Tag: Old Bridge

“Mr. Old Bridge,” Ron Mazzola, does a little bit of everything for Knights, Chargers, GMC

He’s been at it a while, seen a lot, and does a little of everything.

Ron Mazzola is most well-known to the average fan as being the PA voice of Old Bridge football. His first game was by accident, a rescheduled game due to rain that ended up being played at Edison, and the main announcer, Gus Persch, was unavailable.

The Knights beat No. 2 Hillsborough that day 49-0. The rest, as they say, is history.

But even before that, Mazzola was busy behind the scenes, not long after he graduated Madison Central High School in 1978, having played baseball and basketball for coaches Walt Peto and John Somogyi.

He was involved in many youth sports and did PA on frequent Madison and Cedar Ridge night soccer games.

He’s done video for Old Bridge teams, helped run the GMC wrestling tournament and gymnastics championships.

He even helped run the first “unofficial” Big East wrestling tournament in 1996 at the behest of then-Rutgers coach John Sacchi.

In the midst of it all, after having worked at various now-gone sporting goods stores like Herman’s, Gervin’s and Route 18 Sports, he opened his own business – Prestige Imaging – which still thrives to this day, despite a downturn during the pandemic, and provides the Greater Middlesex Conference with all its postseason awards.

They even helped create the new Old Bridge uniforms after the Madison-Cedar Ridge merger. (He’s still got the rejected color combo jerseys -“retro” jersey day, anyone?)

I sat down recently with Ron to talk about his involvement with local sports.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko’s interview with “Mr. Old Bridge,” Ron Mazzola:

No. 5 Old Bridge routs South Brunswick as Hunter, Haughney star

Lawrence Hunter III was poised to have a big season for the Old Bridge Knights.

And he came through Friday night in a big way.

Hunter scored three touchdowns at Mike Elko Field in a 40-11 blowout of South Brunswick in the Big Central Game of the Week, driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

The three scores give Hunter five rushing touchdowns on the season, all coming in the last two games, and for tonight, earned him Big Central Player of the Game honors; Hunter – who rushed two dozen times for 231 yards, unofficially, will receive a custom game ball at the end of the season, courtesy of Autoland.

Fellow senior, quarterback Owen Haughney, also rushed for two touchdowns, while throwing for a 63-yard score.

The win puts Old Bridge at 2-1 on the season, and they Knights are in first place in Division 5C with a 2-0 mark. Monroe is the only other division team without a loss; they beat Hamilton Friday night 18-13, but play the next four on the road, the first of which comes against Old Bridge next week at Vince Lombardi Field at Bob DeMarco Stadium.

Click below for postgame reaction from No. 5 Old Bridge’s 40-11 win at South Brunswick:

Old Bridge senior RB Lawrence Hunter III

Old Bridge head coach Anthony Lanzafama

Vikings will need to use all “options” when defending No. 5 Old Bridge offensive attack

South Brunswick head coach John Viotto was impressed with his team’s Week Two defense.

In a 27-0 shutout of Piscataway, the Vikings (1-1) limited the Chiefs – in their first game played in two years – to under 200 yards, and had four takeaways.

It was a turnaround from Week One, when they allowed 56 points to now-No. 1 North Brunswick. Of course, Old Bridge (1-1) – the Vikes’ opponent tonight in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland – also had their problem with the Raiders, so maybe all things are equal for this game?

Then again, they will face a well-oiled machine in No. 5 Old Bridge’s vaunted triple-option.

Tonight’s game is an early kickoff at 6 pm, with pregame starting at 5:45. Click here to listen to Justin Sontupe and Tim Catalafamo call all the live play-by-play on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

For South Brunswick, it’s their home opener, which also means its the first time fans – besides parents and family – have been able to see their team on their home field.

And that can only be a good thing for the Vikings, who have lost two straight in the series, both at Old Bridge, making this the first home game in the set for third-year head coach John Viotto. Both have been nailbiters: 22-18 last year at Old Bridge, and 36-22 in 2019 at Lombardi Field, the final year of GMC play.

Click below to listen to Justin Sontupe talk to South Brunswick head coach John Viotto:

No. 5 Old Bridge looks to rebound at South Brunswick

The Old Bridge offense played well, according to head coach Anthony Lanzamafa, but the Knights need to limit the big play.

