It was pretty much a weekend of chalk in the first full weekend of Central Jersey High School Football.
The WCTC Top Ten went 9-1 Friday night, with the only loss being #9 Old Bridge. And that's only because they played another Top Ten team, falling to 7th-ranked South Brunswick. Someone had to lose.
The new rankings will be out Monday morning; listen for them during the 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 am sports reports with Racquel Williams.
Am I that good with picking the ten best teams in Central Jersey? I don't know if I'd go that far.
Maybe it's just that last year's best teams continue to play well.
Piscataway had to deal with the loss of its all-time leading rusher and touchdown scorer, Elijah Barnwell - who's now at Rutgers - while Sayreville lost quartreback Jayson DeMild to graduation, as well as others. For both, the cupboard seems to be at least more half-full than half-empty.
Somerville, St. Joe's, Ridge and Bridgewater-Raritan all picked up nearly where they left off, even if Week One wasn't as pretty as they would have liked.
South Brunswick has a new quarterback, as Felix Quinones takes over for Josh Liao, a three-year starter. Head coach Joe Goerge told me after their win at Old Bridge Friday night that - with "no disrespect to Josh" - he runs the option even better. And with Penn State commit Justin Shorter as a target, the Vikings can be dangerous in the GMC Red.
The rest? South Plainfield won, Old Bridge lost, and Bishop Ahr took a forfeit win over Highland Park.
Maybe this shouldn't be a surprise, considering some of the talk that has surrounded South River football this offseason, but the Rams came up with a big season-opening win Saturday afternoon in Spotswood. They beat the three-time defending champion Chargers 34-7, on the road.
That's a helluva opening salvo in the GMC Blue Division race.
Spotswood has won the last three division titles, even though Bishop Ahr won it on the field last year by beating the Chargers. However, they were not eligible to win the GMC Blue since they petitioned to drop down from the White last year. They're also ineligible this year.
So, the Rams will have to trip up - a couple of times - to lose this thing. Bishop Ahr is probably their toughest division opponent left in the last 8 weeks of the regular season, and after that, maybe Middlesex. The Rams visit the Blue Jays Friday night.
How significant was the win? Consider that the 34 points the Rams scored against one of their biggest rivals was the most they've put on a scoreboard in a regular season game since late 2015, when they scored 39 in a win against Dunellen. It's also the most they've dropped on Spotswood since they beat the Chargers 35-7 in 2012. They scored 14 in a 14-3 victory in '13, and only mustered 7, 7 and 6 the following three years in a trio of losses.
Let's see if South River can keep it up. In any event, happy to see the small schools doing well, and a resurgent Rams club. They've had some tough breaks over the last few years.
I'm excited, too, because we'll see the Rams at Bill Denny Stadium on our opening weekend of Central Jersey High School Football. That's Saturday, October 7th, when Metuchen comes to town for a 2 pm kick.
By the way, South River head coach Rich Marchesi will join us to talk about it, and preview that night's game against Middlesex, on "Friday Night Football USA" next Friday night at 6 on WCTC.