Tag: Manville

Central Jersey Sports Radio announces “Specialty Awards” for 2022

So many great players, so few awards. When you’ve got multiple deserving players for a single award, it’s time to get creative to honor those who truly deserve to be honored.

So without any further ado, here are Central Jersey Sports Radio’s postseason Specialty Awards for 2022!

Best Rushing QB” Award: Jaeden Jones, Colonia

The top two rushers in the Big Central Conference this season were quarterbacks. Matt Sims of Brearley was No. 2, and topping the list was Colonia junior Jaeden Jones, who succeeded a pretty good runner himself: last year’s “Mr. Dynamic” Award to the most explosive player in the league by far, fellow quarterback Josh Oluremi.

Colonia’s Jaeden Jones (Source: @Jaeden_Jones2 on Twitter)

In fact, Oluremi and Jones share a unique piece of history. So far as we could tell, at least back to the mid-90s – since stats from those years aren’t as readily available as they are now – Oluremi was the first quarterback since then to lead Middlesex County in rushing. (He was second in the Big Central Conference last year to state rushing leader Colin Murray of Cranford, in Union County.)

Now, Jones has made it two years in a row for a QB to lead Middlesex County in rushing, both from the same school. And as for making his own piece of history, he’s also the first quarterback to lead the BCC in rushing in its short three-year history. (Someone remember it when we go digging for that fact in another 20 years, please?

Like Oluremi, Jones’ rushing to passing totals were about a 3:2 ratio in favor of the ground game. Jones threw 86 of 150 for 1,059 yards, but amassed 248 carries of his own on the ground for 1,661 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Jones led Colonia to an 8-2 record this year, and the Liberty Gold Division title. And the best part is, he’ll be back next year.

Click below to hear Justin Sontupe talk with Jaeden Jones of Colonia:

“Best Backfield Duo”: Kente Edwards and Alex Uryniak, North Hunterdon

While head coach Kevin Kley has called runningback Kente Edwards “the most feared runner” in the Big Central, he’s been blessed enough to have a “backup” – yes, we put that in quotes – who he says “could be the starter on any team in the league.”

And he’s not fibbing.

Edwards got banged up against Colonia in Week Five and missed the better part of the next four games, and if you closed your eyes and ears and just looked at the stat line, you wouldn’t know it was Alex Uryniak taking the bulk of the carries.

North Hunterdon’s Kente Edwards (#3, left) and Alex Uryniak (#22, second from left) at midfield for the coin toss before the North 2, Group 4 title game against Randolph in Annandale on November 12, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Edwards had been averaging 160 yards a game, and even had 161 against Colonia. But in the first two playoff games, Uryniak ran for 433 yards and five touchdowns, while QB Luke Martini started throwing like a beast (more on him later) in the games Uryniak didn’t top 100. Uryniak ended up with 1,012 yards on the season and 13 scores, giving the Lions two thousand-yard rushers, as Edwards finished with 1,442 and 15 touchdowns.

Go ahead, pick your poison.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with the two-headed monster runningback combo of Kente Edwards and Luke Martini:

“Rising Star” Award: Jett Genovese, Phillipsburg

On a team with so many standouts, and a ton of balance among key players, Jett Genovese was able to run it all with precision for Phillipsburg.

Four runningbacks carried for over 300 yards, with none more than Xavier Moore’s 851. And through the air, Genovese found four different targets for more than 150 yards, with none more than Michael Scerbo Jr.,’s 476. That connection should be hooking up a lot again next year, as both players are sophomores.

But it was Genovese who was able to find his way through it for the Stateliners,

Phillipsburg quarterback Jett Genovese (Photo courtesy @HanisakPhoto)

And though Phillipsburg was knocked off by West Orange in the North 2, Group 5 final, Genovese came up big when it really counted – against Easton. He threw for 86 yards and three touchdown passes, while distributing the ball to five different runningbacks, led by Moore’s 114 yards, and Caleb Rivera’s two rushing touchdowns.

We have a feeling we’ll be talking about Jett a lot over the next couple of years.

