Post 171 – HS Football – Two Weekends at Giants Stadium

The 2018 season is having sectional champions face off at Giants Stadium for the first time in what they are calling bowl games.  Every public school bowl game and each Non-Public final will be played over two weekends.  The winners of North Sections 1 and 2 will play one another, while the South and Central champions will face each another.

That makes it thirteen games over Thanksgiving weekend (November 23-24) and the first weekend in December (November 30-December 1).

I was told by Jack DuBois at the NJSIAA earlier this year that the schedule will not be decided until the sectional finals are complete.  The scheduling will revolve around who plays on Thanksgiving.  The teams that have a Thanksgiving game will play the following weekend, while teams without Thanksgiving games will play Thanksgiving weekend.  The one risk is having more than six games involve a team playing on Thanksgiving Day; that would make things interesting.

Below is a list of teams still in the playoffs from each section that have Thanksgiving games and a summary of each area.  I am not saying  how likely they are going to be in the bowl game, just listing them.  Please note, if a team plays the night before Thanksgiving, I am counting that as a Thanksgiving game.

There were 52 teams in the playoffs with Thanksgiving games last week and that number has been reduced to 29.

North Group 1:  

Section 1:  No teams playing Thanksgiving Day.
Section 2:  Shabazz and Weequahic play each other on Thanksgiving Day.
Summary:  If Shabazz or Weequahic wins their section, it looks like the weekend of November 30-December 1.  If Hasbrouck Heights wins Section 2, this game will be played Thanksgiving weekend.

North Group 2:

Section 1:  No teams playing Thanksgiving Day.
Section 2:  No teams playing Thanksgiving Day.
Summary:  This bowl game will play on Thanksgiving weekend.

North Group 3:

Section 1:  No teams playing Thanksgiving Day.
Section 2:  Rahway is the only team playing Thanksgiving Day.
Summary:  It all depends on how Rahway does.  If they win Section 2, it is November 30-December 1.

North Group 4:

Section 1:  No teams playing Thanksgiving Day.
Section 2:  Phillipsburg is the only team playing Thanksgiving Day.
Summary:  It all depends on how Phillipsburg does.  If they win Section 2, it is November 30-December 1 and they are the favorite in that section.

North Group 5:

Section 1:  Clifton plays on Thanksgiving Day.
Section 2:  Piscataway is the only team playing Thanksgiving Day.
Summary:  Both Clifton and Piscataway play Thanksgiving games.  If one wins the section, there will be a game on November 30-December 1.  Piscataway is a favorite to win Section 2 and Clifton is the underdog in a rematch of a game won by Ridgewood, 38-14.

South Group 1:

South:  Salem and Gateway play Thanksgiving games.
Central:  Florence and Asbury Park play on Thanksgiving.
Summary:  In the South, Salem plays Gateway this weekend, leaving one team alive for next week’s final.  In the Central, Asbury Park and Florence will be underdogs – Asbury Park against Paulsboro and Florence against Willingboro.

South Group 2:

South:  Haddonfield, Pleasantville, and Camden play Thanksgiving games.
Central:   Cinnaminson and Manasquan play on Thanksgiving.
Summary:  Cinnaminson and Manasquan play one another, eliminating one.  Then it depends on the sectional final.  The South has an outstanding group of teams, with anybody capable of winning.  If West Deptford wins, that would increase the odds of the bowl game on Thanksgiving weekend.  This, of course, depends on Cinnaminson and Manasquan  being eliminated.

South Group 3:

South:  Timber Creek and Woodrow Wilson have Thanksgiving games.
Central:  Red Bank plays on Thanksgiving.
Summary:  Timber Creek plays undefeated Burlington Township, while Woodrow Wilson travels to Delsea for their fourth meeting in two years, including last year’s sectional final.  Red Bank visits Rumson-Fair Haven and they will be the underdog.  We will have a better picture after what happens this weekend.

South Group 4:

South:  Millville, Shawnee, Clearview, and Highland Regional play Thanksgiving games.
Central:  Long Branch and Middletown South play on Thanksgiving.
Summary:  This is a game for the weekend for November 30-December 1.  There are four teams left in the south, meaning whoever wins the section has a Thanksgiving Day game.  In addition, Long Branch and Middletown South have Thanksgiving games.

South Group 5:  Vineland, Lenape, and Rancocas Valley play Thanksgiving games.
Central Group 5:  Edison is the only team that plays on Thanksgiving.
Summary:  Lenape and Rancocas Valley play one another this weekend, marking the fourth time these two have met in the last two years.  This will be on November 30-December 1, unless the favorite, Williamstown, wins the south and Edison gets eliminated in the central.  Edison has a rematch with North Brunswick, a game they lost by five points; their other loss was by one point to Sayreville on the game’s final play.


Group 2:  Holy Spirit plays on Thanksgiving Day.
Group 3:  No teams playing Thanksgiving Day.
Group 4:  No teams playing Thanksgiving Day.
Summary:  Groups 3 and 4 will be played Thanksgiving weekend.   In Group 2, Holy Spirit will probably be in the final against St. Joe’s (Hammonton) – book this game for December.

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