NJSIAA sectional championship preview Part II

by Marc Narducci | Nov 9, 2022
NJSIAA sectional championship preview Part II
The sectional finals are this weekend. Here is the second of two parts of games featuring teams from the seven-county South Jersey area.


Central Jersey Group 3

(2) Camden (9-1) at (1) Seneca (10-0), Friday, 7

Camden has won nine in a row following an opening 33-6 loss at Chardon, Ohio. The Panthers have outscored Nottingham and defending regional Group 3 champ Cedar Creek, 66-0 in their two playoff games. Sophomore Deante Ruffin has thrown for 1,917 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Panthers. He has also rushed for 325 yards (4.8 avg.) and nine scores. Junior Jahleer Stanley has rushed for 776 yards (7.3 avg.) and seven touchdowns. Senior Terron Davis has 24 receptions for 317 yards and five touchdowns. Despite being the top seed, Seneca will be the underdog. The Golden Eagles advanced with a 29-28 semifinal win over Highland. Junior Zac Fearon rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown in the win. Fearon has rushed for 743 yards (6.4 avg.) and 12 touchdowns.


South Jersey Group 3

(3) Hopewell Valley (10-0) at (1) Delsea (10-0), Friday. 7

Delsea returns to the final after losing to unbeaten Cedar Creek, 30-13 in last year’s SJ Group 3 championship. The Crusaders are very much in the running for the best team in South Jersey. Delsea has outscored playoff opponents Deptford and Camden Eastside, 97-27. In the 49-14 semifinal win over Camden Eastside, Wayne Adair rushed for 167 yards and four touchdowns on just nine carries. Stopping Delsea’s potent Delaware Wing-T attack will be the key. Delsea will be a solid favorite. Hopewell Valley defeated Matawan, 34-21 and Burlington Township, 22-16 in its two playoff games. By comparison, Delsea beat Burlington Township 35-6 in the regular season. Hopewell Valley senior Tim McKeown has thrown for 1,767 yards and 24 touchdowns. Sophomore Justin Klotz is the leading receiver with 47 receptions for 845 yards and 12 touchdowns. Senior Derek Van Brunt has rushed for 1,275 yards (6.6 avg.) and eight touchdowns.

Central Jersey Group 1

(4) Paulsboro (6-4) at (2) Salem (7-4), Saturday noon

This is a rematch of last year’s CJ Group 1 final, which Salem won 13-12. These two are in the same division (WJFL Diamond) and on Oct. 23, Paulsboro beat Salem, 23-16. Salem beat Glassboro, 42-22 in this year’s semifinal as senior quarterback Jahki Coates rushed for 53 yards and four touchdowns on 10 carries. He also passed for 150 yards and a score. Under first-year coach Kevin Harvey, Paulsboro got off to a rough start, losing its first three games. Since then, the Red Raiders have won six of seven, following a 15-6 semifinal win over top-seeded Woodstown. Senior Rocco Pellegrini completed 8 of 11 for 110 yards and a touchdown for the Red Raiders. On the season Pellegrini has thrown for 1,718 yards and 19 touchdowns. Senior Damire Avant has rushed for 698 yards (5.2 avg.) and five touchdowns and has also caught 28 passes for 435 yards and four scores.

South Jersey Group 1

(3) Maple Shade (9-2) at (1) Woodbury (7-2), Saturday, 1

Woodbury is the defending SJ Group 1 champ, having beaten Woodstown, 8-6 in last year’s championship. This season Woodbury has had little trouble in the first two rounds, beating Penns Grove and Shore by a combined 79-8. Thundering Herd senior quarterback Bryan Johnson has thrown for 1,790 yards and 21 touchdowns. Senior JaBron Solomon has caught 45 passes for 701 yards and 12 touchdowns. Junior Anthony Reagan Jr. has rushed for 662 yards and 12 scores. Maple Shade which has won eight in a row, is coming off a 27-18 semifinal win over Asbury Park. The Wildcats trailed Asbury Park, 12-0 at halftime before storming back. Maple Shade quarterback Nate Veasey threw one touchdown pass and ran 40 yards for another score.

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