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NJSIAA Football Playoffs Begin This Week

NJSIAA Football Playoffs Begin This Week
The NJSIAA football playoffs begin this weekend, and it should be another eventful postseason.

Teams have to win three games to be crowned a champion, except in Non-Public Group 2, where only four teams qualified.

The teams with the eight highest power ratings earned a berth in each Group, provided there were eight teams with a .500 or better record.

It’s safe to say that the top seeds in all the four South Jersey Groups and the four Non-Public Groups are, for the most part, favored.

Cherokee is the top seed in Group 4, followed by Hammonton (Group 3), Delsea (Group 2), and Glassboro (Group 1).

Of those four teams, Delsea and Glassboro are defending champions, and Hammonton was a finalist last season, losing to Shawnee, 28-8 in the sectional final.

Of the four public school top seeds, Cherokee probably has the toughest task. South Jersey Group 4, as usual, is loaded. Three other teams besides 8-0 Cherokee are undefeated: Egg Harbor Township, Toms River East and Williamstown. Any of those four could win it and nobody should count out Washington Township or Toms River North. Shawnee, which has moved to Group 4, could be a dangerous first round opponent for Egg Harbor Township.

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Eastern, which lost to Cherokee, 36-17 two weeks ago, is a long-shot as the No. 8 seed, but the Vikings are still a talented team and it goes to show the depth in Group 4.

In Group 2, Delsea beat West Deptford, 17-14, in last year’s sectional final and the two are expected to meet again for the championship.

Hammonton is favored in Group 3. Second seeded Timber Creek has the ability to contend, but has been inconsistent, and No. 3 Lacey bears watching.

In Group 1, Glassboro is the two-time defending champion, but the Bulldogs have already lost to No. 2 seed Penns Grove. Besides those two teams, No. 3 Woodbury is a major contender, especially after beating Paulsboro in the regular season. And Paulsboro, with 16 sectional titles, can never be counted out.

The favorites in the Non-Public segment should be Don Bosco Prep in Group 4, St. Joseph Montvale (Group 3), and St. Joseph in Group 2, although Gloucester Catholic will also contend with St. Joseph in what is only a four-team field.

Here are the first round football playoff games involving teams from the seven-county South Jersey area. Seedings are in parentheses.

SJ Group 4
Friday
(8) Eastern (5-3) at (1) Cherokee (8-0), 7
(5) Toms River North (7-1) at (4) Williamstown (8-0), 7
(6) Washington Township (7-1) at (3) Toms River East (8-0), 7

Saturday
(7) Shawnee (5-3) vs. (2) Egg Harbor Township (8-0) (at St. Augustine) 1 p.m.

SJ Group 3
Friday
(8) Winslow Township (4-4) at (1) Hammonton (7-1), 7
(7) Moorestown (5-3) at (2) Timber Creek (6-2), 7

Saturday
(5) Seneca (6-2) at (4) Burlington Township (7-2), 1
(6) Pemberton (5-3) at (3) Lacey (6-2), 1

SJ Group 2
Friday
(8) Woodrow Wilson (4-4) at (1) Delsea (8-0), 7
(5) Bridgeton (6-3) at (4) Cinnaminson (6-2), 7
(6) Willingboro (5-3) at (3) Haddonfield (7-1), 7
(7) Buena (4-4) at (2) West Deptford (8-0), 7

SJ Group 1
Friday
(8) Palmyra (5-3) vs (1) Glassboro (7-1), 7

Saturday
(5) Haddon Heights (6-2) at (4) Paulsboro (7-1), 1
(6) Pennsville (7-1) at (3) Woodbury (7-1), 1
(7) Schalick (6-2) at (2) Penns Grove (7-1), 1

Central Jersey Group 1
Saturday
(6) Florence (5-3) at(3) Highland Park (6-3), 1

Non-Public Group 4
Friday
(8) Red Bank Catholic (5-3) at (1) Don Bosco Prep (8-0), 7
(5) Seton Hall Prep (8-1) at (4) St. Augustine (8-0), 7
(6) St. Peter’s (6-2) at (3) Paul VI (8-0), 7
(7) Bergen Catholic (7-2) at (2) Notre Dame (9-0), 7

Non-Public Group 3
Friday
(5) Bishop Eustace (7-1) at (4) Immaculata (8-1), 7
(6) Holy Spirit (6-2) at (3) DePaul (7-2), 7

Saturday
(7) Bishop Ahr (6-2) at (2) St. Joseph Montvale (6-2), 1
(8) Delbarton (6-3) at (1) Pope John (8-1), 1

Non-Public Group 2
Saturday
(4) Pingry (4-5) at (1) St. Joseph (6-2), 1
(3) Morris Catholic (6-3) at (2) Gloucester Catholic (6-2), 1

For more Local Sports features, visit our South Jersey Sports page.


Author: Marc Narducci

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