South Jersey’s oldest rivalry kicks off Part II of our look at Thanksgiving games
Vineland (7-2) at Millville (9-1) 10:30. This is the 146th meeting in one of the oldest rivalries in the country and the longest in South Jersey, dating back to 1894. Both teams are coming off South Jersey Group 5 playoff losses. Vineland lost to Lenape, 35-0 in the first round, while Millville suffered a 15-14 loss to Rancocas Valley. Last year Vineland won, 45-28, but Millville went on to win the SJ Group 5 title the next week, beating Toms River North, 22-16 for the title.
Paul VI (5-4) at Camden Catholic (7-2), 10:30. This is a series that dates back to 1968. Paul VI has rebounded from a 3-7 season and has won its last two games. Camden Catholic lost its opening round playoff game, 45-40 to St. John Vianney. Paul VI junior Nick Mattia is averaging 11 tackles per game. One person who should keep the Paul VI defense busy is Camden Catholic senior Marcus Hillman, who has rushed for 1,257 yards (7.1 avg.) and 15 TDs. QB Rob McCoy has thrown for 1,483 yards and 12 TDs and has run for 300 yards (5.4 avg.) and 4 TDs.
Salem (7-3) at Woodstown (4-5), 10:30: This series dates back to 1911. Salem can clinch the WJFL Diamond Division title with a win. Rams senior Zaire Jones has rushed for 1,648 yards (9.2 avg.) and 26 touchdowns. He played a season at Woodstown, so he knows the Wolverines well. Woodstown has been idle since losing a 28-8 first round SJ Group 1 playoff game on Nov. 10 at Gateway.
Woodbury (6-3) at Gateway (8-2), 10:30: Both teams will look to rebound from playoff losses. Woodbury lost a first-round South Jersey Group 1 playoff game to Salem. Gateway won its first playoff game ever but was eliminated in a Group 1 semifinal by Penns Grove, 36-0.
Camden (7-2) at Woodrow Wilson (8-2), 11. Camden senior QB Premire Wilson has completed 57.1 percent of his passes for 1,098 yards and 10 TDs. Senior running back Najyere Edwards has rushed for 963 yards (7.8 avg.) and 8 TDs. Senior receiver Damon Rice has 23 receptions for 407 yards and 3 TDs. Wilson will be competing against Delsea in the SJ Group 3 final, and while this game doesn’t have bearing on a conference race, it’s as big as a playoff game for both teams in a series that began in 1933.
Palmyra (5-4) at Burlington City (8-2), 11. This rivalry began in 1909 and has been played continuously since 1911. Burlington City lost on Friday to Middlesex, 41-20 in a Central Jersey Group 1 semifinal. Senior Jimmy Browne has rushed for 25 TDs for one of the more improved teams in South Jersey after going 2-8 last season. Palmyra, which has won three in a row, has been idle since Nov. 9 when the Panthers beat South Hunterdon 52-21 in a consolation game. Palmyra senior QB Taj Harris has thrown for 1,406 yards and 18 TDs in his first full season playing quarterback. He has committed to Syracuse, which has recruited him as a receiver.
West Deptford (9-1) at Paulsboro (9-1), 11. Talk about a tune-up, both teams will compete the following week in sectional championship games. West Deptford will meet Haddonfield in Group 2 and Paulsboro faces Penns Grove in Group 1. Those could be two of the better sectional finals. This pre-playoff game should also be highly competitive since both teams play to win, even though it means nothing in the standings because they are in different divisions. Paulsboro senior Dehron Holloway has rushed for 1,628 yards (8.1 avg.) and 22 TDs.