Tag: North Brunswick

Rutgers Prep inches up after win over Gill, but STA remains No. 1 in Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving boys’ rankings

Rutgers Prep’s convincing rematch win over Gill St. Bernard’s last Tuesday night on Easton Avenue moved the Argonauts up another notch in the Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten for Week 7, St. Thomas Aquinas remains No. 1 in the rankings.

Both squads had 3-0 weeks, with the Trojans now 19-1, and the Argonauts 14-6 overall. Gill (13-5) also lost to Paterson Eastside 62-51 to finish the week with a 1-2 mark.

The next four teams all stay put, with just one loss among them. Colonia (15-4) remains in fourth, followed by South River (18-1), Bound Brook (14-2), and South Plainfield (16-3).

The Crusaders were the only one of the four clubs to lose a game in the week gone by, coming to Franklin, which is 11-8 overall, but with four of those losses coming to Gill and Rutgers Prep, and a loss each to South Plainfield and North Brunswick, the first- and second-place teams in the GMC White Division, with just four defeats between them.

READ: Edison community and beyond comes together to “Fight For Allie,” help local 11-year old girl beat brain tumor

North Brunswick (16-3) rejoins the rankings at No. 8 with a 4-0 week, including victories over Princeton, Perth Amboy, Edison and Sayreville, while Hillsborough makes its debut at No. 10. The Raiders had a thrilling four-point win id double-overtime at Immaculata, plus wins over Watchung Hills and Edison for a 3-0 week.

Ridge (13-4) drops to tenth following a 2-1 week, including wins over Montgomery and Somerville, sandwiched around a loss to Watchung Hills.

Dropping out this week are No. 8 St. Joseph-Metuchen (10-7) – after an 0-3 week, with losses to St. Thomas Aquinas, Seton Hall Prep and Newark Central – and No. 10 Immaculata – which went 1-2 this past week, including a win over Perth Amboy and a loss at Phillipsburg.

Below are the full Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Week 7 Rankings:

Aquinas continues winning, stays atop Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball rankings

On the strength of a 3-0 week, St. Thomas Aquinas continues to hold the No. 1 ranking in the Bellamy & Son Paving Week 6 Boys’ Basketball Top Ten.

The Trojans (16-1) had a 2-0 week, beating St. Joseph-Metuchen Tuesday 66-62 on the road to clinch the GMC Red Division and likely the top seed in the upcoming GMC Tournament, as well as Miami Northwestern 78-59 in a showcase game.

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Gill St. Bernard’s (12-3) held at No. 2, with a 2-1 week that included divisional wins over Franklin and Hunterdon Central and a weekend loss to St. Benedict’s Prep. Rutgers Prep (11-6) inched up to third on a 3-1 week, with wins over Hunterdon Central, Saddle River Day and at Ranney, while losing to Manasquan Sunday 64-54.

The Knights and Argonauts will face off Tuesday night at 7 in Somerset in a game with Skyland Conference Delaware Division implications, but which also could determine the top seed in the upcoming Somerset County Tournament. Gill won their previous meeting on January 5 on a buzzer-beating corner three from Nick Losada.

Colonia (12-4) dropped a spot to fourth despite wins at JP Stevens and against South Brunswick, as the Patriots also lost to St. Joe’s 47-45.

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South River (14-1) and Bound Brook (12-1) had perfect weeks and held steady in fifth and sixth, respectively.

South Plainfield (13-2) nudged up two spots to seventh on a 3-0 week, with a non-conference win over New Providence, as well as divisional wins over Perth Amboy and Edison.

St. Joe’s (10-4) went 1-1 in divisional play against the two top teams in the GMC Red, splitting with Aquinas and Colonia, while also beating Roselle this past weekend in non-conference play, and moves up to No. 8.

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Ridge (11-3) drops to ninth after a 1-2 week that included losses to Immaculata and Phillipsburg, despite a win over North Brunswick (12-3), which dropped out of the rankings on a 2-1 week that included a loss to Ridge.

Immaculata (12-2) – tied for tenth last week with the Falcons – holds the spot all on their own, with a 3-0 week that included the win over Ridge, and victories over Watchung Hills and Koinonia.

Below are the full Week 6 Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Rankings:

Top five hold, bottom five shuffle, plus one new team in Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball rankings

There was no movement among the top five teams in the Week 6 Bellamy & Son Boys’ Basketball Top Ten, but plenty below them, and a new team in the fray as well.

St. Thomas Aquinas (13-1) held onto the top spot with a 2-0 week, while Gill St. Bernards (10-2) used a 3-0 week to stay put at No. 2.

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Colonia (10-3) held at third despite a 1-2 week, with one of those losses to top-ranked Aquinas, and the other an out-of-area loss to state-ranked Linden.

Rutgers Prep (8-5) holds in fourth after a 2-1 week, the loss coming out-of-area to state-ranked Seton Hall Prep., while South River holds at five despite suffering its first loss of the season, coming to Red Division opponent Piscataway.

Bound Brook (10-1) – which lost to the Rams a week ago – rebounded with a 3-0 week and climbs two spots to sixth, Ridge (10-1) also moved up two spots on a 3-0 week.

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North Brunswick (10-2) joins the rankings at No. 8 after beating South Plainfield (10-2) Saturday, dropping the Tigers to ninth.

St. Joseph-Metuchen (8-3) holds in tenth, tied with Immaculata (9-2), which went 1-2 this week, 1-1 in-league with a five-point loss at Hillsborough, while dropping a non-league game to Ranney.

Below are the complete Week 5 Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Rankings:

Hot heading into ’23: GMC and Somerset County boys’ teams hoping to keep it going in the New Year

The Christmas break and holiday tournaments are in the rear view mirror, and now it’s five weeks of crunch time in the regular season before the county and state playoff seeding meetings.

They come just about one right after the other, with the GMC seeding meeting on Friday, February 3, the SCT on Monday, the 6th, and the NJSIAA a week later on the 13th.

Everything starts a week earlier than usual this year, after the NJSIAA shortened the season (but allowed for unlimited four-game weeks to make up for it) and lopped off the Tournament of Champions so that the state finals now end Sunday, March 5th. (Last year, the TOC Finals were on March 20th.)

So it’s a bit more of a sprint this year; blink and you might miss it!

Here is a quick look at the boys teams in the area who are in great position heading into 2023:

