South Jersey Football Games of the Week

South Jersey Football Games of the Week
Here are some of the key matchups in the final week of the regular season:

Friday
Holy Spirit (4-0) at St. Augustine (3-1), 6 pm. Since an opening 22-21 loss to Millville, St. Augustine has won three in a row, including last week’s 17-16 overtime win over previously unbeaten Williamstown. The game ended when Williamstown was stopped on a two-point conversion after scoring a touchdown in overtime. Yes, the Braves went for the win rather than trying to kick the PAT and force a second overtime. St. Augustine junior Kanye Udoh has rushed for 451 yards and 4 TDs. Holy Spirit’s best win was an 18-6 victory over St. Joseph in the opener for both teams. That was a rematch of last year’s state Non-Public Group 2 final that Holy Spirit won 38-0. Spartans senor Patrick Smith has been one of the best offensive players in South Jersey. He has rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 11 TDs. 
 
Delran (3-0) at Burlington Township (5-0), 6 pm. Despite some key losses to graduation, Delran remains a top team this year, the only unbeaten club in the Colonial Division. The Bears are averaging 35.6 points per game in wins over Cinnaminson, Northern Burlington and Pemberton. Junior Zachary Palmer-Smith has rushed for 700 yards (11.3 avg.) and 3 TDs. Burlington Township is coming off a 33-27 win over Rancocas Valley. The winning margin came when Josh Tachie-Mensa broke a 27-27 tie with a 17-yard interception return for a touchdown. Junior Gage Miller has thrown 10 touchdown passes for the Falcons. The key will be whether Delran can stop the Falcons passing game and if Burlington Township can contain the explosive Palmer-Smith. 
 
Shawnee (0-5) at Seneca (1-4), 7 pm. Why is this one of the games of the week? Because these are two of the four Lenape School District rivals (with Cherokee and Lenape being the other two). In addition, Shawnee might be one of the top 0-5 teams in South Jersey history. While playing one of the tougher schedules in South Jersey, Shawnee has lost four games by a TD or less to Woodrow Wilson, Washington Township, Cherokee and Lenape. The one loss by more than a TD was 40-21 to an outstanding Camden team. Seneca’s lone win was a 41-24 victory over Sterling. No doubt Shawnee is the favorite in this game, just by looking at one common opponent. Seneca is coming off a 42-7 loss to Cherokee, while Shawnee lost the previous week to the Chiefs, 24-21. 
 
Timber Creek (3-1) vs. St. Joseph (4-1) at Buena, 7 pm. After an opening 21-0 loss to Williamstown, Timber Creek has won three in a row, beating Delsea, Highland and Clearview. The last two wins have been shutouts against Highland and Clearview by a combined 48-0 score. Like Timber Creek, St. Joseph lost its opener, 18-6 to Holy Spirit. The Wildcats have then beaten Pleasantville, Millville, Vineland and Cedar Creek by a combined 165-38 score. Timber Creek has one of the state’s top quarterbacks in junior Donovan Leary, who threw for 316 yards and 2 TDs in last week’s 27-0 win over Clearview. Senor Ahmad Ross is the key offensive player for St. Joseph. He has rushed for 699 yards (9.3 avg.) and 8 TDs. He also has 35 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and three sacks at strong safety. 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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