South Jersey Football Preview Part II

South Jersey Football Preview Part II

As teams jockey for playoff berths, here is Part II of our look at some of the top South Jersey high school football games this weekend.

Eastern (5-3) at Paul VI (3-4), Friday, 7. Eastern, which won just four games last year, had done a great job under first-year head coach John Doherty. This promises to be an emotional game for Doherty, who coached 13 years at Paul VI before becoming Eastern’s defensive coordinator last year. Paul VI has played one of the toughest schedules around and more than held its own in its most recent game, a 36-19 victory over Timber Creek.

Audubon (3-4) at Overbrook (4-3), Friday, 7. Audubon would almost assuredly earn a S.J. Group 1 playoff spot with a win. Overbrook needs to win and also some help in order to earn a SJ Group 2 berth. Audubon stayed in the race with last week’s 28-20 win over Bordentown. Overbrook is led by senior Erick Riley who has rushed for 750 yards (7.1 avg.) and 8 TDs.

Bishop Eustace (4-3) at Highland (4-3), Friday, 7. Highland is looking to earn a second straight SJ Group 4 playoff spot, something the Tartans should achieve with a win. This is a Highland team with an outstanding running attack. Freshman Johnny Martin has rushed for 695 yards (8.5 avg.) and 7 TDs.  He has been one of the best young players in South Jersey. Eustace holds the eighth and final spot in Non-Public Group 3. Highland won last year’s game, 33-14 but this one figures to be closer.

Camden (6-1) at Winslow Twp. (3-4), Friday, 7. Camden has emerged as a major contender in what should be a fascinating South Jersey Group 2 race. The Panthers are coming off last week’s 30-24 win over previously unbeaten SJ Group 5 contender Rancocas Valley. Camden would likely finish as the No. 2 seed with a win. Senior Najyere Edwards continues to be a productive player. He has rushed for 809 yards (7.6 avg.) and 7 TDs. Senior Eli Sloan-El is the defensive leader with 13 sacks. Winslow Township must win to stay in contention for a SJ Group 4 playoff spot. Junior QB Prince-dru Bey has completed 58.2 percent of his passes for 1,736 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Woodstown (4-3) at Penns Grove (6-1), Saturday, noon. Penns Grove has already clinched a SJ Group 1 playoff spot. Woodstown would clinch with a win and might very well quality even with a loss. In addition, both teams are alive in the WJFL Diamond Division, where Salem is 3-0 and Woodstown and Penn Grove are 2-1. (Salem and Woodstown meet in their famous Thanksgiving rivalry). The key is stopping Penns Grove sophomore quarterback Kavon Lewis, who has 75.2 percent of his passes for 1,919 yards and 23 touchdowns. Junior Tyreke Brown has 35 receptions for 923 yards and 13 TDs.

Sterling (6-1) vs. Haddonfield (5-2) at Cherry Hill West, Saturday, 2. Sterling has already clinched a SJ Group 2 playoff spot and Haddonfield could get in even with a loss. Both teams have one loss in the Colonial Conference Liberty Division, each to West Deptford. If West Deptford beats Collingswood, then the Eagles will win the division title. Sterling and Haddonfield are among the contenders in SJ Group 2, and this game will be like a pre-playoff encounter.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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