MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK: Roselle Park 3-0 for first time since 2005; Johnson seeks first 3-0 start since 2007

Sophomore Sanborn impressing for Farmers; Westfield defense continues to stifle foes

Roselle Park is 3-0 for the first time since 2005.
Johnson will attempt to get to 3-0 for the first time since 2007.
Both are involved in big Mid-State 38 Conference undefeated division matchups scheduled to take place Friday night.
Roselle Park is at Belvidere, with both at the top of the Union Division standings – along with Bound Brook – at 2-0.
Belvidere is coming off an 18-15 division win at Brearley.
Roselle Park has outscored its first three foes, including division rivals South Hunterdon and Dayton, by a combined score of 107-20.
Roselle Park and Belvidere were both 2-0 when they met the same weekend last year. In a hotly contested game at Roselle Park’s Herm Shaw Field, the visiting County Seaters held on for a 24-20 triumph.
Belvidere went on to reach the North 1, Group 1 quarterfinals en route to an 8-2 finish. The County Seaters are situated back in North 2, Group 1 this year.
Roselle Park qualified in North 2, Group 1 again, lost in the first round, and ultimately finished 3-7.
Since both are in N2, G1 this year this could be the first of two meetings.
Johnson will host Roselle tomorrow night. Johnson and Roselle are facing each other at 2-0 each for the second straight season. Last year’s game at Roselle’s Arminio Field saw the host Rams outslug the visiting Crusaders 56-41.
They are tied atop the Valley Division standings at 2-0, with Hillside next at 1-0. Roselle is the defending champion.
Roselle has won its last 13 regular season games. Its last regular season loss was at home to Brearley 35-21 on Oct. 24, 2015. Roselle’s last regular season road loss was at Johnson 23-14 on Oct. 17, 2015, which was the last time the teams played at Nolan Field.
We may not see nearly 100 points Friday night at Johnson’s Nolan Field, despite both offenses being very capable. Lead running backs, both seniors, include Craig McRae for Roselle and Joe Turek for Johnson.
Johnson and Roselle qualified in Central Jersey, Group 2 a year ago, both falling to eventual champion Manasquan. LIke Roselle Park and Belvidere, this could be the first of two meetings. Johnson and Roselle came close to playing each other again in last year’s CJ, G2 playoffs. Johnson was winning at Manasquan before falling 33-29 in the first round. Then Roselle hosted Manasquan and fell 31-27 in the second.
Roselle and Johnson are once again among the favorites to qualify in CJ, G2 this season.
Johnson was last 3-0 in 2007. That Crusader squad 10 years ago did not qualify in CJ, G2, but did win its sectional consolation game en route to producing a 6-4 winning season.

SIGNAL-CALLER ON THE RISE

There were more moments than not last Friday night when Union first-year quarterback Andrew Sanborn showed the ability of a player more experienced than his sophomore status.
He directed Union to three touchdown drives, capping one of them with a TD pass, as Union defeated visiting Plainfield 28-13 in Watchung Division action at Cooke Memorial Field.
His first varsity home start included these quarterback numbers: he completed 10-of-15 passes for 122 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Six of his 10 completions were good for Union first downs.
Sanborn displayed the ability to drop back and also run east and west in firing the ball accurately down field. He connected with three receivers – senior Andy Martin the most – in leading the Farmers past the Cardinals.
Sanborn will be challenged even greater in Union’s next two games. The Farmers are at longtime arch rival Elizabeth this Friday night and then after a week off will host Westfield and its vaunted defense.

Also . . .

Rahway is off to a dominating 2-0 start and seeks to top Cranford for a second straight season this Friday night.

Cranford lost sophomore quarterback Connor Katz to a hand injury in its 35-0 loss at Voorhees, with senior Dan Curren taking over.

Westfield proved once again to be quite difficult for a talented offense to score against the Blue Devils. Westfield won convincingly at high-scoring Ridge 23-7 this past Friday night, with sophomore running back Tim Alliegro emerging and standouts Jake Vall-Llobera and Drew Ortiz coming up big again on defense.

Westfield (2-0) has now won a state-best 27 straight and has captured its last 21 regular season games.

Westfield has also won its last 13 regular season road games. Westfield’s last regular season road loss was at Linden 15-14 in overtime on Oct. 2, 2014.

Gov. Livingston’s first home game on its new field turf is scheduled for this Saturday, with the Highlanders to honor successful 1960s head coach Jack Bicknell: 28-6-2 as head coach for four seasons – 1964-1967.

Union County undefeated: Roselle Park (3-0), Westfield (2-0), Union (2-0), Rahway (2-0), Johnson (2-0), Roselle (2-0).

 

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE:

Friday, Sept. 22 (8 games)

Union at Elizabeth, 7 p.m.

Westfield at Franklin, 7 p.m.

Linden at Ridge, 7 p.m.

Summit at Warren Hills, 7 p.m.

Rahway at Cranford, 7 p.m.

Roselle at Johnson, 7 p.m.

Roselle Park at Belvidere, 7 p.m.

Brearley at South Hunterdon, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 23 (6 games)

Plainfield at Hillsborough, 1 p.m.

Immaculata at Scotch Plains, 1 p.m.

North Plainfield at GL, 1 p.m.

Bernards at Hillside, 1 p.m

Delaware Valley at New Providence, 1 p.m.

Dayton at Manville, 1 p.m.

Off: None.

 

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS:

Friday, Sept. 15 (12 games)

Union 28, Plainfield 13

Elizabeth 27, Watchung Hills 7

Westfield 23, Ridge 7

Linden 34, Scotch Plains 20

Summit 14, Immaculata 13

Voorhees 35, Cranford 0

Rahway 42, Gov. Livingston 14

Johnson 38, Bernards 7

Hillside 42, New Providence 7

Roselle 28, Delaware Valley 21

Roselle Park 41, Dayton 6

Belvidere 18, Brearley 15

Off: None.

 

THIS WEEK’S PICKS (14):

Union over Elizabeth

Westfield over Franklin

Linden over Ridge

Summit over Warren Hills

Rahway over Cranford

Johnson over Roselle

Roselle Park over Belvidere

Brearley over South Hunterdon

Hillsborough over Plainfield

Immaculata over Scotch Plains

North Plainfield over GL

Hillside over Bernards

Delaware Valley over New Prov.

Dayton over Manville

Best bet: Hillsborough

Upset special: Linden

Last week: 7-5

This year: 17-10 (.630)

Best bets: 2-1

Upset specials: 1-2

 

JR’S UNION COUNTY

TOP 10

1-Westfield (2-0)

2-Union (2-0)

3-Linden (1-1)

4-Elizabeth (1-1)

5-Rahway (2-0)

6-Johnson (2-0)

7-Roselle (2-0)

8-Summit (1-1)

9-Roselle Park (3-0)

10-Hillside (1-1)

Others:

Plainfield (0-2)

Cranford (0-2)

Scotch Plains (0-2)

Gov. Livingston (0-2)

Brearley (0-2)

Dayton (0-2)

New Providence (0-2)

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