Football: New Top Ten

The new Top Ten, as of Sunday, September 11:

1. Holy Spirit (1-0) Donta Pollock ran for 201 yards and Nigel Jones ran for three TDs and the Spartans beat Oakcrest 41-16. But this was a close game for three quarters. Spirit coach Chalie Roman called it a "street fight." That's not a bad thing for a team with state title aspirations to be in. Toughens them up. Next: Home Friday at 7 vs. Absegami.

2. Cherokee (1-0). Chiefs were on their heels against an inspired Lenape team for two-plus quarters. But defensive end Brandon Rapp's 27-yard interception return for TD kick-started a second-half rally to a 27-13 victory. Little margin for error with this year's Chiefs. They're not going to overwhelm many teams with talent. But they know how to win. Next: At Eastern Friday at 7.

3. St. Joseph’s (1-0).  Darryl Smith ran for one score and returned a fumble for another as Wildcats built 48-0 halftime lead in 55-6 win over Buena. Smith is set for a big year. So is that defense. This team has an Oct. 1 home game against Holy Spirit circled on the calendar in thick red ink. Next: At Middle Township Friday at 7.

4. Moorestown (1-0). Quakers move up a spot after an impressive road victory at Paul VI. Delaney Wallace ran for three scores as the ground game flexed its muscle in 28-12 win. So far, so good with rebuilt OL. Next: Home Friday at 7 vs. Seneca.

5. Hammonton (1-0). Blue Devils jump two spots from preseason rankings. There's a lot of sophomores in key spots, so this team will continue to improve as they become familiar with varsity competition. Lots of depth, too. The Blue Devils also have a weapon in sophomore kicker Alessandro Padovani, a converted soccer player. Next: Home Friday at 7 vs. Buena.

6. Pennsauken (1-0), Indians coach Clint Tabb said previous Pennsauken teams might have "quit" when Shawnee took a 28-20 lead late in fourth quarter. This team drove for a TD, got the two-point conversion to force overtime, and won 35-28 in OT. Manny Cortez is the real deal at QB. Now comes the tricky part: Avoiding the letdown from signature win. Next: Home Saturday at noon vs. Clearview.

7. Shawnee (0-1). Renegades drop a spot but showed lots of good signs in loss to Pennsauken. Ground game featured three TDs by Kyle Wigley and another by Rob D'Orio. Those teams could meet again in SJ Group 4 playoffs. Next: At Winslow Township Saturday at noon.

8. Timber Creek (1-0). Defense had eight sacks and Khalil Pierce ran for 105 yards in 19-0 win over Cumberland. This is among the most physically talented defenses in South Jersey. Now it gets tough as Chargers must deal with angry, desperate Delsea. On the bright side, they can effectively knock the Crusaders out of the Royal race after two weeks. Who would have figured that? Next: Home Friday at 7 vs. No. 9 Delsea.

9. Delsea (0-1). Uncharacteristic loss to Kingsway, which rallied from 14-3 deficit in fourth quarter. Crusaders of the past put those games away. Was it a hiccup or was this team seriously overrated? Delsea missed senior center Joe Moffa, who went out with a knee injury, but that's no excuse. If this team is for real, we'll see it Friday night. Next: At No. 8 Timber Creek Friday at 7.

10. Haddonfield (10) 0-0
Like rest of Colonial Conference, Bulldogs sat out opening weekend. Makes no sense. Why not make the whole conference use Week 5 as a bye week instead of Week 1? That's a great time for a bye. Plus, must be a drag to be back to school and not have a football game that first weekend. Next: Home Friday at 7 vs. Collingswood.

Under Consideration (listed alphabetically): Oakcrest (0-1), Paul VI (0-1), West Deptford (0-0), Williamstown (1-0).

-- Phil Anastasia

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