Six games to watch this weekend in South Jersey football:
Timber Creek (0-1) at Eastern (1-0), Thursday at 6: Thursday night football, just like the NFL. The Chargers probably would have liked to have played again on Monday. Or maybe last Saturday, since they were so frustrated by that 14-7 season-opening loss to Camden Catholic last Friday night. Eastern will be facing an angry TC team, that likely will play ferocious defense and run the ball behind Zaire Williams and Khalil Pierce. Eastern must have played great defense in beating Washington Twp. 9-6 in the opener, since WT has a terrific QB in Tom Hildebrand and some offensive weapons. Big challenge this week for Eastern QB Tom Flacco, three days before his brother Joe -- of the Baltimore Ravens -- faces the Eagles in the Linc.
Cherokee (1-0) at Triton (1-0), Friday at 7: This should be a hard-hitting clash as both teams played outstanding defense in season-opening victories. This is a big opportunity for Triton, which has been scratching at South Jersey prominance for the last two seasons, to make a statement against one of the power programs in the area. Cherokee lacks "superstars," according to coach PJ Mehigan. But the Chiefs are young and solid and they look like one of those teams that is goong to get better as the season moves along. They could be a major factor in SJ come November. Triton is hoping for the same thing in SJ 4.
Woodbury (1-0) at West Deptford (0-0), Friday at 7: A neighborhood clash of Colonial Conference cross-division rivals as well as serious SJ 2 (WD) and SJ 1 (Woodbury) title contenders. WD needs to contain Woodbury QB Anthony Averett, an Alabama recruit. On the other side, Woodbury's defense has to stand up to WD's potent ground game, led by FB Gerald Towns-Owens and RB Josh Cornelius. Woodbury outplayed WD for most of the game last season but couldn't finish the job.
Shawnee(1-0) at Williamstown (1-0), Friday at 7: The Renegades won last season in what is developing into a rivalry. Lots of power points and Top 10 implications in this clash of SJ 5 and SJ 4 programs. Shawnee showed some offensive flash in 37-14 win over Kingsway as QB Andrew Bertolino passed for 3 TDs and WR Zach McHale generated 160 receiving yards and 2 TDs. Williamstown's ground game, led by juniors Marques Little and John Chamberlin, will challenge Shawnee's defense, which is led by junior Anthony DiOrio.
Delsea (1-0) at Moorestown (1-0), Friday at 7: The Crusaders might pass a little more than their reputation and Quakers might run a little more than theirs. Delsea got a big lift from junior WR Bryan Dobzanski, who caught TD passes of 46 and 50 yards in his first high school football game in a victory over Camden. The 6-3, 218-pound Dobzanski could be a D-1 football player, according to Delsea coach Sal Marchese, although the athlete's future is probably in baseball. Or maybe wrestling. Moorestown got a big debut game from junior QB Tyreek Robinson in season-opening win over a solid Seneca team. This could be the most entertaining game of the weekend.
Holy Spirit (0-1) at St. Joseph (1-0), Saturday at noon: The Spartans’ triple-option offense will challenge St. Joseph’s run defense. SJ did not tackle well in first half against Absegami, falling behind by 20-14. The Wildcats tightened up in the second half, although it helped that Braves star David Hood -- who scored on plays covering 69, 62 and 60 yards in the first half -- was on the sideline with cramps. HS might be a year away but the Spartans certainly could herald an early arrival with an upset in this clash of Non-Public rivals. SJ could be without senior RB Miles Pease, a hard-luck athlete who sustained a shoulder injury in the first quarter last Saturday. Junior RB Cody Sampson likely will carry a heavier load.
-- Phil Anastasia