Anastasia: Williamstown gets its shot

Playing in the Tri-County Royal Division, Williamstown doesn't get the respect of other Group 4 football powers.

Fair or not, the Braves are perceived as part of a division that ranks below the likes of the Olympic American or even the Cape-Atlantic American when it comes to Group 4 football strength.

After all, Williamstown is the lone Group 4 team in the Royal Division. They even have a Group 1 football team (Woodstown) on their schedule.

But the Braves get the chance to make a statement this Friday.

Williamstown visists Washington Township in one of the best opening-round games in recent years.

These old neighbors haven't played in football for years. But look for 4,000 or 5,000 fans to show up when Williamstown (8-0) visits Washington Township (7-1) under the lights on the Minutemen's artificial turf field.

Williamstown has dominated the Royal this year. Washington Township has faced some adversity but the Minutemen are coming off a 27-17 victory over Triton -- a game they trailed by 17-0 at half.

Insiders say Williamstown had its way with Washington Township in a scrimmage in late August. But who puts much stock in scrimmages? And that was nearly three months ago.

This game is a chance for the Braves to make a statement about their growth as a Group 4 program. Before the season, junior running backs Ron Gordon and Marcus Hampton said they wanted Williamstown to become known as a South Jersey Group 4 power, not just a Royal Division power.

Friday night is the Braves' big chance.

-- Phil Anastasia

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