Tag: North Hunterdon

Group 4 playoff analysis: North Hunterdon leads BCC teams packed tightly behind them

As we head into the final four weeks of the regular season before Cutoff Weekend in high school football, it’s time to start taking a closer look at the race for the playoffs. Here’s a look at Group 4; note that we only give a detailed breakdown of the North section since South 4 doesn’t include any teams from the Big Central Conference, the only such supersection in the state.

NORTH 4 (Click here for official standings)

Ramapo is the leader in this section, with Randolph right behind, but both UPRs are in the twos (2.2 for Ramapo, 2.4 for Randolph). That oddity is because while they are 1-and-2 in OSI, Ramapo is fourth in power points, while Randolph is third. (OSI weighs 60%, power points 40% in the state UPR formula).

The highest Big Central team is North Hunterdon in fifth, and there are a bunch of league teams sort of right behind them, and they play two of the three in the next couple of weeks. The Lions have a 5.6 UPR, followed by Wayne Valley (5.8) and Colonia (6.6). Rahway is eighth with a 9 UPR, and Montgomery – with a 10 UPR – is in tenth, followed by Sayreville (10.4 UPR).

That’s a fairly good-sized gap in the middle of the pack. It essentially means that the top seven teams are all tightly packed in the top of the power point and OSI standings; i.e. there’s no team in the top seven that’s very high (say, fourth) in one and very low (say, 12th) in the other.

North Hunterdon can really solidify things and maybe make a run at a top-four seed (and home field through the sectional semifinals) with wins the next two weeks. They host Colonia Friday night – where Central Jersey Sports Radio will have live updates during the Sayreville at East Brunswick game, which kicks off at 7:00 – and next week, North Hunterdon travels to Montgomery.

Now back to that gap: it’s a lot to make up, and if nobody can do it, we’ll have Rahway, Monty, Sayreville, Chatham and maybe more battling it out for that eighth spot, which means a first-round home playoff game.

Ridge in 14th is a good bet to make the playoffs, but Linden in 15th is a little more on the bubble, but at least on the good side.

Woodbridge, however, at 1-4, is in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 2018. They are in 18th, with a 17.4 UPR. They may need to run the table, which would include not only winning at Perth Amboy this weekend and beating in-town rival JFK at home next week, but then winning out in Clinton over North Hunterdon on October 14th, and beating Sayreville at home on the Friday night of Cutoff Weekend.

Put it this way: for the Barrons, the playoffs start now.

SOUTH 4 (Click here for official standings)

Again, there are no Big Central teams here, but with the NJSIAA going to group finals for the first-time ever this year, it warrants a brief look.

The top two teams here are Middletown South (3-1) and Millville (2-1). They might not be were it not for the multiplier effect, as Middletown South lost to Red Bank Catholic – and still has Donovan Catholic later on. Millville beat St. Augustine two weeks ago.

There’s only one undefeated team in this section: 4-0 Pennsauken, in 6th place right now, with a 7.2 UPR. Their power point total is what hurts them

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 4: Liners stake their claim, and who had the biggest upset?

On this week’s trip through “The Big Central in Two Minutes,” Mike Pavlichko weighs in on Phillipsburg’s claim to the No. 1 ranking in the league, who had the biggest upset wins of Week Four, and whether Somerville should be in a division with Group 5 schools/

Click below to listen to the Week Four edition of “The Big Central in Two Minutes”:

Stateliners grab another first place vote, still lead Big Central Media Poll, as other teams shake up

Another week, another vote for first in the Big Central Media Poll for Phillipsburg.

The Stateliners picked up a season-high 48 points and got four of the five first-place votes in Week Four, ahead of North Brunswick, which got the other first-place vote.

The teams don’t play each other this regular season, and could only meet if they both make the inaugural Group 5 final at Rutgers’ SHI Stadium the first week of December.

Hillside climbed a spot to third, while St. Thomas Aquinas jumped three spots from seventh to fourth.

The poll saw a bit of a shakeup this week, with previously-third ranked Hillsborough dropping two spots to fifth after a 34-0 loss at P’burg Friday night. Previously-No. 7-ranked St. Joseph-Metuchen dropped two spots after losing to unranked Elizabeth Saturday, 23-21. And Sayreville dropped from No. 6 to No. 9 after a 22-0 loss to No. 2 North Brunswick.

Montgomery – 5-0 for the first time ever- continued its ascent, up two spots to fifth. Colonia (5-0) dropped a spot simply by other teams making gains, and North hunterdon – which got votes last week – entered the poll in tenth.

Ridge (2-2) dropped out as well.

The full Week 4 Big Central Media Poll is below:

Phillipsburg takes stranglehold on top ranking in Week 4 CJSR Top Ten

Thanks to a 34-0 home win over then-undefeated and third-ranked Hillsborough Friday night, Phillipsburg took both first place votes in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Week Four high school football rankings.

The Stateliners are still followed by North Brunswick, close behind, which has the same record through the first four weeks as P’burg: 4-0.

For the first time this season, no teams dropped out of the rankings, and there were no “Also Received Votes.” All ten teams that got votes are in the rankings, just in a different order.

Click below for the full Week Four Top Ten:

Phillipsburg continues reign atop CJSR, Big Central Media Polls

For the second week in a row, it’s Phillipsburg atop the Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings, as well as the Big Central Media Poll.

In fact, the week three rankings have the same top three teams in the same order: the Stateliners, followed by North Brunswick and Hillsborough.

After that, things start to get different. But one common thread was Montgomery, which is off to a 4-0 start, making its debut in both polls this week: 6th place in the CJSR Top Ten, and tied for 7th in the Media Poll with two other teams, including Colonia, which also made its debut in the media survey.

