Tag: Matt Fries

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 14: The Lucky Threes

We’re off to the Meadowlands!

On Episode 14 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland, Mike Pavlichko has a look back at Hillsborough and Cranford’s state title wins, with postgame reaction from players and coaches.

Then it’s on to preview the North Jersey Group 3 Regional Championship, as Cranford gets set to take on West Morris at Met Life Stadium Friday afternoon.

First, Mike talks with West Morris head coach Kevin Hennelly.

Then, it’s on to Cranford as we catch up with Illinois-bound Cranford offensive lineman Matt Fries, who talks about the tight bond on the O-line, as well as following in his brother Will’s footsteps. Then, we hear from head coach Erik Rosenmeier on the matchup with West Morris.

Finally, Mike breaks down the matchup on both sides of the ball.

More Fries? Cranford’s O-line, led by Illinois commit, has been critical to its success

Big Matt Fries wants to follow in his brother’s footsteps, but he’s also improved on his legacy.

Will Fries is currently on the two-deep at right guard for the NFL’s Colts, after playing collegiately at Penn State, where he was named Second Team All-Big Ten in 2020, and was drafted in the seventh round by Indianapolis.

Not to be outdone, Cranford senior Matt Fries (6-5, 280 pounds) also is headed to Big Ten country, to play for Illinois next fall.

But not before he also won a state championship in his senior season, the North 2 Group 3 title, taken with a 45-21 win over Sparta at Memorial Field last Friday night.

Will played in two finals – dropping the first in 2014 to Parisppany Hills, but winning on their second try, defeating Chatham at Kean in 2015 for the North 2 Group 3 title.

That win made Cranford 12-0, its first undefeated season since 1927 (6-0-1) and first-ever perfect season.

This Friday, Fries and company will try to match that 12-0 record when they take on North 1 Group 3 champion West Morris Central (9-3) in the North 3 Regional Championship at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. Game time is 4 pm. Coverage on Central Jersey Sports Radio for the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland begins approximately 3:45. Click here to listen to Mike Pavlichko and guest color commentator Matt Yascko call all the action.

Cranford players – including senior RG Matt Fries (58) stand at practice Tuesday in preparation for Friday’s North 3 Regional Championship game against West Morris Central. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Fries, who starts at right guard, is a big part – and yet, just a part – of a huge offensive line, not quite the norm for a Group 3 school – that has four of its five parts at least 6-2 and 280 pounds, including left tackle Geoff Gretta (6-6, 208), left guard Kevin Shriner (6-2, 280), and right tackle Kyle Fay (6-6, 285)

Click below to hear Cranford senior Matt Fries talk about the 2021 season, their state title, and his future at Illinois: