Another scholastic football season has come to a close in New Jersey.
The final New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association playoff championship games were completed this past weekend of Dec. 7-8.
Notre Dame High School ended the 2019 season as the No. 1 team in the final Top 10 rankings for Central Jersey.
Here is a look at the final Top 10 rankings.
(Ranking. Team, Record)
1. Notre Dame, 10-1: The Irish put together their best season since 2004 by winning their first state playoff game in 15 years, defeating Delbarton High School, 34-31, in the first round of the Non-Public, Group 4 playoffs. The school from Lawrenceville gave top-seeded Saint Peter’s Prep all it could handle in the quarterfinals, but fell to the Jersey City power, 45-35. Saint Peter’s Prep went on to win the Non-Public, Group 4 state championship with a 21-14 victory over another state power, Don Bosco Prep, in the title game. Senior running back Cortaz Williams had 27 touchdowns rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns on offense this season to guide Notre Dame.
2. Mater Dei Prep, 8-4: The Seraphs came up short for the third year in a row in the state championship playoff game, losing to DePaul Catholic High School, 27-25, in the Non-Public, Group 3 state title game. Senior running back Malik Ingram rushed for 1,487 yards and 24 total touchdowns this season for Mater Dei, which last won a state playoff title in 2016 when it claimed Non-Public, Group 2.
3. Jackson Memorial, 8-3: Jackson Memorial’s run to its first sectional championship since 2015 came to an end in the final of the Central Jersey, Group 4 playoffs on Nov. 22 against top-seeded Hammonton. The Jaguars couldn’t overcome a three-touchdown deficit at the half and lost to Hammonton, 28-12. Junior running back Will Towns rushed for 1,372 yards and 17 total touchdowns this fall for the Jaguars.
4. North Brunswick, 9-2: The Central Jersey, Group 5 champion, Cherokee High School upset North Brunswick in the sectional semifinals, 41-25, which ended the Raiders’ eight-game winning streak. Senior running back Myles Bailey rushed for 1,658 yards and 14 touchdowns this season for North Brunswick. The Raiders have finished with a winning record the past three seasons.
5. Rumson-Fair Haven, 6-5: The Bulldogs came up short in earning a trip back to the regional state championship game, losing to Wall Township High School, 14-13, in the final of the Central Jersey, Group 3 playoffs. Rumson-Fair Haven is 2-2 in sectional championship games the past four seasons. The Bulldogs have made it to nine sectional championship games in the past 10 years.
6. Red Bank Catholic, 5-4: For the first time in three years, Red Bank Catholic did not play in the state championship game. The defending champion in Non-Public, Group 3 was defeated by Mater Dei Prep in the semifinals, 10-3.
7. Woodbridge, 10-1: The Barrons recorded their first winning season since 2015 by advancing to the final of the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 bracket. Northern Highlands High School handed Woodbridge a 37-7 season-ending loss in the sectional championship game. Junior running back Ali Lee rushed for 1,873 yards and racked up a total of 24 touchdowns this fall for the Barrons.
8. St. Joseph (Metuchen), 8-2: The Falcons won eight-straight games before losing to Paramus Catholic High School for the second time in three years in the first round of the Non-Public, Group 4 playoffs. St. Joseph hasn’t had a losing season since 2015.
9. Middletown South, 5-5: The Eagles ended the season of a high note against by defeating rival Middletown North, 21-7, in their 45th annual Thanksgiving Day game. Senior Chris Lotito scored two touchdowns and had two interceptions on defense to lead Middletown South to victory over the Lions. The Eagles now lead the all-time series, 32-12-1. Middletown South won four of its last five games this season.
10. Old Bridge, 8-1: The Knights were upset by Kingsway Regional High School in the first round of the Central Jersey, Group 5 playoffs on Nov. 8. Old Bridge won its first eight games of the season. Sophomore quarterback Owen Haughney led the team with seven rushing touchdowns. Haughney also had a solid fall through the air, throwing for 951 yards and nine scores, giving him 16 total touchdowns.
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