South Jersey Football Game of the Week: Haddonfield vs. Camden

South Jersey Football Game of the Week: Haddonfield vs. Camden
Matchup: Haddonfield (1-0) at Camden (0-1)

When: Saturday, October 10, 2 pm. 
 
What makes this a top matchup: Even though there aren’t playoffs this season these are two of the top teams in South Jersey Group 2. 
 
Coaches: Haddonfield, Frank DeLano (142-58). Camden, Dwayne Savage (62-26). 
 
Haddonfield is a perennial contender and won two consecutive titles in 2017 and 2018 before losing in the semifinals in last year’s playoffs to eventual champion Hillside. Camden advanced to the Central Jersey Group 2 finals before losing last year to Cedar Creek. 
 
Last meeting: Haddonfield defeated Camden, 23-12 in the 2018 South Jersey Group 2 finals. 
 
This season: Haddonfield opened with a comeback 17-16 win over rival West Deptford. The Bulldogs trailed 16-3 in the third quarter before storming back. Trailing 16-10 in the fourth quarter, Haddonfield tied the score on Carson Wolff’s 21-yard scoring pass to Tommy Batson and then Jack Cutter’s PAT was the difference. Cutter had kicked an earlier field goal as well. 
 
Camden which has one of the tougher schedules, opened with a 15-12 loss on Saturday at Winslow Township. The Panthers started out quickly, scoring all 12 of their points in the first quarter. Jalin Brownlee hit Duce Chestnut on a 20-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring. Later in the quarter Camden took a 12-6 lead on Brownlee’s 47-yard touchdown pass to Corey Palmer. If Palmer sounds like a familiar name, he should. He was a star at Camden as a sophomore, transferred to IMG Academy in Florida his junior year and then returned to Camden for his senior season. He is among the top prospects in South Jersey. 
 
Winslow Township, which went 3-6 last year, appears to be among the more improved teams in South Jersey. 
 
Keys to the game: Haddonfield has to stop the explosiveness of Camden. Palmer has the ability to get open against any secondary. Chestnut also has game-breaking ability as a receiver although he is more known for his ability as a shut-down cornerback. He has accepted a scholarship to Syracuse. 
 
The Panthers defense will have to watch out for Wolff, a junior who plays both running back and quarterback. Wolff played more quarterback than expected in the opening win over West Deptford because senior Marc LaProcido was injured. 
 
Even though Wolff is known more for his running ability, he also showed great touch in hitting Batson for he winning touchdown. Batson, who is a running back, keys the ground attack for the Bulldogs. While Camden is known for its big-play ability, Haddonfield is more methodical.

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Outlook: Stopping the Camden passing game will be key for Haddonfield. While Camden is dangerous running the ball, the Panthers have an outstanding passing attack. On the other side of the ball, the Panthers will have to stop the ground game of Haddonfield. Containing Wolff, whether he is running as a quarterback or running back will be crucial. This has the chance to be a low-scoring game. In fact that would be preferable for Haddonfield which may not want to get into a fast-paced offensive explosion with the Panthers.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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