Brearley football preview – Bears improved a great deal last year, making the playoffs

KENILWORTH – There’s no doubt that the Bears improved a great deal last season, with 11 returning offensive starters in the fold.
First came a 33-13 home win over a Bernards team that finished 7-3 after not qualifying for the North 2, Group 2 playoffs with a 6-2 record at the cutoff.
Following a decisive triumph by the score of 39-13 at home over Dayton, the Bears gave Roselle Park all it could handle at Roselle Park’s Herm Shaw Field before falling 34-28.
Then Brearley just fell short at home the week after against South Hunterdon by the score of 16-13. South Hunterdon finished 9-1 last year, losing only in the Central Jersey, Group 1 quarterfinals at home to Burlington City 20-17.
Brearley then went on a three-game winning streak, something it had not accomplished in some time.
Wins over Pingry 6-0 at home and then at Manville 22-18 provided the Bears with enough power points to gain the sixth playoff seed in North 2, Group 1.
For Bearley, the Bears made the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and for the first time in N2, G1 since 2008.
Facing Roselle Park again, Brearley again was more than representative in a 28-20 setback.
“We think Brearley will be the team to beat in the (Valley) division this year,” Roselle Park head coach Terry Hanratty said.
Brearley posted one shutout last year and was able to outscore its 10 opponents by a 206-196 margin, yielding just under 20 points a game.

Bridgewater-Raritan, Elizabeth,
Franklin, Hillsborough,
Hunterdon Central, Phillipsburg,
Union, Westfield

Immaculata, Linden, Montgomery,
North Hunterdon, Plainfield,
Ridge, Watchung Hills

Cranford, Delaware Valley,
Johnson, Roselle, North Plainfield,
Somerville, Summit

Hillside, Rahway, Gov. Livingston,
Scotch Plains, Voorhees, Warren Hills

Belvidere, Bernards, Bound Brook, Brearley,
Dayton, Manville, New Providence,
Pingry, Roselle Park, South Hunterdon

Delaware: Phillipsburg
Hills: South Hunterdon
Mountain: Warren Hills
Raritan: Summit
Union: Bernards
Watchung: Ridge

2013: (5-5) – N2, G1 quarterfinals

2012: (2-8) – Did not make playoffs.

2011: (4-6) – Did not make playoffs.

2010: (4-6) – Did not make playoffs.

2009: (7-4) – CJ, G1 semifinals

2008: (9-1) – N2, G1 quarterfinals

2007: (8-2) – N2, G1 quarterfinals

2006: (12-0) – N2, G1 champions

2005: (10-2) – CJ, G1 finalist

2004: (9-2) – CJ, G1 semifinals

2003: (6-4) – CJ, G1 quarterfinals

2002: (9-1) – N2, G1 quarterfinals

Total: 85-41 (.675).
* Includes 7-8 playoff record in nine playoff seasons.

Brearley head coach Scott Miller has guided the Bears to eight winning seasons and nine playoff campaigns during his first 12 years at the helm. He has also led them to two title games and one state championship.
Sept. 12 Belvidere, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 at South Hunterdon, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 at Dayton, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 Roselle Park, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 at Manville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Pingry, 2 p.m.
Oct. 24 Roselle, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31 Bound Brook, 7 p.m.
Nov. 8 at New Providence, 2:30 p.m.
Head coach: Scott Miller,
13th season

2013 BEARS (5-5)
(A) New Providence 34, Brearley 14
(H) Brearley 33, Bernards 13
(A) Belvidere 26, Brearley 6
(H) Brearley 39, Dayton 13
(A) Roselle Park 34, Brearley 28
(H) South Hunterdon 16, Brearley 14
(H) Brearley 6, Pingry 0
(A) Brearley 22, Manville 18
(A) Brearley 34, Bound Brook 14
(A) Roselle Park 28, Brearley 20
Head coach: Scott Miller,
12th season
Section: North 2, Group 1
Conference: Mid-State 38
Division: Union 2-2, third
Record: 5-5
Home: 3-1
Away: 2-4
Points for: 206
Points against: 196
Shutouts: 1
Overtime: 0-0

Brearley made the N2, G1 playoffs last year for first time since 2008.