Tag: Mike Cipot

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 13: The Championship Weekend 2021

It’s time to crown some champions!

On Episode 13 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland, we’ve got complete previews of the three conference teams vying for championships this weekend.

Mike Pavlichko is joined by Dom Savino for quick look back at the semifinals, then we go through both games with the players and coaches involved.

First, it’s a look at our Big Central Game of the Week, driven by Autoland, as the North 2, Group 3 title game features top-seed and undefeated Cranford (10-0) taking on Sparta (8-3). Mike Pavlichko talks with Cranford head coach Erik Rosnemeier and runningback Colin Murray, as well as Sparta head coach Frank Marchiano.

Then, Mike takes a look at the Central Jersey Group 5 title tilt, featuring top-seed and undefeated Hillsborough (11-0) entertaining third-seed North Brunswick (8-3). Mike Pavlichko stopped by each team’s practice this week to catch up with Hillsborough head coach Kevin Carty, Jr., and defensive end/tight end Will Dixon, as well as North Brunswick head coach Miek Cipot and top runningback Marquis Perry.

Mike and Dom close it out with a closer analysis of both matchups.

Listen to Cranford take on Sparta in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland with an extended pregame starting at 6:30, followed by kickoff at 7 with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe, while Tim Catalfamo provides live updates from the Hillsborough-North Brunswick game. Click here to listen live, and for free.

Postgame reaction will follow from both contests later Friday night on cjsportsradio.com.

North Brunswick used Hillsborough loss as springboard into postseason; now they hope to turn the tables

After a 41-0 loss in Week 9 of the regular season, The North Brunswick Raiders got together, and talked about what needed to change.

Sure, they had wins against Old Bridge, Edison and St. Joseph-Metuchen. But they also had a 13-point loss to Sayreville, and were outscored in losses to Union and Hillsborough by a combined 83-0.

The up-and-down season, despite a 6-3 record and the third seed in Central Jersey Group 5, wasn’t enough.

Since that meeting three weeks ago, North Brunswick has won two straight against solid South Jersey competition in the playoffs, falling behind by two touchdowns in both games, but rallying back both times, against Eastern and Cherokee.

That has North Brunswick (8-3) feeling things will be different this Friday night at 7 pm, when they return to Noonan Field to face top-seed Hillsborough (11-1) in the Central Jersey Group 5 title game.

The Raiders (of Middlesex County) are seeking their first state title ever; they’re 0-2 in the title game all-time, having lost to South River in the 1979 Central Jersey Group 2 final, then to Sayreville in the 2018 Central Jersey Group 5 championship game.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with North Brunswick head coach Mike Cipot and runningback/safety Marquis Perry before practice on this week:

Marquis Perry

Mike Cipot

Just like they drew it up: Raiders rally from 14-0 deficit to advance to Central 5 championship game

North Brunswick will play in its second sectional title game in the three playoff years, after a rousing come-from-behind victory Friday night.

The third-seeded Raiders fell behind 14-0 at second-seed Cherokee in a Central Jersey Group 5 semifinal game, but came back to tie it at 14 heading into the locker room. Then, the Raiders scored the next two touchdowns to go ahead 26-14 and never looked back.

The win puts North Brunswick in the CJ5 title tilt next Friday night in Hillsborough, where they’ll face the top-seeded Raiders for the second time in just four weeks. Hillsborough blew past 5th-seed Williamstown Friday night 49-14, and beat North Brunswick back on October 29th at Noonan Field in a driving rain storm 41-0.

But head coach Mike Cipot thinks his team is not the same one that got shut out by the Raiders, in a game North Brunswick used as a jumping off point to get to where they are now.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with North Brunswick head coach Mike Cipot about his team’s comeback win over Cherokee, and their chances against Hillsborough:

North Brunswick rallies, then wins see-saw fourth quarter battles to survive and advance

It could have been an early night for the third-seeded North Brunswick Raiders.

But head coach Mike Cipot had talked to his team during the week about playing from behind. Certainly not hoping for it, but preparing for that eventuality with a group of players who – if they’ve ever been in the playoffs at all – maybe saw time as sophomores in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the NJSIAA playoffs last season.

Whatever the discussion, it paid off. After two touchdown connections from Frankie Garbolino to Marquis Perry in the first quarter to erase a 14-0 deficit, the Raiders survived a back-and-fourth final quarter to beat 6th-seed Eastern at home 39-30 Friday night in the Central Group 5 first round.

Perry and Garbolino also each had a touchdown run, while Brandon Harrison had a 20-yard pick six for a score.

North Brunswick next will travel to second-seed Cherokee in Marlton for a second-round game. They beat 7-seed Egg Harbor Township Friday night 38-37.

Click below to hear North Brunswick head coach Mike Cipot talk about the Raiders’ come-from-behind victory over Eastern:

No. 5 North Brunswick visits Edison with two-game win streak, and steadily improving

With a 4-1 football team in tow, North Brunswick head coach Mike Cipot believes his squad is in a good place.

They’ve been improving since a 35-22 Week Three loss to Sayreville, Cipot believes, and he’s happy with the improvement he’s seen in his team since then.

That was capped off with a win where the Raiders did all the right things last week in a 35-7 win over Piscataway.

LISTEN: Loaded North Brunswick aiming high behind Garbolino and Co.

So, North Brunswick looks to keep it going this week when they visit Edison’s Matthew Drwal Field for a big rivalry game against the Eagles in the “Big Central Game of the Week” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.


