Football: New Top 25


By Phil Anastasia

Here's the new Top 25 in South Jersey football, as of Sunday Nov. 17:

(Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. Holy Spirit (1) 9-0

The Spartans have won nine playoff games in a row since the season finale in 2009. Their 48-0 win over Pingry in the first round of the NP 2 playoffs was their fourth shutout of the season (plus a forfeit). It also marked the 15th time in their last 20 games that they allowed a touchdown or less. Next: Home vs. Bishop Eustace (5-4) Friday at 7.

2. St. Joseph (2) 8-1

Sophomore A'Laam Horne has 11 touchdowns. He scored two in a 55-6 win over Marist in the NP 1 playoffs. The Wildcats have scored 303 points in their last six games (50.5 average). Next: Home vs. Queen of Peace (6-4) Saturday at 1.

3. Cherokee (3) 8-1

Senior quarterback Trevor Osler has completed 70.2 percent of his passes with 12 TDs and 2 INTs. The Chiefs might be playing as well as any team in South Jersey right now. They had a 51-0 lead at halftime of their win over Washington Twp. in the SJ 5 playoffs on Friday. WT is no powerhouse but 51-0? At half? In a six-game winning streak since that 13-10 loss to Williamstown, Cherokee has outscored opponents, 257-36. Next: Home vs. Jackson (7-2) Friday at 7.

4. Eastern (4) 9-1

Senior quarterback Tom Flacco needs just 16 yards to become the second passer in SJ history to reach 7,000 career yards. Pennsville senior Dylan Cummings was the first, earlier this season. The Vikings turned the ball over five times and survived a major scare from No. 8 seed Atlantic City on Friday night in SJ 5. They won't be able to do that against Millville, or in the SJ 5 final if they make it that far. Next: Home vs. No. 6 Millville (7-2) Friday at 7.

5. Timber Creek (5)

Sophomore linebacker Tavian Martin leads the Chargers in tackles with 74. Timber Creek has won seven playoff games in a row since a loss to Lacey Township in 2010. Senior QB Dan Williams has 20 TD passes and just 2 INTs. Next: Home vs. No. 10 Kingsway (7-2) Friday at 7.

6. Millville (7) 7-2

The Thunderbolts move up a spot as West Deptford moves out of the Top 10. Millville juniors Rob Ennis and Ryquell Armstead have combined for 27 TDs. The key for Millville Friday night be the ability of Penn State-bound DT Antoine White to get pass-rush pressure on Eastern QB Tom Flacco. Next: At No. 4 Eastern (9-1) Friday at 7.

7. Camden (8) 9-0

Junior Khalil Williams has thrown 25 touchdown passes. The Panthers have scored at least 32 points in every game except one. They scored 28 in that one. They face a big challenge Saturday in a confident, loose Haddonfield team that is coming off a huge victory over then-No. 6 West Deptford. Next: Home vs. No. 12 Haddonfield (7-2) Saturday at 1.

8. St. Augustine Prep (11) 8-1

Senior WR Austin Francisco needs 45 yards to set the Cape Atlantic League single-season record for receiving yards with 1,046. The Hermits took a major step forward Friday night, rallying for a 42-28 win over previously undefeated St. Joseph of Metuchen in NP 4 play. SAP followed junior LaMont Harris, who carried the football 40 times for 330 yards and 4 TDs -- 3 in the fourth quarter. SAP gets a chance to measure its progress against one of those North Jersey powers this weekend in a visit to St. Peter's Prep, which scored 61 the other night against PVI. Next: At St. Peter's Prep (9-1) Friday at 7.

9. Shawnee (15) 6-3

Shawnee has outscored its last three opponents by 80-7. The Renegades produced the game they needed to play in a 10-7 road win at Hammonton in SJ 4 Friday night -- no turnovers, sturdy defense, good special-teams and a strong ground game. Sophomore QB Mike Welsh completed just four passes but two of them were huge -- a 30-yarder to Brandon Bye that set up a Joe Lynn FG and a 23-yarder to Jake Parola that set up Anthony DiOrio's game-winning TD run. Next: At TR South (7-2) Saturday at 1.