Click below to Genovese talk about his first year as a starting QB for P’burg with Justin Sontupe:

Best Returning QB-WR Tandem: Michael Schmelzer, Jr. and Matt D’Avino, Montgomery

Montgomery had a very good season in 2022, starting 5-0 for the first time in school history.

And though the finished 7-3, with a first-round playoff loss to Northern Highlands – the North 1, Group 4 Champions and Group 4 finalist – they are the only team that can make this claim: they will have the top returning quarterback and the top returning receiver in the Big Central Conference when they come back to the field in 2023.

Montgomery QB Michael Schmelzer, Jr. (left) and WR Matt D’Avino are interviewed after a 27-20 home win over Somerville on September 16, 2022 heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio (Photos: Mike Pavlichko)

Quarterback Michael Schmelzer, Jr., threw for 1,658 yards and 21 touchdowns, good for fourth in the conference, but Luke Martini of North Hunterdon, Matt Yascko of Edison and Frankie Garbolino of North Brunswick are all graduating.

Wide receiver Matt D’Avino was second in the conference with 1,053 yards and 14 touchdowns, just one yard behind – and one TD ahead of – Derek Vaddis of North Hunterdon, who’s also graduating.

These two have been playing catch for many years now, and will get one more year together with the Cougars. We’re looking forward to watching.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Michael Schmelzer, Jr. and Matt D’Avino of Montgomery:

“Nobody Scores” Award: Bernards Defense (represented by Enzo Britez)

They may not have been St. Thomas Aquinas from a year ago, which tied a playoff-era Middlesex County record with seven shutouts, but they came pretty damn close.

In an 8-2 season with just one regular season loss, the Bernards Mountaineers played locked down D for the majority of 2022, shutting out six opponents en route to a clean 4-0 division sweep to the Big Central’s Patriot Gold title.

Bernards senior Enzo Britez (Source: @enzobritez on Twitter)

Click below to hear Justin Sontupe talk with Bernards defensive back Enzo Britez:

“Walk Off Defender” Award: Zamir Hawk, Hillside

Walkoff is a term most commonly used in baseball, but Barris Grant uses it to talk about Zamir Hawk, his senior nosetackle. Specifically, his efforts in Hillside’s two playoff wins this season, that got them to the North 1 Group 3 title game.

Hawk, a senior, had 67 tackles this year, and 15 for a loss, along with four sacks and a pick-six.

But he came up the biggest on the biggest of stages.

In the playoff opener against Parsippany Hills, the Comets scored 19 unanswered points to win and advance. But even after taking the lead in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t for good until Hawk’s pass breakup on a last-ditch effort by Par Hills effectively gave Hillside the win.

Zamir Hawk of Hillside (Source: @Hawk_973 on Twitter)

And if that wasn’t big enough, following an even bigger comeback by the Comets against River Dell, his interception sealed yet another win, propelling Hillside into the sectional semifinals.

Don’t challenge this kid!

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Hillside senior Zamir Hawk:

“Playoff Beast”: Luke Martini, North Hunterdon

North 2, Group 4 Champion North Hunterdon had all kinds of players put up all kinds of great numbers this year.

But when push came to shove, and the season was in crunch time, senior quarterback Luke Martini stepped it up a notch.

It started with the Milk Can Game against Voorhees, their big rival, when – with top runningback Kente Edwards nursing a lower body injury – Martini threw for 166 yards and three touchdowns against the Vikings in a 35-7 win.

But it didn’t stop there. He continued his hot streak into the playoffs, all the way to the sectional finals. First came 253 yards and four touchdowns against Middletown North in the opening round. Then 231 yards and two TDs in the second round against Morris Knolls. And finally, in the sectional title game, with everything on the line, in a wild ballgame that saw a combined 84 points, he threw for 411 yards and five scores against Randolph.

North Hunterdon QB Luke Martini (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Summing up, out of his 2,306 passing yards – best in the Big Central by about 400 yards – and 22 touchdowns on the season, that four-game stretch generated 1,061 yards and a whopping 14 touchdowns.

That’s what we call a playoff beast.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk to Luke Martini about his incredible playoff run:

“Injury-Be-Damned” Award”: Adam Bowles, South Plainfield

It’s one thing to play great defense on a team that went from 2-8 to an undefeated regular season like Adam Bowles did in South Plainfield, but it’s another to do it with your arm in a cast.

