Tag: Lou Grasso Jr.

Union’s Lou Grasso Jr. talks about COIVD cancellation, says “if we get a chance to play, we’ll play”

There’s a lot of hurt in Union this Saturday morning, less than 24 hours after what the top-seeded Farmers feel like should have been a victory celebration, moving on to the North 2 Group 5 title game on their home field.

Instead, they never even got a crack at it, waylaid by four positive COVID tests within the program, and the cancellation of their semifinal game against 5th-seed Eastside Paterson by school administration.

On social media, a video is circulating showing players meeting with school officials, and a petition is on change.org (you can go to it here) urging administrators to reconsider and play the game, suggesting a Sunday game against Eastside be played.

Union head coach Lou Grasso, Jr. took a few minutes to talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio about how he and his team found out about the cancellation, the hurt his team – a favorite for a state title – is feeling, and what may or may not be next.

Click below to listen to Lou Grasso, Jr. with Mike Pavlichko of Central Jersey Sports Radio:

Union hitting on all cylinders as it begins playoffs with a top seed

Can Union make it back-to-back state champions, two years apart?

We’ll find out when the surging Farmers open the playoffs at home this Friday night.

Union (8-1) is the overall top seed in North Group 5, and the No. 1 seed in North 2 Group 5, with 8-seed Livingston (4-5) the team it hopes will be its first victim.

Lou Grasso’s squad won the North 2 Group 5 title in 2019, the last playoffs before the pandemic, beating Clifton 42-28 for the title, Union’s first in 26 years. But they’d fall to Ridgewood to spoil a perfect 12-0 season, 41-37 in the North 5 “regional championship.”

Click below to hear Union head coach Lou Grasso Jr.’s conversation with Mike Pavlichko about his team during Saturday night’s playoff projection show:

Stewart leads No. 2 Union to fourth straight win, topping Westfield 14-3

The second-ranked Farmers got two touchdowns in a span of less than three game minutes in the second quarter, and it was all Union would need to beat Westfield Friday night, 14-3 at Cooke Field in Union on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

In the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Mark Monetenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland, Jaden Stewart was named Player of the Game. The senior quarterback was 5-for-9 passing for 114 yards, including a 33-yard TD strike to Tyler Malik-Ismael to cap a three-play, 51-yard drive.

Rutgers commit Davison Igbinosun scored on a seven-yard touchdown run that opened the scoring at 10:34 left in the half.

Union (4-1) has won four strtaight since a season-opening loss to Millville in Ocean City in the Battle at the Beach. Westfield (2-2) has lost two straight.

Ashan Harris finished five yards shy of the century mark for the game on 17 carries for Union, which outgained Westfield in the game 321-158.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from down on the field with Justin Sontupe:

Autoland Player of the Game, QB Jaden Stewart

Union head coach Lou Grasso

Farmers’ defense is getting tighter and tighter as ’21 reaches the midway point

After allowing 31 points in a season-opening loss to South Jersey power Millville in the Battle on the Beach down in Ocean City, the Union defense clamped down.

Then they clamped down some more. And more for good measure.

The Farmers have gotten stronger defensively each week in 2021, at least on the scoreboard. They came back off the Millville game and allowed 21 – mostly late – in a win at St. Joe’s of Metuchen, gave up 12 two weeks ago in a win at Plainfield, then blanked Elizabeth 34-0 last week in their home opener at Cooke Field.

Tonight, the second-ranked Farmers (3-1) welcome in Westfield (2-1) on the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland. You can hear the game on Central Jersey Sports Radio with pregame at 6:45, and kickoff at 7.

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

Click below to hear Union head coach Lou Grasso Jr. talk about the matchup with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

Desmond Igbinosun recaps Union season, Rutgers commitment

After a senior-laden team led Union to a 12-win season and the North 2 Group 5 sectional title in 2019, the biggest question facing the Farmers in 2020 was whether they could retain their upper-echelon status in Central Jersey high school football.

Thanks to a nucleus of All-State skill players, the answer was an emphatic yes.

Headlined by Rutgers commit Desmond Igbinosun, Union finished with a 4-3 record, a pair of wins over top-10 teams, and a consistent presence in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top 10 poll.

After an offseason move to running back, Desmond scored a team-high 10 rushing touchdowns and amassed 454 rushing yards on just 38 carries. Joining Igbinosun in the backfield was senior Diante Wilson, who led the ninth-ranked Farmers with 946 rushing yards and came close to a second consecutive 1,000-yard season despite the shortened schedule.

Igbinosun’s younger brother, junior CB Davison Igbinosun, starred on defense, collecting three interceptions, seven pass breakups, and a blocked kick. According to head coach Lou Grasso Jr., Davison had three passes completed against him all season and did not allow a touchdown.

Union shrugged off a 1-2 start to post a dominant three-game winning streak late in the season. The Farmers outscored their opponents 89-10 with victories over St. Joseph-Metuchen and Watchung Hills, two teams who were also ranked throughout the season.

With graduation on the horizon, Desmond Igbinosun is expected to affirm his verbal commitment to Rutgers this week, sending in his National Letter of Intent during the early signing period that runs Wednesday through Friday this week.

The older Igbinosun and Grasso Jr. spoke to Central Jersey Sports Radio about the season. Click below to hear their comments:

Desmond Igbinosun

Lou Grasso Jr.