Football Preview: A Look at South Jersey Group 5

Football Preview: A Look at South Jersey Group 5
Last season Lenape won its first ever South Jersey sectional title when the Renegades beat Rancocas Valley, 10-7 to win the South Jersey Group 5 title.

Both teams are among a long list of expected contenders this year when there is a new format. There will be 16 teams from the South that qualify for the postseason and they will be split into two, eight team Groups.

Here are the teams:

Atlantic City, Cherokee, Cherry Hill East, East Brunswick, Eastern, Edison, Egg Harbor Township, Franklin, Freehold Township, Hillsborough, Howell, Hunterdon Central, Kingsway, Lenape, Manalapan, Marlboro, Monroe Township, New Brunswick, Old Bridge, Rancocas Valley, Sayreville, South Brunswick, Southern, Toms River North, Trenton Central, Vineland, Washington Township, West Windsor Plainsboro, Williamstown.

While there may not be a prohibitive favorite, Williamstown will surely make a serious run. The Braves are coming off a 5-5 season. They lost to Millville, 20-14 in OT in the playoffs last season.

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Now, there are many seasoned played running for the Braves.

Williamstown has one of South Jersey’s top two-way players in senior quarterback-defensive back JC Collins (6-1, 180). Collins has already made a commitment to the University of Massachusetts. He is an outstanding runner and underrated passer in an attack that relies heavily on the ground game.

Sr. RB-DB Wade Inge (5-10, 180) is another outstanding two-way player. Collins, Inge, junior two-way lineman Aaron Lewis (6-5, 230) and junior tight end-linebacker Brandon Perkins (6-1, 215) were first-team all-conference selections. Senior two-way lineman Sam Ray (6-2, 280), senior kicker Nick Pomerleau and senior punter Chris Palazzo were second-team choices.

Others who saw extensive action for the Braves include senior offensive tackle Trevor Brown (6-3, 270), senior defensive back Damonte Campbell (5-8, 155), junior receiver-defensive back Jonathan Wood (5-10, 160) and junior running back-defensive back Quinn Hart (5-10, 180).

Rancocas Valley must replace all-South Jersey running back Iverson Clement, who is now at the University of Florida. In senior Bryce Mangene, Rancocas Valley has an experienced quarterback and true leader. He is also expected to be a key performer in the secondary. Senior two-way lineman Drew Bowker was a first-team choice on offense.

Lenape not only must replace several key players, but coach Tim McAneney, who resigned after the season. Defensive coordinator Joe Wojceichowski takes over for the Indians. Senior receiver Brandon Marshall (6-2, 190) will be among the offensive leaders while another weapon is kicker Steve Mulville, who hit 55 of 56 PATs and both field goals, including the game-winner in the Group 5 title game.

Teams such as Howell, Southern, Vineland and Cherokee are among others who could contend for a title. No doubt, more teams will emerge, but for now, Williamstown has the most experience heading into the season.

View South Jersey Group 1 here.
View South Jersey Group 2 
View South Jersey Group 3 
View South Jersey Group 4 here.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci


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