Yet that’s exactly what he did for the latter half of the 2022 season.

The senior linebacker tallied 129 tackles – 77 solo – while also notching 7 1/2 tackles for loss, a sack, three quarterback hurries, and three interceptions. And he played the last five games of the season in a cast!

South Plainfield linebacker Adam Bowles (Source: @datboiadamd1 on Twitter)

Click below to hear Bowles talk with Justin Sontupe about toughing it out this season for the Tigers:

“Full 48”: Robert Orzol, Old Bridge

One of the oldest cliches in sport is they saying: “We’ve got to play the whole ___ minutes.”

But in no circumstance was it ever more true that for Old Bridge defensive lineman Robert Orzol.

We documented this game with Old Bridge head coach Matt Donaghue here, but the gist is this: after a missed field goal that would have given the Knights the lead in a Week Two game at South Brunswick, the Vikings needed to gain a first down to take a couple of knees and run out the clock. But a fumble on the second snap caught the eye of Orzol, who dove on it, giving the ball back to Old Bridge. They won the game on a touchdown.

Old Bridge DL and playoff-clinching here Robert Orzol (Source: @OrzolRobert on Twitter)

That’s an amazing enough story on its own. Fast forward to Cutoff Weekend, and Old Bridge finished 17th in the South 5 standings, oh-so-close to a playoff spot. But not so fast.

The NJSIAA playoff seeding rules conduct a top-down head-to-head tiebreaker throughout the entire bracket, meaning if the team in third, for example, beat the team in second, they flip-flop. And down the list they go until they get to number 17.

That was Old Bridge. South Brunswick was 16th. But not for long.

Yes, Old Bridge won the head-to-head. Orzol was the hero again, weeks later, as the Knights made the playoffs, all thanks to Orzol’s fumble recovery.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Robert Orzol – whose never-give-up attitude almost singlehandedly got Old Bridge into the playoffs:

“MVP” Awards: Matt Sims of Brearley and Shawn Purcell of Manville

For the first time, Central Jersey Sports Radio is giving out an “MVP” award, to the players who are, well, most valuable to their team.

While there were so many great players this season, and many with an abundance of talent, two players stood out as perhaps the most critical to their success. And it might not surprise you to see that they’re both from small Group 1 schools: Brearley and Manville

Brearly QB Matt Sims with head coach Scott Miller (left). (Source: @mattsimss6 on Twitter)

Brearley’s Matt Sims finished just behind Jaeden Jones in the Big Central in rushing, with 1,523 yards and 26 touchdowns, the sixth highest total in the state of New Jersey. (That also makes it two quarterbacks leading the Big Central on the ground this season.) He also threw for 1,063 yards and ten touchdowns, an astounding number when you consider he not only didn’t complete anywhere near a hundred passes, but he didn’t even attempt 100 passes, going 67-of-99.

But the most astounding number was this: Sims accounted for 75% of his team’s yards from scrimmage this year.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Brearley senior QB Matt Sims:

Meanwhile, Manville’s Shawn Purcell really could have received this award for a two-year body of work.

Last year, he carried 117 times for 1,176 yards and 15 touchdowns, while this year accounting for 1,238 yards on the ground on just 106 carries, hitting paydirt 22 times. He also excelled on kick returns, and has five career interceptions at cornerback. (He’d probably have more if anyone dared throw at him.)

Manville’s Shawn Purcell (Source: Twitter)

Manville should have made unprecedented back-to-back playoff appearances, amazingly missing out last year at 6-2 at the cutoff, but that’s neither here nor there. In the end, Manville was 14-5 the last two seasons with Purcell as the focal point of the offense. And that’s the best two-year record for the program since a 14-4 run in 1968 – when the Mustangs went 9-0) and 1969 (when they went 5-4). Arguably, it’s even better with better win totals in both seasons.

These seasons don’t come along every year in a small town like Manville, but Purcell was a big reason why they did.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Manville senior RB/CB/KR Shawn Purcell:

You – the fans – get to pick again! It’s the Jersey Central Sports Radio 2022 “Highlight Reel Play of the Year.” Watch the video, and vote!

