South Jersey Football Preview Part I

South Jersey Football Preview Part I This weekend is the cutoff date for the NJSIAA football playoffs. The top eight teams in each Group will earn a berth. Here is a look at the games of the week.

Vineland (7-0) at St. Augustine (8-0), Friday, 6 p.m.
On paper this looks like a great matchup, but we'll believe it when we see it. Nobody has come close to St. Augustine this season. The closest win was a 41-21 victory over Millville. That also tied for the lowest scoring output by the Hermits. Last week a talented St. Joseph's team lost 42-0 to the Hermits. Junior Kyle Dobbins leads a devastating offense. He has rushed for 1,194 yards (8.5 avg.) and 17 touchdowns. Ezekiel Ennis has 25 receptions for 416 yards and four TDs. Vineland, which went 3-7 last year might be the most improved team in South Jersey. The two most impressive wins were a 61-29 triumph over Clearview and a 35-7 win over Atlantic City. Clearview is contending for a SJ Group 4 spot and Atlantic City a SJ Group 5 berth.

Cherry Hill West (7-0) at Camden Catholic (7-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Besides the fact that both teams are unbeaten, each is battling for a higher playoff seeds. With a win, Camden Catholic would move past St. John Vianney into the No. 4 seed in South Jersey Non-Public 3. That is important because it would give the Irish a home game (likely vs. St. John Vianney) instead of traveling to Vianney, if the Irish lost. Camden Catholic is coming off a 28-22 win over Holy Spirit, the Irish's closest game since an opening 22-15 OT win over Camden. Sophomore Rob McCoy has thrown for 1,316 yards and 11 TDs. West sophomore quarterback Monte Williams has thrown for 933 yards and 11 TDs. After playing three games decided by eight points or fewer, the Lions blitzed Sterling last week, 55-6. West likely needs a win to earn a top-four seed in South Jersey Group 4.

Collingswood (6-1) at West Deptford (7-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Both teams have already clinched South Jersey Group 2 playoff spots. Collingswood hasn't beaten West Deptford since 1998. The Panthers have won six in a row since an opening loss to Haddonfield. West Deptford's leading ball carrier is senior Anthony Seas who has rushed for 1,093 yards (13.0 avg.) and 12 touchdowns. He has a shoulder injury and his availability will be a key for the Eagles in the postseason. Like West Deptford, Collingswood doesn't throw the ball much. Senior Mike Taulane leads a balanced ground attack. He has rushed for 634 yards (6.8 avg.) and 10 TDs.

Delsea (5-3) at Clearview (5-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
Delsea, the four-time defending South Jersey Group 3 champion has clinched a berth. The Crusaders are currently third in the Group 3 power ratings and they have already played their required eight games that count toward playoff qualification. Still, Delsea may could be surpassed by a few teams and it's possible that they Crusaders may play all their playoff games on the road. Both teams rely primarily on the run. Delsea's Charles Walker has rushed for 710 yards (10.0 avg.) and 10 TDs. Clearview currently owns the eighth and final spot in South Jersey Group 4 and likely needs to win to get in the playoffs.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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