Tag: Phillipsburg

Who’s got the best defense in the Big Central Conference? A closer look through Week Three

There are a half-dozen teams in the Big Central Conference with 4-0 records through Week 3 – go ask the NJSIAA about the math – and all of them reside in among the top 15 out of the 59 teams in the league in terms of scoring defense.

Through four games, the Spotswood Chargers have allowed the fewest points, averaging 5.5 per game allowed, just under the 6.8 St. Thomas Aquinas has given up. Both teams are 4-0, and each has pitched two shutouts. Put another way, they’ve each blanked half their opponents so far.

Spotswood shut out Bordentown in Week Zero and Highland Park last week. Aquinas has blanked New Providence in Week One and Scotch Plains-Fanwood the following week.

Also at 4-0 is Bernards, which checks in at third on the list at 7.8 points per game, although the Mountaineers haven’t shut out anyone yet. The most they’ve allowed this year in a game is 12 to Hillside, while allowing seven to South River and six each to Jefferson and Voorhees.

The only top ten teams to have logged a shutout on the year are St. Thomas (2) and Sayreville (1).

Seven teams are allowing fewer than 10 points a game at the moment, with North Brunswick next on the list at eight, Governor Livingston at 8.8, Phillipsburg at 9.3 and Union at 9.8 points per game.

Ridge has the highest defensive scoring average among teams in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten. But that doesn’t mean the Red Devils are giving up a lot of points: just 11.4 through three games, with 21 of the total 35 points they’ve allowed being scored in their lone loss, by Phillipsburg.

Big Central Scoring Defense thru Week Three

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 4: Rumbling on the Raritan, Top Defenses

It’s Week Four – yes we’re almost halfway through the regular season for most teams – and time for another episode of “The Big Central in Two Minutes,” as veteran CJSR sportscaster Mike Pavlichko shares notes, stats, and observations on area high school football.

This week, we look at Sunday’s Rumble on the Raritan, Big Play Ray, the Phillipsburg/Montgomery game with almost four dozen penalties, top defenses, and a nearly 100-year-old rivalry played under the lights for the very first time.

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

Phillipsburg still No. 1, Union makes debut in Week 4 Big Central Media Poll

For the fifth straight week, going back to the preseason, Phillipsburg is the unanimous No. 1 team in the Big Central Media Poll, while Union made its first appearance in the rankings, getting votes for the for just the second time this year.

The Stateliners are 3-0 after a 54-7 road win at North Hunterdon. Their next opponent is No. 7 Hillsbrough, which dropped five spots after a 28-7 loss to Ridge Thursday evening. P’burg and the Raiders will square off in the Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium in Piscataway in a noon game Sunday you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio, part of a doubleheader that also features North Brunswick and Sayreville, who will play in the second game at 3:30 pm.

Hillsborough and Somerville were the only two teams in the Media Poll to have lost this past week. The Pioneers dropped to 2-1 with a 27-21home loss to Montgomery Friday night, and fell out of the rankings, getting three votes from the five media members.

Union took the opportunity to move into the rankings at No. 10, winning three straight since a season-opening loss to Rancocas Valley in the Battle at the Beach at Ocean City High School in Week Zero.

The Farmers host Somerville Friday night at Cooke Field.

Below is the full Week 4 Big Central Media Poll:

Phillipsburg holds at No. 1, Bernards debuts in Week 4 Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten

Another week, another top finish for Phillipsburg in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Week 4 rankings. The Stateliners are 3-0 after a 54-7 win over North Hunterdon Friday in their first road game of the season.

P’burg is back in action Sunday at noon in the Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers Univeristy’s SHI Stadium in Piscataway, part of a Big Central doubleheader that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. The Liners play Hillsborough at noon, while North Brunswick and Sayreville will follow at 3:30 pm.

Mewanwhile, previous No. 9 Colonia (2-2) was knocked out of the top ten with a loss this week, as was previous No. 10 Somerville (3-1).

Bernards (4-0) made its debut in the poll this season, after a 30-6 win over Voorhees on Thursday night.

Below are the full Week 4 Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings:

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 3: So many teams, no place to put ’em

We’re back with our Week Three episode of “The Big Central in Two Minutes,” as veteran CJSR sportscaster Mike Pavlichko shares notes, stats, and observations on area high school football.

This week, a look at all 15 unbeatean teams in the league, Carteret’s historic start to the season, Highland Park’s scoring outburst, and lightning ends a Saturday game.

