Still with a weekend to go before the secitonal quarterfinals begin, 10 Union County football teams have qualified for the NJSIAA playoffs.The other seven Union County schools have already been eliminated.
Because of Hurricane Sandy, this weekend’s schedule of games to be played on Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3 could be in a bit of jeopardy.
Here are the 10 teams that qualified, with the playoffs beginning Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10:
NORTH 2, GROUP 5:
Elizabeth (8-0), clinched the top seed, and Union (5-2).
NORTH 2, GROUP 4:
Scotch Plains (4-3).
NORTH 2, GROUP 3:
Summit (8-0), clinched the top seed, and Cranford (6-2) and Rahway (4-3).
NORTH 2, GROUP 1:
New Providence (6-1), Roselle Park (5-2), Dayton (3-5).
CENTRAL JERSEY, GROUP 2:
* Elizabeth, the No. 1 ranked public school team in the state, is the overwhelming favorite to capture the first North 2, Group 5 section. The Minutemen are 7-1 in North 2, Group 4 title games, falling to Piscataway 41-34 in last year’s contest at Rutgers.
* Union last won a playoff game in 2008 and last reached the North 2, Group 4 final in 2003. The Farmers last won N2, G4 for a record 10th time in 1993.
* Scotch Plains made the North 2, Group 4 field its first year in the section.
* Summit is out to capture North 2, Group 3 for the first time since 1980. The Hilltoppers also won the section in 1976. Summit has won 35 straight regular season games.
* Cranford is the defending North 2, Group 3 champion and has qualified for the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since making it three years in a row from 2002-2004. This is the sixth time the Cougars have made the playoffs, including their first time in 1975.
* Rahway last made the North 2, Group 4 playoffs in 2010. Since last winning the section in 1984 – which was the program’s last state championship in the playoff era – Rahway has reached the final twice, in 1999 and again in 2008.
* New Providence won North 2, Group 1 in 2010 for the first time since 1989. The Pioneers lost to eventual champion Cedar Grove at home in last year’s semifinals.
* Roselle Park is in the North 2, Group 1 playoffs for the first time since 2001. Dayton qualified in the section for the third time in four years.
* Johnson made the grade in Central Jersey, Group 2 for the second straight season and for the fourth time in the past five years.
No Union County team has ever won a championship in Central Jersey.
UNION COUNTY STATE CHAMPIONS SINCE 2000:
2011: Cranford – North 2, Group 3
2010: New Providence – North 2, Group 1
2009: Summit – North 2, Group 2
2006: Brearley – North 2, Group 1
2006: Elizabeth – North 2, Group 4
2002: Johnson – North 2, Group 2
2000: Elizabeth – North 2, Group 4