Central Jersey Sports Radio is giving YOU the chance to weigh in on your favorite play of the 2022 high school football season!

We received a lot of entries from high school football coaches all across the Big Central.
And after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, we narrowed it down to eight!

Watch the video below, then scroll down
to vote for your favorite!!
Voting ends at 11:59 pm on Monday, Dec. 12.
Remember: Vote early, vote often!

15293
Which was your favorite play?

Thanks for your answer!

The poll has expired!

INSTANT REPLAY: South Jersey, Group 1 First Round: (5) Shore 23, (4) Manville 16

In just its second home playoff game ever, Manville’s rally fell short as the fourth-seeded Mustangs fell to visiting 5th-seed Shore Regional, 23-16, in a South Jersey Group 1 first round playoff game on October 28, 2022.

Click below to hear all the live play-by-play from Ned Panfile Stadium in Manville, with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe on the call:

1st Half

2nd Half

The morning after: Here’s how the playoffs look for the Big Central after Friday night, and with Saturday first round games on tap

It wasn’t a great night for the Big Central. Seven teams won – three of them had to, being all-BCC matchups – and 20 had their seasons end after the opening night of the NJSIAA high school football playoffs.

But seven teams were victorious – many by big margins – and will move on to next weekend’s sectional semifinals. They include top-seeds in their respective sections Phillipsburg and North Hunterdon, as well as Edison, North Brunswick, Ridge, Cranford, and Brearley.

Undefeated South Plainfield suffered its first loss of the season, as the 4th-seeded Tigers fell to 5th-seed Camden Eastside, 27-6 at Frank Jost Field.

But the last two remaining undefeated Big Central teams are alive, as Phillipsburg and Brearley both advanced.

Below is a look at Friday’s results – with links to postgame reaction from the head coaches of all seven teams that won Friday night, plus our Big Central Game of the Week, Manville vs. Shore – followed by Saturday’s first-round games in sections involving Big Central teams, then a look ahead an next week’s matchups, whether they’re all set, or yet to be determined based on Saturday’s action.

FRIDAY RESULTS:

North 2, Group 5:
#1 Phillipsburg def. #8 Elizabeth, 49-13
#6 West Orange def. #3 Watchung Hills, 18-10
#4 Eastside (Paterson) def. #5 Piscataway, 28-7
#2 Ridgewood advances by forfeit over #7 Montclair

North 1, Group 5:
#1 Passaic Tech def. #8 Morristown, 27-7
#2 Union City def. #7 Union, 62-20
#4 Clifton def. #5 East Orange, 17-7

Central, Group 5:
#1 Lenape def. #8 Freehold Township, 40-0
#2 North Brunswick def. #7 Hunterdon Central, 45-31
#6 Edison def. #3 Hillsborough, 10-7
#5 Atlantic City def. #4 Rancocas Valley, 32-28

South, Group 5:
#1 Toms River North def. #8 Old Bridge, 49-7
#2 Kingsway def. #7 Southern, 35-6

North 3, Group 4:
#1 North Hunterdon def. #8 Middletown North, 34-7
#2 Randolph def. #7 Rahway, 42-7
#3 Wayne Valley def. #6 Chatham, 34-20
#5 Morris Knolls def. #4 Colonia, 35-14

North 1, Group 4:
#1 Irvington def. #8 Sayreville, 38-7
#2 Ramapo def. #7 Woodbridge, 49-19
#3 Ridge def. #6 Roxbury, 52-7
#4 Northern Highlands def. #5 Montgomery, 27-12

North 2, Group 3:
#1 West Morris def. #8 Hackettstown, 42-7
#2 Cranford def. #7 Wayne Hills, 31-7
#3 West Essex def. #6 Paramus, 41-14
#5 Warren Hills def. #4 Montville, 28-21

North 1, Group 1:
#1 Old Tappan def. #8 Lincoln, 42-8
#3 River Dell def. #6 Vernon, 35-14

