No one likes to say a football game in September is a must-win, but it seems that’s what the Wolfpack–and its Sept. 28 opponent–are up against.
West Morris Central will host longtime conference rival Morristown Colonials Friday night as the school celebrates homecoming.
But on the field, both teams, sitting at 1-2, will be figuring out ways to reach the .500 mark and work toward a playoff berth.
The teams are just two years removed from a head-to-head matchup in the sectional semifinals, when Morristown won on the Wolfpack’s home turf, eventually winning the state championship just two weeks later.
What a difference two seasons can make, though. For Central, its only win came on the road in the opening week of the season against Morris Knolls, a 34-7 thumping that saw five different players score touchdowns.
From there, the offense has sputtered, being shut out by Randolph in week two, 12-0, followed by a hard fought 21-6 defeat at the hands of the now-3-0 Roxbury Gaels.
The Colonials have taken a different start to its season, winning against Chatham 21-6, but allowing plenty of points in losses to Roxbury (47-7) and Seton Hall (45-38).
When the two teams met last year in Morristown, the Wolfpack trampled the Colonials 42-7 in the snow.
Both teams are looking up in the division standings as Millburn (2-0) and Scotch Plains (2-1) lead the pack. Central and Morristown were both realigned to Group IV when the New Jersey Sate Interscholastic Athletic Association expanded the number of eligible playoff teams.
The Wolfpack will host sister-school Mendham on Oct. 5, and the Colonials will host reigning sectional champion Parsippany Hills on Oct. 6.
A win this week may mean a season turnaround for both squads, while a loss could be the beginning of the end for the 2012 campaign.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at West Morris Central.