Tag: New Providence

Group 2 playoff analysis: Bernards benefits from big win at Del Val, while Terriers drop

With high school football season at its midway point, it’s time to start taking a look at the playoff picture, with Cutoff Weekend just four weeks away. Here’s a look at Group 2 teams in the Big Central Conference, and where they stand:

NORTH (Click here for official standings)

The only Big Central team here is Bernards, whose game Friday night at Delaware Valley was billed as a boon for whoever won. It was the Mountaineers, 17-14, and they jumped from eighth place to third with the victory over the Terriers; it was a solid Strength Index and power points game. OSI went from 49.01 to 53.52, while power point average climbed from 10.75 to 12.80. That puts them behind leader Westwood (4-0, 1.6 UPR) and Caldwell, owner of the state’s longest winning streak, now at 19, dating back to their last three games of 2020.

Caldwell may not lose again this year, and the SI of their last four opponents are all 67 or higher. Bernards, on the other hand, has winless North Plainfield and Bound Brook, plus Governor Livingston and New Providence. The Highlanders have won three straight since starting 0-2. If they can continue that run, it’ll help the Mountaineers.

We don’t think they’re a solid top four team yet – which would mean they’d be a 2-seed in either section and guaranteed home field at least through the sectional semifinals – but if they run the table, they at least have a shot at it. It depends who can come up from behind on them. Bernards has a 3.6 UPR, but at 3.8, Ramsey (4-0) is right behind them. Rutherford, though, in fifth, is a healthy 2.8 UPR points behind Bernards.

SOUTH (Click here for official standings)

Little surprise here that Rumson-Fair Haven is in familiar territory, atop the supersection. It could be surprising when you look at their 2-2 record, until you realize one of those losses is to a multiplier, in Donovan Catholic. And since they also play Red Bank Catholic – another multiplier – on cutoff weekend, well, you can just sew it up right now for the Bulldogs. (Is that fair? Definitely not, but that’s a rant for another time.)

The highest-ranked team here is Delaware Valley, which dropped from third to tenth after Friday night’s home loss to Bernards, its first of the season, leaving them 3-1 on the year. And they’ve still got Hillside to go, with the Comets’ powerful run game. Likely bet that the Terriers will make the playoffs, barring a collapse, but they may be hard-pressed to get a first-round playoff game out of it – unless they can knock off Hillside, Saturday afternoon road game the week before Cutoff Weekend, October 15th.

Johnson is right behind Del Val, at 4-0, having a nice year so far, with a UPR of 11, one full point behind the Terriers, who have a 10 UPR. They’re at New Providence this Friday night, with the Pioneers in 14th with a UPR of 15. That’s a big game for either team, and a loss could relegate whoever’s on the short end of the stick to bubble status, though likely on the inside – and it’s more harmful to New Providence than the Crusaders.

Dayton is in a 16th place tie for the final playoff spot with Haddon Heights. The Bulldogs are 2-2, while the Garnets are 3-1, both with 16.6 UPRs. Dayton will need to keep winning, and have a middle of the road schedule the rest of the way.

They play their next three on the road, and the games get progressively tougher – at Highland Park this Friday night, at Spotswood the following Saturday, and at South Hunterdon on Friday, the 14th – before coming home to face Metuchen the Friday night of Cutoff Weekend. They might have to win out.

The next question is: What about Spotswood? The Chargers are 4-1, their best start since 2016. Can they pick up enough power points and OSI value to get in, even if they go 4-0? The jury is still out and it’s probably too early to tell. JP Stevens is their final opponent – yes, Group 5 JP Stevens – and that will at least soften the blow from the Hawks not having won a game yet this season. (They’ve lost 27 straight, in fact, the second longest streak in New Jersey at the moment.)

Will it be enough? Stay tuned.

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South River – despite a 2-2 mark – sits in 24th place, and would be hard-pressed to make a dent. Then again, their last three games are at Delaware Valley and Governor Livingston, then home to Johnson. Should they win at least two of those, maybe – maybe – they have a shot. Check back in a couple of weeks.

