By Phil Anastasia
Eastern and Washington Twp. jump into the Top 10 this week, replacing Millville and Moorestown.
Camden Catholic dropped from No. 4 to No. 7 after a 14-13 loss to Seneca. The Irish stayed in the rankings based on their opening-night win over then-No. 1 Timber Creek but the luster from that big victory is beginning to fade.
AC moved up from No. 6 to No. 5 based on 48 hard minutes in a 28-25 loss to No. 1 St. Joe. When you think about it, that game was 4-4 in TDs -- SJ won on the basis of better execution on extra points.
Here's the latest Top 10, as of Sunday Oct. 21:
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. St. Joseph (1) 5-0
Senior Miles Pease ran for three touchdowns in a 28-25 victory over then-No. 6 Atlantic City on Friday night. SJ has won 24 in a row, tying the mark set by Penns Grove from 1961-63 for the 10th longest winning streak in South Jersey history. Interesting game this week as SAP steps up from the Cape National. Always a rivalry when two Cape Non-Publics get together. Next: Home vs. St. Augustine (6-0) Saturday at noon.
2. Williamstown (2) 7-0
Senior Kali Boyce ran for 190 yards in a 41-14 victory over Lenape. The Braves are operating at a high level. The week off comes at a good time -- late enough in the season to make a difference in the playoffs. Next: At Kingsway (4-2) Nov. 2 at 7.
3. Timber Creek (3) 5-2
Junior Danny Williams has given the Chargers some stability at quarterback. TC likes the timing of its bye, too. Chargers could get North Carolina bound DT Greg Webb back for the stretch run. Next: Home vs. Seneca (3-3) Nov. 2 at 7.
4. Delsea (5) 6-1
The Crusaders have scored 115 points in their last three games. But the key to this team is the defense. Delsea played physical football and tough D in an imposing win over Bishop Eustace on Friday. Next: Home vs. Highland (4-3) Friday at 7.
5. Atlantic City (6) 4-2
The Vikings battled No. 1 St. Joseph for 48 minutes on Friday night. No moral victory but still an impressive loss. The Vikings will be a handful in the SJ 5 tournament. Next: Home vs. Mainland (2-4) Friday at 7.
6. West Deptford (7) 6-0
The Eagles are averaging 45.6 points. Ground game still humming along. This team should be 8-0 and top seed in SJ 2 tournament. Next: Home vs. Collingswood (2-4) Friday at 7.
7. Camden Catholic (4) 4-2
The Irish got two touchdown passes from junior Matt Goldner in 14-13 loss to Seneca on Friday. Thought about dropping Irish lower but believe they belong somewhere in the mix with a lot of other good but not great teams. Health of LB/RB Jarred Alwan is key for this club. Next: Home vs. Gloucester Catholic (1-6) Friday at 7.
8. Absegami (8) 4-2
The Braves could be at full strength as they enter the teeth of their schedule. Notre Dame recruit Rashad Kinlaw, who has been out with a broken leg, could make season debut Friday. Big two weeks ahead: Hammy and then AC on the playoff cutoff. Next: Home vs. Hammonton (4-2) Friday at 7.
9. Eastern (NR) 5-2
The Vikings are averaging 26.4 points in their last five games. Junior QB Tommy Flacco is healthy after battling leg injury early. These guys should get solid seed in SJ 5 tourney. That season-opening week over WT is carrying a lot of weight. Next: Home vs. Winslow Township (0-7) Friday at 7.
10. Washington Twp. (NR) 5-1
The Minutemen got a strong game Saturday from senior running back Blaise Basile. WT has won 5 in a row and is light years from that 2-0 win over Winslow Twp. Still another team that could be a big factor in SJ 5. Next: At Seneca (3-3) Friday at 7.
Under consideration (listed alphabetically):
Hammonton (4-2): Blue Devils get big chance to jump back into prominence with a visit to Absegami. Next: At Absegami (4-2) Friday at 7.
Penns Grove (6-0): Red Devils are averaging 48 points and have won TWO games this season by 60-0. Has any team ever done that? Next: Home vs. Deptford (3-3) Saturday at noon.
Holy Spirit (3-3): Junior RB Talib Gerald is starting to emerge as top threat. Next: at EHT (3-3) Friday at 7.
EHT (3-3): Big comeback win over Millville. Can they keep it going against resurgent HS? Next: Home vs. Holy Spirit (3-3) Friday at 7.
Kingsway (4-2): Dragons showed something in 30-6 win at Pennsauken Saturday. Next: Home vs. Camden (2-4) Friday at 7.
St. Augustine Prep (6-0): Hermits get their shot at the title. Next: At. No. 1 SJ (6-0) Saturday at noon.
Cedar Creek (6-0): Senior RB Gary Melton fueled big win over Middle. Next: At Vineland (2-4) Friday at 7.
Shawnee (4-3): DiOrio brothers ran hard against Winslow. Next: Home vs. Pennsauken (2-4) Nov. 2 at 7.
Delran (6-0): Bears can see their way to 8-0. Next: Home vs. Maple Shade (4-2) Friday at 7.
Burlington Twp. (5-1): Mike Thomas generated 174 receiving yards in big win over Princeton. Next: at Hopewell Valley (3-3) Friday at 7.
Millville (3-3): This team can beat anybody on a given night. Next: At Oakcrest (0-6) Friday at 7.
Clearview (5-2): Nice bounce-back in win over Triton. Next: At Washington Twp. (5-1) Nov. 2 at 7.
-- Phil Anastasia