Central, Group 3:
#1 Seneca def. #8 Somerville, 47-33

South, Group 3:
#5 Camden Eastside def. #4 South Plainfield, 27-6

North 2, Group 2:
#4 Ramsey def. #5 Bernards, 35-21

Central, Group 2:
#1 Pt. Pleasant Boro def. #8 Overbrook, 62-27
#2 Haddonfield def. #7 Cinnaminson, 35-12
#3 Gloucester City def. #6 West Deptford, 14-0
#4 Willingboro def. #5 New Providence, 52-7

South, Group 2:
#1 Raritan def. #8 Middle Twp., 34-14
#2 Rumson-Fair Haven def. #7 Monmouth, 37-0
#4 Pleasantville def. #5 Johnson, 25-7

North 2, Group 1:
#8 Kinnelon def. #1 Park Ridge, 36-34
#2 Mountain Lakes def. #7 Boonton, 35-10
#3 Waldwick def. #6 Cresskill, 51-31
#4 Brearley def. #5 North Arlington, 50-16

North 1, Group 1:
#1 Wood-Ridge def. #8 Shabazz, 44-28
#2 Weequahic def. #7 Hasbrouck Heights, 24-14
#3 Butler def. #6 North Warren, 35-13
#4 Cedar Grove def. #5 Wallkill Valley, 28-14

South, Group 1:
#3 Maple Shade def. #6 South Hunterdon, 31-7
#5 Shore def. #4 Manville, 23-16 (CJSR)

SATURDAY SCHEDULE

North 1, Group 5:
#6 Bridgewater-Raritan at #3 Westfield, 1 pm (follow @tsakonas_chris for updates!)

South, Group 5:
#5 Washington Twp. at #4 Marlboro, 12 pm

North 1, Group 3:
#7 Parsippany Hills at #2 Hillside, 1 pm

South, Group 2:
#6 Delaware Valley at #3 Oakcrest, 12 pm

NEXT WEEK’S SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS:

North 2, Group 5:
#4 Eastside (Paterson) at #1 Phillipsburg, Friday 7 pm
#6 West Orange at #2 Ridgewood, Friday

North 1, Group 5:
#4 Clifton at #1 Passaic Tech, Friday
#6 Bridgewater-Raritan/#3 Westfield at #2 Union City, Friday

Central, Group 5:
#5 Atlantic City at #1 Lenape, Friday
#6 Edison at #2 North Brunswick, Friday 7 pm

South, Group 5:
#5 Washington Twp./#5 Marlboro at #1 Toms River South, Friday
#3 Cherokee at #2 Kingsway, Friday

North 2, Group 4:
#5 Morris Knolls at #1 North Hunterdon, Friday 7 pm
#3 Wayne Valley at #2 Randolph, Friday 7 pm

North 1, Group 4:
#4 Northern Highlands at #1 Irvington, Friday 7 pm
#3 Ridge at #2 Ramapo, Friday 6:30 pm

North 2, Group 3:
#5 Warren Hills at #1 West Morris, Friday
#3 West Essex at #2 Cranford, Friday 7 pm

North 1, Group 3:
#5 Mendham/#4 Sparta at #1 Old Tappan, Friday
#3 River Dell vs. #7 Parsippany Hills (Friday) or at #2 Hillside (Saturday 1 pm)

Central, Group 2:
#4 Willingboro at #1 Pt. Pleasant Boro, Friday
#3 Gloucester City at #2 Haddonfield, Friday

South, Group 2:
#4 Pleasantville at #1 Raritan, Friday
#6 Delaware Valley/#3 Oakcrest at #2 Rumson-Fair Haven, Friday

North 2, Group 1:
#8 Kinnelon at #4 Brearley, Friday 6 pm
#3 Waldwick at #2 Mountain Lakes, Friday

North 1, Group 2:
#4 Cedar Grove at #1 Wood-Ridge, Friday
#3 Butler at #2 Weequahic, Friday

Manville comeback falls short against Shore in opening round of playoffs

The Manville offense didn’t get much of anything going in the first half against Shore Friday night.

In just its fourth playoff appearance ever, the 4th-seeded Mustangs managed just 34 yards rushing and 34 yards passing against 5th-seed Shore, and got their only score – down 23-6 at half – on a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Shawn Purcell.

But in the second half, Manville launched a long scoring drive to close to 23-13, then after a big defensive stop, got to within 21-16 on a field goal.

But they could get no closer, and one of Manville’s best seasons ever had come to a close – in a South Jersey, Group 1 first-round playoff game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – with an 8-2 mark.

The program had only reached eight wins just four times before, all in the 1960s, with a program best 9-0 mark in 1968. Purcell, QB Danny Wildgoose, and several other seniors had a great run come to a close: they went 14-5 in back-to-back seasons – 6-3 last year – the best since the combo of 1968 and 1969 saw them go 14-4.

In a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, Shore rushed for 251 yards, and rolled up 321 yards of offense, despite missing two starters. Lucas Rosa carried 15 times for 146 yards and a two-yard touchdown run. Purcell, the state’s scoring leader with 170 points, finished the night with a hard-earned 79 yards on 14 carries, but did have that 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Click below for postgame reaction from Manville head coach Pat Gorbatuk and senior RB/CB/KR Shawn Purcell:

Tradition-rich Shore will be tough opponent for Manville in Mustangs second-ever playoff home game

Mark Costantino knows a thing or two about winning games toward the end of the season.

In his 31st season as the head coach at Shore Regional, Costantino has coached in eight title games for the West Long Branch school and won four of them. Now looking to capture the eighth state title in school history this season, meaningful late-season football is the norm for the Blue Devils.

“We are used to this kind of stuff,” Costantino said. “It’s what you get done in practice. If you don’t practice well, you will not play well. We’ve won seven state championships here, and [the kids] want to leave their mark on the program.”

For Manville, it will be a new experience: their last playoff berth was in 2017, when they lost to Point Pleasant Beach – another Shore Conference foe – in their first-ever home playoff game. It was only the third postseason berth in school history.

The Blue Devils have 15 players that will see action on both sides of the ball. This is embodied by a trio of key players: running back Lucas Rosa, who leads the team with 511 total yards and 10 touchdowns, quarterback Ty Koch, who has thrown for 6 touchdowns and run for 3 more, and 6’4″ tight end/defensive end Jackson Whitacre, who leads the team with 219 receiving yards and 8 tackles for loss. All three guys start on both sides of the line of the scrimmage.

But Shore Regional expects to have its hands full when it visits Manville Friday night in South Jersey Group 1 playoff action in the Big Central Game of the Week. Manville’s star running back Shawn Purcell – the state scoring leader with 170 points and a whopping 28 touchdowns – is atop the scouting report.

“We’ve faced a number of quality running backs so far this year, and he’s right up there with any of them,” Costantino said. “That’s the guy. We’re going to try to contain him and limit the big plays.”

You can hear Friday night’s game with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe calling the play-by-play starting with pregame at 6:45 and kickoff at 7:00 from Manville’s Ned Panfile Stadium.  Click here to listen.

Click below to hear Justin Sontupe preview the Manville-Shore first-round playoff game with Blue Devils’ head coach Mark Costantino:

The time is now for Manville as Purcell, Wildgoose look to make history in the playoffs

Last year’s Manville team had a really good season by any stretch of the imagination.

When you consider what happened in September, when the remnants of Ida caused all-too familiar damage in town, and that the team was helping its community schlep water-logged items out of basements when it should have been practicing for and playing its first game of the season, you can call the Mustangs’ 6-3 season an amazing one.

With a record of 6-2 at the cutoff, they didn’t make the playoffs. But that was just more fuel for the fire.

Armed with a better schedule – and the smart pickup of Shore Conference opponent Keyport in Week Zero by veteran head coach Pat Gorbatuk, now in his 12th season – this year’s team is 8-1 heading into Friday night’s South Jersey Group 1 opening round playoff game.

Not only did Manville make the playoffs, they made it as a four-seed, and earned just the second home playoff game in school history. They will take on 5th-seed Shore Regional (5-3) at 7 pm Friday, in a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio live from Ned Panfile Stadium. Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe will have the call. Click here to listen.

Last year’s stars were runningbacks Brandon Flores and Shawn Purcell, along with QB Danny Wildgoose. Flores has gone on to wrestle at Alvernia Univeristy in Reading, PA, but Purcell and Wildgoose – now seniors – are still here.

