At last the playoffs are here! There will be good games played this weekend, but the first round seems to lack some juice and I think some of it has to do with the expansion of groups from four to five approximately ten years ago. There are teams that don’t deserve to be in the playoffs and that takes some of the excitement away. Anyway, I wish everyone well this weekend….One exciting game last week was North Arlington beating Lyndhurst, 28-21, with the winning pass coming with 1.2 seconds left on the clock. More on that later….Two teams who did not have a football season during the 2020 COVID year were Piscataway and Carteret. Both struggled last year, with Piscataway going winless. This year, they have made good progress with Carteret 6-3, just missing the playoffs, and Piscataway 6-2 with a playoff game this Friday against Paterson Eastside….While Mountain Lakes lost 35-14 last Friday night, I think they have a good chance to make noise in the playoffs. They simply ran into a buzzsaw in Caldwell last week….Paulsboro and West Deptford appear to be back on track. Paulsboro started 0-3 and are now 4-4. West Deptford started 1-4 and are also 4-4. Both have enjoyed great success over the past twenty years and have had very tough schedules. Neither is a team to sleep on in the playoffs….A good game in North Jersey Group 1 this weekend is Wallkill Valley at Cedar Grove. The winner most likely will travel to Wood-Ridge, unless Shabazz pulls the upset….I watched one of the outstanding linebackers in Caldwell’s Julian Casale. He is a football player who seems to be in the middle of everything….An interesting game this Saturday is Highland traveling north to play Manasquan…..While the playoffs begin this weekend for the public schools, the Catholics start next week, with some having regular season games this weekend….Among individual performances, quarterback Dylan Bonser of Wallkill Valley passed for 348 yards and 2 touchdowns on 17 of 22….Devin Rivas of North Arlington was 18-21-252-4. Better than that, Rivas engineered the game-winning drive after Lyndhurst tied the game with 2:21 left. RIvas was 7-9-81-1 on the drive and one of the incompletions was a spike to stop the clock. His winning touchdown pass was completed with 1.2 seconds left on the clock. It can be found on Youtube and it brought up memories of Kenny Stabler for the Raiders back in the 70’s….Also having good games were Earnest Reevey of Long Branch, going 14-17-251-4 and Jacob Zamot of Millville going 15-20-248-2….There were some rushing performances that jumped out at me, starting with Jeremy Del Orbe of North Bergen rushing for 321 yards and 6 touchdowns on 43 carries….Jake Zearfoss of Gloucester City rushed for 233 yards and 4 touchdowns on 22 carries….Matthew Surtz of Robbinsville gained 196 yards and 4 touchdowns on 9 carries, while Shawn Purcell of Manville had 194 yards and 6 touchdowns on 10 carries….Receiving-wise, it was RJ Mustaro of Gloucester Catholic catching 10 for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Chase Lorencovitz of Wallkill Valley had 9 receptions for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns….That’s all for this week! I will be back with more bull next week!!
- Most stats come from nj.com