Edison dropped out of both polls this week as the Eagles lost their second straight game, while North Hunterdon – after losing at top-ranked Phillipsburg Friday to fall to 3-1 – fell out of the media rankings, but remained in the CJSR Top Ten at No. 9.

Delaware Valley also received votes in both polls, but didn’t make the top ten, while North Hunterdon did get votes in the media poll, along with Edison and Bernards. Del Val entertains Bernards Friday night in the Big Central Game of the Week on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with kickoff set for 7 pm at Tap Webb Memorial Field in Alexandria. Click here to listen.

One other note is that the polls seem to be tightening, with fewer teams getting votes each week as the season begins to settle in, with next week being the mid-way point of the season. In Week 2, there were 16 teams receiving votes from the five voting members of the Media Poll, compared to 20 in the preseason rankings. This week, the number was down to 14.

Scroll down to see both polls in their entirety:

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 2: Great Starts and Wild Finishes

On this week’s whip around “The Big Central in Two Minutes,” Mike Pavlichko explains why North looks at some great starts for North Hunterdon, South Plainfield and Hunterdon Central, and the very early playoff standings that have come out, plus much much more!

Click below to listen to the Week One edition of “The Big Central in Two Minutes”:

One more first place vote puts Stateliners atop Big Central Media Poll in Week 2

After Week One, North Brunswick got three first place votes and Phillipsburg two from the Big Central media, but after Week Two – despite both teams winning – they flipped, and now the Stateliners sit atop the Big Central Media Poll heading into Week Three.

The Stateliners got 48 points from the five voters, the most of any team so far this season; the Raiders got 45 last week.

After North Brunswick in second, Hillsborough climbed a spot to third, with Hillside up two to fourth, and St. Joseph-Metuchen making its debut – after receiving votes last week – at No. 5. All the top five teams are off to 2-0 starts.

Sayreville – despite a win – dropped to sixth, while North Hunterdon’s 3-0 start got them from the also-ran category to No. 7.

Edison held in eighth, despite its first loss of the season, which came at the hands of North Brunswick, but without starting QB Matt Yascko and wide receiver Malcolm Stansbury, due to injury. Ridge dropped from sixth into an eighth-place tie with the Eagles, while St. Thomas Aquinas – which also got votes last week – also made its debut.

Dropping out were #3 Somerville, #9 Bridgewater-Raritan and #10 Delaware Valley.

The poll also got a little tighter this week in that only 15 teams received votes. Last week, 16 got nods for the top ten from the Big Central Media, down from 20 in the preseason poll.

Below are the full Week 2 rankings:

Phillipsburg overtakes North Brunswick for No. 1 in the CJSR Week 2 Top Ten

A solid road win over Phillipsburg appears to have been enough for the Stateliners to just edge out North Brunswick, taking the top spot in the Week Two Central Jersey Sports Radio High School Football Top Ten.

Both teams got a first place vote in Week Two, but Phillipsburg had one extra point with Hillsborough also picking up a second place vote.

The Raiders held in third, while Sayreville edged up one place to fourth, and St. Joseph of Metuchen – one of three new teams to the poll – debuted at No. 5, off to a 2-0 start.

Hillside climbed one to sixth, and is tied with North Hunterdon, which moved up from ninth.

Colonia, which also received votes last week, made it in at No. 8, while St. Thomas Aquinas is in at No. 9, followed by Edison dropping a spot to tenth after a loss Friday night to then-No. 1 North Brunswick.

Previously No. 2 Somerville, No. 6 Bridgewater-Raritan and No. 8 Ridge dropped out, but the Red Devils also received a vote.

Below are the full Week 2 rankings:

Raiders take both first place votes to lead CJSR Week 1 Top Ten

A season-opening 19-0 win over South Brunswick, coupled with a 14-7 Sayreville home loss to Phillipsburg in both teams’ opening games, has given North Brunswick both first place votes, putting them all alone in the No. 1 spot in the Week One Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten after being tied with the Bombers a week ago

The Raiders are followed by Somerville – up a spot from third – and two teams tied for third this week: aforementioned Phillipsburg, and Hillsborough, which blew out East Brunswick 42-6 on Thursday night in its season-opener.

Sayreville dropped to fifth with the loss. Three new teams entered the rankings in Week One, the first of them Bridgewater-Raritan, which gutted out a 7-6 road win over Union Friday night in the opener for both teams. The Panthers – who received votes last week – are in sixth.

Hillside held in seventh, while Ridge – despite a win – dropped to eighth.

Then Edison and North Hunterdon – neither of which received votes last week – tied for the ninth spot. Both teams are off to 2-0 starts.

Below are the complete Week One rankings:

North Hunterdon “runs” past Hunterdon Central in renewed rivalry

The same year a new hamburger stand opened in Wichita by the name of “White Castle,” North Hunterdon and Hunterdon Central first met on the football field. It was the Lions’ first season, 1921.

In the next 90 years the teams would play 71 times, with the Red Devils winning 46 times. They met every time from 1941 to 2011, but then didn’t play again until 2020, the pandemic year.

Well, fourth-year head coach Kevin Kley is now 2-0 in the renewed rivalry, as North Hunterdon beat Hunterdon Central 29-8 in a Week Zero game in Flemington Friday night.

Kente Edwards scored the first two touchdowns for the Lions – 72 yards in the first quarter, four yards in the second – to put North Hunterdon up 16-0 at the break, thanks to a pair of successful two point conversions, a run and a pass by QB Luke Martini.

The defense was solid, too. Derek Vaddis had a 43-yard pick six in the third quarter before Alex Uryniak scored on a one-yard run in the fourth.

Hunterdon Central got a late TD pass from quarterback R.J. Hart to Trevor Fisch.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with North Hunterdon head coach Kevin Kley about the season-opening win over Hunterdon Central: