South Jersey Football Game of the Week: Cherokee at Lenape

by Marc Narducci | Nov 3, 2020
South Jersey Football Game of the Week: Cherokee at Lenape
(Note: This game has been moved due to Lenape shutting down for two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns.  It was originally scheduled for November 5 at 7 p.m.) 
 
Matchup: Cherokee (5-0) at Lenape (4-0)
 
When: Sunday, November 15, 12 p.m. 
 
Coaches: Cherokee, Brian Glatz (12-15),; Lenape, Joe Wojceichowski (19-8). (according to NJ.com in its report of last week’s 42-7 win over Seneca, Ryan Walsh, is Cherokee’s game-day head coach with Brian Glatz sidelined with treatments for lymphoma).
 
What makes this a big game: Just look at the records, both are undefeated. In addition, these are two of the top teams in South Jersey and both are long-time rivals who are part of the Lenape School District along with Seneca and Shawnee.
 
Last meeting: Nov. 1, 2019, Lenape won, 34-18 at Cherokee. A fourth quarter 13-yard scoring pass from Billy Osborn to Brandon Boria got Cherokee to withing 20-18, but then the Indians got a 2-yard scoring run from Xavier Coleman and a 65-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Tyler Davis. Coleman rushed for 73 yards and two scores while Osborn completed 17 of 29 for 214 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. 
 
This season
CHEROKEE
October 2: Pennsauken, 42-6
October 9: Woodrow Wilson, 35-0
October 17: at Hun School, 37-8
October 23 at Shawnee, 24-21
October 30: Seneca, 42-7
 
LENAPE
October 9: Eastern, 38-7
October 16 at Seneca, 38-0
October 23 at Rancocas Valley, 27-7
October 30 at Shawnee, 10-3
 
Key players: Cherokee sophomore Brandon Boria has rushed for 616 yards on 68 carries and nine touchdowns. He had four touchdowns in last week’s win over Seneca. Osborn is an accomplished quarterback who has thrown eight touchdown passes. 
 
Lenape, like Cherokee, is known for its ground game, but can also throw. Senior Brady Long has thrown for 550 yards and four TDs. His 32-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Davis was the difference in last week’s 10-3 win over Shawnee. (It must be noted that even though Shawnee is winless, the Renegades have played both Cherokee and Lenape tough, losing by a combined 10 points). 
 
Senior Xavier Coleman is a multi-purpose threat. A Boston College commit, he has rushed for six touchdowns, has caught another TD passes and has 16 tackles in the secondary for the Indians. He is a big-play performer who can go coast to coast at any time.
 
Senior Hamza Bruce has rushed for 249 yards and two scores, while junior Kobi Ray-Reed has 212 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.
 
Key to the game: Both teams are dangerous passing, but like to go the ground route. So the team that does the best job stopping the run will be in the driver’s seat. While both have potential high scoring offenses, this doesn’t appear to be a high scoring game.

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Outlook:
Without playoffs this year, this is like a mini-playoff game. Both teams would have been major contenders in Group 5. Cherokee went 6-7 last season but was the Central Jersey Group 5 champ, while Lenape was 10-2 and lost in the finals to Williamstown. The fact that both have come this season even more improved speaks to the depth of the programs. This figures to be a one-score game, with the winner still in the conversation for No. 1 team in South Jersey.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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