We’re at the – three weekends to go – stage of the season.
Just three weekends remaining for teams to enhance their already clinched playoff status or for teams to still try to gain entry into their sections.
Here in Union County, Westfield has appeared to put itself in the position to be considered the favorite in North 2, Group 5. Seeking to win the section for the third straight season, the Blue Devils – at 6-0 – are the only undefeated team remaining.
Johnson, out to capture Central Jersey, Group 2 for the first time, is one of three teams that are still undefeated in its section. The Crusaders are 5-0 for the first time since 2006, while Point Pleasant Boro and South River are 6-0 in CJ, G2.
Westfield and Johnson, Union County’s only two remaining undefeated teams, also captured Mid-State 38 Conference division titles outright. Westfield won the Watchung for the third straight season and Johnson the Valley for the first time.
Westfield clinched the Watchung Division crown by beating Elizabeth 13-6 Saturday at Rutgers.
Johnson had this past weekend off. The Crusaders are presently preparing for a 5-1 Somerville squad that is coming off a 60-7 home win over Gov. Livingston.
When Johnson went to Somerset County to face the Pioneers last year, the Crusaders were humbled to the tune of 50-6. That was one of five games – all wins – that Somerville scored at least 50 points en route to a drastically improved 10-1 finish.
After consecutive 1-point losses, Union needs to rebound to make the grade for the third straight year in North 2, Group 5. The Farmers have qualifying games remaining at home against Ridge (2-4) at Bridgewater-Raritan (4-2) and home against Hunterdon Central (2-4).
Union may need to win all three to gain entry. None of the games will be easy, especially at Bridgewater-Raritan.
UNION COUNTY TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFFS
AT THE MOMENT (with seed next to name):
NORTH 2, GROUP 5:
NORTH 2, GROUP 4:
NORTH 2, GROUP 3:
NORTH 2, GROUP 1:
5-Roselle Park. 7-Brearley.
CENTRAL JERSEY, GROUP 2:
3-Johnson. 5-Hillside. 6-Roselle.
BREAKING DOWN WESTFIELD’S 31-GAME WINNING STREAK:
Under legendary head coach Gary Kehler, the Westfield Blue Devils produced a school-record 48-game winning streak from 1969-1973. That was also the state record until Randolph passed it and then went 58-0-1 before losing at Union in the 1991 North 2, Group 4 final.
Paulsboro – set from 1992-1998 – presently has the state record for the longest winning streak at 63.
Westfield has now produced another winning streak, which is at a state-best 31. It will be on the line at Theo Riddick Field in Somerville Friday night when the 6-0 Blue Devils face 4-2 Immaculata, which is the lone non-public school on Westfield’s schedule.
Here’s a look at Westfield’s 31-game winning streak, which began on Thanksgiving Day, 2014 at Hub Stine Field in Plainfield – a 6-0 Blue Devils season-ending victory.
Winning streak: (31) – last loss was at Linden 14-6 on Nov. 21, 2014 in the N2, G5 semifinals.
Regular season winning streak: (25) – last loss was at home to Hunterdon Central 7-6 on Nov. 8, 2014.
Home winning streak: (17, includes 5 playoff games and 1 game at Rutgers) – last home loss was to Hunterdon Central 7-6 on Nov. 8, 2014.
Regular season road winning streak: (15) – last regular season road loss was at Linden 15-14 in OT on Oct. 2, 2014.
Westfield’s last regular season road loss in regulation time was at Hunterdon Central 34-7 on Oct. 4, 2013.
Many thanks to gridironnewjersey.com – as usual – for valuable information.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE:
Friday, Oct. 20 (8 games)
Ridge at Union, 7 p.m.
Plainfield at Elizabeth, 7 p.m.
Watchung Hills at Linden, 7 p.m.
Westfield at Immaculata, 7 p.m.
Scotch Plains vs. Rahway at Rahway River Park, 7 pm.
Cranford at Gov. Livingston, 7 p.m.
Somerville at Johnson, 7 p.m.
Bound Brook at Brearley, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 21 (4 games)
North Plainfield at Summit, 1 p.m.
Roselle at Dayton, 1 p.m.
Delaware Valley at Hillside, 1 p.m.
Roselle Park at New Providence, 1 p.m.
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS:
Friday, Oct. 13 (6 games)
Franklin 14, Union 13
Bridgewater-Raritan 28, Linden 12
Summit 31, Cranford 13
Roselle 52, Belleville 0
Somerville 60, Gov. Livingston 7
Manville 14, Brearley 7
Saturday, Oct. 14 (4 games)
Westfield 13, Elizabeth 6
Watchung Hills 9, Plainfield 6 (OT)
North Hunterdon 49, Scotch Plains 27
Hillside 51, Dayton 8
Off: Roselle Park, Rahway,
Johnson, New Providence.
THIS WEEK’S PICKS (12):
Union over Ridge
Elizabeth over Plainfield
Linden over Watchung Hills
Westfield over Immaculata
Rahway over Scotch Plains
Cranford over Gov. Livingston
Johnson over Somerville
Brearley over Bound Brook
Summit over North Plainfield
Roselle over Dayton
Hillside over Delaware Valley
Roselle Park over New Providence
Best bet: Linden
Upset special: Brearley
Last week: 6-4
This year: 45-27 (.625)
Best bets: 6-1
Upset specials: 2-5
JR’S UNION COUNTY
Roselle Park (4-2)
Gov. Livingston (1-4)
New Providence (0-5)
Scotch Plains (0-6)