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South Jersey Thanksgiving Football Preview: Part I

South Jersey Thanksgiving Football Preview: Part I
Here are more top games in as the South Jersey football season continues this week:

Lenape (5-5) at Shawnee (5-6), Thursday, 10:30 am.
Despite its record, Shawnee is the South Jersey Group 4 champion, beating Clearview, 17-14 in overtime in last week’s title game. Joe Dalsey ran for two TDs and kicked the game-winning 27-yard field goal in double overtime. Lenape, which won last year’s South Jersey Group 5 title, reached the postseason again despite suffering major losses to graduation while also having to replace coach Tim McAneney, who resigned after last season. First-year coach Joe Wojceichowsk did a good job steering the Indians to the playoffs. Lenape beat Kingsway, 3-0, before losing to Rancocas Valley, 28-7, in a SJ Group 5 semifinal. Last year Lenape beat Shawnee, 45-0 on Thanksgiving. This should be much more competitive. This series started in 1971.

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Haddon Heights (2-7) at Haddonfield (11-0), Thursday, 11 am.
This doesn’t figure to be a competitive game but it is among the longest rivalries in South Jersey. The series began in 1902 and Haddonfield has dominated lately, winning five in a row and 14 of 15. The Bulldogs lead the series 61-42-6. Haddonfield is coming off Friday’s convincing 23-12 win over Camden in the South Jersey Group 2 championship. It was the Bulldogs fifth sectional title, all since 2010. Last year it was an offensive shootout, with Haddonfield winning 47-27. Haddon Heights has a strong junior class and looks to be vastly improved next year but this season the Garnets don’t match up well with Haddonfield.

Haddon Township (5-4) at Audubon (3-6), Thursday, 11 am.
Haddon Township is eyeing its first winning season since 2012 when the Hawks were 6-4. This has been a resurgent season for the Hawks, who had been 3-7 in each of the first two seasons under coach Mike Sheridan. Audubon has dominated this series, winning five in a row and owning a 37-17-1 advantage, but Haddon Township figures to be much more competitive. Audubon won last year, 20-6. Junior Shawn Donlon has rushed for 456 yards (4.6 avg.) and eight TDs for Haddon Township, which uses a ground-oriented attack. Audubon, with junior quarterback Ethan Martin, is more likely to pass the ball. The winner of this game earns the Curly Cup. That is named after the late Tom Curley, who was a highly successful head coach for both Audubon and Haddon Township.

Woodrow Wilson (9-2) at Camden (9-2), Thursday, 11 am.

This is one of the great rivalries in South Jersey, having started in 1933. It also matches two sectional finalists. Wilson won the South Jersey Group 3 title with a 22-14 victory over top seeded Burlington Township. Quarterback Nick Kargman has thrown 37 touchdown passes. Camden lost to Haddonfield, 23-12 in the South Jersey Group 2 championship. Last year the Panthers beat Woodrow Wilson, 8-6. Camden has a strong senior class and it will be the final game for standouts such as runback Ramer Nock.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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