JOHN HALEY'S - THE AUTHORITY SPORTS REPORTS
Playoff Preview/Prediction: North 2, Group 4 Semis, Woodbridge At Phillipsburg
By John Haley Updated: November 21, 2014
WHAT: SEMIFINALS NORTH JERSEY SECTION 2, GROUP 4 PLAYOFFS
WHO: (6) Woodbridge (7-3) at (2) Phillipsburg (8-1)
WHEN/WHERE: Friday, Nov. 21 at Phillipsburg, 7 p.m.
AT STAKE: Winner advances to the sectional final to play the winner of (4) John F. Kennedy vs. (1) Colonia on the weekend of Dec. 5-6 at a site and time to be determined.
DEFENDING CHAMP: Phillipsburg.
SERIES HISTORY: Phillipsburg leads 1-0 having beaten the Barrons 34-13 in the first round of the 2004 North 2, Group 4 playoffs.
PHILLIPSBURG HISTORY: The Stateliners finished 0-1-1 in its inaugural season in 1899, tying Warren Hills 5-0 and losing to the Lafayette freshman team 10-0. In 1900, the team finished 2-0 beating both opponents by the score of 5-0.
BEGAN PLAYING FOOTBALL: Phillipsburg 1899, Woodbridge 1924.
OVERALL RECORDS: Phillipsburg 658-324-52. Woodbridge 445-355-40.
STREAKS: Each team has a four-game winning streak. The Barrons have won six of seven after an 0-2 start.
AVERAGES: Woodbridge averages 24.4 points per game and gives up 15.1. The Barrons average 285 yards per game: 146 rushing, 139 passing.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The Barrons will be facing tradition as much anything else as it takes on the winningest program in state history and playing in arguably the most intimidating environment where football is everything.
The Barrons’ defense, led by linemen Elon Capers and Ryan Alcott, linebackers Percy Martin and Nate Lanier and DB’s Anthony Tavares, Nat Opoku and Tyler Smith, will have to be up to the task defending against a club which averages 357 yards per game, including 266 on the ground. But this is a defense which has limited seven of its 10 opponents to two touchdowns or less.
The Woodbridge offense is led by the GMC’s No. 1 passer in junior Tracy Fudge (1,347, 9 TD’s). Big senior Zahneer Shuler (210 pounds) has a combined 861 yards rushing and receiving. Junior RB Nate Lanier (553 yards, 7 TD’s) complements Shuler in a lightning/thunder type backfield, while sophomore Quassim Glover (683-3) leads a strong receiving corps.
DID YOU KNOW?: Woodbridge has the most comprehensive football website in the land: woodbridgefootball.com.
THE PICK: Phillipsburg 24-14.