Tag: Watchung Hills

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”:

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:

Aleks Sitkowski grabs Week 1 Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week honors

Year in, year out, Westfield is consistently good, especially its defense.

That’s what makes what Watchung Hills senior quarterback Aleks Sitkowski’s performance against the Blue Devils on Sunday that much more impressive.

In a 34-20 road win last Saturday, Sitkowski passed 21-30 for 165 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing 13 times for 100 yards and two more scores.

He’s the first quarterback to pass and rush for over 100 yards each in a game against Westfield since Andrew Sanborn of Union threw for 178 yards and a touchdown, while running for 101 yards and a score on October 5, 2018. Sanborn also threw three picks in the game; Sitkowski threw none.

The victory has 6th-ranked Watchung Hills at 2-0 on the season, heading into a Week 2 matchup at North Hunterdon this Friday night.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Week One Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week Aleks Sitkowski of Watchung HIlls:

The Bellamy & Son Paving Player of the Week is chosen from nominees by Big Central coaches. At the end of the season, one player will be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship courtesy of Bellamy & Son Paving. As we did last year, we will recognize a few “Honorable Mentions,” and include all other all nominees in our weekly story.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Terrell Mitchell, Somerville: The junior runningback scored three touchdowns in a 33-14 win over Old Bridge last Friday night. He had touchdown catches of 37 and 26 yards, while adding a 21-yard rushing score. Overall he had seven receptions for 98 yards, and seven carries for another 94 yards.
  • Quinn Esser, Spotswood: In a come-from-behind, 9-8 win at Belvidere on Friday night, the senior two-way lineman led the team with six tackles, then went in as the QB in the “heavy” package and capped the game-winning 99-yard touchdown drive with a short, four-yard trip into the end zone. He then helped run the clock out with a game-clinching four-yard gain for first down.
  • Aiden Woomer, Edison: The senior had 155 yards on three punt return opportunities – one of which went back 60 yards for a score – while also logging a one-yard touchdown run in a 57-0 win at JP Stevens last Thursday.
  • Derek Anderson, Woodbridge: The junior QB kept his team in a high-flying game, a 46-36 loss to Summit. He went 19-of-38 passing for 301 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for a score.

Other Nominations:

(in alphabetical order, by school)

  • Logan Ritchie, Bernards: In a come-from-behind win over Hillside, the Mountaineer two-way lineman paved the way. He had six tackles – half of them for a loss – on defense, while keeping his quarterback untouched on offense, registering three big pancake blocks.
  • Tyrece Parrot, Carteret: In a 42-7 win over arch-rival Perth Amboy, the senior QB was 11-for-14 passing for 240 yards and three touchdowns. He also carried six times for 34 yards and another score. (He had another rushing TD called back on a holding penalty.)
  • Jaeden Jones, Colonia: The star senior QB carried 11 times for 174 yards and two touchdowns – one for 58 yards – in a 21-12 win over Scotch Plains-Fanwood. He also threw a 19-yard touchdown. Then, on defense, as a safety, recorded 16 tackles, 12 solo.
  • Fire Anderson, Cranford: In a shutout win over North Hunterdon, 4-10 last Friday night, the senior runningback got the rock 26 times and racked up 190 yards with a long run of 25. His three touchdowns went for 10, 5 and 3 yards.
  • Luke Brogan, Delaware Valley: In a 27-9 victory over Roselle on Friday, he threw for 181 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 49 and two more. In addition to being involved in all four scores, he kicked two extra points in the game.
  • Jack Dally, Governor Livingston: In a 33-21 win Thursday afternoon over Johnson, the junior runningback had 15 carries for 217 yards and three scores – of 61, 60 and 43 yards. The 61-yarded gave the Highlanders the lead back for good, after trailing 21-20. On defense, at outside linebacker, he added seven tackles, five solo.
  • Na’quavere Thomas, Manville: In a 12-7 win at Brearley, the junior fullback carried nine times for 50 yards ad a touchdown, had two catches for 22 yards and a touchdown. On defense, at middle linebacker, he recorded 13 tackles, 9 solo, and had a fumble recovery.
  • Michael Schmelzer, Montgomery: In a 49-6 win against Franklin on Friday, the senior QB was 12-of-19 passing for 188 yards and three touchdowns – often extending many plays into big gains – while rushing twice for 32 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown run.
  • Jack Garbolino, North Brunswick: The Raiders’ season opener was a 38-6 success over South Brunswick in large part to the junior’s four catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns, and five rushes for 12 yards, also including a score. On defense, the linebacker picked up nine tackles and a TFL.
  • Michael Schroeck, North Hunterdon: The senior linebacker recorded 12 tackles in a 41-0 loss to Cranford last Friday.
  • Patrick Smith, South Plainfield: In a 26-7 win at JFK on Friday, the senior carried 20 times for 167 yards and a touchdown.
  • Chase Young, St. Thomas Aquinas: The junior runningback carried 14 times for 158 yards and three touchdowns – the longest of which was 54-yards – in a 41-0 win over New Providence on Friday.
  • Kordal Hinton, Union: In a 27-21 overtime win over Bridgewater-Raritan, the senior linebacker logged 21 tackles, 15 solo, and was big late in the game, ultimately carrying the ball 12 times from his runningback position for 132 yards and two scores.
  • Brandon Kurzeja, Voorhees: The senior runningback rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns, while also playing a monster game at linebacker in a 48-8 win against North Plainfield last Thursday, registering five sacks.

Another sweep at No. 1 for Phillipsburg in Week Two Big Central Media Poll

Once again this week, Phillipsburg got all five first-place votes from the media members surveyed in the Big Central Media Poll, as the Stateliners opened their season with a dominant win over Sayreville Friday night, 42-7 at Maloney Stadium.

If the Stateliners can remain No. 1 next week, it’ll be the first time in the history of the poll – now in its fourth season – that the same team that was No. 1 in the preseason or Week Zero was still ranked first after Week Two.

The Bombers were the only team that stayed in the poll to move more than one spot this week, dropping from fifth to seventh after the loss. Previous No. 8 Westfield dropped out after losing to Watchung Hills, which had been tied with the Blue Devils for eighth.

Hunterdon Central joined the Media Poll for the first time since its inception three years ago.

Below is the full Big Central Media Poll for Week Two:

Phillipsburg again No. 1 in CJSR Top Ten; Somerville and Hunterdon Central join rankings

Off to a 2-0 start, Phillipsburg maintained its No. 1 ranking in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten for Week Two.

There was little change in this week’s rankings, which narrowed a bit. No. 10 Westfield dropped out after a loss to previously-No. 9 Watchung Hills, which moved up to sixth.

And two new teams joined the poll: Somerville (2-0) tied for tenth with Hunterdon Central (2-0). The Pioneers also received votes last week, while Hunterdon Central got its first-ever vote for the CJSR Top Ten. (CJSR’s first Top Ten came out in our inaugural season, 2020.)

No teams ended up in the Also Received Votes category, as Somerville and Central were the last two vote-getters, and both ended up in the Top Ten.

Below are the full Week Two CJSR H.S. Football Rankings:

Idle Phillipsburg remains atop Big Central Media Poll, as Watchung Hills and Montgomery make inroads

Three teams who don’t open their season until this Friday night hold the top three spots in the Big Central Media Poll for Week One, while two new teams made their debut.

Watchung Hills and Montgomery made the cut in Week One after receiving votes in the preseason rankings. The Warriors are tied for eighth with Westfield, while Montgomery takes the tenth spot.

Three teams dropped out from last week (there were 11 overall in the rankings, with two teams having been tied for tenth): Colonia, Edison and North Hunterdon, all of whom lost their opening games in Week Zero.

Below are the full Week One Big Central Media Poll rankings:

Phillipsburg retains top spot, Sayreville moves up, Aquinas moves into Week 1 rankings

While Phillipsburg hasn’t opened its 2023 season yet – they host Sayreville this Friday in a highly-anticipated matchup – the Stateliners remain No. 1 in the Week One Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings.

The biggest gains in Week Zero play were made by Sayreville and St. Thomas Aquinas. The previously-No. 4 Bombers were 42-21 winners on the road against No. 8 Colonia, and moved up to No. 2 this week. St. Thomas Aquinas – which also received votes last week – debuted in this week’s rankings at seven.

No. 8 St. Joseph-Metuchen dropped out, despite being idle, making room for the Trojans.

Below are the full Week One Central Jersey Sports Radio H.S. Football rankings:

2023 Big Central Preview: Liberty Silver Division

The smallest division in the Big Central Conference may be one of its most competitive in 2023.

The Liberty Silver only has four teams, but all can pack a punch. North Hunterdon graduated a ton of seniors from a squad that won not only the division last year, but the North 2 Group 4 title. While all their biggest statistical contributors are gone, the Lions still should be competitive, even with a new head coach in C.J. Robinson.

Watchung Hills is always a tough out, and hasn’t had a sub-.500 season since his Rich Seubert’s third season in 2017, when the Warriors were winless. Montgomery was right there with them last season; both were 7-3.

The wild card may be Plainfield. James Williams’ squad has put together back-to-back five-win seasons for eleven victories in a span of two years, something that hasn’t been done since they won five in 2004, and six the following year in 2005 for an 11-win two-year run.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko’s preview of the Liberty Silver Division from the Big Central Conference’s inaugural Media Days: