Union County football teams position themselves for Week 3

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UNION COUNTY, NJ — Union County football for Week 3 will be spread out over three days, with two games scheduled to be played on Thursday, Sept. 15; 10 more on Friday, Sept. 16; and one on Saturday, Sept. 17.

There are four common games: Roselle Park High School at David Brearley High School on Thursday, Sept. 15; Westfield High School at Elizabeth High School and Rahway High School at Scotch Plains–Fanwood High School on Friday, Sept. 16; and Abraham Clark High School at Hillside High School on Saturday, Sept. 17.

There are five undefeated teams remaining in Union County. They are David Brearley (2-0), Jonathan Dayton (2-0), Hillside (2-0), Rahway (2-0) and Arthur L. Johnson (2-0).

Thursday, Sept. 15:

• Roselle Park (0-2) at David Brearley (2-0), 6 p.m. The host Bears will play again at Ward Field in Kenilworth following the 36-0 home-opening triumph against Spotswood High School on Friday, Sept. 9. Roselle Park played better last week in its home opener vs. Jonathan Dayton before falling 20-14. David Brearley has won the last seven meetings, from 2014 to 2021. The teams did not play in 2018 because Roselle Park had just junior varsity football that season. Roselle Park last beat David Brearley in 2013, a 34-28 Panther win at home on Oct. 11 of that season.

• Manville High School (2-1) at Jonathan Dayton High School (2-0), 6 p.m. Manville has wins against Keyport High School and Middlesex High School, and a loss to David Brearley in between. Jonathan Dayton, under first-year head coach Nick Iannacone, is 2-0 for the first time since 2009. The Bulldogs have two 6-point wins, the first at home against Dunellen High School, 14-8, on Friday, Sept. 2, and the second at Roselle Park, 20-14, on Friday, Sept. 9. Lujuan Quinones passed and rushed for touchdowns, and Alex Altemus scored the other Jonathan Dayton touchdown in Dayton’s win at Roselle Park. Zaakir Youmans caught the touchdown pass.

Friday, Sept. 16:

• Linden High School (1-1) at Colonia High School (3-0), 6 p.m. Linden is coming off a convincing 31-0 home-opening shutout of Woodbridge High School, while Colonia has home victories against New Brunswick High School and Scotch Plains–Fanwood and a road triumph last weekend vs. John F. Kennedy Memorial High School in Iselin. Linden head coach Albert Chiola’s son Casey is a junior wide receiver/defensive back for the Patriots and has seven catches on the season so far.

• Governor Livingston High School (1-2) at J.P. Stevens High School (0-2), 6 p.m. Governor Livingston is coming off the initial win for first-year head coach Pete Ramiccio, a 31-14 home triumph against North Plainfield on Friday, Sept. 9. J.P. Stevens, a North, Group 5 school, lost at Edison, 43-0, and at Perth Amboy, 39-14, and is preparing for its home opener.

• Summit High School (0-2) at St. Thomas Aquinas High School (2-1), 6 p.m. Summit lost its home opener to Cranford High School, 42-23, on Saturday, Sept. 10, but made the score a bit more respectable after trailing 28-3 in the second quarter. Senior outside linebacker Anthony Acitelli, No. 7, stepped in front of a Cranford wide receiver and intercepted a pass, returning it 70 yards for a Summit touchdown right before halftime. The Hilltoppers scored two more touchdowns in the second half. St. Thomas Aquinas is averaging 38 points and has scored more than 40 points in victories produced in the past two weekends.

• Westfield (1-1) at Elizabeth High School (1-1), 7 p.m. Westfield came back in the second half to beat Union, 21-14, in its home opener on Saturday, Sept. 10. On the same day, Elizabeth fell by a touchdown at Hunterdon Central Regional High School, 28-21. Westfield senior quarterback Trey Brown, who has committed to the University of Maryland for lacrosse, scored the winning touchdown vs. Union.

• St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen (2-0) at Union (0-2), 7 p.m. St. Joseph’s is guided by first-year head coach Bill Tracy, a 1986 Union High School graduate who was previously a very successful head coach at Ridge High School, where his team won the North 2, Group 5 state championship against Union in 2013. After stepping down as Ridge head coach following the 2019 season, Tracy spent two years as an assistant coach at Governor Livingston, where his son Connor was the starting quarterback as a junior and senior. In 2008, Tracy guided Livingston High School to its only state championship in the playoff era, when the Lancers captured the North 1, Group 4 title. St. Joseph’s is coming off a big 31-15 win at Somerville High School on Friday, Sept. 9. Union led Westfield 14-7 at the half on Saturday, Sept. 10, before falling 21-14.

• Plainfield High School (0-2) at Carteret High School (2-1), 7 p.m. Both teams have 1-point losses. Plainfield opened two weeks ago with a 23-22 setback at Elizabeth. After opening with home wins against John F. Kennedy in Iselin and Perth Amboy High School, Carteret lost at South Plainfield, 13-12, on Friday, Sept. 9.

• Rahway High School (2-0) at Scotch Plains–Fanwood (1-2), 7 p.m. Rahway is coming off an emotional 45-16 win against Lincoln High School on Friday, Sept. 9, at Caven Point in Jersey City. Rahway senior Ali Muhammad, 17, died on Thursday, Sept. 8, and that game was dedicated to him, as is the rest of the season. Rahway senior quarterback Amir Robinson completed four-of-five passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Kyle Hall carried the ball nine times for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Trevor Delapara was in on a team-leading 12 tackles. Scotch Plains–Fanwood has a win against North Plainfield and losses to Colonia and St. Thomas Aquinas.

• Cranford (1-1) at Woodbridge (1-2), 7 p.m. When the teams clashed last year in October, both were undefeated, with Cranford coming away with a 38-28 triumph. This time, both have singular victories against Summit to their credit. Cranford had success running the ball at Summit on Saturday, Sept. 10, behind the powerful force of senior Shane Kanterman.

• Metuchen High School (1-2) at Arthur L. Johnson High School (2-0), 7 p.m. Metuchen has lost two straight, falling to South River High School and Hillside High School at home, after opening with a 40-6 home triumph against Highland Park. This will be the first road game for the Middlesex County school, which, like Arthur L. Johnson, is situated in South, Group 2. After opening with a 42-6 home win against Governor Livingston, the Crusaders kept their momentum with a 42-0 triumph at Bound Brook High School on Friday, Sept. 9.

• New Providence High School (2-1) at Delaware Valley High School (2-0), 7 p.m. New Providence edged Abraham Clark, 21-20, at home on Friday, Sept. 9, to go back above .500. This is the home opener for Delaware Valley, which has road wins at Abraham Clark in Roselle, 20-17, and at Voorhees High School, 38-7.

Saturday, Sept. 17:

• Abraham Clark (0-2) at Hillside (2-0), 1 p.m. As predicted, Hillside is off to a dominant start with road victories at Bernards High School, 35-20, and then at Metuchen, 45-0, in Patriot Silver Division play. Kendrell Gordon, Kyon Simonson, Darvens Tunis, Chibugo Chigozie-Nwosu on a fumble return and Kamari Robinson scored touchdowns for Hillside in its shutout against Metuchen. Abraham Clark is not that far off from being 2-0, as it lost two games by a combined total of just 4 points. The Rams have lost at home to Delaware Valley, 20-17, and then at New Providence, 21-20, in Patriot Silver Division action on Friday, Sept. 9, at New Providence’s Lieder Field. Hillside defeated Abraham Clark, 42-14, at home a year ago.

Photos by JR Parachini