Football: Friday night flashback


By Phil Anastasia

Twelve plays, 31 yards.

I'm not sure I had ever seen a 12-play, 31-yard scoring drive before Williamstown's 13-10 victory over Cherokee on Friday night.

The Braves took over at the Chiefs' 31 with a little more than seven minutes to play when Eric Coney pounced on a muffed punt.

Here's the math: 31 yards in 12 plays works out to 2.58 yards per play. That seems about right because Williamstown converted three fourth downs on the drive.

QB Doug Banks got 2 on a fourth-and-1 sneak from the 22. FB John Chamberlin got 2 on a fourth-and-1 from the 11. And Chamberlin got 2 more and a TD on a fourth-and-goal from the 2.

"That's our offense," said Chamberlin, who finished with 157 yards and 2 TDs on 30 carries.

It was a huge drive for Williamstown's young offensive line, which basically has been completely rebuilt after last year's 12-0 season.

But the drive also said something about Cherokee's defense. The Chiefs fought on every play in that drive. They held on three third downs. They can take something away from the loss -- especially since they might see the Braves again in the SJ 5 tournament.

"They are such tough kids," Chamberlin said of the Cherokee defenders. "They hit. They beat me up."

-- Watch Woodstown. The Woodies are 3-0 after a 15-0 win over Glassboro in a key WJFL Diamond game Friday night.

Woodstown coach John Adams said it was a "confidence boost" for his program to go into Glassboro and beat such an established program.

Woodstown has been playing great D this season, allowing just 16 points in three games. Adams said lineman Nathan Prus has been "basically unblockable" and linebackersbMario Catalano and Levi Simpkins have been strong as well.

The offense has been sparked by senior RB Semaj Thomas, who ran for two TDs on Friday night, including an 84 yards. Thomas has 291 yards and 8 TDs this season on just 21 carries.

"He's been lights out," Adams said.

After a bye, Woodstown hosts Penns Grove Oct. 11 in a game that could decide the Diamond Division title.

-- Break time. The entire Colonial Conference has a bye this week, setting the stage for some big games on the weekend of Oct. 10-11.

Sterling (3-0) hosts Haddonfield (3-0) and Collingswood (3-0) hosts West Deptford (3-0) on Oct. 10 in two matchups of four unbeaten Colonial Liberty teams.

On Oct. 11, Woodbury (2-1 overall but 1-0 in the Patriot) hosts Paulsboro (3-0, 1-0) in the annual rivalry game that traditionally decides the Colonial's division of smaller schools.

-- Climbing the charts. Pennsville senior quarterback Dylan Cummings has thrown 10 touchdown passes in the Eagles' first two games.

Cummings is on the verge of setting two South Jersey records. He has 5,861 career passing yards, just shy of the mark of 5,982 set by Cherry Hill East's Kevin Foley in 1991.

Cummings also has 63 career touchdown passes. The South Jersey record is 69, set by St. Augustine's Dustin Thomas in 2009.

Pennsville (2-0) hosts Highland (1-2) on Friday at 7.

-- Record pace: Timber Creek senior QB Dan Williams has 1,118 passing yards in the Chargers' first three games. He threw for 333 and 5 TDs in a 52-28 win over Cherry Hill West on Friday.

Williams is well ahead of the pace needed to set the SJ record for passing yards in a season. He's averaging 371 passing yards per game. Over 12 games -- assuming the Chargers make the SJ 4 final -- he would pass for 4,452 yards. Over 11 games, he would pass for 4,081 yards.

The SJ record is 3,190 by Holy Cross' Jason Amer in 1999.

-- This and that. After a bye, No. 3 Cherokee (2-1) visits Washington Township (2-1) on Oct. 12. The Chiefs should have junior two-way lineman Dan Iannone, the team's strongest player. He's been out with a high ankle sprain, according to coach P.J. Mehigan . . . Paul VI (2-1) is averaging 33.6 points as senior QB Alec Vignola has thrown nine TD passes and junior WR Irvin Charles has caught 5 . . . Sterling is 3-0 for the first time since 1993. Senior Zyaire Gibson scored three TDs Friday in a 42-14 win over Lindenwold. He has 7 for the season . . . Tighest division race might be the WJFL Liberty, as the top four teams (Holy Cross, Delran, Cinnaminson and Bordentown) all are 2-1 overall. Holy Cross has the edge in the division race with a 2-0 mark, with a big game at Cinnaminson scheduled for Oct. 11 . . . Bridgeton is 3-0 with a big CAL cross-over game with Hammonton on Friday. The Bulldogs' all-purpose junior, Cappadonna Miller, has two interception returns for TDs and a fumble return for a TD.

 -- Contact Phil Anastasia at

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