By Phil Anastasia
Here's a closer look at 13 football games this weekend:
-- No. 3 Timber Creek (5-1) at No. 15 Paul VI (4-1): This West Jersey Constitution clash could be an aerial battle between two talented teams that feature no-huddle, spread offenses.
TC quarterback Dan Williams has thrown for 1,782 yards and 17 TDs. PVI quarterback Alec Vignola has thrown for 1,117 yards and 13 TDs.
The game also matches up three of the better WRS in SJ, all of whom are big-time college recruits: TC senior Adonis Jennings and soph Cameron Chambers and PVI junior Irvin Charles.
TC senior Davila Justice, an Old Dominion commit, and junior Kareem Ali, one of the state's top recruits in the class of 2015, are top defensive backs who could be in the thick of the action. The Chargers can clinch a tie for the WJFL Constitution title.
The pick: Timber Creek, 27-21.
-- No. 19 Haddonfield (4-1) at No. 6 West Deptford (5-0): This will be the eighth game between these fierce rivals since 2009, with the host Eagles holding a 4-3 edge.
West Deptford has won 26 in a row. Haddonfield is the last team to beat West Deptford, scoring a 31-21 victory on Sept. 20, 2011.
The Eagles' burly ground game features a powerful offensive line and some hard running by 255-pound fullback Gerald Owens and 240-pound halfback Isaiah Worthy.
Haddonfield is a balanced squad with a solid junior class led by LB/FB Mark Walker, RB/DB Mike DeFeo and WR/DB Jake Robinson. With a win, Haddonfield would create a three-way logjam at the top of the Colonial Liberty with Sterling also in the mix.
The Bulldogs also would all but secure a high seed in the SJ Group 2 tournament. A loss wouldn't eliminate the Bulldogs from post-season contention but likely would remove their margin for error with games remaining before the cutoff against Collingswood and Paulsboro.
The pick: West Deptford, 21-10.
-- No. 2 Eastern (6-0) at No. 5 Cherokee (4-1): This classic clash of the visiting Vikings' high-powered offense and the Chiefs' stingy defense is loaded with West Jersey American championship and South Jersey Group 5 playoff implications.
Dating back to the final four games of last season, Cherokee has allowed 51 points in its last nine games (8-1). Eastern scored 50 in one game this season against Timber Creek.
Eastern has one of SJ's top players in senior QB Tom Flacco, who has passed for 1,444 yards and 12 TDs and run for 485 yards and 9 TDs. The Vikings can clinch a tie for the WJFL American title.
The Vikings miss senior all-purpose scatback T.J. Gardner, who is out for the season with a knee injury. Senior FB Kingsley Ayeni is a burly insider runner who doubles as a top pass rusher.
Cherokee's defense is filled with veterans such as safeties Rob Agnoni and Anthony Gambone and cornerback Matt Stickney.
Special teams could go a long way in this one.
The pick: Eastern, 17-13.
-- No. 25 Penns Grove (4-1) at Schalick (4-1): This battle of West Jersey Diamond rivals matches the top two teams in South Jersey Group 1 in power points as the host Cougars have 58 and the Red Devils have 54.
Four top runners will be in action as the Red Devils' Dahkim Seals and Craig Ransome duel the Cougars' Tyrell Hart and Deandre Solomon.
The pick: Penns Grove, 26-22.
-- Gloucester (2-3) at Wildwood (2-3): Senior Ben Boyer of the visiting Lions is on the verge of becoming Camden County's all-time leader in career rushing yards.
Boyer has 4,228 yards. The county record of 4,322 was set by Bishop Eustace's Mike DiMaggio in 2006.
The winner of this game will stay alive in the hunt for a SJ Group 1 playoff berth.
The pick: Gloucester, 36-19.
-- No. 7 Williamstown (4-2) at Lenape (2-3): The Braves got back to their winning ways last week, snapping a two-game losing streak and conjuring up memories of 2012 as Marques Little and John Chamberlin both scored two TDs in a victory over Triton.
Lenape has played well since struggling on opening night against Cherokee. The Indians gave No. 3 Timber Creek a battle in a 34-17 loss last weekend.
Junior Ben Hunt has been a versatile and productive player for Lenape with eight TDs.
The pick: Williamstown, 24-14.
-- Bishop Eustace (3-2) at No. 13 Delsea (4-2): The Crusaders have won two in a row, outscoring their opponents by a combined 76-0.
Senior FB Rob Hooks has 668 yards and six TDs for Delsea.
BE arguably is two or three plays away from being 5-0. The Crusaders lost the opener to Woodrow Wilson after building a 21-0 lead and lost 21-20 to Deptford on a last-second TD and two-point conversion pass.
Senior QB Tim McConnell and senior C Matt Fitzpatrick lead the way for BE.
The pick: Delsea, 27-14.
-- Pennsauken (2-3) at No. 10 Kingsway (4-1): These teams have developed a good rivalry in the last couple of years.
Pennsauken has been competitive in all of its games. The Indians have a top young RB in soph Marquan Jones (542 yards).
Kingsway's defense has been stout in recent weeks, with great work from junior end Denzell Polk. Senior RBs Ray Lawry (691 yards, 9 TDs) and Justin Morrison (8 TDs) lead the way on offense.
The pick: Kingsway, 20-12.
-- Gloucester Catholic (3-2) at No. 20 Woodstown (5-0): The Rams have won two in a row, are coming off a bye and own a victory over 4-1 Schalick.
Senior twins Mike Davis at QB and Matt Davis at WR lead the GC offense. Senior LB Glenn Garrison leads the D.
Woodstown can clinch a tie for the WJFL Diamond title. The Wolverines rallied from a 17-0 deficit after three quarters to stun Pennsville 20-17 last Friday.
Senior OL/DL Nathan Prus and senior RB/DB Semaj Thomas lead the Wolverines.
The pick: Woodstown, 20-14.
-- Washington Township (3-2) at Cherry Hill East (0-6), 11: The visiting Minutemen look to stay in the hunt for a South Jersey Group 5 playoff berth behind senior quarterback Christian Maiden.
The Cougars have taken some lumps this season but are building for a future with a promising sophomore class.
The pick: Washington Township, 27-7.
-- No. 22 Atlantic City (3-2) at No. 4 St. Joseph (4-1): This Cape Atlantic American game features two of the top dual-threat sophomore quarterbacks in South Jersey in the visiting Vikings' Jamir Prevard (771 passing yards) and the Wildcats' Salaam Horne (7 TDs).
St. Joseph is a young team that is gaining momentum, winning its last two games by a combined score of 125-19.
The pick: St. Joseph, 34-13.
-- Gateway (0-5) at Haddon Heights (0-5), 1: This Colonial inter-division clash will mark the first victory of the season for one of these teams. In the words of Lindenwold coach Derryk Sellers, "Somebody's '0' has to go."
Haddon Heights rates a slight edge thanks to the home-field advantage.
The pick: Haddon Heights, 13-12.
-- Trenton (6-0) at No. 15 Rancocas Valley (3-2): The Red Devils can clinch the WJFL Colonial Division title and earn a boatload of power points with a victory.
Senior TE/DE Tyler Schneider and senior all-purpose Alec Finelli lead an RV team that needs to bounce back from last weekend's disappointing loss to NBC.
The pick: RV, 24-20.
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