Tag: Monroe

No. 7 Old Bridge hands No. 10 Monroe first loss of season, 48-28

Old Bridge missed its chance at knocking off the first unbeaten Top Ten team it played, but they made good on the second one.

The Knights (3-1) started things off with a bang at Vince Lombardi Field Friday night as Jake McAleavy ran the opening kickoff back 98 yards for a touchdown, en route to a 34-14 win over previously undefeated Monroe (3-1).

The Falcons never got closer than two touchdowns, as Old Bridge pulled away with three scores in the final quarter.

Click below to hear Old Bridge head coach Anthony Lanzafama talk about the win with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

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:

Somerville regains top spot in CJSR Week 3 Top Ten

After getting knocked from their perch following a season-opening loss to state-ranked Northern Highlands, the Somerville Pioneers have returned to their perch at the top of the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten.

Part of the move was due to the fact that North Brunswick – No. 1 for two straight weeks – was dethroned by unranked Sayreville, falling at home 35-22 to drop to 2-1, falling from the ranks of the undefeated.

Somerville – despite the Highlanders’ loss, is now 3-1, 2-0 in Big Central play, after a 45-7 win at Rahway Friday night.

In their three wins thus far, over Olney Charter (PA), Carteret and the Indians, the Pioneers have outscored them a combined 117-7.

North Brunswick fell into a tie for fifth with the loss, while Monroe (3-0) and Westfield (2-0) made their debuts in the poll.

Below are the Week 3 rankings:

Week 3 Friday night hot takes: No. 1 upended, Cougars and Mustangs and more start hot

The big news of the night of course was the No. 1 North Brunswick Raiders, who surely won’t hold that position next week.

That takes nothing away from the Sayreville Bombers, who upended the Raiders 35-22 on their home field Friday night to pick up their first win of the season against two losses, albeit to teams who are both in the top ten in the Big Central Media Poll (and maybe at least one of those teams warrant another look in the CJSR rankings).

But that was the big story line Friday night, along with a host of others.

Sayreville has had a couple of down years since winning the inaugural South 5 “bowl championship” in 2018, beating Williamstown in their very own of the Miracle at the Meadowlands.

But the program has persevered under alum Chris Beagan, now in his seventh season at the helm.

HEAR MORE: Sayreville topples No. 1 Raiders, wins it with defense as much as offense

Consider the fact that the Bombers first four opponents all are or have been in the Top Ten this year, in one or both polls.

Bridgewater-Raritan from Week One is in the Media Poll, Woodbridge is in both and got a first place vote each of the last two weeks in the Media Poll, North Brunswick was Number One the last two weeks in the Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings, and this week as well in the Media Poll, and Edison – next week’s Bombers’ opponent – was in the lower half of the top ten before getting bounced last week after a loss to Colonia.

Sayreville is what they call a tough out. After Edison, the Bombers have St. Joe’s, Pisctaway (both 0-2), and South Brunswick (1-2) before finishing with New Brunswick (2-1) and Old Bridge (2-1).

Time to turn those tough outs into hits.

Manville pouring on the points…

No one wants to hear about any more water in Manville, but the Mustangs are making it rain.

After their season opener was cancelled and declared a “no contest” after Ida’s remnants devastated the majority of the town and drew a visit from President Biden, Manville has gone out and won two straight, by a combined score of 89-6 over Dunellen and Montclair-Kimberley Academy. Shaun Purcell had another great game with a rushing and receiving touchdown, while QB Danny Wildgoose and runningback Brandon Flores also got into the scoring column.

They could be on the opening chapters of writing a great book this season. Manville last made the playoffs in 2017, only their third playoff berth, and has never won a playoff game. That’s a long way away, but maybe they can dream…

Cranford is hot out of the gate, too…

Maybe things would have gone differently in Week Three had the Cougars not come out on the right side of last week’s 33-27 overtime decision at home against North Hunterdon.

Then again, as solid a program as Cranford has built – with a lot of multi-sport athletes who head coach Erik Rosenmeier says are not just allowed to, but encouraged to play other sports – it might not have made a difference.

No matter, the Cougars are off to a 2-0 start, with senior QB Shane VanDam leading an offense that has put up 88 points in two games.

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

The big difference Friday night was that it was nowhere near as close as the opener; the defense held Summit to just eight measley points.

Things are looking good in the tiny Union County town.

Monroe back down to Earth, but are still hot…

Speaking of teams that have put up a lot of points, Monroe outscored its first two opponents 121-26, but cooled off a bit Friday night when they edged out Hamilton out of the West Jersey Football League 18-13.