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 12: The Semifinals 2021

On Episode 11 of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland, it’s the most in-depth look you’ll find anywhere on the 14 conference teams still alive in the state playoffs

Mike Pavlichko is joined by Dom Savino for quick look back at the first round, then a team by team breakdown of every Big Central school’s sectional semifinal matchups, plus St. Thomas Aquinas’ opening round Non-Public B game against St. Joe’s of Hammonton.

Coaches and players are featured throughout, including a detailed breakdown of Friday night’s Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland, featuring second-seed Bernards and third-seed Haddonfield in the Central Jersey Group 2 semifinals.

Instant Replay: (5) New Providence 35, (4) Delaware Valley 13 (South Group 2, First Round)

Xlow to listen to the “Big Central Game of the Week” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland from Friday, November 5, 2021.

It’s an opening round playoff game in the South Jersey, Group 2 section.

Fifth-seed New Providence got three touchdowns from senior runningback Charlie Barth en route to a 35-13 victory over 4-seed Delaware Valley to improve to 8-1 on the season.

The Terriers fall to 7-3.

New Providence moves on to play next Saturday at top-seed Pt. Pleasant Boro in the sectional semifinals.

Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino call the action from Tapp Webb Memorial Field in Alexandria Township, NJ. Scroll down to listen.

1st Half
2nd Half

New Providence runs Barth, runs him again, then runs him some more, en route to 35-13 playoff win over Del Val

Charlie Barth rushed 43 times for a career-high 326 yards en route to a playoff-opening win over Delaware Valley, 35-13 in Alexandria Township, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio

In the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland, Barth also scored three touchdowns as the fifth-seed in the South Group 2 section advanced.

The win improves the Pioneers to 8-1, while the Terriers drop to 7-3.

Barth was impressive from the get-go, but not just on offense.

In fact, when Del Val got the ball to start the game and was marching downfield, Barth picked off a Jack Bill pass in the red zone to give his team the ball for the first time, leading to his first score of the game.

And Barth feeds Barth, who was named the Autoland Player of the Game, and will receive a custom football at the end of the year.

Barth accounted for 326 of his team’s 343 rushing yards and 355 yards of total offense.

His three TDs also gave him 70 for his career.

The 35 points also marked the first points New Providence has ever scored against Del Val, which had won the only two prior meetings by virtue of shutouts.

The Pioneers will move on to play top seed Pt. Pleasant Boro on the road next Friday night at 7. The Panthers beat 8th-seed Monmouth 34-14 Friday night at home.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko on the field with the Pioneers:

Senior runningback/linebacker Charlie Barth
Head coach Chet Parlevecchio, Jr.

New Providence up for an opening round road challenge against a Big Central foe with a big receiver

Charlie Barth is the player everyone who plays New Providence has to gameplan for.

May have tried to stop or contain him, but few have succeeded.

But on the other side of the field Friday night, it’ll be a big receiver the Pioneers will have to stop when 5th-seeded New Providence (7-1) visits fourth-seed Delaware Valley (7-2) in a South Group 1 opening round playoff game

It’s the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland, with kickoff set for 7 pm in Frenchtown, and pregame at 6:45.

Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the live play-by-play, which you can listen to live – and for free – by clicking here.

That huge target is 6-foot-7 receiver Logan Blake, a senior hybrid wide receiver and tight end.

Blake has 47 catches for 609 yards and ten touchdowns on the season, amassing 24 in his three-year varsity career.

Throwing the ball to him, more often than not, is Jack Bill, a great junior signal caller who was thrown for nearly 1,500 yards this season, with 14 touchdowns.

But Del Val face a challenge of its own in Barth, who can run the ball on offense, and stop the run on defense from his linebacker position.

Barth led the Big Central with over 115 tackles and scored 25 rushing touchdowns in last year’s COVID-shortened season, and was named Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Two-Way Player of the Year when the season was all over.

This year, he’s rushed for 1,300 yards and 21 touchdowns, but hasn’t been the entire focal point defensively for head coach Chet Parlavecchio Jr.’s team.

This will be just the third meeting between the schools, with New Providence yet to score in the short series.

