South Jersey Thanksgiving Football Preview: Part II

by Marc Narducci; Photo Marc Narducci | Nov 21, 2018
South Jersey Thanksgiving Football Preview: Part II
Here are some of the top high school football games this Thanksgiving:

Millville (6-4) at Vineland (4-6), Thursday, 10:30 am.
This is the oldest rivalry in New Jersey, having begun in 1894. Both of these teams qualified for the playoffs. Millville won six in a row before losing 28-20 to Shawnee in the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals. Vineland won its first ever playoff game, beating Toms River North, 33-0 in a first round SJ Group 5 game. Vineland then lost in the sectional semifinals, 28-7 to Williamstown.

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Gateway (8-1) at Woodbury (6-3) Thursday, 10:30 am.
This game has great significance for Gateway since the Gators can clinch the outright WJFL Memorial Division title with a victory. A Gateway loss would have Paulsboro share the championship. Gateway’s lone loss was a 15-0 defeat to Salem in a South Jersey Group 1 semifinal. Woodbury has slumped recently, losing two of it last three games including an opening 27-0 Central Jersey Group 1 playoff loss to Asbury Park, a team with a 4-5 record.

Burlington City (2-7) at Palmrya (4-5), Thursday, 11 am.
This is one of South Jersey’s oldest rivalries, having stared in 1909 and having played continuously since then. One player to watch is Palmyra senior quarterback Sam Aviles who rushed for 404 yards and four TDs on just 11 carries in an earlier 41-33 win over Bordentown. That is a South Jersey record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Last year Burlington City won, 44-6 but the Blue Devils were hit hard by graduation from a 9-2 team.

Woodstown (2-7) at Salem (8-3), Thursday, 10:30 am.
This is one of the most tradition-rich games in South Jersey, one that began in 1911. Salem is coming off Saturday’s 14-7 loss to Penns Grove in the South Jersey Group 1 championship. Two of Salem’s losses were to unbeaten Penns Grove, both by a touchdown. Woodstown will be out to snap a three-game losing streak.

Triton (5-4) at Highland (8-2), Thursday, 10 am.
These are rivals from the Black Horse Pike Regional School District. Both were playoff teams. Triton lot in the first round, 41-6 at Woodrow Wilson in Group 3. Highland fell to Clearview, 20-0, in a South Jersey Group 4 semifinal. (Highland opened the season with a 14-6 win over Clearview). Last year Triton beat Highland in a competitive game, 21-18. One of the sidelights is that sensational Highland sophomore running back Johnny Martin has a chance to gain 2,000 yards. Martin has rushed for 1,726 yards (8.1 avg.) and 17 TDs.

Ocean City (4-5) at Pleasantville (7-3), Thursday, 10 am.
This was one of the best games last year with Ocean City earning a 34-32 win. Both teams earned playoff berths this year. Ocean City lost, 28-14 to Highland in an opening round South Jersey Group 4 game. Pleasantville beat Cedar Creek, 57-0 in a first round South Jersey Group 2 game. The Greyhounds were then eliminated by eventually sectional champion Haddonfield, 28-6 in the semifinals. Two of Pleasantville’s losses have been to Haddonfield. Pleasantville running back linebacker Mohamed Toure is one of the top players in South Jersey and has made a verbal commitment to Rutgers, which likes him on defense.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci


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