GMC

  • St. Thomas Aquinas (7-0): The Trojans have only played three games against GMC competition so far this season, and none have been close: they’ve beaten JP Stevens, South Brunswick and Old Bridge in Red Division play by an average of 38 points per game. But their out-of-conference games haven’t been much closer. They beat Oratory before the holidays 66-34, then won all three games in the Husky Holiday Classic, topping Manalapan by 40 and Holdmdel by 27. Their closest game of the year brought home the trophy from Matawan, a see-saw battle with Seton Hall Prep that the Trojans won 52-44, getting eight fourth-quarter points from Kamal Lee in a matchup of top-15 state-ranked teams. (This week: Monroe Monday, at East Brunswick Tuesday, Rosedale Baptist (MD) Thursday, at Piscataway Saturday, Camden Eastside Sunday)
  • South Plainfield (6-0): The Tigers lead the GMC White Division with a 3-0 mark and wins over North Brunswick, Woodbridge and Edison. They swept the Anthony J. Cotoia Tournament over the holiday break with wins over the Eagles and Scotch Plains-Fanwood. Tuesday is a big test, playing up to the Red Division and struggling St. Joseph-Metuchen, which already has two GMC losses this season – to Colonia and South River. A win against the Falcons not only would be a resume-builder, but could leave the county tournament seeding committee with a lot of questions to wrangle with next month. (This week: at St. Joseph Tuesday, at North Plainfield Thursday, at Franklin Saturday)
  • South River (6-0): Brandon Walsh’s team is in a groove heading into 2023. We saw them fend off a tough Spotswood team on December 19th in what has turned out to be their closest game of the season so far, a 73-68 win. They even beat St. Joe’s by seven in a stunner the Monday after Christmas. (Read more by clicking here. And for more on the potential impact on the GMC Tournament seeding, click here.) This week’s schedule is kind to the Rams until they get to Saturday, and a matchup with so-far undefeated Bound Brook. (This week: at Wardlaw-Hartridge Monday, Middlesex Wednesday, at Bound Brook Saturday)
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  • North Brunswick (4-1): The Raiders are in fourth in the White Division at 1-1, but have won four straight since a 12-point opening night loss to South Plainfield at home. Alani Ajigbotosho has led the way in the early season averaging 18 points a game, and has seven steals to boot, with North Brunswick averaging nearly seven a game as a team. They have three below-.500 teams coming up after a trip to Perth Amboy Tuesday, and could very well by 8-1 heading into a potentially critical White Division home matchup with Woodbridge on January 10th. (This week: at Perth Amboy Tuesday, Edison Thursday, Sayreville Saturday)
  • Colonia (6-1): The Patriots may only be on a two-game winning streak, but they’re still one of just four GMC teams to have won six games before the New Year. Their only loss came to Westfield in the opener of the LeGrand Holiday Jubilee, and they also have a win over St. Joe’s – a triple overtime affair – 83-78. (Read more on that game by clicking here.) Freshman guard Aidan Derkack has added another dimension for Colonia, leading the team with 17 steals in seven games, while dishing out 24 assists. This week they get the bottom half of the GMC Red Division, and one more next week before a huge clash at St. Thomas Aquinas on Thursday, January 12th, which we’ll have live on Central Jersey Sports Radio. (This week: at Old Bridge Tuesday, East Brunswick Thursday, at Monroe Saturday)
  • Middlesex (5-1): The Blue Jays’ five-game win streak came to an end last week in the championship game of the Crusader Classic, losing at home team Bound Brook 60-57. Nothing to be embarrassed about there with the Crusaders still undefeated. (More on them in the next section. Defense has been the name of the game for Jared Goldstein’s squad, allowing an average of 31 points per game in their four GMC wins, while scoring 72 against Perth Amboy Magnet, and 91 at Wardlaw-Hartridge. They also had narrower wins by 11 over JFK, and by five over Carteret. Wednesday is a huge one at Blue Division-leader and undefeated South River. (This week: at South River Wednesday, Metuchen Friday, at South Hunterdon Saturday)
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Somerset County