And they are hoping tonight – and for at least two more games – to put an exclamation point on careers that have aligned with the best two-year stretch in Manville football history since the 1960s, when the Mustangs went 9-0 in 1968 – their third and last undefeated season – and 5-4 the following season, for a 14-4 mark, equaling the combined mark (so far) of this season and last season.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko preview the Manville-Shore first-round playoff game with Mustangs’ head coach Pat Gorbatuk:

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 8: It’s Playoff Time!

Now that the playoffs are upon us, “The Big Central in Two Minutes” with veteran sportscaster Mike Pavlichko takes a look at teams that can do some damage in the postseason, the double-multiplier effect, and how we did with our preseason playoff projections.

Click below to listen to the Week Eight edition of “The Big Central in 2 Minutes”:

Honors go to Sims, Kelley, Laverty, Seamon, among those honored as Coach Matt Bastardi’s “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 7

Heading into the final week of the regular season, we have more honors from Coach Matt Bastardi of Elite QB and his “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 7. This week’s quarterback award winners are Matt Sims of Brearley, Dylan Kelley of Watchung Hills, Connor Laverty of Bernards, and Ryan Seamon of the Hillsborough JV.

Metuchen runningback Evan Toth also is honored as a skill position player.

A former high school and college quarterback who has either played the position or coached it for over 40 years, Elite QB trains players at all position levels, with an emphasis on QBs.

Click below to listen to hear Matt Bastardi of Elite QB highlight his “Elite Performers of the Week” for Week 7:

South Group 1 Playoff Analysis: Manville may not stay among Top 4

Cutoff Weekend starts with tomorrow night’s games under the lights, and 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.

We’ll have two live shows Saturday to give you the very latest. The first is tentatively scheduled for 11 am, as Mike Pavlichko hosts a Playoff Update show, factoring in all the Friday night games. Then, our second annual Playoff Projection airs at 6 pm on Central Jersey Sports Radio for all our unofficial pairings. Click here to listen to both shows.

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: There are no undefeated teams here, but it looks like Woodstown and Woodbury have a lock on the top two spots, no matter what happens in their games this weekend. If both lose or both win, Woodbury appears to get the top seed. Woodstown would have to win and get a loss out of Woodbury to get the top seed.

#4 Manville: The Mustangs should finish 8-1, easily dispatching of Bound Brook, which is winless, has scored 18 points all year in seven games, and no more than six points in any single game this season. So, we’re not even going to go with what happens with a loss so Pat Gorbatuk can keep the Rolaids in his glove compartment for now. This is certainly better than last year, when at 6-2, Manville missed the playoffs with a weak schedule. This year’s was better from the Big Central, and picking up a Week Zero game against Keyport – which they won – turned out to be a boon, too. All that aside, though, having Bound Brook this final week will hurt them, even with a win. And we don’t think Manville can stay in the top four, even with losses by teams like Salem and Maple Shade. The trouble is, they would need losses by both Paulsboro and Audubon. So unless a bus breaks down somewhere in deep South Jersey, we peg the Mustangs for anywhere from a fifth to seventh place finish overall. We believe It would be fifth if both Maple Shade and Salem lose, sixth if Salem wins and Maple Shade loses, and seventh is Maple Shade wins and Salem loses. Either way, hosting a first-round playoff game at 8-1 is a far cry from going 6-2 and missing altogether.

#12 South Hunterdon: The Eagles play at New Hope/Solebury, their Pennsylvania rivals, so this game won’t count in the UPR standings. It’s all up to their opponents. We think their range is as high as nine if Florence, Asbury Park and Keyport all lose, and as low as 12th if they all win. Any other combo should put them right in the middle of that range somewhere, pending residuals, and on the road in any eventuality in the first round.

#16 Middlesex: The Blue Jays visit New Providence Friday night, and just like the other way around, this is an even game, so it doesn’t really move the needle much. But they still need it; a loss eliminates them, according to our calculations. With a win, Middlesex would stay in 16th without any other games added, and they’ll need help: namely, losses by Buena or Penns Grove (Schalick and Clayton behind them can’t jump that high, and appear irrelevant). Buena (2-5) visits 5-2 Glassboro Friday while Penns Grove (2-6) is at 6-1 Woodstown). So both those losses are fairly likely.