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Four area teams - all from the GMC - have qualified for Championship Weekend in two weeks, by winning semifinal playoff games Friday night. Carteret, Colonia, South Brunswick and Dunellen all will vie for state championships, a year after no Middlesex County teams qualified for the finals for the first time since the playoff era began in 1974.
On Friday, December 5, Carteret will vie for the Central Jersey Group 3 title. The third-seeded Rampblers will take on 5th-seed Matawan, as they seek their second state title in three years. In 2012, Carteret beat Weequahic for the Central Jersey Group 2 title. Game time is 7pm at Kean University in Union, and WCTC will broadcast all the action live with pregame at 6:55.
On Saturday, December 6, the other three area teams will play in title tilts.
At 10 am at Rutgers, No. 1, top-seed and undefeated South Brunswick will take on third-seed Manalapan for the Central Jersey Group 5 title. It's a rematch of the 2012 final, which South Brunswick won, clinching its first state championship ever. WCTC will have live play-by-play coverage of that game leading up to Rutgers Gameday for Scarlet Knight men's basketball at Seton Hall at 11:30 am, after which we'll continue with live updates during the RU game.
At 1 pm at Rutgers, top-seed and undefeated Colonia will take on second-seed Phillipsburg. The Patriots are seeking their first-ever state title, in their first-ever meeting with the Stateliners, one of the most storied programs in New Jersey.
Also at 1 pm, up at Kean University in Union, the top-seeded Dunellen Destroyers will take on 6th-seed Shabazz in the North Jersey, Section One, Group One title game. The Destroyers are seeking their first state title since they beat Metuchen in central Group One in 1993.
Following the Rutgers basketball game at Seton Hall, WCTC's Tom Ortuso will host a special edition of Football USA, throwing it back and forth between second-half play-by-play of both 1:00 games, and updating college football's Championship Weekend. The show will run til 4 pm, with a complete wrap up of the 2014 high school football season.
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WCTC's No. 1 team in Central Jersey - South Brunswick - is on the air Friday night when the top-seeded Vikings take on 5th-seeded Trenton at home in a Central Jersey Group 5 semifinal game. Mike Pavlichko and Tom Ortuso call all the action live from South Brunswick, with kickoff at 7 pm. Throughout the game, we'll have live, frequent updates from Adam Woodring in Hillsboro, where the 2nd-seeded Raiders are entertaining the 3rd-seeded Manalapan Braves, the defending sectional champions.
There are seven other area teams in semifinal action Friday night. They include:
North Jersey, Section 2 - Group 4(1) Colonia vs. (4) JFK, 7 pm(6) Woodbridge at (2) Phillipsburg, 7 pm
Central Jersey - Group 3(3) Carteret at (2) Long Branch, 7 pm
North Jersey, Section 2 - Group 1(1) Dunellen vs. (4) Hoboken, 7 pm
Central Jersey - Group 1(4) Middlesex at (1) Shore, 7 pm
Non-Public - Group 2 (6) Immaculata at (2) DePaul
Then, on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm, 2nd-seed Piscataway entertains 3rd-seed Elizabeth in the North Jersey, Section 2 - Group 5 semis.
Listen to Football USA Saturday (after Rutgers-Michigan State from 4-7 pm) with Mike Pavlichko and Tom Ortuso for a complete recap of all the weekend's playoff events, and a look ahead to Championship Weekend, December 5-6!
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For all the latest on Friday night's opening round of the state playoffs, tune in to Football USA Saturday morning at 11 am! We'll recap the 16 teams in action Friday night, including the three top seeds: South Brunswick, Colonia and Dunellen.
The Vikings host East Brunswick in a Central Jersey Group 5 first round game. The Patriots entertain Scotch Plains-Fanwood in North Jersey Section 2 Group 4. And Dunellen hosts Bound Brook in North 2 Group 1 action. We'll also preview some of Saturday's games, including interviews with Piscataway's Dan Higgins and Spotswood's Andy Cammarano.
Join Mike Pavlichko and Tom Ortuso for all the latest from 11 am to 1 pm before Rutgers' Senior Day game against Indiana at 3:30 on 1450 WCTC and wctcam.com!
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The NJSIAA has released its official playoff pairings for the state football tournament, and 21 area teams made the cut. Three of them earned top seeds: South Brunswick in Central Jersey Group 5, Colonia in North Jersey Section 2 Group 4, and Dunellen in North 2 Group 1. Following are the matchups in each section that includes a local team, with area teams in CAPS (all games at 7 pm Friday unless otherwise noted):
North Jersey, Section 2 - Group 5:8-North Hunterdon at 1-Linden5-BRIDGEWATER-RARITAN at 4-Westfield (Sat 1 pm)6-Barringer at 3-Elizabeth7-Bayonne at 2-PISCATAWAY (Sat 1 pm)
Central Jersey - Group 5:8-EAST BRUNSWICK at 1-SOUTH BRUNSWICK5-Trenton at 4-MONTGOMERY6-OLD BRIDGE at 3-Manalapan7-MONROE at 2-HILLSBOROUGH
North Jersey, Section 2 - Group 4:8-Scotch Plains-Fanwood at 1-COLONIA5-West Morris at 4-JFK-ISELIN6-WOODBRIDGE at 3-Irvington7-Mendham at 2-Phillipsburg
North Jersey, Section 2 - Group 3:8-NORTH PLAINFIELD at 1-Cranford5-West Essex at 4-Voorhees6-Orange at 3-Parsippany Hills (Sat 1 pm)7-Morris Hills at 2-Summit (Sat 1 pm)
Central Jersey - Group 3:8-Ocean Twp at 1-Hopewell Valley5-Matawan at 4-Raritan6-Nottingham at 3-CARTERET7-Hamilton West at 2-Long Branch
North Jersey, Section 2 - Group 2:8-Caldwell at 1-Mountain Lakes5-Hanover Park at 4-Ridgefield Park6-BERNARDSat 3-Lincoln (Sat 1 pm)7-Newark Central at 2-Madison (Sat 1 pm)
Central Jersey - Group 2:8-Lakewood at 1-Roselle (Sat 1 pm)5-Delaware Valley at 4-SPOTSWOOD (Sat 1 pm)6-Bordentown at 3-Cinnaminson7-Johnson at 2-Rumson-Fair Haven
North Jersey, Section 2 - Group 1:8-BOUND BROOK at 1-DUNELLEN5-Glen Ridge at 4-Hoboken6-Shabazz at 3-New Providence (Sat 1 pm)7-Brearley at 2-Belvidere
Central Jersey - Group 1:8-Point Pleasant Beach at 1-Shore5-New Egypt at 4-MIDDLESEX (Sat 1 pm)6-METUCHEN at 3-South Hunterdon7-Florence at 2-Palmyra
Non-Public - Group 3:8-PINGRY at 1-Holy Cross5-Holy Spirit at Montclair-Kimberley Academy (Sat 1 pm)6-IMMACULATA at 3-HUdson Catholic (Fri 7:30 pm)7-Gloucester Catholic at 2-DePaul
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The undefeated Vikings remain the Top Team in the WCTC Central Jersey High School Football Top Ten, the final rankings before the playoffs begin and the end of the regular season. Here are the Week 9 rankings, followed by record and previous rank:
1. South Brunswick (1, 8-0); 2. Piscataway (7-1, 2); 3. Colonia (9-0, 3); 4. Montgomery (8-1, 4); 5. Hillsborough (8-1, 5); 6. Old Bridge (5-3, 6); 7. Spotswood (6-3, 8); 8. Bernards (7-1, 7); 9. Monroe (6-3, 9); 10. Dunellen (7-1, 10).
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