By Phil Anastasia
Here's a few observations from Tuesday's quad scrimmage at CH West involving the host team as well as Haddonfield, Pennsville and Allentown, a Monmouth County school that competes in Central Jersey Group 3.
1. Pennsville is going to be a fun team to watch this season. With their no-hudle spread, the Eagles moved the football against both CH West, a SJ Group 4 playoff contender, and Haddonfield, one of the best teams in SJ Group 2.
Pennsville has a veteran QB in senior Dylan Cummings, who is set to become the first player in SJ history to pass for more than 6,000 career yards. Senior WR Drew Burdsall (who is 5-5 and 145 pounds but made a lot of plays Tuesday) caught 93 passes last season.
But the big thing for the Eagles is the addition of senior WR/RB Eric Bundy, an impact player as a sophomore who sat out last season. The 5-11, 175-pound Bundy is going to put up some big numbers this season. You can just see it.
"He might have been the best player on the field today," Pennsville coach Ryan Wood said.
Said Bundy of missing last season: "It makes me want to come out and work even harder."
2. Haddonfield is going to move the football through the air. The Bulldogs won't abandon the run and they won't need to pass against some opponents, as they likely will physically control the line of scrimmage.
But senior QB Mike McLaughlin has a big arm and junior WR Jake Robinson could be on the verge of a break-out season. Robinson made about 3-4 nice catch-and-runs that I saw (might have been more, I wasn't watching Haddonfield the whole time with four teams in action) and will be tough to defend. He's 6-3 with speed and goes and gets the football.
And keep an eye on 6-5 senior tight Abby Bah, a converted soccer player who made a couple of nice catches. He could develop into an interesting weapon in the passing game.
3. Rodney Williams is healthy. The Syracuse-bound senior all-purpose player for CH West missed much of last season with nagging hamstring injuries.
Williams said he was "40 percent" for much of the 2012 season. He was moving well on Tuesday, both as a quarterback and defensive back.
Williams' ability to break containment in the pocket created the opportunity for some deep passes for the Lions. They didn't always convert -- one sure TD was dropped in the end zone -- but that threat will open up some things for what looks to be an effective ground game.
CH West struggled a bit on defense -- especially late against Pennsville, when the Eagles' spread, hurry-open was setting the tempo -- but it was tough to tell what was happening with personnel.
'We didn't really prepare," Williams said of defending Pennsville's offense. "When we get in games, our coaches will have a game plan and we'll be prepared."
CH West just missed qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in program history last season. Williams said the Lions will break through in 2013.
"We were this-close last year," Williams said. "It will be a big deal to do it this year."
4. It was hot.
5. Allentown wears red uniforms.
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