All pistons are firing as Union County football blasts into Week Three

UNION COUNTY, NJ — Winning for the first time in Week Two last weekend were Arthur L. Johnson and Roselle Park high schools on Friday night, Sept. 8, and Hillside High School on a steamy, sweltering Saturday afternoon, Sept. 9, at Hillside’s John Zappulla Field.

Arthur L. Johnson won at home against Bound Brook High School, 34-10.

Roselle Park was victorious at Jonathan Dayton High School, 27-7.

Hillside easily handled visiting Metuchen High School, 28-7.

Perhaps the biggest triumph in Union County last weekend was Summit High School winning at Cranford High School, 46-13, in the clash of teams that were both 1-0 on Friday, Sept. 8. Summit downed Cranford for the first time since 2017 and snapped a four-game losing streak against the Cougars.

Union High School was also impressive in winning at home against Westfield High School, 37-7, on Friday, Sept. 8.

Now we move on to Week Three this weekend, which includes games on Thursday, Sept. 14; Friday, Sept. 15; and Saturday, Sept. 16.

All 17 Union County football playing schools are in action once again this weekend.

Here’s a look at each battle:

Thursday, Sept 14

• Arthur L. Johnson High School (1-1) at Metuchen High School (1-1), 3 p.m.: The Crusaders were decisive in besting Bound Brook, 34-10, in the home-opener on Friday, Sept. 8, at Nolan Field in Clark. Metuchen is coming off its 28-7 loss at Hillside, with the Bulldogs managing to score a touchdown against Hillside’s reserves with just under three minutes to go.

• Frank J. Cicarell High School (0-3) at Westfield High School (0-2), 4 p.m.: Rarely do you get a Frank J. Cicarell vs. Westfield matchup where both teams are winless. Frank J. Cicarell has lost all three of its games after leading them in the second half. Westfield has lost twice by double digits.

• J.P. Stevens High School (0-3) at Governor Livingston High School (2-1), 4 p.m.: Not only is Governor Livingston coming off a second straight win, but it was by the rare shutout score of 2-0 at North Plainfield Middle/High School on Friday night, Sept. 8, with the Highlanders winning on a safety. J.P. Stevens has been shut out at home the past two weekends and has only scored 20 points so far in 2023.

• Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School (1-2) at Rahway High School (2-1), 6 p.m.: Scotch Plains-Fanwood has lost two straight, while Rahway is coming off a one-point win against Lincoln High School of Jersey City 13-12. Rahway has wins against teams from Middlesex and Hudson counties. Starting with Scotch Plains-Fanwood, the Indians will face three straight Union County foes, with Summit and Cranford high schools to follow.

• Woodbridge High School (2-1) at Cranford High School (1-1), 7 p.m.: Woodbridge is also fresh off a one-point win, 20-19 at home against Linden High School on Friday night, Sept. 8. Cranford will look to regroup, after its setback at home to Summit High School. Woodbridge also gave up 46 points to Summit, falling 46-36 at Summit two weeks ago.

• Delaware Valley High School (2-0) at New Providence High School (2-1), 7 p.m.: The Pioneers will be at home at their Lieder Field for the first time this year against a Delaware Valley team that has scored double-digit wins at home so far against Abraham Clark High School, 27-9, and Voorhees High School, 28-7. New Providence has wins at Governor Livingston, 14-7, and at Abraham Clark, 24-14.

• Jonathan Dayton High School (0-2) at Manville High School (1-2), 7 p.m.: Both teams are coming off double-digit losses at home, including Manville falling to Middlesex High School, 34-0, on Friday, Sept. 8. Jonathan Dayton has been held to just two scores in its first two games, a single touchdown in each.

Friday, Sept.15

• St. Thomas Aquinas High School (3-0) at Summit High School (2-0), 4 p.m.: The Hilltoppers will have their hands full with a 3-0 STA squad that has outscored its first three opponents by an impressive 118-7 margin that includes two straight shutouts. Summit was last 3-0 in 2018 when the Hilltoppers last captured the North 2, Group 3 sectional state championship.

• Colonia High School (2-1) at Linden High School (2-1), 6 p.m.: Colonia has won two straight by double digits against Scotch Plains-Fanwood and John F. Kennedy Memorial High School in Iselin, while Linden just had a two-game winning streak snapped at Woodbridge, 20-19, on Friday night, Sept. 8. The teams battled to the end last year, with Colonia coming out on top 28-25 in Colonia.

• David Brearley High School (0-2) at Roselle Park High School (1-1), 6 p.m.: It’s been 10 years since Roselle Park defeated David Brearley. The Panthers last beat the Bears in 2013 by the score of 34-28 in a game played at Roselle Park’s Herm Shaw Field. David Brearley has won the last nine meetings and will be looking to make it 10 for its first victory of the 2023 campaign. Roselle Park is coming off its first win of the year, a 27-7 triumph at Jonathan Dayton.

Saturday, Sept. 16

• Union High School (2-1) at St. Joseph High School, Metuchen (1-1), 1 p.m.: Union has won two straight and is now tied for first place in the Big Central Conference’s American Gold Division along with Somerville High School, both with 1-0 league marks. Somerville won at St. Joseph, 28-20, on Saturday, Sept. 9. The night before, Union cruised to a decisive 36-7 American Gold Division win against rival Westfield.

• Carteret High School (3-0) at Plainfield High School (1-1), 1 p.m.: Carteret has outscored its competition 124-26 so far, the Ramblers averaging more than 40 points. Carteret won at Plainfield 25-11 last year. The Cardinals are coming off a 23-14 loss at Montgomery High School on Friday night, Sept. 8. Plainfield opened with a 33-26 home win against Frank J. Cicarell.

• Hillside High School (1-1) at Abraham Clark High School (0-2), 1 p.m.: Abraham Clark is not only trying to avoid a second straight 0-3 start, but the Rams will be looking to beat the Comets for the first time since 2016. Since Barris Grant has been the head coach at Hillside, the Comets have never played the Rams at Roselle’s Arminio Field. This weekend will be the first time. Abraham Clark defeated Hillside 26-0 at Hillside in 2016; Hillside has defeated Abraham Clark the past six seasons. Here are the scores:

2017: Hillside 14, Abraham Clark 12 – at Rahway River Park
2018: Hillside 35, Abraham Clark 7 – at Rahway River Park
2019: Hillside 47, Abraham Clark 0 – at Hillside
2020: Hillside 54, Abraham Clark 0 – at Hillside
2021: Hillside 42, Abraham Clark 14 – at Hillside
2022: Hillside 28, Abraham Clark 0 – at Hillside