That might have been easier said than done last week when the Knights lost 34-27 to No. 1 North Brunswick, but Old Bridge (1-1) hopes to right the ship tonight when they visit South Brunswick (1-1) in the Big Central Game of the Week driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

Kickoff time is at 6 pm at Mike Elko Field in Monmouth Junction, with pregame set for 5:45; Justin Sontupe and Tim Catalfamo will have the call. Click here to listen live.

Old Bridge continues to run the triple-option under Lanzafama, and the big stars this year – as they were last year – are Owen Haughney and Lawrence Hunter, both seniors.

Hunter – a runningback – paces the Knights with 378 yards on 59 carries, for an average of 6.5 yards per touch, while scoring two touchdowns.

Haughney is the quarterback who owns a better than 64-percent completion rate, on 25-of-39 passing for 254 yards and three touchdowns, but he’ll want to cut down on the interceptions, after throwing two last week against the Raiders.

Haughney enters the game 36 yards shy of the 2,000 mark for his career, a solid number for a three-year starter running the option.

Click below to hear Tim Catalfamo talk with Old Bridge head coach Anthony Lanzafama:

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.

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:

North Brunswick win over No. 4 Old Bridge keeps Raiders at No. 1 in CJSR Week Two Top Ten

Going on the road is never easy. Going to Vince Lombardi Field in Old Bridge is even tougher, where the Knights’ student section is loud. Coming out of there with a victory is even tougher.

But that’s what No. 1 North Brunswick did on Friday, pulling out a 34-27 victory at then No. 4 Old Bridge. And so, the Raiders remain No. 1 this week in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten, picking up both first place votes.

Woodbridge and Summit made their season debuts in the rankings, while Edison and New Providence dropped out, though the Pioneers were more of a mathematical casualty, having still received a vote in the poll.

The Media Poll will be out later Monday afternoon.

Below are the Week Two CJSR Rankings:

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:

Hunter guides veteran Old Bridge to opening win over East Brunswick

With most starters back from last year’s 5-1 squad that won the program’s second straight division title, No. 8 Old Bridge has high expectations for its veteran group.

That wealth of experience was put to use immediately, as the Knights weathered a late rally from rival East Brunswick for Saturday’s 27-24 victory on Opening Day.

Old Bridge was paced by senior RB/LB Lawrence Hunter, who compiled a complete stat line: 150 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, six tackles, and a fumble recovery.

Hunter’s early TD allowed Old Bridge to open the scoring eight minutes into the game, and in the fourth quarter his legs helped the Knights run out the clock. After East Brunswick’s Jayden Phillip cut the Bears’ deficit to three on a kick-return touchdown with less than five minutes left to play, the Knights leaned on Hunter to close out the win, collecting a crucial first down and forcing EB to burn all of its timeouts.

While the Bears did get the ball back with less than a minute remaining, another senior — WR/DB Evan Sobieski — reeled in an interception to cap off the win. Sobieski also finished with two second-half touchdowns: one receiving and one scoop-and-score fumble recovery that extended the Knights’ fourth-quarter lead to 27-17.

The win marked Old Bridge’s 11th straight victory over rival East Brunswick in the “Battle of Route 18.”

Click below to hear Dom Savino chat with Lawrence Hunter about Old Bridge’s win, expectations for the season, and upcoming battle with #1/#2 North Brunswick:

Union takes top spot in Big Central Media Poll; four different teams get first place votes

Somerville began the year as a unanimous Number One in the preseason Big Central Media Poll, but after dropping its second game of the year Sunday at Rutgers to Northern Highlands, Union has taken over at the top of the Week One rankings.

But the Farmers (1-1) are far from a unanimous pick. In fact, they only picked up one first place vote from the media members participating in the poll, while North Brunswick – 1-0 after a 56-21 win over South Brunswick in its opener – picked up three. But the Raiders picked up 51 points, finishing one point behind Union, which tallied 52.

Overall, four teams picked up first-place votes; Woodbridge (2-0) and Somerville (1-1) each got a nod.

In actuality, the entire poll was wide open this week, with 17 teams getting at least one vote.