South Jersey football Games of the Week

by Marc Narducci | Aug 23, 2021
South Jersey football Games of the Week

 The South Jersey football season begins Friday, with several outstanding matchups. Teams have been practicing since Aug. 9. Each week we will list the top games and even though not every team is opening the season this weekend, there is no shortage of top-flight games. Highlighting the weekend action will be a three-day, 11-game event at Ocean City’s Carey Stadium.

Here are some of the top games for opening week. Teams are listed with last year’s records.

Friday Aug. 27

Camden (4-1) vs. Salem (6-1), 1 p.m. at Ocean City. These are two sectional title contenders, with Camden in Group 2 and Salem in Group 1. Camden competes in one of the toughest divisions in South Jersey, the WJFL Memorial, which includes Holy Spirit, Winslow Township, Pleasantville, Woodrow Wilson and Cedar Creek. Try to find an easy game in that division. Camden Sr. RB-LB Nazir Dale  is one of the more dynamic players in South Jersey. Salem is by Jr. QB Jakhi Coates, who has been starting for the Rams since his freshman year. Like Camden, Salem plays in a difficult division, the WJFL Diamond, which includes Paulsboro, Penns Grove, Buena, Woodstown and Gateway. This might be the best small-school division in South Jersey.

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Paulsboro (7-0) at West Deptford (4-5), 6. This game used to be played Thanksgiving weekend, but has been moved to the first game for both teams the last several years. It’s another game where both teams are sectional title contenders, Paulsboro in Group 1 and West Deptford in Group 2. Paulsboro Sr. QB Tyree Thomas threw for 616 yards and 10 Tds last year. West Deptford should have one of South Jersey’s top rushing attacks with Sr. Jemar Jones, who rushed for 568 yards (5.6 avg.) and 6 Tds and Sr. J’Covi Williams, who rushed for 685 yards (6.7 avg.) and 6 Tds.


Willingboro (3-2) at Delran (3-1), 7. Delran  has one of South Jersey’s top receivers in Sr. Kenny Fletcher (6-6, 225), who is a Rutgers commit. He had 23 receptions for 350 yards and 1 TD. Willingboro, like Delran is capable of contending in the WJFL Colonial, along with West Deptford and Haddonfield in his highly competitive division. Sr. RB-LB Bryson Bright (6-3, 220) is among the key leaders for Willingboro.


Saturday Aug. 28

Penns Grove (6-3) vs. Bernards (8-1) 11 a.m. at Ocean City. This kicks off Day 2 at Ocean City’s Carey Stadium. Penns Grove is a viable SJ Group 1 contender, led by Sr. TE-LB Zion Cheeks (6-2, 215) a Cincinnati commit, who recorded 56 tackles and 11 sacks last season. Bernards is 24-5 over the last three years, with three of those losses to perennial power Hillside.


DeMatha Catholic (3-1) vs. Holy Spirit (8-0), 8 p.m. at Ocean City. Holy Spirit was last year’s consensus No. 1 team in South Jersey. The Spartans bring back an experienced team but must replace RB Patrick Smith, one of the top players in the state, who is now attending Vanderbilt. The Spartans have many big-play performers, including Sr. WR-DB Elijah Steward, who had 24 receptions for 293 yards and 4 Tds. Located in Hyattsville, Maryland, DeMatha is known as a national basketball power, but the football proram routinely produces big-time individual talent and football teams. Former Eagles star Brian Westbrook and current Eagles safety Rodney McLeod, are among the many graduates of DeMatha, who have played in the NFL.


Author: Marc Narducci

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