Another Great Season for State Football Champion Woodbury

by Marc Narducci | Dec 16, 2022
Another Great Season for State Football Champion Woodbury
In the first-ever NJSIAA Public School state football championships, two came from the seven-county South Jersey area, Millville in Group 4 and Woodbury in Group 1. Here is a look at Group 1 state champion Woodbury and its season.

WOODBURY

Coach: Anthony Reagan (39-15)

Record: 12-2 overall, 3-1 WJFL Diamond Division (tied for the title with Woodstown)

2022 Season Schedule

Aug. 26: at Maple Shade, 38-14

Sept. 2 at West Deptford, 14-7

Sept. 10: at Penns Grove, 32-6

Sept. 17 Paulsboro, 46-8

Sept. 23 at Haddonfield, 6-28

Sept. 30: at Gloucester, 43-29

Oct. 8: at Woodstown, 28-6

Oct. 22: at Salem, 20-21

Oct. 29: Penns Grove, 34-0*

Nov. 5: Shore, 45-8*

Nov. 12 Maple Shade, 36-6*

Nov. 19 at Salem, 22-7*

Nov. 23 Gateway, 6-0

Dec. 3: Mountain Lakes at Rutgers, 31-7*

*playoff game

Top performers

Sr. QB Bryan Johnson 151-241 passing, 2,305 yards, 25 TDs; 76 carries, 282 yards, 4 TDs

Jr. RB-DB Anthony Reagan Jr. 177 carries, 1,144 yards, 17 TDs

Sr. WR-DB JaBron Solomon 58 receptions, 941 yards, 13 TDs.

 

Woodbury benefited from playing in one of the toughest small-school divisions in the state, the WJFL Diamond Division. The Thundering Herd tied with Woodstown for the title. Both had one loss, with Woodbury beating Woodstown, 28-6 and Salem downing Woodbury, 21-20.

Salem had been a recent thorn in Woodbury’s side. Last year both won sectional titles and met in what was known as the Regional championship. Salem scored a 34-8 win.

So that victory, coupled with the regular season win this season over Woodbury, gave Salem the recent edge. However, Woodbury scored a 22-7 win over Salem in this year’s state semifinal, to advance to the state championship game.

Woodbury was in control, scoring the game’s first 22 points on two short touchdown runs by Anthony Reagan Jr. and a 42-yard scoring pass from Bryan Johnson to JaBron Solomon. Salem got a touchdown late in the first half and neither team scored over the final two quarters.

Besides the regular season loss to Salem, the other defeat was a 28-6 loss at Haddonfield in a game that was 14-6 entering the fourth quarter.

That was part of Woodbury’s difficult schedule that paid dividends to come playoff time.

Like South Jersey’s other state champion Millville, the key to Woodbury’s success was its ability to hurt teams in the running or passing game.

The ringleader was quarterback Bryan Johnson, who not only threw for 25 touchdowns, but ran the offense adeptly. He was great on play-action.

With Reagan Jr. leading the way, Woodbury should be competitive next year but will miss the leadership and production of Johnson.

During the past two years, he led Woodbury to a 24-3 record, one state title, two sectional championships and two conference titles.

Woodbury has a rich football tradition and Johnson helped add another chapter for a school that not only became the first-ever Group 1 state champion but has won eight sectional championships and qualified for the postseason 30 times since the advent of NJSIAA playoffs in 1974.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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