Tag: St. Joseph-Metuchen

Who’s the “strongest” team in the Big Central? It’s a playoff team, but (maybe) not who you think

Phillipsburg is the No. 1 team in the latest Central Jersey Sports Radio and Big Central Media polls, which won’t be conducted again until the season is over for every league team, but in unofficial Strength Index numbers calculated by CJSR, the Stateliners are No. 2.

Who’s at the top of the list?

It’s Ridge, and if you’ve been sleeping on the Red Devils, apparently you should do so at your own peril.

While P’burg has gotten a lot of ink this year – and deservedly so – as has North Brunswick’s defense and St. Thomas Aquinas continuing to win (17 Big Central games and counting) despite a big bump up in quality of schedule, Ridge has done well, but it may have been the way they started.

The Red Devils’ first win was over Monroe, 48-0 in the season opener. The Falcons ended up the year 2-7. Ridge then lost to Phillipsburg – as everyone has this year – and Hillsborough, before they ended up on their third string quarterback. So, they were 1-2, with good losses, but unclear how good they may have actually been.

Since then, they’ve won six straight, including a playoff-opening win over Roxbury, and in that span have allowed a grand total of 24 points, with two shutouts, and never more than seven points in a game against Hunterdon Central, Bridgewater-Raritan, South Brunswick, Westfield, Union and Roxbury last weekend.

This Friday night, 3rd-seed Ridge travels to 2nd-seed Ramapo for a North 1, Group 4 semifinal game. Both teams are 7-2.

Phillipsburg is second in the current Big Central Strength Index rankings, followed by Cranford third and St. Thomas Aquinas fourth. Statewide, the Trojans are third among Non-Public South B teams, but seeded fifth, behind Holy Spirit and DePaul, which are behind Aquinas in Strength Index. The Trojans also finished first in power points and fourth in OSI.

North Hunterdon is fifth in the Big Central in Strength Index, followed by Hillside, Watchung Hills, Edison, Westfield and North Brunswick to round out the top ten.

All but Watchung Hills remain alive in the playoffs, while Aquinas opens the postseason this weekend at 4th-seed Holy Spirit.

The only Big Central playoff teams not in the top ten in league Strength Index are Brearley and St. Joseph-Metuchen.

The Bears are 11th, while the Falcons are 18th.

Below are the complete, current, and unofficial rankings based on SI value, as calculated by Central Jersey Sports Radio:

INSTANT REPLAY: Edison 42, St. Joseph-Metuchen 23

St. Joseph of Metuchen jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, but Edison came back to tie it, then surged ahead in the second half en route to a 42-23 win in just the second meeting between the two schools. It was also the first night home game in St. Joe’s history.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas call all the play-by-play on October 7, 2022 from Brenner Family Field in Metuchen:

1st Half

2nd Half

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Listen to every score as Edison wins 42-23 at St. Joseph-Metuchen

Edison scored touchdowns on a blocked punt, a near QB sack, on the ground, through the air and with a pick-six, as the Eagles beat St. Joe’s 42-23 in Metuchen Friday night.

Click below to hear all the game highlights from Friday’s game broadcast on Central Jersey Sports Radio with announcers Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas:

Edison rallies for 42-23 win at St. Joseph-Metuchen in a wild one

Before Edison could even blink, the Eagles were down 14-0 on the road to St. Joe’s.

But, somehow, they scored 42 of the game’s next 9 points to win 42-23 in a game that saw touchdowns scored in just about every way possible.

The Falcons came out hot, with a 95-yard touchdown return by Jo Jo Huntley to start the game, then forced an Eagles’ three-and-out, and scored two plays later on a 32-yard pass play from Daniel DeGennaro to Christian Magliacano.



But Edison, which went the entire first half without a first down, held from there, for the most part.

And chipped away.

First, it was a blocked punt by sophomore Nyekir Eato, late in the first quarter, which he then scooped and scored to cut it to 14-7. Edison tied the game when Eato nearly sacked DeGennaro after a bad snap. He wound up forcing a fumble, which Jose Barreto-Martinez took to the house, tying the game at 14.

After halftime, it was Edison’s turn to come out of the gate hot. On the second play from scrimmage of the third quarter, Nyekir Eato had a 71-yard touchdown run, then Ricky Harvey made his first of two touchdown catches, a 45-yarder from Matt Yascko, to give Edison a 28-17 lead.

Joe’s would come back with a DeGennaro to Jeremy DeCaro six-yard TD strike to make it 28-23, but Edison got its second TD score from Harvey for a 35-23 advantage, and added to it with a late pick-six to make it 42-23.

Edison has now won three straight and is 5-2 on the season while the Falcons drop to 3-3.

Click below for postgame reaction:

Edison RB/LB Nyekir Eato and WR Rickey Harvey

Edison head coach Rickey Harvey

St. Joseph looks to get back on winning track against Edison, amid hype of program’s first-ever home game under the lights

The first season for St. Joseph-Metuchen head coach Bill Tracy got off to a great beginning with a 3-0 start. That’s been tempered a bit by two straight losses by three and four points, respectively, to Elizabeth and Westfield.

