South Jersey Football Preview Part I

by Marc Narducci | Oct 19, 2016
South Jersey Football Preview Part I South Jersey Football Preview Part I

The race for playoff spots are starting to heat up, as are the battles for division titles. Here is our look at some of the top South Jersey high school football games this weekend.

Atlantic City (3-2) at 15 Vineland (5-0), Friday, 6 p.m.
Atlantic City has won three in a row after last week's 25-23 win over Williamstown. Both these teams are contenders for a SJ Group 5 playoff spot. Vineland, which went 3-7 last year, has been one of the surprise teams in South Jersey. The Fighting Clan hasn't played the most difficult schedule, but last week scored an impressive 61-29 win over a Clearview team that is in the running for a Group 4 playoff spot. Vineland junior quarterback Isaih Pacheco, has completed 15 of 21 passes for 352, five TDs and no interceptions. He has also rushed for 283 yards (7.9 avg.) and 7 TDs.

West Deptford (5-0) at Haddonfield (4-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
This is one of the top rivalries in South Jersey, but West Deptford enters as a strong favorite. Haddonfield is coming off a 36-22 to South Jersey Group 1 contender Paulsboro. West Deptford, meanwhile, has yet to be tested. The Eagles' closest win was a 33-7 victory over Willingboro. Quran Dozier, one of the top running backs around, is still rounding into form after missing the first three games while sidelined by injury. Anthony Seas, a transfer from Kingsway, has rushed for 910 yards (13.2 avg.) and 10 TDs. Haddonfield is led by QB Brendan Gilmartin, who had two TDs runs against West Deptford. These two teams could also meet in the SJ Group 2 playoffs.

Shawnee (4-1) at Williamstown (1-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
Looking at the records, this appears to be a mismatch, but Williamstown has been highly competitive in all but one game. The one loss that wasn't close was a 48-10 loss to South Jersey's top team, St. Augustine. Last week the Braves lost, 25-23 to Atlantic City. The other losses were 14-13 to Hammonton (when the Braves missed a PAT) and 22-14 to Millville. All four teams that beat Williamstown are playoff teams so the Braves can't be taken lightly. Conversely, Shawnee, which is coming of a 28-7 loss to one of South Jersey's top teams, Camden Catholic, has been involved in several close games. The Renegades have three wins by a touchdown or less, including two by three points each. So this should be a low-scoring close game.

Winslow Twp. (1-4) at Cherry Hill West (5-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
This is another game that can't be looked at just based on teams records. Winslow Township is coming off a 35-32 loss to once-beaten Rancocas Valley. The Eagles lost to Seneca, 21-14 the previous week so they have been competitive. Cherry Hill West is coming off a 28-22 overtime win over Camden. Junior Nick Divietro has rushed for 412 yards (5.8 avg) and 5 TDs. He is just one of many playmakers for the Lions.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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