South Jersey Football Preview Part II

South Jersey Football Preview Part II With the playoff cutoff date this week so many teams are vying for spots while others are attempting to earn the highest possible seed. Here is a look at some of the key games.

Penns Grove (4-3) at Woodstown (5-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
These are two contenders for South Jersey Group 1 playoff spots. Both would clinch a playoff berth with a win but the loser would also have a chance to still qualify. These are two ground-oriented teams. Woodstown has only attempted 31 passes. Quarterback Cody Wolf leads a balanced Woodstown ground attack with 502 yards rushing (6.8 avg.) and 8 TDs. Woodstown has won two in a row since a 41-7 loss to SJ Group 2 favorite West Deptford. Penns Grove saw its four-game win streak snapped following last week's 44-36 OT loss to Woodbury, yet another Group 1 contender.

Salem (5-2) at Deptford (3-4), Friday, 7 p.m.
Salem has won four in a row following last week's 44-0 win over last year's SJ Group 1 finalist Clayton. Senior Jonathan Taylor is among the top running backs in South Jersey. He recently said he was decommitting from Rutgers. The Rams will be a serious threat in the upcoming SJ Group 1 playoffs. Deptford is still in the running for a SJ Group 3 playoff spot but would be eliminated with a loss and may not even get in if the Spartans do win. Junior Darius Dowd leads a strong ground game, with 1,141 yards rushing (7.5 avg.) and 12 TDs. Quarterback Riley Giles has thrown for 589 yards and nine TDs. The Spartans have lost three in a row, including two games by a TD or less.

Cherokee (4-3) at Williamstown (1-6), Friday, 7 p.m.
Cherokee is considered among the top teams in SJ Group 5 but the Chiefs might need to win to qualify this year. The Chiefs' three losses to Shawnee, Timber Creek and Lenape have been by a combined 14 points. Senior John Lovett may have to carry the offense down the stretch. Lovett, who has committed to Rutgers, has rushed for 1,025 yards (8.9 avg.) and 15 TDs. Williamstown opened with a win over Kingsway and has dropped its last six games. Yet the Braves record is misleading. Four of the losses were by a touchdown or less, although Williamstown lost 41-0 last week to one of South Jersey's top teams Timber Creek. Cherokee lost 28-21 to Timber Creek, the Chiefs are clearly the favorite in this game and will be playing with more urgency.

Oakcrest (5-2) at Cedar Creek (7-1), Saturday, 1 p.m.
Oakcrest is coming off a 21-20 heartbreaking loss at Highland. Now the Falcons likely need to win to earn a South Jersey Group 3 berth.  In addition this game has ramifications for the West Jersey Football League Independence title. Cedar Creek is 4-0 in the division, while St. Joseph is 3-1 and Oakcrest 2-1. Cedar Creek would earn the outright title with a win. Oakcrest can win a share by defeating Cedar Creek this week and Absegami on Thanksgiving.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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