South Jersey Football Games of the Week

South Jersey Football Games of the Week
Besides the Penns Grove-Willingboro game which was previewed earlier, here are the other top games involving South Jersey teams in the final week of the season:
 
South/Central Group 5 regional championship: Williamstown (11-1) vs. Cherokee (6-6), Saturday, 1 pm, at Rutgers. Cherokee took a 3-5 record into the playoffs and then captured the Central Jersey title by winning three games, including a 35-18 championship victory over Kingsway. The Chiefs then lost to Seneca, 21-14 in a regular season game on Thanksgiving. Williamstown is the two-time defending South Group 5 champ. The Braves beat Cherokee, 24-7 in the regular season. Junior quarterback Doug Brown has thrown for 1,500 yards and 16 touchdowns. In the win over Cherokee he threw for 186 yards and two scores.
 
South/Central Group 4 regional championship: Hammonton (10-2) vs. Shawnee (9-3), Saturday, 4 pm, at Rutgers. Shawnee is the three-time defending South Jersey Group 4 champion. The Renegades are coming off a 24-7 Thanksgiving loss to South Jersey Group 5 finalist Lenape. Shawnee beat Hammonton, 31-8 on September 20, but the Blue Devils have improved since then. Shawnee sophomore Matt Welsey has completed 114 of 176 passes for 1,616 yards and 11 TDs, while rushing for five scores. In the previous win over Hammonton he completed 11 of 17 for 172 yards. Hammonton, which beat Jackson 28-12 in the Central Jersey final, has won nine in a row since that early loss to Shawnee.
 
South/Central Group 3 regional championship: Wall (12-0) vs. Woodrow Wilson (9-2), Sunday, 10 am, at Rutgers. Wilson has outscored its three playoff opponents, 145-37. Devon Kargman, a 6-3, 180-pound sophomore has thrown for over 3,500 yards and 43 TDs. Tight end-defensive end Fadil Diggs, a Texas A&M commit, has 11 touchdown receptions and 17 sacks. Wall has been dominant all season but the Crimson Knights have been tested their past two games, beating Rumson, 14-13 in the Central Jersey title game and then defeating Manasquan, 14-6 on Thanksgiving.
 
South/Central Group 2 regional championship: Hillside (11-0) vs Cedar Creek (10-2), Sunday, 1 pm, at Rutgers. Cedar Creek beat Camden, 31-23 to win the Central Jersey Group 2 title. The Pirates are led by Malachi Melton, a Purdue recruit who is a treat to go the distance either running or catching the ball. Dual threat quarterback Louie Barrios rushed for two TDs in the win over Camden. Hillside beat three South Jersey teams en route to its South Jersey title, downing Cinnaminson, 36-2; Haddonfield, 35-0 and West Deptford in the final, 14-10. The Comets will no doubt be the favorite.

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State non-Public Group 2 championship: Holy Spirit vs. St. Joseph (9-1), Sunday, 4 pm, at Rutgers.
This is a rematch from last year’s title game when St. Joseph defeated the Spartans, 41-22. These two also met in the final regular season game this season with St. Joseph earning a 22-19 victory. St. Joseph senior Jada Byers is coming off a record setting performance in the Wildcats 76-22 semifinal win over Morris Catholic. He scored a state record 10 TDs in that game and has scored 35 TDs this season. Byers has 102 career touchdowns, which is the career South Jersey record, according to historian Chuck Langerman. Holy Spirit has won three in a row since that regular season loss to the St. Joseph.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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