UNION COUNTY, NJ — David Brearley High School remains Union County’s only undefeated football team at 6-0.
Week 7 features Union County schools in 16 games across three days, with only one common game — Cranford at Linden.
There are two weekends of games remaining before the state playoffs commence on Friday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Oct. 29.
Most importantly, as many as 12 of Union County’s 17 football-playing schools would make the playoffs if the regular season ended last weekend.
In the playoffs at the moment are David Brearley in North, Group 1; New Providence, Arthur L. Johnson and Abraham Clark high schools in South, Group 2; Cranford, Hillside and Summit high schools in North, Group 3; Rahway and Linden high schools in North, Group 4; and Westfield, Union and Elizabeth high schools in North, Group 5.
David Brearley, Hillside and Westfield all won division championships outright and are done with their league games. David Brearley won the Big Central Conference’s Freedom Gold Division championship at 4-0, Hillside the Patriot Silver at 4-0 and Westfield the American Gold at 4-0.
Here’s a look at a busy Week 7 schedule that includes several high-profile matchups.
Thursday, Oct. 13
• David Brearley High School (6-0) at Middlesex High School (4-2), 7 p.m. The Bears last won seven straight in 2019 and last had a season start 7-0 in 2015. David Brearley has outscored the opposition 188-46 this season, and leads Union County in fewest points against and most shutouts with four. Middlesex has won three straight, starting with a 43-42 overtime shootout victory at home against Dunellen High School and continued with a 37-12 triumph at Belvidere High School. On Friday, Oct. 7, at home, the Blue Jays blanked Roselle Park High School, 7-0. David Brearley is currently fourth in the United Power Rankings in North, Group 1 behind Bergen County schools Wood-Ridge High School and Park Ridge High School and Morris County power Mountain Lakes High School. David Brearley won at Highland Park High School, 32-0, on Friday, Oct. 7, for its third straight win by shutout.
Friday, Oct. 14
• Carteret High School (6-1) at Rahway High School (3-3), 6 p.m. Carteret’s only loss was at eventual United Silver Division outright winner South Plainfield High School, 13-12, on Friday, Sept. 9. The Ramblers have since rambled off four straight victories. Rahway, hurt by the loss of injured senior standout Kyle Hall, has struggled to score in its last three games. The Indians, still in the mix for a playoff spot in North, Group 4, have a chance to rebound in their final two qualifying games, both of them at home, vs. Carteret and Colonia High School.
• Bound Brook High School (0-6) at Abraham Clark High School (2-4), 6 p.m. Bound Brook is having a tough year and has scored only two touchdowns, 6 points at Voorhees High School and 6 points at home against Delaware Valley High School. Abraham Clark lost three of its first four games, all losses, by a combined 12 points. Now the Rams are on a two-game winning streak, with the offense flying in a 42-0 win at Metuchen High School and a 41-35 shootout triumph at home against Bergen County school Ridgefield Park on Friday, Oct. 7. The two wins have put Abraham Clark in the mix for a playoff berth out of South, Group 2.
• Union High School (2-4) at Phillipsburg High School (6-0), 7 p.m. Union is coming off its second win, a 41-7 domination of Elizabeth High School at home on Friday, Oct. 7. The Farmers defeated the Minutemen in the regular season for the fourth straight season. PBurg is 6-0 for the second time in four seasons, last accomplishing that in 2019, and also went 6-1 in the pandemic season two years ago. The Stateliners, who captured the Big Central Conference’s American Silver Division championship outright at 4-0, defeated Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School, 28-13, at home on Friday, Oct. 7. Union last played PBurg in 2018, winning at Phillipsburg, 34-24.
• Westfield High School (5-1) at Ridge High School (4-2), 7 p.m. Westfield has won five straight, two of the wins by shutout, and has yielded only 44 points in that span. The Blue Devils won the BCC’s American Gold Division outright at 4-0 after positing the 37-0 triumph at Somerville High School on Friday, Oct. 7. Ridge has won three straight, including its 24-7 win at South Brunswick on Friday, Oct. 7.
• Cranford High School (4-2) at Linden High School (3-3), 7 p.m. Cranford has won four of its last five games, and its last two games have been shutout victories, at Rahway High School, 35-0, and home against Scotch Plains–Fanwood High School, 28-0, on Friday, Oct. 7. Linden had a two-game winning streak snapped at home vs. Summit High School, 28-14, on Friday, Oct. 7. This will be the fifth time in a row the teams will be clashing at Linden’s Cooper Field. Cranford won at Linden 42-13 last year, 37-7 in 2020 and 30-12 in a 2018 North 2, Group 4 first-round playoff encounter. In 2006, Cranford lost at Linden 35-20. The last time the teams played at Cranford was Sept. 16, 2005, with Linden coming out on top, 20-13. Linden also beat Cranford 12-10 at home in 2004. The last time Cranford beat Linden at home was on Oct. 3, 2003, a dramatic 15-8 Cougar victory at Memorial Field. Cranford, currently the No. 3 team in the United Power Rankings in North, Group 3, will seek to bolster that position. Linden is still alive in North, Group 4,this week in the final playoff spot at 16.
• Montgomery High School (5-2) at Scotch Plains–Fanwood High School (1-6), 7 p.m. Montgomery has lost its last two games, both at home, to Watchung Hills Regional High School, 33-0, and North Hunterdon Regional High School, 21-14. Scotch Plains–Fanwood has lost six straight, including the 28-0 setback at Cranford High School on Friday, Oct. 7, and has scored only 14 points total in its last five games.