Still, the Falcons are off to a 3-0 start, their best record out of the gate since winning five-in-a-row to start 2013 under Chris Beagan. They dropped four of their last five that year to finish 6-4, with the last two losses coming in the regular season finale and the opening round of the playoffs, both to Sayreville.

In their 11-1 state title season, they started 1-1 before winning ten straight to take the Central Jersey Group 3 title over Middletown South 30-10 in the snow at the College of New Jersey.

North Brunswick claims top spot in Big Central Media Poll, edging out Union in Week Two

A week ago, North Brunswick had three first place votes in the Big Central Week One Media Poll, while Union had just one.

But the voters that didn’t pick Union first had the Farmers higher than those who didn’t have the Raiders in the top spot, so Union took Number One.

In Week Two, the first place votes went the same way – with Somerville and Woodbridge each getting a nod – but a win over ranked Old Bridge on the road boosted the Raiders in the minds of voters, and this week, they earned the top spot with 52 points, two more than Union.

There was little other change in the poll. Hillsborough jumped over Phillipsburg following a 21-14 overtime home win over the Stateliners, while Edison and Watchung Hills both dropped out. Three teams – Bernards, Cranford and Linden – tied for tenth, with five other teams getting votes.

Below is the Week Two Big Central Media Poll:

Union’s Davison Igbinosun named Week One Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week

With a big came that spurred a big comeback that gave Union a big win, Farmers senior Davison Igbinosun has been named the inaugural Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week for Week One.

Each week, league coaches will be allowed to nominate a player from their team for the award, with this week’s eligible games including Week Zero, in which only a fraction of the Big Central teams played. Players who also received serious consideration will be listed each week on the Honor Roll.

Igbinosun – a Rutgers commit – had a great stat line in a 40-21 road win against St. Joseph-Metuchen (0-1): eight carries for 106 yard and three touchdowns, three catches for 104 yards and another score, as well as nine tackles on defense, two TFLs and an interception.

But, it was how and when those scores happened that clinched the award for Igbinosun. Two of his rushing touchdowns came in the third quarter, giving Union a 21-14 lead after trailing 14-6 at the half.

The Farmers are now 1-1.

Every Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week will receive a custom football at the end of the season, and one will be chosen for a $500 scholarship.

Click below to hear Dom Savino’s interview with Union’s Davison Igbinosun:

Honor Roll…

Three other players made this week’s Big Central Honor Roll:

Senior runningback Quinn Lonergan of Brearley rushed for 113 yards and four touchdowns on just 15 carries as the Bears started the season with a win, blanking Johnson 36-0 at home. Lonergan matched his junior campaign’s touchdown output, where he scored four TDs on 44 carries, rushing for nearly 300 yards behind thousand-yard rusher Derek Graichen.

Monroe’s Benjamin Bussiere had a big game in a 52-20 season-opening home win over Franklin. The junior receiver had seven catches for 113 yards and three touchdowns, and amassed 145 kick return yards, including a 96-yard kickoff return in the third quarter, the first of four straight scores that helped the Falcons pull away, after leading only by 11 at halftime. On defense, Bussiere also recorded eight solo tackles.

Also making the Honor Roll was North Brunswick’s Tamir Jenkins. The junior linebacker was a defensive force against arch-rival South Brunswick in a 56-21 season-opening victory. Jenkins had 9 tackles and a TFL, but also forced and recovered two fumbles, one of them a 74-yard scoop-and-score. He also had a rushing touchdown on offense, the first of his scholastic career.

AUDIO: JFK pulls off monumental upset, knocking off top-seed Monroe in GMC Tourney’s opening round

The JFK baseball team lost its first eight games of the season.

Clearly, that’s not the same team that knocked off the top seed in the GMC Tournament Saturday afternoon.

But the 16th-seeded Mustangs did indeed beat the Falcons Saturday, 5-4, on an RBI infield hit by Joshua O. Torres. (The Mustangs have two players named Josh Torres on the team.)

For Kennedy, it was reminiscient of a win earlier this week against in-town rival Woodbridge, where Torres also drove in the winning run, Ryan Samaroo, from second base with two outs.

Monroe jumped out to a 3-0 lead but JFK went ahead in the third with four runs. Three came on a bases clearing double by Samaroo, the O’Torres drove him in.

Monroe got the run back in the fourth, and the teams would battle into the seventh, when with two out, Torres played the hero again.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from JFK on the win:

JFK head coach Tim Ballard
JFK senior IF/C Michael Hein

The win pits Kennedy (7-10) against 9th-seed North Brunswick (14-7-1) in Tuesday’s 4pm quarterfinals at North Brunswick Community Park. The Raiders got past 8th-seed Metuchen Saturday 3-2, avenging a 4-1 loss to the Bulldogs Wednesday afternoon. That game will be broadcast on the King James Radio Network by Korbid Thompson.

