Sectional Finals Previews

The Crusaders have showed resiliency all year, rebounding from a 0-3 start to earn a shot at a third-straight sectional championship. The Redbirds will rely on physical linebackers Ricky Mottram and Dean Apostolico to slow up Delsea’s two-headed monster backfield of Isaiah Spencer and Rashaad Washington (2,169 combined rushing yards).

Thanksgiving Football Predictions

The Rovers have two major rushing threats in backs Shane Simpson (1,644 yards, 29 TD) and Dalvyn Reynolds (1,016 yards, 10 TD). The Stateliners face Colonia in the North 2, Group 4 final on Dec. 6, but snapping a three-game losing streak against Easton (Pa.) is just as important to the their program.

Semifinals Preview

Both teams are coming off some wins that occurred under surprising circumstances—Collingswood’s upset of Camden and West Deptford’s blowout win over Glassboro. The Eagles won the regular season meeting between these squads in convincing fashion, 34-7, on Halloween.

Playoff Preview: Groups 4 & 5

Old Tappan bottled up Norsemen running back Alex Wasserman last time these rivals met, but it’s hard to believe the star workhorse will be stymied again. Still, the Golden Knights are a program with a wealth of playoff experience that could prove valuable in what is sure to be an emotional contest.

Playoff Preview: Groups 1, 2 & 3

Becton has improved each season under head coach Chuck Kalendar, and seem to be a team that is ready to bust through in the postseason. Bogota’s recent performances against playoff-quality opposition are a cause for concern for the Bucs—who lost convincingly to St. Mary and Cresskill over the past three weeks.

Week 9 Previews & Predictions

Some teams have power points on the line. Others league titles. And others just pride. But there are some good matchups to wrap up the last weekend before the playoffs. Let’s take a gander at some of the best.

Week 8 Recap

Sophomore quarterback Josh Liao was called into duty for #13 South Brunswick this weekend, and didn’t disappoint. He didn’t exactly put on a passing clinic, but did what he had to in guiding the Vikings offense to a 14-7 win over previously unbeaten #10 Piscataway. Liao converted a 12-yard touchdown run off a perfectly-executed fake that put the Vikes up 7-0, and later connected on several big passes that set up the game-deciding score by Phil Campbell. The South Brunswick defense came up big, as well, limited the Chiefs to a single score and proving that it could engineer a win even when star running back Donte Strickland isn’t lighting up the stat sheet.

Week 8 Previews & Predictions

Teams are wrapping up their pre-cutoff slates, but there is still a lot on the line besides just playoff positioning. Division titles, spots in the Gridiron New Jersey Top 20, and bragging rights are all up for grabs. Let’s check out some of the better matchups of the weekend.

Week 7 Recap

For the first time since 1999, Bergen Catholic celebrated a victory over its biggest rival, Don Bosco Prep, on its own home field. The Crusaders won a defensive slugfest Saturday afternoon, 10-3, to surprise an Ironmen team that was looking to regain some of its mojo after a loss to Paramus Catholic two weeks ago. The difference was a 42-yard scoring run by running back Corey Russo in the fourth quarter, but Bosco hurt its own cause with sloppiness throughout. The Ironmen finished the game with 12 penalties for 123 yards.

Week 7 Previews & Predictions

Two of the most anticipated matchups of the year—between Don Bosco Prep and Bergen Catholic and Manalapan and Red Bank Catholic—take place in the same week, and that’s just the icing on the cake. There is another exciting slate of games on tap, and we’ve got some picks and predictions for all the top matchups.

Week 6 Recap

For the first time since 2007, Lenape is celebrating a victory over Cherokee. The Indians picked up an important 24-16 victory, thanks largely to running back Ben Hunt’s two fourth quarter interceptions. The second of Hunt’s picks went from 64 yards out and went all the way to the house, allowing the Indians to stay undefeated on the year. Lenape’s defense was on its game against the Chiefs, as well, allowing just one first down in the entire second half.

Week 6 Previews & Predictions

Joe’s quarterback Jack Walsh is completing 65% of his passes and has thrown eight touchdown passes. The Green Knights offensive line will need to keep Walsh upright, though—a task that will be tougher with players like defensive end Sal Mauro coming after him.

Week 5 Recap

After back-to-back losses to CAL parochials, Millville needed a spark. And a spark they got thanks to running back Ryquell Armstead, who broke a school rushing record at the expense of Absegami. The Thunderbolts rode 27 carries by Armstead—which he turned into a Millville-best 337 yards—to a 48-13 victory, just three games after former back Rob Ennis set the previous mark at 315. Of course, Ennis’ departure from the team following an off-the-field incident several weeks ago was a low point for the Thunderbolts, but Armstead’s performance pumped life back into the season, and kept his team within three power points of the eighth playoff spot in South, Group 5

Week 5 Previews & Predictions

It’s another big week, with perhaps the biggest game of the year so far: #1 Don Bosco Prep vs. #2 Paramus Catholic. In addition, there is another ranked parochial vs. ranked parochial showdown involving #5 DePaul and #7 Bergen Catholic. There are so many other big-time rivalry games, particularly in the WJFL and the Mid-State 38, as well. Things are heating up, and the playoffs will be here before you know it. Let’s look at some picks for the week:

Week 4 Recap

The monkey is officially off of Cranford’s back. The Cougars, despite all their success, had not been able to overcome powerful Summit over the past several years—until Friday night. Finally, they can boast a win over the rival Hilltoppers, thanks to their 33-14 win this past weekend. Wide receiver Luke Christiano led the way with 254 yards of total offense, including 189 in receptions. He also scored two touchdowns through the air. The win puts Cranford in the driver’s seat in the Mid-State 38 Raritan Division, where both the Cougars and Voorhees are 3-0 in the division. They’ll meet Friday in Cranford.

Week 4 Previews & Predictions

The Paladins are loaded with talent, but the key for the BC defense may be getting to quarterback Willy Hansen, who was still highly effective playing through a knee injury a week ago. Bergen can erase the very last remnants of last season’s 2-7 campaign if they can upend the team that beat them in the 2012 Non-Public, Group 4 final.

Week 2 Predictions

It’s only Week 2, but there are already a full slate of prime matchups on tap in New Jersey high school football. Sure, there are some big out-of-state contests, but you don’t have to go to Arkansas, Maryland or New York to see great football this weekend.

Week 1 Recap

It’s a big statement to make, but given the context, Saturday afternoon may have been one of Don Bosco Prep’s most dominant performances ever. As such a powerhouse, the Ironmen have had their fair share of huge wins, but the way they handled St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) on Saturday was nothing short of remarkable. Ironmen running back Malik Bakker rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries, while the Bosco defense had 4 1/2 sacks on the way to an imposing 24-7 victory. Aquinas was widely regarded as the top team in the entire nation, but Bosco was too much for the Raiders nearly all afternoon.