Rematches, Mismatches Highlight Playoffs' First Round

The road to a state championship has finally arrived for Mid-State 39 Conference teams.

With the regular season over, some Mid-State 39 Conference teams will go on this week to face the best teams in their Groups, while other teams will play in consolation games, mostly against teams from other conferences.

The Hillsborough Raiders just made the cut for the Central Jersey Group IV playoffs, picking up the eighth seed after losing three straight games to finish the regular season with a record of 4-5. Being the last seed, though, means playing the first seed the first week of the playoffs as Hillsborough will travel to South Brunswick on Friday night.

South Brunswick and was ranked by The-Star Ledger as the No. 7 team in the state, higher than even the best teams in the Mid-State 39 Conference. Hillsborough started the season going 4-2, but with three losses to finish the season, ended up with a losing record.

When Hillsborough faced Hunterdon Central, one of the top ranked teams in the Mid-State 39 Conference -but still a team ranked lower than South Brunswick- they , 31-6. All of Hillsborough’s wins came against other teams that ended up with losing records for the season: (1-8), (1-8), (2-7) and (3-6).

Hunterdon Central (8-1) earned the first seed in the North 2, Group IV playoffs and will host Piscataway on Friday at 7 p.m. Four other teams from the Mid-State 39 Conference will play in the same bracket: Franklin (6-2), Union (6-2), Westfield (7-1) and Elizabeth (7-2).

Westfield ended up with the No. 2 seed after team in the final week of the season, 37-6. Westfield’s only loss this season came , 28-13.

Elizabeth will host Union in the first round of the playoffs, in a game that could prove to be one of the most interesting rematches of the season. Union shocked Elizabeth earlier this season, winning 43-21, led by the running game of Jamauri Bogan, a sophomore who has been running all over teams all season. Elizabeth is the third seed and Union the sixth seed in the North 2, Group IV playoffs.

Three teams from the Mid-State 39 Conference will compete for a title in the North 2, Group II playoffs: Summit (8-0), Roselle (5-3) and Bernards (7-1). Summit, the only team to in the conference, will host Roselle in the first round. Bernards, a team that lost its first and only game in the last week of the season, will host Chatham on Friday at 7 p.m. for the first round of the playoffs.

Teams that did not make the playoffs will play in consolation games this week. Watchung Hills will host Passaic on Friday at 7 p.m. Both teams won only one game this season. Bridgewater-Raritan will host Fair Lawn in a game of another two teams with one win this year. Ridge (2-7) will host Kearny (3-6) on Friday at 7 p.m.

For a schedule of playoff and consolation games in which Mid-State 39 Conference teams will compete, see below:

Friday (Playoff Games)

Piscataway (6-2) at Hunterdon Central (8-1), 7 p.m. (North 2, Group IV)

Franklin (6-2) at East Orange (7-1), 7 p.m. (North 2, Group IV)

Union (6-2) at Elizabeth (7-2), 7 p.m. (North 2, Group IV)

Chatham (6-3) at Bernards (7-1), 7 p.m. (North 2, Group II)

Hillsborough (4-5) at South Brunswick (8-0), 7 p.m. (Central Jersey, Group IV)

Rahway (5-3) at Rumson (8-0), 7 p.m. (Central Jersey, Group II)

Delaware Valley (7-1) at Johnson (6-2), 7 p.m. (Central Jersey, Group II)

Immaculata (8-1) at DePaul (8-1), 7 p.m. (Non-Public, Group IV)

Saturday (Playoff Games)

Bayonne (7-2) at Westfield (7-1), 1 p.m. (North 2, Group IV)

Roselle (5-3) at Summit (9-0), 1 p.m. (North 2, Group II)

Friday (Consolation Games)

Manville (1-7) at Bordentown (1-7), 7 p.m.

Belvidere (6-2) at Secaucus (5-4), 7 p.m.

Linden (3-5) at North Hunterdon (4-4), 7 p.m.

Fair Lawn (1-7) at Bridgewater-Raritan (1-8), 7 p.m.

Passaic (1-7) at Watchung Hills (1-8), 7 p.m.

Kearny (3-6) at Ridge (2-7), 7 p.m.

Irvington (1-7) at Warren Hills (3-6), 7 p.m.

Perth Amboy (5-3) at Phillipsburg (6-2), 7 p.m.

Kinnelon (5-4) at North Warren (5-3), 7 p.m.

Burlington City (1-7) at South Hunterdon (2-6), 7 p.m.

Keansburg (1-7) at Roselle Park (2-6), 7 p.m.

South River (2-7) at Bound Brook (2-6), 7 p.m.

Brearley (4-5) at Highland Park (4-5), 7 p.m.

Plainfield (1-7) at Millburn (2-6), 6 p.m.

Montgomery (3-6) at Trenton (3-6), 1 p.m.

Saturday (Consolation Games)

Pingry (3-6) at St. Anthony (4-5), 10:30 a.m.

Dayton (5-4) at Verona (4-4), 12 p.m.

Hillside (0-9) at Snyder (2-7), 1 p.m.

South Plainfield (2-6) at Scotch Plains-Fanwood (3-6), 1 p.m.


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