• New Providence High School (4-3) at Bernards High School (6-1), 7 p.m. New Providence has won two in a row, including a 27-14 triumph at home against 4-0 Arthur L. Johnson High School two weeks ago and the 20-0 victory at Metuchen High School on Saturday, Oct. 8. Bernards, the Patriot Gold Division winner outright at 4-0, has won five straight, including shutout wins at home against North Plainfield High School, 37-0, two weeks ago and at Bound Brook, 38-0, on Friday, Oct. 7.
• Spotswood High School (5-2) at Arthur L. Johnson High School (4-2), 7 p.m. Spotswood is coming off a 25-7 home win against Jonathan Dayton High School on Saturday, Oct. 8, while Arthur L. Johnson was stopped at home by Hillside High School, 33-7, on Friday, Oct. 7. This is another big game for the host Crusaders, who are still in the mix for a playoff berth out of South, Group 2.
• Roselle Park High School (2-4) at Dunellen High School (2-4), 7 p.m. Both teams were shut out on Friday, Oct. 7, Dunellen for the second straight week. Roselle Park was thwarted at home by Middlesex High School, 7-0, while Dunellen was humbled at South Hunterdon Regional High School, 43-0. Roselle Park still eyes a 4-4 record at the playoff cutoff date and will obtain that with wins at Dunellen and home against KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy on Friday, Oct. 21. Newark Collegiate is currently 1-6 and hosts Bergen County Group 4 school Tenafly High School (2-3) on Friday, Oct. 14.
• Jonathan Dayton High School (3-3) at South Hunterdon Regional High School (4-2), 7 p.m. Jonathan Dayton has lost three of its last four following a 2-0 start. South Hunterdon Regional snapped a two-game losing streak — it was shut out both times — by blanking visiting Dunellen High School, 43-0, on Friday, Oct. 7. The Bulldogs are coming off a 25-7 loss at Spotswood High School on Saturday, Oct. 8.
Saturday, Oct. 15
• South River High School (2-4) at Governor Livingston High School (3-4), 12:30 p.m. South River has lost its last three, including a 48-0 decision at Delaware Valley High School on Friday, Oct. 7. Governor Livingston led Carteret High School, 7-6, at the half at Carteret on Friday, Oct. 7, before falling 28-7 to fall back to less than .500. This is Governor Livingston’s final scheduled regular-season home game. There’s the possibility the Highlanders could host an opponent in a consolation game, as it appears that they will not qualify for a playoff berth out of North, Group 3. Saturday, Oct. 15, is also senior day at Governor Livingston, with Teddy Scalora, Patrick Sheehan, Vincent Fabio, Kyle Bade, Liam Quigley, Kobe Catarino, Daniel Whelan and Colin Ryan among the seniors who will be honored.
• Bridgewater-Raritan High School (2-5) at Elizabeth High School, (2-4), 12:30 p.m. Bridgewater-Raritan has lost three straight and Elizabeth four of its last five, after opening with a 1-point home win against Plainfield High School. As crazy as it sounds, Elizabeth could still possibly gain a playoff berth out of North, Group 5, should it split its last two qualifying games vs. Bridgewater-Raritan and at Watchung Hills Regional High School next weekend.
• Monroe Township High School (2-4) at Plainfield High School (1-5), 1 p.m. Monroe has lost its last two, including a 28-21 decision at Old Bridge High School on Friday, Oct. 7. Plainfield was seeking a second straight win at Watchung Hills Regional High School on Friday, Oct. 7, but fell 31-22. Unless the team hosts a consolation game, this will be Plainfield’s final home game at Hub Stine Field this season. The Cardinals are at Franklin High School on Friday, Oct. 21, and then at Westfield High School on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 24.
• Colonia High School (6-1) at Summit High School (3-3), 1 p.m. Colonia bounced back from its only loss by beating Perth Amboy High School, 34-24, at home on Friday, Oct. 7. Colonia’s only loss is to North Hunterdon Regional High School, which is also 6-1. North Hunterdon Regional’s only loss is to Phillipsburg High School, which is 6-0. Colonia captured the BCC’s Liberty Gold Division title outright at 4-0. North Hunterdon won the Liberty Silver Division championship outright at 3-0 — Liberty Silver is the only four-team division in the BCC. Summit is one of the hottest teams in the state, with a three-game winning streak and a much-improved defense since giving up 11 touchdowns total in its first two games. In its last four games, the Hilltoppers have yielded an average of only 7.5 points per game, a touchdown a contest. Summit is right in the mix for a playoff berth out of North, Group 3 and has big home games this weekend and next vs. St. Joseph High School of Metuchen (3-3) that will count toward qualifying.
• Delaware Valley High School (5-1) at Hillside High School (5-1), 1 p.m. This could be called a Game of the Week in many circles and will have a real playoff atmosphere of two really good teams getting at it. Hillside is coming off a convincing 33-7 win at Arthur L. Johnson High School on Friday, Oct. 7, that clinched the BCC’s Patriot Silver Division championship outright at 4-0. Hillside’s only loss was at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, 17-7, on Friday, Sept. 30. Delaware Valley’s only setback was at home to Bernards High School, 17-14, on Friday, Sept. 23. As a result, Bernards won the Patriot Gold Division outright at 4-0 and Delaware Valley finished second at 3-1. Last year, Hillside, Delaware Valley and Bernards tied for the BCC’s Division 2A title, all finishing with 4-1 league marks. The last three meetings between Delaware Valley and Hillside all came right down to the final play. Hillside won 20-14 at Delaware Valley in 2019, and, on the same field in 2020, Delaware Valley came out on top by the same 20-14 score, this time in overtime. Last year’s game at Hillside saw the Comets prevail by a slimmer margin, 21-19.
Photo by JR Parachini