Del Val won the first meeting, in Frenchtown, 35-0 in 2016, then won at New Providence 40-0 in 2017.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko speak with New Providence head coach Chet Parlavecchio Jr. about the 2021 season and the matchup with Del Val:

Terriers will need to tame Barth to continue best season under Haughey, advance in playoffs

Delaware Valley has done practically nothing but win the last few years under Mike Haughey, but the one thing that’s missing is a state championship.

The quest for a title begins Friday night when the 4th-seeded Terriers (7-2) open the South Group 2 playoffs at home against 5th-seed New Providence (7-1).

It’s the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland, with kickoff set for 7 pm in Frenchtown.

Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action, with pregame starting at 6:45. Click here to listen live.

Del Val boasts an outstanding quarterback in Jack Bill, who’s just a junior, but has thrown for nearly 1,500 yards this season, with 14 touchdowns.

It helps that he has a big target, and by big, we mean big.

Logan Blake, who’s a hybrid wide receiver and tight end, is 6-foot-7. He’ll play tight end if Haughey needs a blocker, and will line up wide if Bill wants to throw it to him.

Blake has 47 catches for 609 yards and ten touchdowns on the season, amassing 24 in his three-year varsity career.

But Del Val also will face a defensive challenge from a New Providence team led by linebacker Charlie Barth, who “also” is an outstanding runningback.

Barth led the Big Central with over 115 tackles and scored 25 rushing touchdowns in last year’s COVID-shortened season, and has amasssed over 1,300 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2021, while stepping off the gas a bit defensively.

This will be just the third meeting between the schools, and the Terriers have shutout the Pioneers each time.

They won 40-0 at New Providence in 2017, and 35-0 at home in 2016.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko speak with DelVal head coach Mike Haughey about the 2021 season and the matchup with New Providence:

South Group 2 Week 9 Breakdown: Can Hillside, Bernards earn a top seed? Will Roselle make it?

There’s still a lot to be decided in the South Group 2 supersection heading into Week 9, leaving a lot of question marks. But all will be answered this weekend. Here’s a team-by-team unofficial look at all the Big Central teams in the grouping:

Hillside: Sitting in third, the sky’s the limit for the Comets (6-1), but it’s not entirely in their control. With a win over Rahway Saturday afternoon, they could vault all the way up to first with a little help. But there’s a caveat to all of the below. Let’s lay out the scenario first. If Willingboro wins at Haddon Heights and Point Pleasant Boro beats a very good Middletown North team, Hillside likely stays in third. Point has the stronger opponent, so if they win, they’ll get the top seed. If they win and Willingboro loses, Point can finish first and Hillside second, so the Comets get the second overall seed, and a top seed in the sectional. If Point loses and Willingboro wins, Hillside could end up the top overall seed, and Willingboro No. 2. There’s one potential fly in the ointment, though: if Delaware Valley beats undefeated St. Thomas Aquinas Friday night in North Edison. With the Trojans 7-0, that game is worth an enormous amount of power points, and Del Val could leap as high as second, pushing Hillside out of the top four. So the Del Val-Aquinas game looms large here.The dire scenario for Hillside is if they lose to the Indians, which on its own would drop the Comets to tenth. They would need both a New Providence loss at Spotswood (not likely) and a Raritan loss to Shore (likely) to climb back into the top eight and earn a first-round home game. That’s a big swing for Hillside. A lot is at stake.

MORE CUTOFF WEEKEND COVERAGE: A team-by-team breakdown of every Big Central team’s postseason standing and chances heading into Week 9

Bernards: Sitting in fourth at 6-2, the Mountaineers have Middlesex (3-4) this Friday night. And while the Blue Jays’ won’t hurt them – unless they lose of course – a win doesn’t really move the needle either. Power points would nudge up a bit, OSI down a wee bit, leaving their UPR still at 6. With a Hillside loss, they can get to third, but no further, even with losses by Willingboro and Point Pleasant Boro. Both are just that far ahead, with 4.2 and 3.2 UPRs, respectively. But again, watch out for Del Val, which could screw this all up for the Mountaineers. And should they lose to the Blue Jays, it’s a similar scenario to Hillside; they would drop out of the top eight and need help to climb back in. Hey, winning cures all.

