Football: New Top 25
Football: New Top 25
By Phil Anastasia
Here's the new Top 25 in The Inquirer South Jersey football rankings (previous ranking in parentheses)
1. Williamstown (2) 2-0
The Braves survived a tough battle at Shawnee, emerging with a 17-14 victory on a late field goal by sophomore Kevin Gilmore. They showed something in fighting back from a 14-0 deficit on the Renegades' home field. Williamstown has won 15 in a row. They are 8-2 against Lenape district teams since the formation of the WJFL in 2010. They face a major challenge this week as No. 3 Cherokee comes to town. Next: Home vs. No. 3 Cherokee (2-0) Friday at 7.
2. Holy Spirit (3) 2-0
The Spartans jumped out fast, lost the lead, then found a way to reclaim control in a 31-28 victory over arch-rival St. Joseph on Friday night. It was a great game in a great atmosphere. The 50-50 went for $1000 -- that's how many people were in Ed Byrnes Stadium in Absecon. HS got a big night from senior fullback Dandre Dennis, who ran for a pair of first-half TDs and converted a key third down in the second half. Senior QB T.J. Anderson is gaining confidence with every start, and every victory. Next: at Mainland (1-0) Oct. 4 at 7.
3. Cherokee (5) 2-0
The Chiefs are playing at a high level as they prepare to visit Williamstown for a game loaded with WJFL American and SJ 5 implications. Cherokee' seniors have been dreaming about this game for months. Senior QB Trevor Osler is 24-for-30 for 276 yards with 3 TDs in two games. Senior Rob Agnoni has a kick return for TD in each of the first two games. Next: at No. 1 Williamstown (2-0) Friday at 7.
4. Eastern (9) 2-0
The Vikings have scored 113 points in two games. It was one thing to score 63 against Washington Twp. It was something else to score 50 against Timber Creek. Senior QB Tom Flacco is playing at an incredibly high level, both in terms of his play-making and also the confidence he has instilled in his team. It will be a big surprise if he doesn't get offers from some major D-1 programs after his performance in the first two weeks of the season. Seniors Keshawn Segers and TJ Gardner both had huge games in the 50-41 win over then-No. 1 Timber Creek. The Vikings should coast this weekend against rebuilding CH East but then the schedule will turn treacherous. Next: Home vs. CH East (0-2) Friday at 7.
5. Timber Creek (1) 1-1
The Chargers are 3-3 in September in 2012 and 2013. They still are the team to beat in the WJFL Constitution as well as SJ 4. Air Hinson put up monster numbers in the loss to Eastern as senior QB Dan Williams set a SJ single-game record with 488 passing yards along with 4 TDs and senior WR Adonis Jennings caught 10 passes for 288 yards and 3 TDs and also scored on a KOR. The work of the defense probably was a bit of a concern to head coach Rob Hinson but the Chargers stumbled a bit last September and were at the top of their game by November. The same thing could happen this season. Next: Home vs. No. 19 CH West (2-0) Friday at 7.
6. St. Joseph (3) 1-1
The Wildcats showed some resilience in their 31-28 loss to Holy Spirit. They were down 12-0 less than four minutes into the game, with two bad turnovers on the road against a quality opponent on a big stage. That's tough for a young team. But they stabilized the game and even took the lead at 20-19 at halftime. Soph QB Salaam Horne is going to be a big-time player for SJ. He's returned a punt for a TD in each of the first two games, turns the corner like nobody's business and has a decent arm. He's only going to get better, too. Next: Home vs. No. 8 Millville (2-0) Saturday at noon.
7. West Deptford (6) 2-0
The Eagles dropped a spot through no fault of their own -- just needed to get Eastern above Timber Creek and wasn't ready to drop Timber Creek or St. Joe too far down in the rankings. WD has won 23 in a row. The Eagles outscored their first two opponents by 137-0. It was 62-0 and 48-0 at halftime of each game. And they visit Overbrook Saturday. Sometimes you wonder if coach Clyde Folsom and some others connected with the WD program didn't wish the team faced a more challenging schedule. But it's not like playing in the Colonial hurts WD when it comes to the post-season -- six SJ 2 titles in the last 12 seasons is pretty good evidence this program is ready to compete with anybody in its group come November and December. Next: At Overbrook (1-1) Saturday at 11.