  • Immaculata (5-0): Two of the six teams in the Skyland Conference Raritan Division are undefeated, and three of the others are 4-1. The Spartans opened the season with wins over Conference foes Montgomery, Hunterdon Central and Ridge, then beat Piscataway of the GMC by five before coming back to Somerset County and handling Bridgewater-Raritan on the road, 76-53 last Thursday. Seniors Davis Adams (forward) and Sean Givens (guard) balance the high-low game with 19.2 and 19 points per game, respectively. Adams has notched double-doubles (points and rebounds) in all five games so far, scoring 20-plus points twice, including a near career-high 24 against Central. (This week: at Watchung Hills Tuesday, Phillipsburg Thursday, at Morristown Saturday)
  • Watchung Hills (5-0): The Warriors’ only divisional game so far was a 48-35 win over Montgomery in the Cougar/Warrior Classic on December 29th, and they jump right back in with a critical home matchup against Immaculata at 5:30 Tuesday evening. With the graduation of Elijah Lewis, Hills is much more balanced this year, with five players averaging 8.2 points per game or better, but none more than 11.4 per contest. That’s also a nice luxury to have. (This week: Immaculata Tuesday, Hillsborough Thursday, JP Stevens Saturday)
  • Hillsborough (4-1): Under second-year head coach Tim Palek, the Raiders are picking up where they left off in 2021-22, and after a two-point season-opening loss to Ridge, 55-53, take a four-game winning streak into Tuesday night’s game at Montgomery, which can be heard live on Central Jersey Sports Radio with pregame at 6:45 and tip-off at 7. (Click here to listen. For a preview of the game with Coach Palek, click here.) Hillsborough needs to not look past the Cougars (3-4) with a key game at Watchung Hills on Thursday night. (This week: Montgomery Tuesday, at Watchung Hills Thursday, Raritan Friday)
  • Bound Brook (5-0): Head coach Anthony Melesurgo doesn’t rebuild, he just reloads, having done nothing but win the last several seasons. In fact, going back to 2019-20, the Crusaders are a combined 66-10 over a span of four seasons, including an undefeated 14-0 mark in the COVID-shortened season, in which they won the Skyland Conference middle postseason pod. This year’s edition has only won one game “comfortably,” a 67-51 victory over South Hunterdon. They’ve won their other four games by an average of three points. Still, nobody asks how, just if. Jordan Summers has been lighting it up: the senior is averaging a whopping 29 points per game. Just try stopping him. And here’s a nice way to start the new year: three straight games in The Brook. (This week: North Hunterdon Tuesday, Voorhees Thursday, South River Saturday)
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  • Rutgers Prep (5-2): The record may not look “hot” with two losses in their last three games, but they both came to out-of-state opponents: in a regular season home game before Christmas to Devon Prep (PA) 74-70, and in the opening game of the Pete and Jameer Nelson Play-By-Play Classic against Cardinal O’Hara (PA) 73-53. They rebounded with a 69-55 win over Neumann Goretti (PA) on Friday. They’ve only played two Skyland opponents so far, edging Franklin on the road in the season opener 90-82, and beating Hunterdon Central a few days later 71-29. The Argonauts are off ’til Thursday, when they have a huge clash up in Gladstone against Gill St. Bernard’s at 7:00. (This week: at Gill St. Bernard’s Thursday, DePaul Saturday)
  • Gill St. Bernard’s (4-2): With a new look, and no household names – yet – Mergin Sina’s club may take some time to jell. But they’ve won both their Skyland games (over Bridgewater-Raritan by 26 and Franklin by 12) and have two tough losses: one to Ramapo by seven in the Jingle Bells Jubilee, and another today to St. Joe’s of Montvale. They get a conference tune-up before Thursday’s home clash with Prep – Hunterdon Central on Tuesday – as part of a four-game week to start 2023. (This week: at Hunterdon Central Tuesday, Rutgers Prep Thursday, at Christian Brothers Academy Saturday, at St. Augustine Sunday)

On and off the field, Frankie Garbolino’s efforts garner him CJSR’s “Leadership Award”

The North Brunswick defense may have garnered the most attention this season, but if one had to choose a name and a face to represent the Raiders’ football program this year – and in 2021 and 2020 – it would be Frankie Garbolino, hands down.

In fact, three years ago, you might have thought he was a senior. After all, he played like that, and acted that way around his teammates.

And that championship-caliber attitude gained even more confidence this season after he and his baseball teammates won the GMC Tournament last spring for the first time in program history.

Marisa Tufaro Foundation founder Greg Tufaro (left) and game organizer Marcus Borden talk with North Brunswick QB and rising senior Frankie Garbolino at halftime of the Marisa Rose Bowl on July 21, 2022.

Garbolino, of course, had a solid senior season, throwing for 1,838 yards and 13 touchdowns, while also rushing 75 times for 447 yards and nine more scores. He also holds just about every school record a quarterback could own: career passing yards (5,410) and passing TD’s (53) among them.

He also led many community service events in the school, and the North Brunswick Township High School Touchdown Club, while maintaining a staggering 4.5 GPA in the classroom.

Click below to listen to Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Justin Sontupe talk with Jordan Bird:

*****INSERT AUDIO HERE*******

Honorable Mentions:

Montgomery senior Gavin Guidette “was the heart and soul” of the Cougars this year, “setting the cultural expectations for everyone,” high praise from head coach Zoran Milich, who is the only football coach in Montgomery history and just graduated a stellar kid like Alex Benitez. He helped leady Monty to back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in program history.

Connor Laverty of Bernards – who’s just a junior, mind you – was able to guide the Mountaineers to their third straight division championship with a very small senior class, but the biggest roster at the Group 2 school in program history. Laverty finished 2022 with 1,272 passing yards and 17 touchdowns, with just three INTs on the season. He’ll be one of the top returning QBs in 2023 in the Big Central.

