By Phil Anastasia
Here's a closer look at dozen games, with predictions, for this weekend in South Jersey football:
Friday at 7
Delran (5-0) at Florence (4-0): Something's got to give when Delran's high-powered offense, led by QB Justin McFadden, meets Florence's fierce defense, led by LBs Aaron Salaga, Rich Meyers and Zach Foga. This is the hottest Group 2 team in Burlco vs. the hottest Group 1 team. Expect trick plays, big plays and fourth-quarter fireworks. The pick: Florence: 26-22.
No. 4 Camden Catholic (3-1) at Bishop Eustace (2-2): The Crusaders have lost two in a row, including a gut-wrenching 35-34 decision to Deptford last Friday. QB Conner Bor and WR Sam Steele are a dangerous pass-catch combo. The Irish are coming off a bye week and hope to get RB/LB Jarred Alwan back. C/DL Jeff Miller probably benefited from time off, too, as he's been working through a back ailment. Good rivalry game between teams that are a mile apart, if that. The pick: Camden Catholic, 20-10.
Cherokee (1-3) at Shawnee (3-2): The Chiefs' loaded junior class features the pass-catch combination of quarterback Trevor Osler and tight end Jake Powell as well as RB Matt Stickney and a terrific kicker in Kenny Ravel. The Renegades have shown a knack for bouncing back from tough losses. They responded to lopsided loss to Williamstown. Now they have to show some resilience after loss to Clearview. QB Luke Snyder makes second start. The pick: Cherokee, 24-20.
Millville (2-2) at No. 7 Holy Spirit (2-2): Holy Spirit's defense has fueled a two-game winning streak. The Spartans, with a top LB in junior Jeff Steeb, have allowed 13 points in their last three games. Milville's offense features all-purpose speedster Rashon Sorrell and sophomore running back Rob Ennis. This is a pivotal game for both teams. The pick: Holy Spirit, 19-13.
Absegami (3-2) at Egg Harbor Township (2-2): Major South Jersey Group 5 implications in this clash of Cape Atlantic American Division rivals. Absegami has break-away threats in junior David Hood and senior Tyler Bing. Egg Harbor's defense is led by end Eric Wiafe, a Rutgers recruit. One of these teams is going to be sitting pretty in race for SJ 5 berth. The other is going to be in trouble as far as making that crowded field. The pick: EHT, 20-16.
No. 6 Atlantic City (3-1) at Buena (3-2): Led by quarterback Jarren McBryde and wide receiver Dayshawn Reynolds, the Vikings have won three in a row. They need to avoid looking ahead to an Oct. 19 home game vs. No. 1 St. Joseph. The pick: Atlantic City, 22-13.
Allentown (5-0) at Holy Cross (3-2): The Lancers have won three in a row behind senior two-way lineman Mauro Correnti and senior quarterback Logan Hill. Allentown is a Central Jersey Group 3 power. This could be a shootout. The pick: Allentown, 30-27.
Overbrook (1-3) at Haddon Township (2-2): Veteran quarterback Jake Campbell leads the Hawks, who are looking to push above .500. The Rams have a play-maker in Allen Gaskins, who scored touchdowns on two returns in a win over Gateway. The pick: Haddon Township, 19-13.
St. Augustine Prep (4-0) at Bridgeton (3-2): The Hermits are averaging 45.2 points behind quarterback Alex Hughes as well as RB Calvin Cass. SAP was off last week. The Hermits can't get caught looking ahead to a coming showdown with St. Joe. The Bulldogs are coming off a good win over Buena and feature running back Stefon Bowman. The pick: St. Augustine, 31-18.
Eastern (3-2) at Clearview (4-1): The Vikings' air attack could create problems for the Pioneers' pass defense, which hasn't been tested that much this season. Eastern junior QB Tom Flacco and receivers Keyshawn Seegers and Eli Woodard are playmakers. Led by QB Mitch Harbaugh and FB Adam DeCecco, Clearview is coming off emotional victory over Shawnee. This is a dangerous game for the Pioneers. The pick: Eastern, 23-20.
Saturday at 10:30
Haddonfield (3-1) at Woodbury (3-1): The Bulldogs have a talented quarterback in junior Mike McLaughlin and a sturdy senior RB in Adam Augugliaro. The Thundering Herd has been getting strong line play from Lawrenzo Clarke and Max Belko. QB/DB Anthony Averett is a game breaker. The pick: Woodbury, 25-22.
Saturday at 11
No. 9 Paul VI (4-0) at Cherry Hill East (2-3): QB Alec Vignola, LB Greg Pease, RB Dior Hightower and WR Zach Grant lead the Eagles. The Cougars' sturdy front lines feature Jonni Cassano and Tyler Drob clearing the way for strong running by Daishi Goto. PVI wants to get to 5-0 heading into showdown with Timber Creek. CHE wants to get to 3-3, with WT and Cherokee next, and start seriously thinking about a SJ 5 playoff berth. This should be a great game. The pick: Paul VI, 15-14.
Saturday at 11
Bonus game: Moorestown (3-2) at Camden (1-3): The Quakers have lost two in a row and need to right the ship. QB Tyreek Robinson and WR Sidney Ruffin lead the way. A key is the health of WR Anthony Bonett, who has been hampered a bit the last couple of games. Camden is coming off nice win over Cumberland. QB Khalil Williams and WR Quashon Jones combined for three TDs. The pick: Moorestown, 31-26.
Contact Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.