COMPLETE FIRST-ROUND GMCT SCORES AND QUARTERFINAL SCHEDULE

Central Jersey Sports Radio will cover two other quarterfinal games, including the 4pm game between 4th-seed Middlesex and 5th-seed South Brunswick. CJSR will also broadcast 6th-seed Edison taking on 3rd-seed South Plainfield in a 7 pm quarterfinal.

Monroe takes #1 seed in GMC Tournament

Powered by a 12-9 road win Monday at St. Joe’s of Metuchen, Monroe was awarded the top seed in the upcoming GMC Baseball Tournament by the six-member seeding commitee.

The Falcons will open play Saturday in the first round against the No. 16 seed.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s live coverage of the tournament will begin in the quarterfinals next Tuesday, with matchups and times to be determined.

After the Monroe Falcons – which shared the Red Divsion title, the top four seeds went to Red-co-champ St. Joseph at No. 2, then White winner South Plainfield and Blue Champion Middlesex.

South Plainfield was one of the two teams nominated by the committee for the top overall seed, but the decision to make Monroe the top pick was unanimous.

Overall, of the first five teams picked, three came from the GMC Red, with one each from the Blue and White.

Monroe and St. Joe’s split this season, with the team from Metuchen winning 2-0 this past Saturday. But Monroe picked up the win on the road Monday 12-9, a factor that weighed in the committee’s decision when breaking the tie, to determine who would go on the board first from the GMC Red.

The fifth seed went to South Brunswick, followed by Edison 6th and East Brunswick 7th, with Metuchen rounding out the top eight seeds.

GMC TOURNAMENT FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS:
All games at 11 am on Saturday, May 22 unless changed by the home school or noted below.

(9) North Brunswick at (8) Metuchen
(10) Spotswood at (7) East Brunswick
(11) JP Stevens at (6) Edison (noon)
(12) Woodbridge at (5) South Brunswick
(13) Colonia at (4) Middlesex
(14) Perth Amboy at (3) South Plainfield
(15) Old Bridge at (2) St. Joseph
(16) JFK at (1) Monroe

GMC INVITATONAL FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS:
All games at 4 pm on Friday, May 21.

(1) Sayreville and (2) Piscataway have byes
(14) Piscataway Tech at (3) East Brunswick Tech
(13) Wardlaw-Hartridge at (4) St. Thomas Aquinas
(12) Highland Park at (5) Carteret
(11) Timothy Christian at (6) Somerset Tech
(10) Dunellen at (7) South River, winner at (2) Piscataway
(9) Perth Amboy Tech at (8) South Amboy, winner at (1) Sayreville

Who will be GMC Tournament’s top seed? We asked one coach to rate the candidates

In about 12 hours, we’ll know who the top seed is in the upcoming GMC Baseball Tournament, the first in two years, after the entire 2020 season was wiped out by COVID-19.

But for now, we can ask, “Who will it be?”

The top division in the GMC had a split title this year between Monroe and St. Joseph. The Falcons from Metuchen won the first meeting between the teams 2-0 back on Saturday in Monroe, but those Falcons salvaged the two-game series on the return trip to Metuchen, winning an error-prone game Monday 12-9.

Will it be one of those teams? What about South Plainfield?

East Brunswick, which is 9-9 after Wednesday’s loss to Spotswood, is the only GMC team to have beaten both Falcons this year. And head coach Chris Kenney says he could make a case for either team earning the Number One seed overall.

While he says South Brunswick is also knocking on the door, only a division champion cam be an overall top seed, which would take the Vikings out of that conversation.

Could South Plainfield, the GMC White champion, make a play?

Click below to hear East Brunswick head coach Chris Kenney break down the reasons why St. Joe’s and Monroe each can make an argument to be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming GMC Tournament:

Here are some key points:

Monroe (12-4 overall, 12-3 GMC, 11-3, GMC Red Co-Champs)

Monroe head coach Sean field talks to his team after a 12-9 win Monday at St. Joe’s that gave them a share of the GMC Red Division title, and a shot at the top seed in the upcoming GMC Tournament.

The purple and gold Falcons reeled off eight straight wins in the heart of their season, but split with East Brunswick, South Brunswick and St. Joseph.

Their only other loss on the season came to Manalapan, their lone non-conference game this season, on April 23rd.

