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Part II: South Jersey Games of the Week

Part II: South Jersey Games of the Week

Here are more top games in as the South Jersey football season opens this week:

Friday, August 31st
Haddonfield (9-3) at Pleasantville (7-3), 7 p.m.
This could very well be a Group 2 playoff preview. Haddonfield, which was only the No. 6 seed a year ago, won the South Jersey Group 2 title with a dramatic comeback 21-17 win over rival West Deptford. The Bulldogs have a veteran team, led by all-South jersey defensive lineman Gabe Klaus (6-2, 225), who had 11 sacks, and senior quarterback Jay Foley, who threw for 1,729 yards and 14 TDs. Senior wide receiver-defensive back Davis Smith is among the top two-way players in South Jersey. Pleasantville was 0-10 two years ago, but coach Chris Sacco has done a remarkable job. Senior running back-linebacker Mohamed Toure (6-2, 210) is among the top way players in South Jersey. Few are faster than quarterback Sahmir Jones (6-2, 175) a state sprint champ who threw for 1,156 yards and 16 TDs while averaging 10 yards per carry in rushing for 391 yards and five TDs. This game will show how far Pleasantville has come, while Haddonfield has high expectations and the Bulldogs could actually be improved from last year’s sectional champion.

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Williamstown (5-5) at Vineland (8-2), 7 p.m.
Williamstown could be vastly improved from a team earned a berth in the SJ Group 5 playoffs, only to lose in overtime to Millville, 20-14. Senior quarterback-defensive back J.C. Collins has earned a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts. He was recruited as a defensive back but is also a dangerous quarterback. Senior running back-defensive back Wade Inge Jr. is among the better two-way threats in South Jersey. Vineland is coming off consecutive 8-2 seasons, but will be hard-pressed to repeat that win total, due to key losses to graduation and also being paired in what could be the best division in South Jersey. The Fighting Clan are in the WJFL Continental with Atlantic City, Millvile, St. Joseph and Timber Creek. Senior Anthony Reyes (5-11, 220) is among the top defensive linemen in South Jersey.

Paulsboro (10-2) at West Deptford (10-2), 7 p.m.
This game used to be played Thanksgiving weekend but with the new playoff format, has moved to the opener. Paulsboro is the defending SJ Group 1 champion while West Deptford was a SJ Group 2 finalist before falling to Haddonfield. Few teams rush the passer better than Paulsboro, led by senior linebacker Santino Morina (6-1, 195) who had 10 sacks. A name to watch is sophomore running back-defensive back Bhayshul Tuten (5-10, 180) who could be the next in the long line of Paulsboro backs. Jason Morrell takes over for long-time coaching legend Clyde Folsom at West Deptford. Senior tight end-defensive end Jason Collier (6-7 280) had 25 receptions for 388 yards and three touchdowns. He has committed to the University of Pittsburgh. As usual, both teams are serious threats to contend for sectional titles.

Camden (8-2) at Henry Wise, MD (14-0), 7 p.m.
Camden should be a definite South Jersey Top 10 team, but nobody in South Jersey probably has a more difficult opener. Wise is a three-time defending state champion. That said, Camden might have one of the better defensive teams in South Jersey, led by cornerback Donald Williams, who has committed to Rutgers. Senior defensive tackle Tidaine Bamba (5-11 (275) had eight sacks and was a first-team all-conference player. The defense is very experienced, but the offense only has a few starters back, but with newcomers like quarterback Monte Williams, a transfer from Cherry Hill West, there are some impressive newcomers to go along with a strong veteran team.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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