10. Kingsway (10) 7-2

Is Ray Lawry Mr. November or what? The Dragons' senior RB has an astounding 17 TDs in his last four playoff games. He went for 6 TDs in a 52-17 win over Lacey Twp. in SJ 4 play on Friday. Last season, Lawry scored 5 in a win over Moorestown, 3 in a win over Lacey Twp. and 3 in a loss to Timber Creek. Speaking of Timber Creek . . . Next: At No. 5 Timber Creek (8-1) Friday at 7.

11. Delsea (12) 8-2

Since a 15-9 loss to Kingsway, Delsea has won six in a row and scored 248 points (41.3 average). Senior RB Isaiah Spencer has 13 TDs in the last four games. Next: at Manasquan (7-2) Saturday at 1.

12. Haddonfield (18) 7-2

Here's the crazy thing about the Haddonfield-West Deptford rivalry. The teams have played twice in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. And every year, the team that won in the regular season lost in the playoffs. Haddonfield played loose and hard, tackled well and made plays in a 21-9 win over previously undefeated West Deptford on Friday night. They will go to Farnham Park Saturday expecting to leave with a win. Next: At No. 7 Camden (9-0) Saturday at 1.

13. West Deptford (6) 9-1

The Eagles haven't lost to a team other than Haddonfield since dropping a 28-20 decision to Paulsboro in the 2009 season finale. That was 1,450 days ago. Next: At Paulsboro (7-2) Nov. 30 at 11.

14. Hammonton (9) 6-3

The Blue Devils' annual Thanksgiving weekend game with St. Joseph could be the last for a while in a rivalry that began in 1962. Hammonton will join the WJFL next season and might not have an opening on its schedule to arrange for an out-of-conference game. Next: At No. 2 St. Joseph (8-1) Nov. 30 at noon.

15. Paul VI (13) 6-3

Junior wide receiver Irvin Charles caught a pair of TD passes in a 61-24 loss to St. Peter's Prep in NP 4 play on Friday night. He has nine TD catches on the season. Next: At Camden Catholic (4-5) Nov. 28 at 11.

16. Williamstown (14) 5-4

The Braves still can grab a share of their third straight WJFL American Division title. Next: Home vs. Washington Twp. (6-3) Nov. 28 at 10:30.

17. Woodstown (17) 9-0

Woodstown and Bridgeton met in a scrimmage in August. Now they play in the SJ 2 semis in November. Next: Home vs. No. 18 Bridgeton (8-2) Friday at 7.

18. Bridgeton (21) 8-2

Juniors Cappadonna Miller and Stefon Bowman have combined for 29 TDs for the Bulldogs. Next: At No. 17 Woodstown (9-0) Friday at 7.

19. Northern Burlington (22) 7-2

Senior RB Kenyatta Greene scored five TDs in a 38-18 win over Highland in SJ 3 play. Next: Home vs. Barnegat (8-1) Friday at 7.

20. Rancocas Valley (23) 5-4

The Red Devils showed well in a 24-21 loss to third-seeded Jackson in SJ 5 play. Next: At Burlington Township (6-3) Nov. 27 at 6.

21. Sterling (16) 7-2

The Silver Knights' two losses were to teams (West Deptford, Woodstown) with a combined record of 17-1. Next: Home vs. Collingswood (7-2) Nov. 27 at 6.

22. Cinnaminson (19) 7-2

The WJFL Liberty title will be on the line when the Pirates host rival Delran in the annual Thanksgiving Day game. Next: Home vs. Delran (7-2) Nov. 28 at 10:30.

23. Washington Twp. (20) 6-3

The Minutemen have averaged 40.8 points in their six wins and 6.3 points in their three losses. Next: At No. 16 Williamstown (5-4) Nov. 28 at 10:30.

24. Atlantic City (NR) 4-5

Behind sophomore quarterback Jamir Prevard, the young Vikings put a serious scare in top-seeded Eastern in a 32-26 loss in SJ 5 play. Next: Home vs. No. 1 Holy Spirit (9-0) Nov. 28 at 10.

25. Pennsville (NR) 8-1

Senior quarterback Dylan Cummings likes to play against Gloucester. In back-to-back wins over the Lions, Cummings generated 14 touchdowns running and passing. Next: Home vs. Glassboro (4-5) Friday at 7.

Under Consideration (listed alphabetically): Bishop Eustace (5-4), Burlington Twp. (6-3), Collingswood (7-2), Delran (7-2), Penns Grove (7-2)

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