Their only non-divisional GMC game came a day later: an 8-3 win against Spotswood back on April 24th.

Three different players have hit four home runs this season. Junior Christopher Wisniewski has gone yard twice, while Jacob Veczko and Aidan Lane each have a homer.

Garrett VanBuren and Josh Weinstein have been aces on the mound, each with over 33 strikeouts and a nearly 2:1 strikeout-walk ratio.

St. Joseph (13-6 overall, 11-3 GMC/GMC Red Co-Champs)

St. Joseph junior Andrew Goldan throws a pitch in a 4-1 win over Old Bridge on May 3, 2021. Goldan no-hit the Knights through five innings, but was pulled after five based on his pitch count. He’s been lights out since coming back from tendinitis issues.

The Falcons from Metuchen haven’t put together a win streak longer than three games this season, the first of which began on Opening Day.

While Joe’s hasn’t played any league games out of their Red Division, they took on more out-of-conference opponents than Monroe. They beat Lawrenceville 9-0 and St. Benedict’s 12-0, but also have three non-league losses.

They fell to Hun 9-0, Somerville 14-4, and Cherokee 5-0.

Three different players have – Mark Gialluisi, Andrew Goldan and Eric Gonzalez each have a homer for St. Joe’s, they have a little less pop in the bat.

Scoring-wise the teams are similar: St. Joseph has scored 109 runs in 19 games for an average of 5.73 per game; Monroe 90 in 16 games for a 5.63 run per game average.

On the mound, Andrew Goldan has been lights out, allowing just seven hits in 21 innings, limited earlier in the season with some tendinitis.

The rest to get him healthy appears to have done him a lot of good. He was no-hittting Old Bridge through five before being yanked while being held to a strict pitch count. And he pitched a two-hit complete game whitewash in the first meeting with Monroe back on Saturday.

South Plainfield (15-2-1 overall, 13-1-1 GMC, 12-1-1 GMC White Champs)

The Tigers actually have fewer losses (2) than all but one of the 32 GMC teams. East Brunswick Tech is 12-1.

Of course, they’re a division down from the Red, but they’re playing solid baseball.

Their only issue – if you can call it that – is while they swept the GMC White’s second-place team, Edison, they were 0-1-1 against the division’s third place team, North Brunswick. They tied the Raiders 2-2 in 7 innings on May 8th, and lost 2-1 in the visit to North Brunswick on the 10th.

Out of conference, they were blanked 2-0 by a very good Millburn team that’s 13-3 and will be facing Seton Hall Prep Saturday afternoon in the Greater Newark Tournament finals. Their out-of-conference wins were a 6-1 victory a few days later against a so-so Montgomery squad, and a 16-0 victory over Watchung Hills Wednesday.

But boy can they score; the Tigers are averaging 8.47 runs per game, including a 27-1 win over New Brunswick on April 24th.

They’ve also won three games in shutout fashion, and 10 of their wins have seen the Tigers allow a run or less.

Monroe makes case for top GMCT seed with 12-9 road win at St. Joseph-Metuchen

After a 2-0 home loss to St. Joseph on Saturday, the Monroe Falcons desperately wanted another crack at it.

They took advantage Monday in Metuchen, winning a 12-9 slugfest that will make determining who gets the top seed in the upcoming GMC Tournament anything but an easy decision.

The teams split their regular season series, and share the GMC Red Division title. Now it will be up to the seeding committee, which will make its picks to seed the league tournament in a meeting that begins at 10 am Thursday at East Brunswick Tech High School.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will be there to provide all the latest.

In Monday’s game, ace Josh Weinstein didn’t have his best stuff, head coach Sean Field told his team, but he continued to battle through 3 1/3 innings before C.J. Wisniewksi came on. Though he gave up a couple of runs, he struck out six of the final nine batters he faced in the final three full innings to get the win.

Reliever C.J. Wisniewski struck out six batters in the final three innings of Monday’s win at St. Joe’s.

Jacob Veczko had a big day at the plate for Monroe: 3-for-5 with a single, double, and a ground rouble double, knocking in five runs on the afternoon in a game that was error-prone for both sides, but more so for St. Joseph.

While St. Joe’s is 13-6 overall, and Monroe 12-4, the teams are both 11-3 in the GMC Red Division.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko with postgame reaction from Monroe after their 12-9 win over St. Joseph-Metuchen:

Monroe reliver C.J. Wisniewski was the Falcons’ big weapon out of the ‘pen.
Jacob Veczko knocked in five runs with a single, double and ground rule double for Monroe.
Monroe head coach Sean Field talks about the big win.