MONDAY EVENING QUARTERBACK: 2 Union County teams guaranteed of reaching state championship games

A banner 5-1 first-round playoff day last Saturday has produced two Union County vs. Union County semifinal matchups this weekend.
That means Union County will have at least two teams playing in championship games the first weekend in December.
Six of Union County’s 10 playoff qualifiers advanced to this weekend’s semifinal action, which is a large and impressive showing against challenging competition.
Of those winners, Rahway, Hillside, Elizabeth and Roselle Park captured their victories on the road.
Rarely does Union County have a playoff day where four winners do so between bus rides.
The two Union County common matchups this weekend include Hillside at Johnson in Central Jersey, Group 2 Friday night and Elizabeth at two-time defending champion Westfield in North 2, Group 5 Saturday afternoon.
They are also rematches of regular season division clashes. On Oct. 6 at Johnson High School’s Nolan Field in Clark, eventual first-time Valley Division champion Johnson defeated Hillside 22-13.
Johnson (8-1) won the Mid-State’s Valley Division at 5-0, while Hillside (7-3) finished second at 4-1.
Eight days later at Rutgers, eventual 3-peat Watchung Division champion Westfield turned back Elizabeth 13-6 in what was considered a Westfield home game.
Westfield is 5-0 in the division and still has its final Watchung Division game at home against Plainfield on Thanksgiving. Elizabeth finished tied for third in the division at 3-3.
Westfield is 9-0 overall for the third straight season and has a state-leading 34-game winning streak. The program record is 48, set from 1969-1973.
Elizabeth is 5-5 and has reached the North 2, Group 5 semifinals for the second year in a row and for the fourth time in six seasons.
The only time the teams previously met in the playoffs was in 2000 when top-seeded Elizabeth blanked eighth-seeded Westfield 21-0 at home in the first round en route to the championship.
Also Friday night, Rahway (6-3) is at West Essex (9-1) in North 2, Group 3 and Roselle Park (6-3) is at Shabazz (9-0) in North 2, Group 1.
Rahway is coming off its first road playoff win since 2010 and Roselle Park only its fourth overall and first since 1992.

 

UNION COUNTY
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

 

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
NJSIAA SEMIFINALS:

Friday, Nov. 17 (3 games)
North 2, Group 3
5-Rahway at 1-West Essex, 7 p.m.

North 2, Group 1
6-Roselle Park at 2-Shabazz, 7 p.m.

Central Jersey, Group 2
7-Hillside at 3-Johnson, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 18 (1 game)
North 2, Group 5
5-Elizabeth at 1-Westfield, 1 p.m.

 

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS
NJSIAA PLAYOFFS:
Friday, Nov. 10 (4 games)
North 2, Group 4
Irvington 16, Linden 13
North 2, Group 3
Parsippany Hills 48, Cranford 21
Central Jersey, Group 2
Johnson 34, Holmdel 6
Manasquan 41, Roselle 8
Saturday, Nov. 11 (5 games)
North 2, Group 5
Westfield 17, Ridge 10
Elizabeth 26, East Orange Campus 7
North 2, Group 3
Rahway 45, Summit 37
North 2, Group 1
Roselle Park 27, Glen Ridge 21
Central Jersey, Group 2
Hillside 28, South River 7
CONSOLATIONS:
Thursday, Nov. 9 (3 games)
Union 28, Hackensack 7
New Providence 27, Dayton 0
Brearley 31, Dunellen 20
Saturday, Nov. 11 (3 games)
Plainfield 35, Kearny 6
Scotch Plains 43, Hopatcong 24
Gov. Livingston 26, Chatham 7

 

THIS WEEK’S PICKS (4):

Rahway over West Essex

Shabazz over Roselle Park

Johnson over Hillside

Westfield over Elizabeth

Best bet: Westfield

Upset special: Rahway

Last week: 4-5

This year: 73-43 (.629)

Best bets: 9-2

Upset specials: 2-9
 

JR’S UNION COUNTY
TOP 10:

1-Westfield (9-0)

2-Johnson (8-1)

3-Linden (5-4)

4-Rahway (6-3)

5-Summit (6-4)

6-Cranford (6-4)

7-Hillside (7-3)

8-Elizabeth (5-5)

9-Union (3-6)

10-Roselle (6-3)

Others:

Brearley (5-5)

Roselle Park (6-3)

Gov. Livingston (2-7)

Plainfield (1-8)

New Providence (1-8)

Scotch Plains (1-9)

Dayton (1-9)

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