PISCATAWAY, NJ – This past summer, it was announced that the Piscataway High School football team was making the move back to North Jersey, Section 2, Group 5 for the state playoffs after the Chiefs won Central Jersey, Group 5 title in their only season in the section in 2016.
On Sunday, the NJSIAA released the official seeds and brackets for the 2017 postseason and Piscataway earned the No. 2 seed in North 2, Group 5 with 126 power points. Top-seeded Westfield has won the previous two championships and carries a 33-game winning streak into the playoffs.
Bridgewater-Raritan was just nipped by the Chiefs receiving the No. 3-seed, finishing with 125 power points. The Panthers fell to Westfield in the title game the last two years.
In the first round, Piscataway (6-2) will host seventh-seeded Bayonne this Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1:00 p.m. Piscataway last beat the Bees, 52-6, in the first round of the tournament in 2014 as both teams were coincidentally the No. 2 and No. 7-seeds respectively as well.
Should Piscataway win, they'll get the winner between Bridgewater-Raritan and sixth-seeded Watchung Hills.
"Our mindset is anytime, anyplace, anywhere,” Piscataway head coach Dan Higgins told TAPinto Piscataway on the move back into North Jersey before the season. “We can’t control that part of it but I am extremely excited to compete again in North 2, Group 5 because we have established some healthy rivalries with several teams like Elizabeth and Union and now would love to compete against Bridgewater-Raritan and Westfield who have been the top two teams the last few years.”
In its history, Piscataway owns a 36-16 postseason record with 25 appearances. The Chiefs have won nine sectional crowns in 16 tries.
Piscataway, which owns a 6-2 record, ended its regular season slate with a big 46-0 win over Edison. The Chiefs had defeated Edison in 22 of the last 23 times they played.
This past Friday night, junior running back Juwon Jackson ran for 303 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries (27.5 yards per rush). The 303 yards on the ground by Jackson is one short of the all-time Chiefs record held by Tevin Shaw. Shaw churned out 304 yards against Elizabeth in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 title game in 2011.
Against the Eagles, Jackson's scores on the ground came from 95, 63, and 42 yards out. He also caught a 53-yard screen pass for a touchdown as well. Jackson has 1,414 rushing yards on the year with 18 touchdowns according to NJ.com.
Starting next weekend, if the Piscataway wants to repeat and call themselves state champions, they'll have to rely on its bread and butter -- running the football -- and swarm to the ball on defense.
For the full bracket, CLICK HERE.
Watch highlights form the Chiefs' win over Greater Middlesex Conference -- Red Division foe South Brunswick by CLICKING HERE.
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