Kickoff is 7 pm on Central Jersey Sports Radio with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe on the call; click here to listen live.

North Brunswick won a dramatic game last year at Edison.


With the Eagles driving late in the game down 21-20, North Brunswick D-back Jelani Devonish-Wynter was playing tight coverage on receiver Malcolm Stansbury. The two went up for a 50-50 ball in the left corner of the end zone, and after they both went to the ground, Stansbury and came out with the ball.

MORE AUDIO: Devonish-Wynter’s end zone heroics help No. 9 North Brunswick edge out Edison

The play was ruled an interception, and North Brunswick hung on to win.

Click here to listen to North Brunswick coach Mike Cipot talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Justin Sontupe about the Raiders’ season and Friday night’s rivalry game at Edison:

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 7: The Midway Point

Half the regular season is in the books in high school football across New Jersey, and we talk about it on Episode 7 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland!

Mike Pavlichko starts the show with a look at the playoff standings – interrupted by a mild rant on the state’s multiplier formula for power points.

Then, it’s a look at the Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week, South Brunswick’s Khiri Summers, who had three receiving touchdowns on offense, and two interceptions on defense, against Monroe.

Mike and Dom Savino wrap it up with a look at the Week 6 slate, including some playoff implications.

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 4: The Mr. Old Bridge

A pair of big wins for a pair of Raiders, and the Big Man in Old Bridge.

Those are some of the highlights of Episode 4 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

We take a closer look at the top-ranked North Brunswick’s big win at Old Bridge, thanks to a big night from Marqis Perry. Then Hillsborough came up with a statement win over Phillipsburg in overtime.

Later, host Mike Pavlichko talks with Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week Tommy Amankwaa, and sits down with Mr. Old Bridge, Ron Mazzola, to talk about his PA work for Old Bridge and Spotswood, work with GMC wrestling and gymnastics, and great moments in Knights’ football.

Then, Dom Savino slides into the chair across from Mike to preview Week Three action in the Big Central.

No. 1 North Brunswick wins critical road matchup with Old Bridge on Perry’s 5 TDs

Mike Cipot, the Raidrers head coach now in his fifth season at the helm, says it was one of the best performances he’s seen.

Senior Marquis Perry scored five times – twice on the ground and three times on tosses from junior quarterback Frankie Garbolino – to power North Brunswick past No. 4 Old Bridge on the road, 34-27.

In Week One, North Brunswick scored 35 unanswered points to break a 21-all tie en route to a 56-21 win over South Brunswick. Somewhat similarly, this time the Raiders were tied at 20 with Old Bridge, but won the second half 14-7.

The victory puts the Raiders at 2-0 heading into a home game with Sayreville next weekend, while the Knights drop to 1-1.

Click below to hear North Brunswick head coach Mike Cipot talk about the victory over the Old Bridge:

Loaded North Brunswick aiming high behind Garbolino and Co.

In 2020, Frankie Garbolino was one of a trio of sophomore starting quarterbacks in Middlesex County – along with South Brunswick’s Vince Jiardullo and Edison’s Matt Yascko – who got a reputation for playing above their station.

This year, the North Brunswick star hopes to translate that into a state championship.

The Raiders went 7-1 in their pandemic-shortened season, their only defeat coming at the hands of Cranford.

The schedule is a tough one this year, with Edison, Piscataway, Union, St. Joe’s and Hillsborough on tap. But both Garbolino and head coach Mike Cipot feel like this will be another strong year for the club, as they return not only

Click below to hear from both of them as Mike Pavlichko stopped by preseason camp earlier this week.

North Brunswick junior QB Frankie Garbolino:

North Brunswick head coach Mike Cipot:

Cipot helps North Brunswick figure it out, and is named Coach of the Year

In The Sound of Music, the nuns in the abbey sang “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?”

In North Brunswick, head coach Mike Cipot had to figure out how to solve the problem of not having the graduated Myles Bailey.

All he did in his time with the Raiders was re-write more than a couple of key pages in the record books. Bailey is tops in career rushing yards (5,096), career rushing touchdowns (41), and career points (314). And as a safety, his 8 career interceptions rank 5th all-time in school history.

Bailey now is a grayshirt at Central Michigan, and he’s not the only top talent Cipot lost.

There’s Samod Wingo, a TE/DE who is at William Paterson, and Leon Lowery – who played in a handful of games late in the season for Syracuse.

But Cipot and his assistants found a way, leading North Brunswick to a 7-1 season, their only loss to Cranford, one of the Big Central’s top teams.

How did they account for the loss of Bailey’s big numbers? By committee.

Five different players – including the quarterback, sophomore Frankie Garbolino – rushed for 100 yards or more this season.

Click below to hear Mike Cipot talk about how the Raiders continued their success in 2020:

Honorable mentions for Coach of the Year included Dan Lee of Monroe and Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s Austin Holman.

Lee’s Falcons finished 5-1, by far the school’s best season since he took over for Chris Beagan in 2016. Monroe had gone a combined 8-30 in Lee’s first four seasons. Their only loss came by 7 at home to Old Bridge in Week One, and they won their remaining games by a combined 184-60, never allowing more than 18 points the rest of the way.

Holman led the Raiders to a 5-2 season, following a 4-6 mark in his first year at SPF in 2019. He took over a program that had gone a combined 9-50 under Mark Ciccotelli and Jon Stack from 2013-18. They scored three blowout wins, beating Princeton, JFK and Colonia by a combined 136-29.