Since 2009, Union County has produced at least one state champion, a streak of nine straight seasons.
Since 2011 we’ve seen Cranford win its first state championship in the playoff era – the Cougars won again in 2015 – and then we’ve seen three programs win for the first time in a very long time.
In 2014 Linden won for the first time in 29 years.
In 2015 Westfield won for the first time in 38 years.
In 2017 Hillside won for the first time in 32 years.
Rahway did not win a state championship this season, but the Indians still produced a solid season, finishing 7-4 and reaching the North 2, Group 3 semifinals.
Rahway, did, however, beat two state champions. On Opening Day in Hillside, Rahway defeated the host Comets 35-21. Hillside won Central Jersey, Group 2.
Rahway then won at 4-0 Somerville 27-6, handing the Pioneers their only loss. Somerville won Central Jersey, Group 3.
Of all the other teams in Union County that have won state championships in the playoff era, Rahway now has the longest drought. The Indians have won three titles – all in North 2, Group 3 – and their last one came in 1984.
Not only did Westfield and Hillside win state championships last weekend, but both never trailed and each beat a team called the Panthers.
Westfield 3-peated in North 2, Group 5 and will begin 2018 with a state-leading 37-game winning streak. The school record is 48 from 1969-1973.
Westfield became the first Union County program to go 12-0 three years in a row. Westfield was also the first school from Union County to win three straight state championships since Union captured North 2, Group 4 from 1991-1993.
Hillside became the first Union County school to win a state championship in the section known as Central Jersey. Union County teams were previously 0-3 in CJ finals, with New Providence and Brearley falling in the 2004 and 2005 Group 1 title games, respectively, and Johnson in the 2008 Group 2 title contest.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS
Thursday, Nov. 30 (1 game)
At MetLife Stadium
North 2, Group 5
Westfield 20, Bridgewater-Raritan 7
Saturday, Dec. 2 (1 game)
Central Jersey, Group 2
Hillside 20, Point Pleasant Boro 13
Last week: 2-0
This year: 82-45 (.646)
Best bets: 12-2
Upset specials: 4-10
TOP 10 FOR 2017:
10-Roselle Park (7-4)
Gov. Livingston (3-7)
Scotch Plains (1-9)
New Providence (1-9)
MID-STATE 38 CONFERENCE
Delaware – Phillipsburg (5-0)
North 2, Group 4 finalist
Mountain – Somerville (4-1)
Central Jersey, Group 3 champion
Raritan – North Hunterdon (4-0)
North 2, Group 4 champion
Union – Bound Brook (5-1)
Central Jersey, Group 1 semifinals
Valley – Johnson (5-0)
Central Jersey, Group 2 semifinals
Watchung – Westfield (6-0)
North 2, Group 5 champion