Delaware Valley: While Hillside and Bernards have much more to lose than gain, the Terriers (7-1, 7th place) are quite the opposite. A loss on their own to Aquinas (7-0) Friday night in North Edison on its own leaves them in 8th, but really 7th, since Camden – ahead of them – is out of the playoffs after a recent altercation in a game with Pleasantville led to several disqualifications, and an NJSIAA automatic ban from this postseason. Even wins by teams behind them like New Providence, Overbrook and Raritan likely couldn’t bounce them from the top eight – although a Raritan (3-4) win over Shore (6-1) could vault them into the top four as well, though it’s not very likely. The Terriers would still be ninth, and get the eight spot with Camden being pulled. But should Del Val beat Aquinas, they vault into second all on their own. Coupled with a Point Pleasant Boro loss and a Willingboro win – remember, Point has the tougher opponent, so this could be the more likely scenario – it’s possible Del Val vaults all the way up to Number One. Overall. That’s a heckuva ride.

New Providence: A weak last game leaves not much room for the Pioneers (7-1) to improve. In fact, even a win drops their power point average and OSI marginally, and a win at Spotswood (1-6) Saturday – without any other factors considered – moves them from 10th to 11th place. If the Pioneers can get Raritan to fall to Shore – which seems like it would benefit a number of Big Central teams – that would get Charlie Barth and company up to 9th, and then into 8th when Camden is taken out of the equation. And if disaster strikes and New Providence lost to the Chargers? Well, we still don’t think the Pioneers drop into the bottom four of the section.

Roselle: Sitting in 17th, the Rams (4-3) play at Bound Brook (3-5) on Friday night at LaMonte Field. Should the Rams win, even if everyone behind them who plays this weekend wins, Roselle would likely end up in 15th – 16th overall, but up a spot with Camden pulled from the group. Lose, and they’re out. Likewise…

Bound Brook: The Crusaders are in 20th place, but yes, Virginia, they still have a shot. Beating Roselle also gets them to number 16 overall, bumping up to 15th, we believes, once Camden is yanked.

Hillside holds in third, but drops in UPR in South 2; Roselle has big gain, and Bound Brook plummets after loss to rival Manville

Third place is where Hillside started Week 8 in the South 2 standings, and third place is where they look to finish after Friday night’s games, and an unofficial calculation of UPR by Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The Comets beat Carteret 41-13, but dropped in UPR from 3.8 to 5, while Willingboro – in second – went from a 3.4 to a 2.2 UPR. The gap has widened, and now it comes down to whether Hillside can recoup it on Cutoff Weekend as to whether they grab a top seed in the state tournament, which begins in two weeks.

Camden (4-3) is behind them, yet to play this weekend. They visit Cedar Creek (8-0) Saturday.

So for Hillside, they have Rahway (3-4) next week, while Willingboro has Haddon Heights (4-3). Even a Hillside win and Willingboro loss may not do it, so we’ll pencil in the Comets as No. 3. While they won’t get a top seed, the third spot will prevent them from having to face the overall top seed until the regional championships.

Elsewhere, Bernards and Delaware Valley flipped so that the Mountaineers are in 6th by 0.2 UPR over the Terriers. Both won Friday night, and both are a good bet for a top eight finish. Only tenth-place Raritan could challenge them, but only one and not the other.

Bernards is at Middlesex (2-4) next week, while Del Val visits undefeated St. Thomas Aquinas (7-0).

New Providence dropped one spot to 11th, which won’t make much difference in the long run.

Notable is Roselle’s big jump from 19th to 15th, despite a loss to Del Val, which is what we call a “good loss” – strong OSI value. That may be short-lived since Pleasantville (16th) hasn’t played yet this weekend – they have Woodrow Wilson today – but other teams they jumped like West Deptford did, and lost.

Bound Brook’s loss to rival Manville, 51-27, dropped the Crusaders seven places to 22nd., but still only 3 UPR out of the playoffs. The teams are tight there. After this weekend’s games, we’ll see where they stand, but it’s likely they’re out of contention unless something dramatic happens.

Week 8 Analysis: Hillside still in play for a top seed in South 2, while Del Val, Bernards and New Providence look to be in

Hillside hasn’t lost a game since a tough defeat at the hands of Bernards back in September at the Rumble on the Raritan, and that has the Comets oh-so-close to a top two finish in the South 2 supersection, which would give them guaranteed home games throughout the sectional playoffs that begin the weekend of November 5th.

Hillside (5-1) is in third, with a 3.8 UPR, just 0.4 behind Willingboro (4-2). The issue is, there aren’t a lot of ways for the Comets to move up. They are in second in power point rank (15.5) but Pt. Pleasant Boro, which leads the section, is all the way up at an 18.5 power point average. With Carteret and Rahway next for the Comets, worth 15 apiece, that won’t cut it.

What about OSI? Hillside is in 5th at 50.61, but Carteret is only worth 48.91 OSI points. They’ll need to beat the Ramblers, and then beat Rahway, which has a higher 61.64 SI value, and hope for the best with Willingboro.

One thing that could help – and we just emailed the NJSIAA for a clarification late Thursday night – is the situation with Camden. After a fight in a game with Pleasantville, they collected enough ejections to make them ineligible for postseason play. The question is, does Camden – currently fourth in UPR – remain in the supersection and the teams below them all bump up one place? Or do they get yanked entirely from the supersection like the North Jersey teams in “relief” divisions who agreed to not be eligible for the playoffs in exchange for easier schedules. If that’s the case, consider that ahead of 5th place Hillside in OSI is Camden. If they’re entirely out of the supersection, guess who moves to fourth, picks up 0.6 UPR points and jumps Willingboro?

You guessed it: Hillside.

And believe it or not, the third place OSI team is overall first-place Point Pleasant Boro, so they could even catch them and move up. The point is, Hillside may be very much in play. We’ll keep you posted on what the NJSIAA tells us, as we await a response Friday morning. It’s probably more likely Camden stays in the standings, but either way, Hillside has a shot. It’s just better with Camden out.

At the back end of the top eight are Delaware Valley (6-1) and Bernards (5-2). The Terriers are 6th with a 6.2 UPR, while Bernards is at 6.8 in seventh place. Ahead of them is Haddonfield, with a 6.2 UPR, and then there’s the issue of No. 4 Camden. One way or another, they’re not in the postseason, so at worst that effectively moves Haddonfield to 4th, Del Val to 5th and Bernards to 6th, all separated by 0.6 UPR points. That means that the coveted fourth spot, which guarantees home field for the first round and semifinals in sectional play, is still very much up for grabs for any of those three teams, should they keep on winning, as one jump in either power points or OSI for anyone could shuffle all the teams around.

Haddonfield has Collingswood (1-7) and Haddon Heights (4-2) remaining. Bernards has a home game with South River (3-3) then a road game at Middlesex (2-4) left. And Del Val has Roselle (4-2) and St. Thomas Aquinas (6-0) to go. Del Val may have the tougher schedule, but the other side of the coin says they have the biggest upside.

New Providence has only lost one game – ironically, a last minute game with Willingboro, 26-7 on September 18th, when Belvidere cancelled on them – but sits in 10th. But they have a shot at a first round home game with a top eight finish since they have an 8.8 UPR, while the teams ahead of them are within 0.6 UPR points – just one place in OSI apart; Overbrook is at 8.4 and Nottingham has an 8.2 UPR.

At No. 15, we have Bound Brook, with the Crusaders nearly in a must-win situation with Bound Brook Friday night (7 pm, CJSR) in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Autoland. Two teams would have to catch them to knock the Crusaders out of the playoffs. The next two out are West Deptford (2-5, 1.8 UPR behind) and Haddon Heights (4-2, 2.0 UPR points behind).

A split still could get them in – they have Roselle (4-2) next week – but why chance it? Besides, Roselle is the next team down from Haddon Heights, in 19th place. But if they were to get close enough to Bound Brook that the Rams were in 17th and Bound Brook in 16th, here comes the NJSIAA’s “head-to-head” rule into play. If Roselle beat the head-to-head, the Rams move in.

Week 6 South 2 Playoff analysis: Delaware Valley in range of a top seed; will Bernards or New Providence get a home game?

There are three teams ahead of undefeated Delaware Valley in the race for one of the top two seeds in the South Jersey Group 2 supersection, and the question is: Will they be able to catch two of them?

Winning out is their best bet, as they’ve already gotten through the easier part of their schedule, at least based on Strength Index. With an OSI of 49.8, they will get a big boost from two of their next three pponents, providing they beat them. Hillside is a 76.46 and St. Thomas Aquinas has a 77.35 SI. Even 3-2 Roselle, their middle opponent, has a 52.59 SI, all of which will bring up their rank.

And that’s good, because Point Pleasant Boro, which is in first, has an OSI of 51.95, while Camden has a 51.8 OSI. Del Val is right in range. But there are even more teams between they could jump, who are behind them in the standings but stronger in OSI rank, like Haddonfield (9th overall, 51.16 OSI) and Bernards (5th, 49.97). Passing four teams would drop 2.4 off Del Val’s UPR, giving them a 2.4, putting them in second – if no one else moves.

But, of course, they can. And the Shore Conference, in scrapping its plan for the in-season playoffs they touted in the off-season, has given its teams good games. Everyone Point Boro will play is in the low 70s, so they can pick up their OSI and UPR, too. Camden has Pleasantville (45.82), undefeated Cedar Creek (90.16) and Woodrow Wilson (81.53). Cedar Creek won’t be a gimme, though, to boost their average; the Pirates are 7-0 with four shutouts, and have not allowed anyone more than eight points in a game this year.

Bernards sits in 5th, and the question for the Montaineers is can they finish top eight and get a first-round home game? What about 4th, to get home field advantage at least guaranteed for the first two rounds of the sectionals? Well, their OSI won’t be helped by the remainder of the schedule. With an OSI of 49.97, even winning out might drop their OSI, with Voorhees (46.56), South River (48.25) and Middlesex (47.95) all potentially bringing their average down slightly.

The Mountaineers have an Strength Index value of 75.76, so they would do well to avoid beating any of those teams by more than 30 points. Keeping it in the high teens and low 20s would drive the other teams’ SI’s up, increasing Bernards’ OSI, or at least maybe keeping it steady. (The only week that won’t work is the final week of the season, when SI vales are locked in after Week 8 to avoid that kind of thing. But hey, isn’t that also good sportsmanship, and the whole reason the NJSIAA scrapped the Born Power Index in the first place?)

For New Providence (7th overall in the UPR standings) and Hillside (10th), their question is: Can they at least get into that top eight to get a home game?

The Pioneers can only win the games on their schedule, but they do them no favors with Roselle Park, and Governor Livingston a combined 1-14, bringing very little to the table in terms of power points or Strength Index. They might be at the mercy of what teams can pass them in the final three weeks, or benefit from teams ahead of them falling.

The same can be said for the Comets. What’s amazing about this section so far is that the top six teams include four with either two or three losses. The next ten includes one undefeated team (Nottingham) and six one-loss teams (New Providence, Hillside, Overbrook, Sterling, Monmouth, and Middle Township. It might be a crap shoot for Hillside if any one of these teams falters, assuming the Comets can keep winning.

Things will come into much more focus as we get closer to the cutoff.

And lest we forget about Bound Brook, the Crusaaders are 14th with a UPR of 14 (which means they’re 14th in both OSI and power points). Their power point average is 9.83 and their OSI is 39.95. They may very well need to win out to stay in the playoff chase. It all starts with a big one tonight against Brearley (3-2, 16 power points, 59.01 SI). Then there’s another one next week against Manville (4-3, 19 power points, 47 SI). Then Roselle is their cutoff weekend opponent, 3-2, worth 16 power points, and with a 52.59 SI. (Remember, power point values can increase between now and then as teams win more games.