South Jersey Football Game of the Week: Woodbury at Haddon Heights

by Marc Narducci | Oct 20, 2020
South Jersey Football Game of the Week: Woodbury at Haddon Heights
Matchup: Woodbury (2-1) at Haddon Heights (3-0)
 
When: Saturday, 11 am 
 
Coaches: Woodbury: Anthony Reagan (14-9); Haddon Heights (Chris Lina (16-20)
 
This season:
WOODBURY
Oct 3: Paulsboro, 6-22
October 9 at Sterling, 34-18
October 17 at Haddon Township, 29-7
 
HADDON HEIGHTS
October 2: at Gateway, 42-0
October 10 Collingswood, 27-21
October 17 Sterling, 42-6
 
Last meeting: Nov. 2, 2019, Woodbury won 35-14 at home.
 
Why this is a big game: Woodbury has enjoyed control recently in this series, but this is the best Haddon Heights team in several years. Woodbury is known as a running team, but in last week’s 29-7 of Haddon Township, sophomore Bryan Johnson threw three TD passes. Sophomore Deron Moore caught one of those TD passes and also scored on run and a pass. In Haddon Heights’ most recent game, last week’s 42-6 win over Sterling, sophomore Zyaire Goffney-Fleming scored four TDs – three on runs and one on a 74-yard pass from junior Ryan DiOrio. 
 
Keys to a win: Even with the recent TD passes by both teams, each has an offense that is defined by the run. The fact that sophomores are key talents for both teams, shows that each has youthful explosiveness. D’Orio is an experienced quarterback who has seen varsity action since his freshman year and he has the ability to scramble, buy time and extend plays. Woodbury will try to contain contain Goffney-Fleming and let others beat them, but that isn’t as easy as it sounds. He has been a force in each of the Garnets wins. Another big-play performer to watch for Heights is junior receiver-safety Isaiah Turner, who began his career at Woodbury. Also a key player on the basketball team, Turner has helped Haddon Heights have one of the more improved passing games. He set the tone in the close win over Collingswood by opening the scoring with an 11-yard TD pass from DiOrio. If Woodbury concentrates too much on stopping Goffney-Fleming, then Turner can make a big play as well.
 
Outlook: While Woodbury is a perennial playoff contender (even though there will be no playoffs this year) Heights has had a lot of success over the years, off and on. This is the most consistent team and Lina, in his second stint coaching at Heights has the Garnets playing good football on both sides of the ball. It’s an old cliché, but the team with the fewer mistakes will win this game. Woodbury had the misfortunate of playing one of the toughest Group 1 teams to open the season, Paulsboro. Even though Woodbury lost 22-6, the game was tied at halftime. The Thundering Herd are capable of playing with any team on its schedule and they will enter this game a slight favorite. Woodbury has been in a more big games over the last few years, but selling Haddon Heights short isn’t advised. This could be an offensive game, with both teams capable of scoring in the 20’s and it could be the last team with the ball is the winner in what should be a tight game.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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