Tag: Union

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:

Union’s Davison Igbinosun named Week One Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week

With a big came that spurred a big comeback that gave Union a big win, Farmers senior Davison Igbinosun has been named the inaugural Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week for Week One.

Each week, league coaches will be allowed to nominate a player from their team for the award, with this week’s eligible games including Week Zero, in which only a fraction of the Big Central teams played. Players who also received serious consideration will be listed each week on the Honor Roll.

Igbinosun – a Rutgers commit – had a great stat line in a 40-21 road win against St. Joseph-Metuchen (0-1): eight carries for 106 yard and three touchdowns, three catches for 104 yards and another score, as well as nine tackles on defense, two TFLs and an interception.

But, it was how and when those scores happened that clinched the award for Igbinosun. Two of his rushing touchdowns came in the third quarter, giving Union a 21-14 lead after trailing 14-6 at the half.

The Farmers are now 1-1.

Every Bellamy & Son Paving Big Central Player of the Week will receive a custom football at the end of the season, and one will be chosen for a $500 scholarship.

Click below to hear Dom Savino’s interview with Union’s Davison Igbinosun:

Honor Roll…

Three other players made this week’s Big Central Honor Roll:

Senior runningback Quinn Lonergan of Brearley rushed for 113 yards and four touchdowns on just 15 carries as the Bears started the season with a win, blanking Johnson 36-0 at home. Lonergan matched his junior campaign’s touchdown output, where he scored four TDs on 44 carries, rushing for nearly 300 yards behind thousand-yard rusher Derek Graichen.

Monroe’s Benjamin Bussiere had a big game in a 52-20 season-opening home win over Franklin. The junior receiver had seven catches for 113 yards and three touchdowns, and amassed 145 kick return yards, including a 96-yard kickoff return in the third quarter, the first of four straight scores that helped the Falcons pull away, after leading only by 11 at halftime. On defense, Bussiere also recorded eight solo tackles.

Also making the Honor Roll was North Brunswick’s Tamir Jenkins. The junior linebacker was a defensive force against arch-rival South Brunswick in a 56-21 season-opening victory. Jenkins had 9 tackles and a TFL, but also forced and recovered two fumbles, one of them a 74-yard scoop-and-score. He also had a rushing touchdown on offense, the first of his scholastic career.

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.

North Brunswick takes over top spot in CJSR Week 1 Top Ten

Locked in a 21-all tie Friday night against their old Thanksgiving Day rivals, North Brunswick used a balanced attack to score four touchdowns in about five minutes of game action and 35 unanswered points to pick up a season-opening 56-21 win over South Brunswick.

That win, coupled with Somerville’s loss to Northern Highlands – albeit a very good Highlander team, the defending North 1 Group 4 champ from 2019 – flipped the top two spots in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Week One Top Ten.

Somerville finished atop CJSR’s first-ever final rankings in 2019, after beating Woodbridge in the first round of postseason games. The Barrons had been a unanimous No. 1 most of the year. And the Pioneers led the preseason CJSR rankings this year.

But after Week One, North Brunswick has taken the top spot, gaining both first-place votes.

Hillside was the only team to drop out of the rankings, doing so after a 14-7 loss to unranked Bernards – their first loss to the Mountaineers since 2016 – which jumped into the Comets’ spot in the Top Ten. Bernards was the only Big Central team to beat a ranked opponent in Week One

Here’s the Week One Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten:

Igbinosun prepares Union for another title pursuit

The last time New Jersey hosted a high school football postseason, Union hoisted the North 2, Group 5 trophy.

Even though Davison Igbinosun recorded an interception in that 2019 championship game, he was just a sophomore then, and he regards that title as his predecessors’ accomplishment – not his.

Now a senior and a Rutgers commit preparing for his final high school season, Igbinosun will lead another senior-laden Union squad in pursuit of the program’s 12th sectional crown.

Dom Savino caught up with Igbinosun to preview the 2021 Union Farmers, who have a “state championship or bust” mentality this fall:

This Week in the Big Central – Episode 1: The Introductions

With the season opener just over 24 hours away, it’s time for the debut of “This Week in the Big Central,” driven by Mark Montenero and his team at the world-famous Autoland.

Every week, TWiBC – as we’re affectionately calling it for short – will be hosted by Mike Pavlichko with contributions by Dom Savino and our team of reporters.

On this week’s show, Mike and Dom welcome you to the 2021 season, complete with a full slate, no fan restrictions, and playoffs.

We check in on some of the top teams like including Piscataway, North Brunswick, Union, Somerville, New Providence, and South Brunswick, and players such as Jai Patel, Davison Igbinosun, Jaimen Bryant, Mike Miller, Frankie Garbolino and Charlie Barth, plus coaches Dan Higgins and Mike Cipot.

Then, it’s Central Jersey Sports Radio’s preseason Top Ten, as well as the media poll, and a look at some of the Week 0 games coming up, with ten of the Big Central’s 60 teams getting an early jump on their season.

Rutgers adds 23 on Early Signing Day; Union’s Igbinosun among 11 from Jersey

by Mike Pavlichko

Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano used his typical mid-week game week press conference today to unveil a 23-member recruiting class that features eleven from the talent-rich Garden State, and 14 early enrolees.

All have signed their National Letter of Intent on the first day of the Early Signing Period.

Only one played in the Big Central Conference this past season, Union’s Desmond Igbinosun, listed by Rutgers as a 6-3, 200-pound defensive back.

READ MORE: Desmond Igbinosun recaps Union season, Rutgers commitment

The class also includes three players each from Ohio and Florida, two from Pennsylvania and one each from Maryland, Virginia, Illinois and Colorado.

Click below to hear Greg Schiano’s meeting with the media on Early National Letter of Intent Signing Day:

Desmond Igbinosun recaps Union season, Rutgers commitment

After a senior-laden team led Union to a 12-win season and the North 2 Group 5 sectional title in 2019, the biggest question facing the Farmers in 2020 was whether they could retain their upper-echelon status in Central Jersey high school football.

Thanks to a nucleus of All-State skill players, the answer was an emphatic yes.

Headlined by Rutgers commit Desmond Igbinosun, Union finished with a 4-3 record, a pair of wins over top-10 teams, and a consistent presence in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top 10 poll.

After an offseason move to running back, Desmond scored a team-high 10 rushing touchdowns and amassed 454 rushing yards on just 38 carries. Joining Igbinosun in the backfield was senior Diante Wilson, who led the ninth-ranked Farmers with 946 rushing yards and came close to a second consecutive 1,000-yard season despite the shortened schedule.

Igbinosun’s younger brother, junior CB Davison Igbinosun, starred on defense, collecting three interceptions, seven pass breakups, and a blocked kick. According to head coach Lou Grasso Jr., Davison had three passes completed against him all season and did not allow a touchdown.

Union shrugged off a 1-2 start to post a dominant three-game winning streak late in the season. The Farmers outscored their opponents 89-10 with victories over St. Joseph-Metuchen and Watchung Hills, two teams who were also ranked throughout the season.

With graduation on the horizon, Desmond Igbinosun is expected to affirm his verbal commitment to Rutgers this week, sending in his National Letter of Intent during the early signing period that runs Wednesday through Friday this week.

The older Igbinosun and Grasso Jr. spoke to Central Jersey Sports Radio about the season. Click below to hear their comments:

Desmond Igbinosun

Lou Grasso Jr.

Somerville is Central Jersey Sports Radio’s first “Team of the Year”

Finishing the COVID-shortened 2020 high school football season with a perfect 7-0 mark, the Somerville Pioneers accomplished what they set out to do: beat the best, and finish undefeated.

It was the closest anyone could come to a championship.

Their final game turned out to be a 39-26 road win over then-No. 1 and undefeated Woodbridge, a victory that propelled then No. 2 Somerville into the top spot in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten.

They held onto that spot in the final rankings, to earn the first-ever “Team of the Year” award given out by Central Jersey Sports Radio, and also finished No. 1 in the inaugural Big Central Media Poll.

Somerville was the only undefeated team in the Big Central. North Plainfield – with a remarkable turnaround off a 4-6 2019 season and a 7-24 mark over the past three years – had been undefeated until a 30-14 road loss to Linden in Week 8.

The undefeated season is the Pioneers’ fifth overall and first since 1983, when they went 11-0 and won the Central Jersey Group 2 title. They also went 11-0 an route to a state title in 1979. Their first of 11 state titles overall came in a 1953 season that saw the Pioneers go 9-0. They also finished 7-0-1 in 1929, and won the only game they played in 1909, defeating Bound Brook 16-5.

Following are the final Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten and Big Central Media Poll. A trophy will be presented to Somerville for the honor at a later date.