South Jersey Football Games of the Week

by Marc Narducci | Nov 23, 2022
South Jersey Football Games of the Week
Due to the NJSIAA playoff system, Thanksgiving games have been dwindling over the last several years. Many of the rivalries are now played during the regular season.

There are, however, still come great rivalries. Here are some of the top Thanksgiving matchups.

Ocean City (3-7) at Pleasantville (6-3), 10. This is the final one on Thanksgiving for these two long-time rivals. So the game will be a pretty big deal. Both teams made the playoffs, Ocean City in Group 4 and Pleasantville in Group 2. Ocean City played one of the tougher schedules in South Jersey and lost to Shawnee in the first round of the playoffs. Pleasantville earned a first-round playoff win over Johnson before losing to Raritan in the sectional semifinal. This will be the final game for Ocean City quarterback Riley Gunnels, who has thrown for 1,485 yards and eight touchdowns. Senior Marlon Leslie is a multiple threat for Pleasantville. He can play quarterback, running back and receiver, all in the same game and Leslie has explosive big-play potential.

Millville (10-2) at Vineland (3-8), 10:30. This is the oldest rivalry in New Jersey as it will be the 151st meeting between these two long-time Cape Atlantic League schools. Millville is coming off Sunday’s 18-14 win over Mainland in a state Group 4 semifinal. Junior Na’eem Sharp’s 17-yard touchdown run with 39 seconds left provided Millville with the winning margin. For the season Sharp has run for 1,099 yards (6.4 avg.) and 13 touchdowns. Quarterback Jacob Zamot has thrown for 2,697 yards and 23 touchdowns and sophomore receiver Lotzeir Brooks has caught 54 passes for 923 yards and 12 touchdowns. Vineland has been idle since a 30-13 loss to Ocean City on Nov. 10. Sophomore quarterback Daniel Russo, son of Vineland coach Dan Russo, has thrown for 831 yards and 10 touchdowns and run for 1,045 yards and nine scores.

Camden (10-2) at Camden Eastside (4-5), 10:30. This is a series that began in 1933 with Camden winning that first game, 20-0. Camden is coming off a 20-14 loss to Delsea in the Group 3 state semifinal. In that game, Camden held a 14-0 lead. That snapped the Panthers’ 10-game winning streak. Camden will be looking for revenge after last year’s 28-12 loss to Camden Eastside, formerly known as Woodrow Wilson. Eastside has been idle since suffering a 49-14 second-round South Jersey Group 3 playoff loss to Delsea. In that game, Eastside sophomore Mahki Brunson threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns.

Haddon Heights (6-5) at Haddonfield (6-3), 11. This is a series that began in 1902. Haddon Heights snapped a 10-game losing streak to Haddonfield with last year’s 36-13 victory. The week after that game, Haddonfield upset Point Pleasant Boro, 28-27 to win the South/Central Group 2 regional championship. This season Haddonfield has been idle since a 14-13 upset loss to Gloucester in the South Jersey Group 2 semifinal on Nov. 4. Haddon Heights last played on Nov. 12 in a consolation game, a wild 40-39 loss to Roselle. In that game junior, Drew Harris threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns. This season Harris has thrown for 1,930 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 412 yards and eight scores. Haddonfield junior Declan McCarthy has thrown for 1,088 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also has four rushing touchdowns so this should be an outstanding quarterback matchup.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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