But the Falcons still have a chance to make some noise, currently sitting at 3-2 heading into Friday night’s home affair with Edison (4-2).

READ MORE: St. Joseph-Metuchen gearing up for a first: its very own “Friday Night Lights”

That’s right, it’s a Friday night game at St. Joe’s, where they will hold Falcons Fest, the school’s first-ever Homecoming, and the program’s first-ever under-the-lights home game, with rented illumination for the evening. Kickoff is at 6:30 pm, with pregame set for 6:45 on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas have the call. Click here to listen.


It’s been a run-heavy offense for St. Joe’s, which has already racked up 1,057 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground in its first five games, averaging 6.7 yards per carry. It’s been a three-headed monster in the backfield, with Omari Jones, Jeremy DeCaro and Jo Jo Huntley accounting for 937 of those yards and 11 of those touchdowns.

When the Falcons have dropped back to pass, they’ve relied on first year varsity junior Daniel DeGennaro. He’s shown signs of promise with 581 yards and three passing touchdowns to his name. DeCarro is the top receiver with 235 yards and a touchdown on 11 catches, with tight end Christian Magliacano getting 182 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions.

Magliacano also spearheads the linebacking corp on the defensive side of the ball, leading St. Joe’s with 43 tackles. Dan Bellavia has been productive on the defensive line, with 5 sacks on the year.


Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Chris Tsakonas talk with St. Joe’s head coach Bill Tracy:

Experienced Edison squad looks to make it all down the stretch, starting with night visit to St. Joe’s

Malcolm Stansbury. Selbin Sabio. Adekunle Shittu. Matt Yascko.

All four of those Edison football players got their first starts in 2019, their freshman season. They were starting games before anyone had ever heard of something called “COVID-19.”


They are experienced beyond your average high school football player. You can also throw third-year starter Matt Bueno in there as well. And Eagles head coach Matt Fulham is hoping that will be the difference down the stretch for his program in 2022, as they close out with their final three games.

Friday night, Edison (4-2) visits St. Joseph-Metuchen (3-2) as the Falcons host the first-ever night game in school history – complete with rented lights for their first-ever Homecoming Weekend – in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Kickoff is at 6:30 pm, with pregame starting at 6:15.

READ MORE: St. Joseph-Metuchen gearing up for a first: its very own “Friday Night Lights”

Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas have the call. Click here to listen.

The Eagles’ four wins have come sandwiched around two defeats, where the absence of two players clearly hurt them: the offensive tandem of QB Matt Yascko, Jr, and WR Malcolm Stansbury.

To wit: after putting up 42 points against Cedar Creek in a win down at the Battle at the Beach in Ocean City, and 43 against JP Stevens, they scored just 10 and 6 points each in losses to North Brunswick at home and at Sayreville.


READ MORE: Edison wears down Cedar Creek to win finale in the 2022 WJFLCA Battle at the Beach

Both good opponents to be sure, but Edison could have scored more, to be sure, as well. In their next two games against Franklin and New Brunswick – albeit clearly lesser opponents – they were back to their high-scoring ways: scoring 34 against the Warriors and 44 against the Zebras.

READ MORE: He brings the water bottles, and the excitement. And he wants to help bring Greg Schiano and Rutgers a national championship

It’s a critical stretch, too, for Edison, hurtling toward Cutoff Wekeend with three really good opponents.

After the Falcons Friday night, the Eagles host South Brunswick next Friday, and visit St. Thomas Aquinas on the Friday night of Cutoff Weekend.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with Edison coach Matt Fulham:

“The Big Central in 2 Minutes” – Week 5: Don’t sleep on the Lions, stingy North Brunswick “D”

On this week’s trek around “The Big Central in Two Minutes,” Mike Pavlichko comes away impressed with North Hunterdon’s ground game, and talks about North Brunswick’s season-long stingy defense. That and a whole lot more on this week’s edition!

Click below to listen to the Week Four edition of “The Big Central in 2 Minutes”:

St. Joseph-Metuchen gearing up for a first: its very own “Friday Night Lights”

St. Joseph-Metuchen High School President John Nolan had an idea. Why not host a night football game?

Brenner Family Field was a nice artificial playing surface to be sure, but the addition of a stadium with press box to open the 2020 school year had Nolan and school officials thinking bigger.

First-year head coach Bill Tracy liked the idea.

The program played its first varsity season in 2011, and since then has hosted all its home games on Saturday afternoons, with no permanent lights around the all-purpose field and track loop right off of Plainfield Avenue in Metuchen.

So, this weekend, St. Joe’s will bring in rented lights, and have a full weekend of activities dubbed “Fall Fest,” including a couple of firsts: not only the school’s first-ever home football night game – as the Falcons take on Edison in the Big Central Game of the Week on Central Jersey Sports Radio (6:30 pm, pregame 6:15) – but also its first-ever Homecoming Weekend.

Mike Pavlichko got a chance to talk to Bill Tracy earlier this season – shortly after the the announcement was first made by the school – about the night game, the festivities around it, and more.

Click below to hear the interview, and scroll down for a link to all the festivities planned this weekend at St. Joseph-Metuchen:

Click here for information on St. Joseph’s first-ever Homecoming Weekend activities

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: