Post 494 – Bull Session – Playoffs, Part Two

With the Catholic finals and the Public Regional Crossovers, why on earth is DePaul playing the following weekend at Rutgers? This means they have three byes in four weeks. What is the NJSIAA thinking? The same applies for St. Joe’s (Hammonton), but their opponent plays on Thanksgiving. That is not the case with DePaul. They could have had seven games at Giants Stadium and six at Rutgers…..I have been critical of teams for not playing their starters on Thanksgiving or leading into the playoffs, but I support Camden coach Dwayne Savage for resting his starters in the Thanksgiving clash with Woodrow Wilson when they have a sectional final two days later against Cedar Creek. Their game with Pleasantville was delayed several days due to the shooting in the stands, which moved the sectional final back one week and after what the Camden team experienced in Pleasantville, the players sitting out the Woodrow Wilson game is understandable…..In case you didn’t know, Monmouth is in the 1-AA/FCS playoffs, opening against Holy Cross this Saturday. The winner faces second-seed James Madison next week…..The “regional crossover” games have two different themes. The North games at Giants Stadium have teams that have not won in a long time: Northern Highlands, Wayne Valley, Union, Lyndhurst, and Park Ridge, while the South games at Rutgers next week teams have repeat winners: Penns Grove, Willingboro, Hillside, Woodrow Wilson, Shawnee, and Williamstown…..I look forward to the game between Lyndhurst and Verona, not only because both teams are undefeated, but they also have the top two rushers in the state: Lyndhurst’s Piotr Partyla and Verona’s Frank Riggio…..One of the best individual performances I’ve seen in the last few years was from Ethan Harris of Northern Highlands. He rushed for 339 yards and four touchdowns, showing outstanding speed, quickness, and shiftiness. According to Maxpreps, Harris has rushed for 1,702 yards and 24 touchdowns with an 8.3 average, while catching 16 for 279 yards, and 137 yards of return yardage for 2,117 yards of offense. He has been under the radar in some circles, but not after last week…..Another player I need to watch is Parsippany Hills quarterback JD Breslauer, who has thrown for almost 2,900 yards and has a chance to to reach 3,000 in Friday’s game against Ramapo…..Speaking of quarterbacks, West Side has a sophomore named Devion Sheppard, who along with Woodrow Wilson’s Devon Kargman, and Timber Creek’s Donovan Leary will be three quarterbacks to watch the next two years…..Another quarterback who impressed is freshman Austen Frattura of Sparta, throwing for over 2,300 yards and 25 touchdowns. The one time I saw Sparta was opening night and Frattura did not play, beginning his career the following week…..The Thanksgiving game between Phillipsburg and Easton (Pa.) is one a high school football fan should experience. I thought Bergen Catholic-Don Bosco was huge and it is, but Phillipsburg-Easton may be bigger…..It’s not the fact that the  Giants lack talent, what bothers me is the fact that there is no passion, no intensity, no spark, no energy – in short, they’re a dead team walking…..It will be interesting to see how the crowd reacts this Sunday after Aaron Rodgers rips them apart. …..That’s all for this week. I will be back for more bull during the week after the games at Giants Stadium! Happy Thanksgiving!

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