Tag: Ridge

Phillipsburg holds, Aquinas rises, Ridge rejoins, Westfield and Watchung Hills debut in a topsy-turvy Big Central Week 5 Media Poll

In a week where half the Big Central Conference’s undefeated teams fell for the first time, there were big shifts throughout the Week 5 Media Poll, except at the top, where Phillipsburg again took four of the first place votes to hold at No. 1, with North Brunswick picking up one vote and staying at No. 2.

Beyond that, all bets were off after Week 5 of play.

St. Thomas Aquinas took the third spot in the rankings away from Hillside with a 17-10 home win in North Edison Friday night. North Hunterdon jumped six places to No. 4 after knocking off 8th-ranked Colonia at home 33-7, bouncing the Patriots from the rankings, though they did get votes this week.

Hillsborough held in fifth, while Hillside dropped three places to No. 6, and Sayreville moved up to No. 7.

After a weeks’ absence, Ridge is back in at No. 8, while Westfield and Watchung Hills debut for the season, tied at No. 9. The Blue Devils handed then-No. 7 St. Joseph-Metuchen its first loss of the season Saturday, a 14-0 decision at Kehler Stadium in Westfield, knocking the Falcons from the polls. Watchung Hills won at then-No. 6 Montgomery, blanking the Cougars 33-0 in Skillman Friday night, bouncing them from the rankings as well.

After the media poll had narrowed to only see 14 teams getting votes in Week 4, down from 19 in the preseason, 16 teams got votes this week.

Below are the full rankings for the Week 5 Big Central Media Poll:

Everyone else does the shuffle, but Phillipsburg and North Brunswick remain 1-2 in CJSR Top Ten

With four of the Big Central Conference’s undefeated teams losing in Week 5, and a sprinkle of other games factored in, the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten saw a big shuffle among all the teams but two, as Phillipsburg – which got both first-place votes – and North Brunswick remain No. 1 and No. 2.

While the Stateliners (5-0) and North Brunswick (5-0) continued to win, ranked teams like Hillside, Montgomery and Colonia suffered their first losses of the season, while St. Joseph-Metuchen suffered its second loss in a row.

What it all meant was an opportunity for several teams to move up.

Hillsborough – after a shutout at P’burg two weeks ago – got back on the winning track, edging out Union at home to improve to 4-1, and move up two spots in the poll to fifth. North Hunterdon took a huge leap with a win over previously unbeaten and then No. 6 Colonia – which dropped out – 33-7 in Annandale; the Lions climbed from tenth to fourth.

St. Thomas Aquinas knocked off previously-undefeated Hillside, and the win got the Trojans to fifth, up three spots. Sayreville moved up two spots to sixth, tied with the Comets.

Three new teams fill out the last three spots in the rankings.

Westfield (4-1) joins the group at No. 8 this week after beating previous-No. 7 St. Joseph-Metuchen at home Saturday afternoon, 14-0, the Falcons second loss, which also dropped them from the rankings.

In ninth is Watchung Hills, which is 4-2 after knocking a 33-0 win at No. 3 and previously-unbeaten Mongtomery, bouncing the Cougars from the rankings. The Warriors’ only league loss is to North Hunterdon; their other defeat is to Morris Knolls.

Tied with Watchung Hills is Ridge, debuting at 3-2. The Red Devils’ only losses are to Phillipsburg and Hillsborough.

Montgomery and Edison also received votes.

Following are the full Week 5 Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings:

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

No. 3 Hillsborough extends win streak to 16 with gutsy home win over Ridge

The 2021 Hillsborough Raiders were a talented bunch, could score quickly, and had a lot of flash.

The 2022 Hillsborough Raiders – their opening game against East Brunswick notwithstanding – are a lot less flashy, and more reliant on defense to get them through games.

They didn’t lose a game in 2021, and they haven’t lost yet in 2022.

Hillsborough topped Ridge 21-11 at home Friday night, to improve to 3-0 and extend their winning streak to 16 games, matching Bergen Catholic’s mark and good for second-best active streak in the state. The Crusaders are home Saturday against Seton Hall Prep, while Caldwell – with the state’s longest streak – is now at 18 games after a 42-20 home win over Verona.

