Now that the playoffs are here, we will have sectional champions crowned in another 9-10 days. I wrote about this early in the season and I am revisiting this now. The state semifinals or when the sectional winners begin playing one another will be in just over two weeks and they will not be at Giants Stadium. The South and Central winners will play at Cherokee and the North winners will play at Franklin. South Jersey doesn’t appear to have a problem with Cherokee because it is in South Jersey. However, I think many from the north will have a problem with going to Franklin – it isn’t even in North Jersey. From my home right in the middle of Bergen County, it is one hour per mapquest.com and it does not include traffic. That is not the worst drive, but it’s only 15 minutes to Giants Stadium. I just see many from Bergen, Passaic, Morris, and Sussex staying home instead of going to Franklin. If there are Friday night games, I will stay home and watch those games on the internet. It is nearly impossible to travel south with that traffic on late Friday afternoon or early evening….There are a couple of games at Giants Stadium on Thanksgiving weekend, but those belong to the Non-Public A and B finals….Both Saquon Barkley and Jonathan Taylor initially verballed to Rutgers before officially committing to Penn State and Wisconsin, respectively. On the flip side, Ray Rice originally verbally committed to Syracuse until their coach was fired and Rice went to Rutgers. Would Rutgers have had that big year in 2006 without Ray Rice?….The head football coach at Watchung Hills is former Giant guard Rich Seubert. The school happens to be the alma mater of former Giants guard Bill Ard. Both started for Super Bowl champions: Seubert in 2007 and Ard in 1986. Watchung Hills also produced Tom Glassic, another guard, who played for the Denver Broncos in the late 70’s and early 80’s….The coach will go nameless, but when I heard him yell instructions to his players, I thought I was listening to the late comic, Sam Kinison….One of the more enjoyable PA announcers is the guy at Cedar Grove who has been doing it a long time. He’s unique, sounding a little like Big Pussy from the Sopranos, but speaks very clearly and just calls the game. None of that “and it’s another (school) FIRST DOWN!!!!!”….One of the cool names comes from Johnson’s Emilio Menicucci….While Sussex Tech went 2-8, they had a pair of 1,000 yard rushers in junior Andrew Baker with 1,306 yards and sophomore Brian Gruber with 1,059. It will be interesting to see what they do next year….One of the state’s best running backs is Mainland’s Jabriel Mace, a 4-year starter, who rushed for 1,014 yards and 23 touchdowns with a 9.8 average. He is headed to Villanova….Last weekend’s playoffs produced some fine performances. Through the air, Somerville’s Michael Miller threw for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns on 21 attempts. Sophomore Nate Johnson of Northern Highlands was 21-29-324-3, Frankie Garbolino of North Brunswick was 19-23-317-3, Luke Martini of North Hunterdon was 13-16-253-4, Jacob Zamot of Millville was 9-12-233-5, and Kingsway’s Nate Meiers was 15-19-232-4….Bryce Hamilton of Waldwick/Midland Park ran for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries. Other top performances came from Dom DelleMonache of Morris Knolls with 31-282-3, quarterback Matt Sims of Brearley with 18-204-5, quarterback Micah Ford of Toms River North gaining 252 and 3 touchdowns on 23 carries, and Derrick Bryant of Willingboro with 15-277-3….On the receiving end, Ramapo’s Ben Robinson caught 7 passes and 3 touchdowns for 244 yards. Also with big games were Cresskill’s Ryan Berkowitz with 8-215-2, Zahmir Dawud of North Brunswick with 10-199-3, Paulsboro’s Sharif Green catching 4-192-3, and Malcolm Stansbury of Edison with 10-154-1….….That’s all for this week! I will be back with more bull next week!!
- Most stats come from nj.com – some from Maxpreps