South Plainfield’s Jason Greer was a fullback and D-lineman in 2022, and carried for a modest 432 yards and three touchdowns, while registering 62 tackles, 7 TFLs and 1 1/2 sacks on defense. But head coach Bill Hamilton says he “played anywhere the team needed him to” for the last two seasons. While the first didn’t yield the results they wanted, with an eight-loss campaign that saw four losses by eight points or less, it all paid dividends in 2022 as the Tigers won their first-ever division title, and went undefeated (8-0) in the regular season.

Ben Solimini of East Brunswick threw for 458 yards and four scores, but ran the ball even more, to the tune of 1,030 yards and 10 touchdowns. But more importantly, was “a leader by example on and off the field,” according to head coach Andy Steinfeld. He’s a “hard worker every day at practice, and an even harder worker in the classroom,” adds Steinfeld, as Solimini kept up a 3.83 GPA.

Lady Argonauts lead preseason Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten rankings, yet again

In Central Jersey Sports Radio’s third season of covering girls’ basketball in Middlesex and Somerset Counties, Rutgers Prep has taken the Number One preseason ranking for the third straight year.

The Lady Argonauts went wire-to-wire at No. 1 in the COVID-shortened 2021 season, and did the same last season, meaning Rutgers Prep has been in the top position in all 18 polls since its inception.

The two-time defending Somerset County Tournament, Non-Public South B and Non-Public Group B champions went 29-3 last season.

Meanwhile, St. Thomas Aquinas – which has won three straight GMC Tournament titles – is ranked second in the preseason, coming off a 22-4 season.

Gill St. Bernard’s – the 2022 SCT runner-up, which went 18-6 last year – checks in at No. 3, while GMC Tournament runner-up South Brunswick – 15-6 last year with a young team that’s more experienced this year – comes in fourth..

Colonia, a Central Jersey Group 3 finalist which went 25-5 a year ago and has back senior Mattison Chiera and junior Taylor Derkack, checks in fifth.

Below is the full preseason Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten:

North Hunterdon edges out Phillipsburg for top spot in final Big Central Media Poll

In a split vote, North Hunterdon earned top honors in the final Big Central Media Poll of the 2022 high school football season over Phillipsburg, with the Lions getting three of the five first-place votes. The Stateliners got the other two.

The final media poll of the season mirrored the final Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten with one exception: Watchung Hills got in the media poll at No. 9, while Westfield took that spot in the CJSR poll. Both teams were 7-3 on the season.

North Hunterdon got the top spot on the strength of its North 2, Group 4 championship, though the Lions were knocked out in the first-ever group semifinals by Northern Highlands back on Saturday.

Phillipsburg was upset in the North 2, Group 5 finals by West Orange, but beat North Hunterdon early on in the regular season.

Edison came in third, despite four losses, after making a huge run as the sixth-seed in Central Jersey Group 5 to win a sectional title. Along with West Orange, they were the lowest seeds in the state among public schools to reach sectional finals, and both wound up winning titles.

St. Thomas Aquinas, which beat Edison in the regular season, but got knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, checks in at No. 4. Aquinas holds the Big Central Conference’s longest league winning streak going into next year at 17 games, with Phillipsburg and Brearley behind them at eleven straight regular season league wins.

North Brunswick checks in fifth, having been knocked out of the playoffs in the Central Group 5 semifinals by Edison.

Ridge came in sixth, followed by North 2 Group 3 finalist Hillside in seventh.

Cranford was No. 8, Watchung Hills rated ninth, and Montgomery finished in tenth, while Westfield, Bernards, and North 1 Group 1 finalist Brearley (10-1) also received votes.

Below is the complete final Big Central Media Poll for 2022:

North Hunterdon rises to No. 1 in final Top Ten rankings; Lions are CJSR 2022 Team of the Year

CORRECTION: Our initial version of this poll inadvertently omitted Watchung Hills, which tied for third in the poll for 9th place with Westfield and Montgomery. The rest of this story has been updated to correct that omission.

In the final Central Jersey Sports Radio high school football rankings of 2022, North Hunterdon is Number One, and the CJSR Team of the Year.

With just one regular season loss – to Phillipsburg, which finished at No. 2 – the North 2, Group 4 Champion Lions finished the season 11-2, after a loss to Northern Highlands in the Group 4 semifinals this past Saturday, 21-20 in OT at Franklin High School.

Led by the backfield tandem of Kente Edwards and Alex Uryniak, quarterback Luke Martini, and top receivers Derek Vaddis and Danny Delusant – with several of those players also playing critical roles on defense – North Hunterdon won its first state title since 2017, beating Randolph in a finals for the ages, 49-35, a contest which saw the teams explode for a combined 49 points in the final quarter.

The Lions also won the Liberty Silver Division of the Big Central Conference.

Phillipsburg, which was undefeated going into the North 2 Group 4 final, was shocked in the title game by West Orange, 28-7. The American Silver Division champs are 10-1, heading into their Thanksgiving Day battle with Easton.

In third was Edison, the Central Jersey Group 5 champion, which beat Lenape in the title game 28-14 a week ago down in Medford. It was the Eagles’ first title in 31 years, and they finished the season 9-4 with a group of seniors that included several four-year starters, including QB Matt Yascko, wide receiver Malcolm Stansbury, offensive lineman Matthew Bueno, and and kicker/linebacker Selbin Sabio.

Tied for fourth was St. Thomas Aquinas and North Brunswick. The Trojans beat Edison in the regular season, but got knocked out of the playoffs in the opening round by Holy Spirit. Aquinas won the United Gold Division title, and will take a 17-game conference winning streak into the 2023 season, the best in the league. (Phillipsburg and Brearley both have won 11 straight regular season BCC games, the closest teams to Aquinas.

The Raiders finished 8-2, National Silver Division champions. Their lone regular season loss came out-of-division to Cranford, but they lost in the Central 5 semifinals to Edison, after the Eagles scored the game’s final 16 points in a furious comeback in the final five minutes of the game, recovering two on-side kicks and winning on a field goal with :04 left on the clock.

Ridge finished the year 7-3 and came in sixth.

In seventh was Hillside, which finished the season 9-2, tied with Cranford. The Comets were the Patriot Silver Division champions, and their only regular-season loss came to St. Thomas Aquinas in a divisional crossover. They made the North 2, Group 3 finals, but lost to Old Tappan 28-14; the Golden Knights are in the first-ever statewide Group 3 final at Rutgers in two weeks.

Cranford was 7-3, and won the American Gold Division title.

Westfield, Watchung Hills and Montgomery all tied for tenth. The Warriors and Cougars both finished 7-3, while Westfield also is 7-3, but still has to play its Thanksgiving game against Plainfield.

Below are the complete final 2022 Central Jersey Sports Radio High School Football rankings:

Four Big Central teams punch their tickets to sectional title games, Hillside has a Saturday semi

Top-seeds Phillipsburg and North Hunterdon, along with Brearley and Edison, will play for sectional championships next weekend in the NJSIAA state high school football playoffs, after winning semifinal games Friday night.

Hillside, the ninth team that advanced int he first round, still has to play a semifinal game in North 1, Group 3, as the second-seeded Comets host third-seed River Dell at Conant Street Park at 1:00 Saturday afternoon.

In North 2, Group 5 action, Phillipsburg remained undefeated with a 30-7 win over fourth-seed Paterson Eastside at Maloney Stadium. Click here for a recap and audio from the Phillipsburg game.

In North 1, Group 5, third-seed Westfield saw its season come to an end with a 20-14 loss at second-seed Union City.

In Central, Group 5, sixth-seed Edison stunned second-seed North Brunswick, 33-31 on two touchdowns and a field goal, all in the final four minutes, aided by two onside kick recoveries. Click here to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with reporter Chris Tsakonas, who was at the game, and had postgame reaction.

In North 2, Group 4 – in a game heard live on Central Jersey Sports Radio, North Hunterdon fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter to visiting 5th-seed Morris Knolls, but came back to win 25-14. Click here for a full recap and postgame reaction with Mike Pavlichko.

Meanwhile, in North 1, Group 4, third-seed Ridge was eliminated with a 34-27 loss at second-seed Ramapo.

In North 2, Group 3, Cranford was knocked out, as the 2nd-seeded Cougars lost 14-7 at third-seed West Essex.

And in North 1, Group 1, Brearley made it to its first final since 2015 as the fourth-seeded Bears ran past 8th-seed Kinnelon, 45-14 in Kenilworth. Click here for postgame reaction form head coach Scott Miller and quarterback Matt Sims.

Here are Friday’s results in the sections with teams remaining:

North 2, Group 5:
#1 Phillipsburg def. #4 Eastside (Paterson), 37-0
#6 West Orange def. #2 Ridgewood, 34-31 (2OT)
Final: #6 West Orange at #1 Phillipsburg, Friday at 7 pm

North 1, Group 5:
#1 Passaic Tech def. #4 Clifton, 21-14
#2 Union City def. #3 Westfield, 20-14
Final: #2 Union City at #1 Passaic Tech, Friday at 7 pm

Central Group 5:
#1 Lenape def. #5 Atlantic City, 21-20
#6 Edison def. #2 North Brunswick, 33-31
Final: #6 Edison at #1 Lenape, Friday at 7 pm

South Group 5:
#1 Toms River North def. #5 Marlboro, 42-6
#2 Kingsway def. #3 Cherokee, 41-14
Final: #2 Kingsway at #1 Toms River North, Friday at 7 pm

North 2, Group 4:
#1 North Hunterdon def. #5 Morris Knolls, 25-14
#2 Randolph def. #3 Wayne Valley, 31-28
Final: #2 Randolph at #1 North Hunterdon, Friday at 7 pm

North 1, Group 4:
#4 Northern Highlands def. #1 Irvington, 17-14
#2 Ramapo def. #3 Ridge, 17-13
Final: #4 Northern Highlands at #2 Ramapo

North 2, Group 3:
#1 West Morris def. #5 Warren Hills, 49-15
#3 West Essex def. #2 Cranford, 14-7
Final: #3 West Essex at #1 West Morris

North 1, Group 3:
#1 Old Tappan def. #4 Sparta, 37-14
#3 River Dell at #2 Hillside, Saturday at 1 pm

North 2, Group 1:
#4 Brearley def. #8 Kinnelon, 45-14
#2 Mountain Lakes def. #3 Waldwick, 27-21
Final: #4 Brearley at #2 Mountain Lakes, Friday at 7 pm

North 1, Group 1:
#4 Cedar Grove def. #1 Wood-Ridge, 17-10
#2 Weequahic def. #3 Butler, 45-28
Final: #4 Cedar Grove at #2 Weequahic, Friday at 7 pm

Edison-North Brunswick lives up to the hype, as Eagles win a wild one to clinch a finals berth for the first time since 1991

It might have been the comeback of the year in the Big Central, and there have been some good ones, including in another sectional semifinal game Friday night in Annandale.

But nothing tops what Edison did in the Central Jersey Group 5 semifinals in North Brunswick.

The 6th-seeded Eagles were down 31-17 with 3:58 left in the game. They scored to make it 31-24 and recovered Selbin Sabio’s onside kick.

Then, like a la Phil Connors in Groundhog Day, the Eagles scored again. Down one, Edison went for the jugular, a two-point conversion to go ahead.

But they didn’t get it.

Why not try another onside kick, down 31-30 with 39-seconds to go?

They did, and recovered again.

What?

Then, aided by two pass interference penalties, Edison got into field goal range, and Sabio booted a clean ball over and through the uprights from 30-yards for the game-winner as time expired, for a 33-31 win.

Now, it’s on the road for Edison, to top-seed Lenape, which got by 5th-seed Atlantic City down in Medford Friday night, 21-20. That game will kick off at 7:00 next Friday night.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Chris Tsakonas break down the final four minutes of the game with Mike Pavlichko as well as postgame reaction from head coach Matt Fulham, quarterback Matt Yascko, and kicker Selbin Sabio:

Edison QB Matt Yascko after a Central Jersey Group 5 semifinal win at North Brunswick on November 4, 2022. (Photo: Chris Tsakonas)