8. Millville (7) 2-0
The Thunderbolts also drop a spot for the same reason WD went from 6 to 7. Millville got a kick start when junior Ryquell Armstead returned the opening KO for a TD in a 48-14 win over Mainland. Junior Rob Ennis has 3 TDs in the first two games. Big challenge this week at St. Joe, which hasn't lost two in a row since the end of the 2008 season. Next: at No. 6 St. Joe (1-1) Saturday at noon.
9. Rancocas Valley (8) 1-1
The Red Devils are coming off a rare Week Two bye. They wouldn't dare look ahead but we can: They host Eastern Oct. 5. Next: At Notre Dame (1-1) Friday at 7.
10. Shawnee (10) 1-1
The Renegades gave Williamstown all it could handle in a 17-14 loss. They built a 14-0 lead and played tough despite the loss of their top player, senior RB/LB Anthony DiOrio, to a groin injury in the first quarter. If there is such a thing as a confidence-boosting loss, that might have been it. Next: at Triton (1-1) Friday at 7.
11. Haddonfield (12) 2-0
The Bulldogs played strong defense in a 25-6 win over then-No. 25 Woodbury on Friday. Next: Home vs. Haddon Twp. (0-2) Friday at 7.
12. Camden (13) 2-0
The Panthers have scored 73 points in two games and present major problems to defenses with the Williams twins in the backfield and Sean Chandler and Brad Hawkins out wide. Next: at Willingboro (0-2) Oct. 4 at 6.
13. Delsea (14) 1-1
Senior cornerback Ron Russell capped a 27-0 win over then-No. 17 Moorestown with an interception return for TD. Next: At Deptford (0-2) Friday at 7.
14. Kingsway (15) 1-1
The Dragons got a big game from senior QB Rob Green in a 55-0 win over Deptford. Next: At Winslow Twp. (0-2) Saturday at noon.
15. Penns Grove (11) 1-0
The Red Devils have won 14 in a row. Next: At Gloucester Catholic (1-1) Saturday at 10:30.
16. Atlantic City (NR) 1-1
Watch out for sophomore QB Jamir Prevard, who led the way in a 41-12 win over EHT. Next: At Oakcrest (0-2) Oct. 4 at 7.
17. Hammonton (16) 1-1
Junior QB Jon Triboletti threw three TD passes in a 41-13 win over Oakcrest. Next: Home vs. EHT (1-1) Friday at 7.
18. St. Augustine (18) 2-0
Junior RB Lamont Harris has 374 rushing yards. Next: at Vineland (1-1) Friday at 7.
19. Cherry Hill West (NR) 2-0
Senior RB Jaquan Gonzalez-Pratt ran for 4 TDs in a 33-6 win over Cumberland. Big chance to make a statement this Friday. Next: At No. 5 Timber Creek (1-1) Friday at 7.
20. Burlington Twp. (20) 2-0
Junior QB Kahlil Trotman ran for a TD to seal 29-13 win over Holy Cross. Next: Home vs. Lawrence (2-0) Friday at 7.
21. Bridgeton (24) 2-0
The Bulldogs established themselves as the No. 1 threat to SAP in the CAL National with a 38-7 win over Cedar Creek. Next: At Ocean City (0-2) Friday at 7.
22. Moorestown (17) 1-1
The Quakers have scored just 7 points in two games but the defense has been stout. Next: Home vs. Camden Catholic (0-2) Friday at 7.
23. Paul VI (21) 1-1
Senior QB Alec Vignola has 5 TD passes this season. Next: Home vs. Seneca (0-2) Friday at 7.
24. Absegami (23) 1-1
Senior RB David Hood, a Temple recruit, ran for 211 and 2 TDs in a 26-7 win over Middle Twp. Next: at Mainland (1-1) Friday at 7.
25. Woodstown (NR) 2-0
Senior RB Semaj Thomas has 161 yards and 5 TDs on just eight carries. Next: At Glassboro (0-1) Friday at 7.
Under consideration: Sterling (2-0). The Silver Knights have outscored their opponents 68-6. They are in good position to get to 3-0 before a bye and then a huge game with No. 11 Haddonfield. Next: Home vs. Lindenwold (0-2) Friday at 7.
-- Contact Phil Anastasia at email@example.com.
-- Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.