For just the second time in 25 years, North Arlington’s football team is heading to the state tournament.
On Friday, Oct. 21, the Vikings formally punched their ticket into the postseason with a 28-21 victory over rival Lyndhurst at Rip Collins Field. In what may have been the best performance of his storied career, QB Devin Rivas completed 18-of-21 passes for 252 yards and four touchdowns, two of them going to Ian Crudele, who had seven receptions for 124 yards.
Brackets for the state tournament were released on Sunday morning and North Arlington (5-3), is the fifth seed in North 1, Group 1. The Vikings will travel to Kenilworth to play fourth-seed and undefeated Brearley on Friday at 6 p.m.
North Arlington is the only Observer-area team to qualify for the state tournament. North Arlington’s win dashed Lyndhurst’s playoff hopes in North, Group 2. Nutley won two of its last three games to finish the regular season at 4-4, but was unable to catch up enough to earn a spot in North, Group 3. Bloomfield met a similar fate, finishing outside of the top 16 in North, Group 5 despite winning three of its last four games to go 4-4.
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Jason Bernstein | Observer Sports Writer
Jason Bernstein joined The Observer as its sports writer in March 2022, following the retirement of Jim Hague. He has a wealth of sports-writing experience, including for NJ Advance Media (nj.com, The Jersey Journal, The Star-Ledger.)