are on a historic streak. It’s the first time they’ve had this kind of success in North Edison in quite some time.

READ MORE: St. Thomas Aquinas finding historic success, wins fourth straight by shutout

Aquinas has not gone unbeaten in its first four games since starting the 1992 season 6-0-1, their streak stopped on November 7th of that year by Edison. (Fun side note: current Eagles offensive coordinator Matt Yascko had two touchdown catches in that game; the other went to Justin Garbolino, whose son Frankie is the QB at North Brunswick. Yascko’s son QB’s for Edison.)

They’ve not started a year with four straight wins since 1989, when the Trojans went ran the table in the regular season and finished 10-1, their lone loss coming in the Parochial South A final to Notre Dame, 9-6.

Look for a piece on the Trojans later today on cjsportsradio.com.

Delaware Valley (4-0): The Terriers got off to a 5-0 start last year, finishing 6-1 in the COVID-shortened campaign.

Del Val runs record to 4-0 with 40-7 cruise past Governor Livingston

A win tonight against a tough Bernards team would match that effort, and give them a shot at their best start since 2015 when they began 6-0. They also went 7-0 to start 2011 and 8-0 in 2003, finishing 9-1 with a playoff loss to Spotswood.

We got to see them early on against North Plainfield, and the Terriers looked impressive, nearly pitching the shutout before allowing a late touchdown.

Brearley (3-0): The Bears had an 8-2 year in 2019, and won eight straight games in that campaign, but after suffering a season-opening loss to out-of-conference West Essex.

READ MORE: Brearley off to hot 2-0 start, looks to keep it going against rival Roselle Park in Week 3

They’re off to their best start since 2018 when they went 5-0, but their season-opening win was a forfeit by Highland Park, which didn’t have enough personnel to play the game. Going by true on-field wins, you’d have to go back to 2015, when the Bears won their first eleven games, and were the top-seed in the North 2, Group 1 playoffs.

They lost in the finals at Kean 34-12 to second-seed Hoboken.

What team has the longest active winning streak in Big Central play?

The answer to that question may surprise you.

Hint: it’s not any one of the undefeated teams we mentioned above.

The answer? It’s Bernards!

The Mountaineers are 3-1 this season, but their loss came to Penns Grove in the Battle at the Beach in Week Zero. Last year, after a season-opening loss to Hillside – which they avenged this year in the Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers – Bernards won their final eight games to finish 8-1.

Of those, six came against Big Central opponents (the other two wins were against Monmouth and Immaculata). So, the Bernards winning streak in league is nine games.

After that, it’s Somerville and Woodbridge tied with 8 straight in league play (Somerville’s loss this season was to Northern Highlands).

Union – who’s only loss this season is to Millville, out of conference – has won six straight against BCC competition, while Del Val and Brealy each have won five-in-a-row.

Somerville splits top spot voting, but remains No. 1 in Big Central Media Poll for Week Four

Despite Somerville losing a first-place vote to Woodbridge, and the schools evenly splitting the six votes for the top spot at three apiece, the Pioneers remain No. 1 in the Week Four Big Central Media Poll compiled by Central Jersey Sports Radio.

In fact, Woodbridge still holds in third in the poll, with the voters who didn’t pick the Barrons number one ranking Union higher overall.

The top nine teams remained in the same positions as a week ago, except for Birdgewater-Raritan, which had been tied for ninth. The Panthers (2-2) dropped out following a 31-21 home loss Saturday to No. 4 Hillsborough.

Delaware Valley and Linden debut in the rankings this week, tied for the tenth and final spot.

Below are the Week Four rankings:

Somerville caps sweep of rankings with top spot in Week 3 Big Central Media Poll

Somerville is the No. 1 team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten, and the highest ranked Big Central team in the New Jersey Strength Index ratings.

And while it wasn’t unanimous, the Pioneers also have taken top billing in the Week 3 Big Central Media Poll.

Somerville earned the spot partly by virtue of being 3-1, with dominating performances in all three of its wins, but also because previously top-ranked North Brunswick was upset Friday by unranked Sayreville.

The ‘Ville got four of the six first-place votes, while Woodbridge finished third, despite getting the other two votes. In between was Union, which was idle this past week.

Below is the Week 3 Big Central Media Poll: