South Jersey Football Preview Part I

South Jersey Football Preview Part I

This weekend is the best of the season in South Jersey football concerning the number of quality games between top teams.

Here is Part I of our preview two weeks before the playoff cutoff day in South Jersey.

Rancocas Valley (7-0) at Camden (5-1), Friday, 6. This is Rancocas Valley’s final game before the playoff cutoff and Rancocas Valley is in the running for the top seed in SJ Group 5. RV senior Iverson Clement, who has committed to Florida, has rushed for 800 yards (6.5 avg.) and nine TDs. QB Bryce Mangene has completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 822 yards and nine TDs. Camden senior Najyere Edwards has rushed for 679 yards (7.2 avg) and six touchdowns. Camden has won four in a row since its lone loss to Camden Catholic.

Cherokee (5-1) at Lenape (5-1), Friday, 7. Besides being Lenape School District rivals, this is a big game for playoff seeding purposes. According to power ratings provided by Gridironnewjersey.com, Lenape is the No. 5 seed and Cherokee the No. 6 seed. Cherokee has won four in a row since a 35-28 loss to Timber Creek. Sophomore EJ Bard leads a balanced Cherokee team in rushing, with 466 yards (4.9 avg.) and one TD. Lenape has the more veteran team and has an explosive running game led by senior JoJo Kellum. Last year Lenape won a 17-13 thriller and this year’s game should be just as tight.

Woodrow Wilson (5-1) at Delsea (4-3), Friday, 7. This is Delsea’s final game before the playoff cutoff date. Delsea would likely be in the playoffs even with a loss, but a win could possibly earn the Crusaders a top-four seed. Delsea has been in the sectional final five straight years, winning four straight before losing last year’s championship to Wall. Woodrow Wilson is currently the No. 2 seed in SJ Group 3 behind Timber Creek. The Tigers bounced back from their lone loss to Willingboro to defeat Triton last week, 58-0.

Timber Creek (6-0) at Williamstown (4-2), Friday, 7.  Timber Creek has South Jersey’s longest current win streak, 22 games. Senior quarterback and North Carolina State commit Devin Leary has completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 1,686 yards, 20 TDs and three interceptions. He now has 94 career TD passes. Jayvin has caught 17 passes for 436 yards and four TDs. Jerome Gibson has rushed for 586 yards (6.9 avg.) and 6 TDs. Williamstown is coming a huge 27-22 win over Shawnee. The Braves have a tough road before the cutoff with games against Timber Creek (6-0) and Cherokee (5-1). It’s possible that Williamstown could earn a SJ Group 5 berth even with two losses before the cutoff date and one win would definitely clinch a berth.

Camden Catholic (6-0) at Holy Spirit (6-1), Friday, 7. Camden Catholic has won 28 in a row against South Jersey competition and will be tested by Spirit, whose only loss is to unbeaten St. Joe. That was a game Spirit held a two-touchdown lead in. Senior Marcus Hillman is enjoying a monster season on both sides of the ball. He has rushed for 1,016 yards (7.8 avg.) and 12 TDs. A linebacker, he has 51 tackles and 8.0 tackles for loss. Holy Spirit senior Josh Zamut, a transfer from St. Augustine, has been among the top QBs in South Jersey. Holy Spirit is currently third in Non-Public Group 2 and could in the right scenario, move to No. 1 with a win.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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