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South Jersey Football Playoff Preview: Part II

South Jersey Football Playoff Preview: Part II

Among the games we are looking at are two rematches from this year that weren’t close and don’t expect to be this time, but they are among local rivals.

Here is our look at some first round matchups:

South Jersey Group 5
(6) Kingsway (5-3) at (3) Lenape (4-4), Friday, 7 pm.

Lenape has played one of the toughest schedules in South Jersey which is why the Indians earned a No. 4 seed despite a .500 record. The Indians began the season 1-3 but the losses were to defending Central Jersey Group 5 champ North Brunswick, South Jersey’s No. 3 team St. Augustine and South Jersey’s No. 2 team Williamstown. Sophomore Xavier Coleman is one of the more underrated running backs, a true big-play performer. Kingsway is among the more improved teams in South Jersey. The Dragons were 3-7 last year and finished strong this regular season, winning three of their final four. The most impressive win was this past week, 34-21 against Eastern. Junior quarterback Alex Odom is a dual threat and is also a standout in the secondary.

(8) Washington Township (3-5) at (1) Williamstown (9-0), Friday, 7 pm.

This isn’t expected to be a competitive game since Williamstown beat the Minutemen, 34-3 in the regular season. What makes this interesting is that this was a recent Thanksgiving rivalry between neighboring towns. Township, which went 2-8 last season, is on the right course and is setting the stage to be a future playoff contender. As it is now, Williamstown is clearly the team to beat. Last week the Braves clinched the WJFL American Division title with a hard-fought 14-7 win over St. Augustine. Senior quarterback-defensive back J.C. Collins, a Massachusetts commit, is among the top all-around players in South Jersey, while running back-defensive back, is also a top all-around performer. It is not always that the top seed is the favorite, but the Braves will be the team to beat in South Jersey Group 5.

South Jersey Group 1
(8) Woodstown (2-5) at Penns Grove (9-0), Saturday, 12 pm.

This is another game that likely won’t be competitive, but these are long-time Salem County rivals. Woodstown, despite its record, earned a playoff berth due to its tough schedule. It doesn’t get any tougher than Penns Grove. The Red Devils are coming off a 26-20 win over Salem. It was only the second game this season that the Red Devils haven’t won by at least two touchdowns. Penns Grove can hurt teams with the run or the pass. The Red Devils have three players who have rushed for at least 500 yards, led by sophomore Nasir Robinson, who has rushed for 788 yards (7.4 avg.) and eight touchdowns. Junior quarterback Kavon Lewis has completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 1,212 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Non-Public Group 4
(10) Notre Dame (7-1) at (7) St. Augustine (6-3), Friday, 7 pm.
St. Augustine played one of its best games in last week’s 14-7 loss to unbeaten Williamstown. The Hermits have played one of the toughest schedules in South Jersey. While they aren’t expected to contend for a title in loaded Non-Public Group 4, they certainly can win the opening round game. Senior quarterback Chris Allen is a tremendous leader who can hurt teams with his arm or legs. He has passed for 862 yards and 9 TDs. Freshman running back-defensive back Nasir Hill has rushed for 736 yards (5.8 avg.) and four TDs. He has one interception and two passes defensed. Even though Notre Dame has a better record the Fighting Irish haven’t played the caliber of schedule of St. Augustine and that could be the difference in this one.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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