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

Unanimous again: Phillipsburg remains No. 1 in Big Central Media Poll for Week 3

Once again, Phillipsburg got all five first place votes and is a unanimous No. 1 in the Big Central Media Poll for Week Three.

The Stateliners are 2-0 after wins over two ranked teams – Sayreville and Ridge – in its opening two games. Phillipsburg visits 0-3 North Hunterdon this week.

Somerville – which received votes the last two weeks – break into the field in a three-way tie with Montgomery and Sayreville, while Cranford (1-1) dropped out.

Following is the full Week 3 Big Central Media Poll:

Another win over a ranked team keeps Phillipsburg No. 1 in CJSR Week 3 Rankings

In its opening game, top-ranked Phillipsburg easily dispatched of No. 2 Sayreville.

Game Two was a bit more challenging, but with a 21-14 win over third-ranked Ridge, the Stateliners are 2-0, passing two early season tests, and hanging on again to the top spot in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten.

Ridge remains in the rankings, but at 1-1 now, drops to fourth. Two other one-loss teams are in the Top Ten. Sayreville (2-1) – with the loss to Phillipsburg – is eighth this week, while Colonia – also 2-1, with their loss coming to Sayreville – is right behind them in ninth.

Somerville and Hunterdon Central again tied for tenth, both at 3-0, leaving eleven teams in the rankings.

Following are the full Central Jersey Sports Radio Week 3 rankings:

Hook-and-lateral, long late scoring drive key No. 1 Phillipsburg to 21-14 win over No. 3 Ridge

A 48-minute football game sometimes comes down to a couple of key plays.

For top-ranked Phillipsburg Friday night – in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – three first-half plays in particular were key.

An interception and a fumble recovery in the second quarter both led to scoring drives that gave the Stateliners a 14-0 lead over their visitors from Basking Ridge. Then, after the Red Devils’ Ryan Olivo scored from ten yards out to cut the deficit in half with under a minute before halftime, Phillipsburg successfully executed a hook-and-lateral that went 50 yards for a score.

Quarterback Jett Genovese connected with top-receiver Matthew Scerbo, Jr., on a long pass, but Scerbo – standing perfectly still at the time – made a short pitch to Kevin Burgess, who took it the final 30-yards for the score to go into the locker room up 21-7.

Ridge came back with another TD run from Olivo in the third quarter – this time from five yards out – to make it 21-14, and then Phillipsburg played some serious ball control offense.

They got the ball with 9:09 remaining, up a touchdown. And they held it for the remainder of the game, withstanding Ridge’s remaining timeouts, and converting on a fourth-and-short with under a minute left to ice the game, allowing the Stateliners (2-0) to close it out with a knee in victory formation.

Ridge drops to 1-1 with the loss.

Click below for postgame reaction from Justin Sontupe presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Phillipsburg junior quarterback Jett Genovese
Phillipsburg head coach Frank Duffy

Ridge focused on one game at a time; this week just happens to be the BCC’s No. 1-ranked team

Ridge head coach Andy West is ultra familiar with the challenges that come with a trip to Phillipsburg: the atmosphere, the tradition, the road trip, and – this season – the No. 1 team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings.

West joined Bill Tracy’s staff at Ridge in 2012 and took over the program ahead of the 2020 season. The Red Devils’ last win against the Stateliners was its only win, in 2003, en route to a state championship.

But Ridge has been knocking on the door. In 2021, the Red Devils’ last trip to Maloney Stadium, Ridge came within one with a fourth quarter touchdown. A failed two-point conversion allowed Phillipsburg to escape. Last season, Ridge led at halftime before the Stateliners pulled away with a red-hot second half.

Might this be the year?

No. 3 Ridge opened the season with a convincing 41-7 win at Monroe last week. This after winning the last five regular season games in 2022 by an average of 26 points.

Fullback Will Deady returns for his senior season after leading the Red Devils in rushing yards and touchdowns.

Last year, Ridge reached the semifinals of the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 state tournament and hopes to find itself in a similar position when cold weather falls again this season.

But the focus right now for Ridge is week-to-week. And this week, the Red Devils are well aware of the challenge ahead. Kickoff is at 7:00 Friday night and coverage from Phillipsburg begins at 6:45 with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe on the call for Central Jersey Sports Radio live from Maloney Stadium. Click here to listen.

Click below to hear Justin Sontupe talk about the matchup with Ridge head coach Andy West: