Saturday, August 1, 2015

Football: New Top 25

Football: New Top 25

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By Phil Anastasia

Here's the first live Top 25 of the South Jersey football season (preaseason ranking in parentheses):

1. Timber Creek (1) 1-0

Senior quarterback Dan Williams is 38-for-48 for 540 yards and 8 TDs in his last two games. The Chargers ran a lot of no-huddle spread in a 34-7 win over Camden Catholic, creating a lot of opportunities for WRS Adonis Jennings and Cameron Chambers. That duo will be tough to contain this season. The Chargers' D, which got a big boost from emerging junior DE Deron Sherif, gets a big challenge this week from Tom Flacco and Eastern. Next: at No. 9 Eastern (1-0) Friday at 7.

2. Williamstown (2) 1-0

The Braves might have set a school record for points in a 67-6 win over CH East Thursday. It definitely was the most since 2004, and the program didn't have many teams before 2004 that were capable of scoring more than 67 in a game. Williasmtown has won 14 in a row. Last loss? To WT after squandering a 17-0 in a SJ 4 playoff game on 11/11/11/. Big test Friday at Shawnee, which is coming off a confidence-boosting win over Kingsway. In 2012, Williamstown beat Shawnee 39-0 and that performance catapulted the Braves through the best season in school history. Next: At No. 10 Shawnee (1-0) Friday at 7.

3. Holy Spirit (3) 1-0

The Spartans jumped out of the gate with a 30-0 over then-No. 13 Hammonton. That's impressive because Hammonton is a good football team this season. Senior RB Taalib Gerald scored 3 TDs in the first half and the Holy Spirit D pitched another shutout. Huge game this week against rival St. Joe. Next: Home vs. No. 4 St. Joe (1-0) Friday at 7/

4. St. Joseph (4) 1-0

The Wildcats sure didn't look like a young team that needs to find its footing in the opener. They hammered a decent Absegami team by 48-6. Sophomore twins Salaam and Alaam Horne burst on the scene in a big way. Some folks in Hammonton think the Horne twins could end up being two of the best players ever to play for SJ. They gave a million miles to go but they are off to a good start. This Friday will be a great challenge for SJ's younger kids, as Holy Spirit is a seasoned, senior-heavy team. Next: At No. 3 Holy Spirit (1-0) Friday at 7.

5. Cherokee (5) 1-0

Senior QB Trevor Osler was 12-for-16 for 141 yards and a TD and senior RB Matt Stickney carried six times for 45 yards in a 34-7 win over Lenape. That's an impressive margin of victory in a rivalry that usually features 1- and 2-score games. The Chiefs' seniors are on a mission this season. They also probably remember losing to Triton last season, a game that cost them a playoff berth. Next: at Triton (1-0) Friday at 7.

6. West Deptford (6) 1-0

It was 62-0 at halftime of a 76-0 win over Gateway Friday night. What is coach Clyde Folsom supposed to do? Tell his quarterback to fall on the football? Wouldn't that be more insulting to Gateway? It was a tough situation and he's looking at another one this week against Lindenwold, which lost 48-7 to Collingswood on Friday. WD Senior Devon Bates carried three times against Gateway and wasn't tackled: 139 yard and 3 TDs.

7. Millville (8) 1-0

Good opener for the Thunderbolts, who scored a 20-6 win over a tough and talented AC team. Junior RB Rob Ennis ran for two TDs. Next: Home vs. Mainland (1-0) Friday at 7.

8. Rancocas Valley (9) 1-0

Junior Shaun Bradley returned a kickoff 86 yards for a TD in a 55-21 win over WWPN. That's a strong start for an RV team that looks poised to make some noise this season. The Red Devils have an early bye in a scheduling quirk and won't take the field for 15 days. Next: at Notre Dame (1-0) Sept. 27 at 7.

9. Eastern (10) 1-0

Senior QB Tom Flacco passed for 191 yards and 2 TDs and ran for 131 yards and 3 TDs in a 63-19 victory over Washington Township. Big game for the Vikings this week at No. 1 Timber Creek. Can the OL protect Flacco against that TC's pass rush? Can the Eastern defense figure out a way to contain that TC passing game? Next: at No. 1 Timber Creek (1-0) Friday at 7.

10. Shawnee (14) 1-0

Anthony DiOrio (20), Jake Parola (20) and Michael Welsh (21) combined for 61 carries in a 25-19 win over then-No. 12 Kingsway. DiOrio (pictured) ran for 183 yards, and Parola and Welsh combined for 157 and 2 TDs. A confidence-boosting win for the Renegades, who will need to be sharp when Williamstown comes to Medford this weekend. Next: Home vs. No. 2 Williamstown (1-0) Friday at 7.

11. Penns Grove (11) 1-0

Dahkim Seals ran for 127 and 2 TDs and the Red Devils rallied for a 14-12 win over rival Glassboro on Saturday. Those Group 1 powers might meet again in the playoffs. PG has won 14 in a row. Like RV, Penns Grove has a schedule quirk that results in a Week 2 bye. The Red Devils are off until Sept. 28. Next: at GC (1-0) Sept. 28 at 1.

12. Haddonfield (16) 1-0

The Bulldogs got strong work from junior RB Mike DeFeo and rolled past Audubon 47-6 in the first game on their new turf field. The second should be a lot tougher as Woodbury comes to town this weekend. Next: Home vs. No. 25 Woodbury (1-0) Friday at 7.

13. Camden (23) 1-0

Huge victory for the Panthers as they travelled to Franklinville and beat defending SJ 3 champion Delsea 38-29. Key for coach Dwayne Savage and his assistants is to keep the team from too high after such a big win. Next: at No. 22 Camden Catholic (0-1) Friday at 7.

14. Delsea (7) 0-1

For the third year in a row, the Crusaders dropped an early game they were "supposed" to win -- on paper, anyway. Tough test this week against No. 17 Moorestown, which handed Delsea its only loss last season. Next: Home vs. No. 17 Moorestown (1-0) Friday at 7.

15. Kingsway (12) 0-1

The Dragons started last season with a loss to Shawnee and ended up in the SJ 4 title game. They could do it again. Next: Home vs. Deptford (0-1) Friday at 7.

16. Hammonton (13) 0-1

The Blue Devils need to put that 30-0 loss to Holy Spirit out of their minds. Next: at Oakcfrest (0-1) Friday at 7.

17. Moorestown (22) 1-0

Led by senior LB Shayne Lawless and soph DT Niles Turner, Moorestown D looked strong in 7-0 win over Seneca. A dry field should work wonders for senior QB Tyreek Robinson. But an angry Delsea team awaits in Franklinville. Next: at No. 14 Delsea (0-1) Friday at 7.

18. St. Augustine (17) 1-0

Junior RB Lamont Harris with a big debut in 48-14 win over Middle Twp. Next: Home vs. LCM (0-1) Friday at 7.

19. NBC (18) 1-0

Senior Kenyatta Greene ran for 162 and 3 TDs in 35-0 win over Princeton. Next: At Cinnaminson (0-1) Friday at 7.

20. Burlington Twp. (19) 1-0

Senior all-purpose Jahseim Rover's fake-punt run for first down sparked 23-6 win over Willingboro. Next: at Holy Cross (1-0) Friday at 7.

21. PVI (20) 0-0
The Eagles open the season Monday night at Cherry Hill West in a game postponed by weather on Thursday night. Keep an eye on junior WR Irvin Charles.

22. Camden Catholic (21) 0-1

Sophomores Tyree Rodgers and Benny Walls are playmakers for the Irish. Next: Home vs. No. 13 Camden (1-0) Friday at 7.

23. Absegami (15) 0-1

The Braves need to regroup after tough opener against St. Joe. Next: Home vs. Middle Twp. (0-1) Friday at 7.

24. Bridgeton (24) 1-0

If the Bulldogs are the No. 1 threat to SAP in the CAL National, they'll prove it against Cedar Creek. Next: Home vs. Cedar Creek (1-0) Friday at 2:30.

25. Woodbury (25) 1-0

The Thundering Herd gave new coach Al Mailahn a great gift in a 41-0 win over Haddon Heights in the opener. Mailahn is a teacher and senior class advisor at HH. Next: at No. 12 Haddonfield (1-0) Friday at 7.

Under consideration (listed alphabetically): EHT (1-0), Sterling (1-0), Triton (1-0).

-- Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.

 

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About this blog
Born and raised in South Jersey, Phil Anastasia prefers standing on the sidelines at high school football games on Friday nights to sitting in the press box at Eagles games on Sunday afternoons. He’s a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in English. Reach Phil at panastasia@phillynews.com.

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