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Again, it was defense which got the job done. Hillsborough took a 7-3 halftime lead into the fourth quarter before going up 14-3, but Ridge battled right back, picking up a two-point conversion as well to cut to to 14-11. But the Raiders got one more TD to put it away.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Hillsborough head coach Kevin Carty Jr.:

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:

North Brunswick moves into top spot in Big Central Media Poll

With a 19-0 win over South Brunswick in its season opener, North Brunswick picked up one more first place vote in the Week One Big Central Media Poll, and the Raiders used it to climb into the top spot.

Sayreville, which got one first place vote last week, fell to fifth after a 14-7 home loss to Phillipsburg in the season opener for both teams. The Stateliners got the other two votes.

It may be up to one or the other to trip up the rest of the way, as North Brunswick and Phillipsburg don’t play each other in the regular season. They’re also in separate playoff supersections, with the Raiders in South 5 and the Liners in North 5; the only way they could meet this year is if both won sectional championship and advanced to the NJSIAA’s first-ever Group Finals.

P’burg got two first place votes, just as they did last week, and came in second, up one spot. Somerville held in third. Hillsborough went up one spot to fourth.

After Sayreville, Hillside – ninth last week – and Ridge – number seven last week – tied for sixth. Edison and Bridgewater-Raritan held at eight and nine, respectively, while Delaware Valley jumped in at 10 after receiving votes last week.

Union, after a 7-6 season-opening loss to Bridgewater, dropped out.

The field of teams with votes also narrowed a bit after the first two weeks of play. The Preseason and Week Zero polls saw 20 teams get votes from the five voting members. This week, that number was down to 17.

Below is the full Week One Media Poll:

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:

Little movement in the Big Central Media Poll, with few teams playing in Week Zero

North Brunswick remained the No. 1 team and the top four teams stayed the same this week in the Big Central Media Poll, with only four teams in the top ten playing in Week Zero.

The Raiders – who again got one first-place vote – were followed by Sayreville and Phillipsburg, each of whom got two first-place votes, but had fewer overall points than North Brunswick. Somerville – which won its opener handily over Mastery Charter H.S. of Camden – pulled up one spot into a fourth-place tie with the Stateliners.

Hillsborough – which did not play – dropped to fourth, followed by Union holding in sixth, Ridge up two to seventh, Edison up two to eighth after a win over defending South 3 regional champion Cedar Creek in the Battle at the Beach in Ocean City Sunday, and Hillside and Bridgewater-Raritan tied for tenth. The Comets didn’t play Week Zero, but the Panthers lost their opener at Passaic Tech Friday and dropped from sixth.

No. 8 St. Thomas Aquinas and No. 10 Cranford – which didn’t play last week – dropped out, but they and eight other teams also received votes.

Below are the complete Week 0 rankings:

Ridge senior Olivo talks baseball Team of the Year, then heads off for football

2021 brought a state sectional title to the Ridge baseball team, and 2022 a Somerset County Tournament Championship, it’s first in over a decade.

That was all an exciting time for Mike Olivo, a pitcher and starting centerfielder for the Red Devils, who were named this week the inaugural Bellamy & Son Paving Team of the Year, finishing No. 1 in the final rankings of the 2022 season.

And now, having graduated – following a challenging four years that saw COVID wipe out his sophomore baseball season – he’s off to Hartford, Connecticut, where he’ll play in the secondary for Trinity College. After all, he was an important leader on the football team for head coach Andy West the last couple of years.

Ridge QB Michael Olivo talks with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Dom Savino after the Red Devils defeated Hillsborough on November 6, 2020. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

His teams went a combined 13-5, while Olivo – a quarterback on offense – put up impressive career numbers in two varsity seasons: over 1,900 passing yards and 24 touchdowns, along with over 1,700 rushing yards. On defense, where he’ll play in college, he recorded five INTs in three seasons, and 70 total tackles.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko got a chance to talk with Olivo about the baseball team that brought two titles in two years home to Basking Ridge, his teammates, and moving on to play on the gridiron. Click below to listen: