By Phil Anastasia
Here's the new Top 25 in South Jersey football, as of Sunday Dec. 1:
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. Holy Spirit (1) 11-0
The Spartans have outscored their last three opponents by 135-0. They have six shutouts this season, plus a forfeit win (which likely would have been another shutout), plus two other games where they allowed 6 and 7 points. "And now we're starting to score on defense, too," said DT Ray Ellis. Next: Vs. DePaul (9-2) in NP 2 title game Sunday at 1 at Rutgers.
2. St. Joseph (2) 10-1
The Wildcats are seeking their 16th state title. They've won nine games in a row since a 31-28 loss to Holy Spirit on Sept. 20. They showed their resilience in rallying for a 28- 21 win over arch-rival Hammonton on Thursday. Next: Vs. St. Mary (9-2) in NP 1 title game Saturday at 1 at TCNJ.
3. Cherokee (3) 10-1
The Chiefs are 14-1 in their last 15 games and they've scored 28 or more points in all 14 victories. Senior QB Trevor Osler has 13 TD passes and 2 INTs. Next: Vs. No. 4 Eastern (10-1) in SJ 5 title game Friday at 7 at Rowan.
4. Eastern (4) 10-1
The Vikings are seeking their second SJ title and first since 2003. They also are looking to tie the school record for wins in a season. The 1999 team led by Adam Taliaferro was 11-0 before losing to AC on a last-second field goal in the SJ 4 title game. Next: Vs. No. 3 Cherokee (10-1) in SJ 5 title game Friday at 7 at Rowan.
5. Timber Creek (5) 10-1
Senior DT Solomon Potter is a team leader for the Chargers. Senior QB Dan Williams already has set the SJ single-season record for passing yards with 3,197. The old mark was 3,190 by Holy Cross Jason Amer in 1999. Senior WR Adonis Jennings has 1,264 receiving yards. He needs 118 in last game to break SJ single-season mark of 1,381 set by Holy Cross' Mike Osbourne in 1996. Next: Vs. No. 6 Shawnee (8-3) in SJ 4 title game Saturday at 7 at Rowan.
6. Shawnee (6) 8-3
The Renegades have won five in a row since a 31-0 loss to Cherokee on oct. 18 dropped their record to 3-3. That's some surge by a team that's gotten great leadership from within and direction from above. Next: Vs. No. 5 TC (10-1) in SJ 4 title game Saturday at 7 at Rowan.
7. Delsea (7) 9-2
The Crusaders are seeking their 11th SJ title and fourth since 2008. They've won seven games in a row since a 15-9 loss at Kingsway on Oct. 4. They haven't scored fewer than 27 points in any of those seven wins. Next: Vs. Barnegat (10-1) in SJ 3 title game Saturday at 4 at Rowan.
8. Haddonfield (8) 9-2
The Bulldogs are making their fourth appearance in the SJ 2 title game in the last five years. They've won five games in a row since a 31-14 loss to West Deptford on Oct. 25 dropped their record to 4-2. Next: Vs. No. 15 Woodstown (11-0) in SJ 2 title game Saturday at 1 at Rowan.
9. Millville (10) 8-3
The Thunderbolts scored 55 in a win over Vineland on Thanksgiving. That's the most points scored by a team in a series that started in 1893.
10. Camden (11) 10-1
The Panthers are 15-3 since opening the 2012 season with an 0-3 mark. This team is the program's first to register double-digit wins since the 1976 team went 11-0.
11. Kingsway (12) 8-3
Senior RB Ray Lawry scored 15 touchdowns in his last four games this season. He scored 16 in his last four games last season.
12. West Deptford (13) 9-1
Nice bounce-back for the Eagles with an impressive win over Paulsboro on Thanksgiving morning.
13. Paul VI (15) 7-3
The Eagles have won four of five in their annual Thanksgiving weekend series with rival Camden Catholic.
14. Hammonton (14) 6-4
The Blue Devils were impressive in 28-21 loss to No. 2 St. Joe on Saturday.
15. Woodstown (16) 11-0
The Wolverines are looking for frist 12-0 season in school history. Next: Vs. No. 8 Haddonfield (9-2) in SJ 2 title game Saturday at 1 at Rowan.
16. Williamstown (17) 6-4
John Chamberlin finished terrific career with a flourish in Thanksgiving Day, and the Braves snared a share of the WJFL American title -- no small accomplishment.
17. St. Augustine (9) 8-3
Senior WR Austin Francisco missed Thanksgiving Day loss to Cedar Creek with injury.
18. Bridgeton (18) 8-3
The Bulldogs got a share of Cape National title when Cedar Creek upset St. Augustine.
19. NBC (19) 8-3
The Greyhounds have won 24 games the last three seasons.
20. Rancocas Valley (20) 6-4
The Red Devils in four seasons under Dan Haussman: 6-4, 7-3, 6-4 and 6-4.
21. Sterling (21) 8-2
Junior Davon Tucker became Sterling's first 1,000-yard rusher since 1992. He finished with 1,085 yards.
22. Cinnaminson (22) 8-2
The Pirates seized the WJFL Liberty title with a big win over rival Delran on Thanksgiving.
23. Cedar Creek (NR) 8-2
The Pirates created a three-way tie for the Cape National title with an imposing win over St. Augustine on Thanksgiving.
24. Glassboro (25) 6-5
The Bulldogs have won four in a row since a 40-34 loss to Pennsville Nov. 11 dropped their record to 2-5.
25. Pennsville (NR) 9-2
Senior QB Dylan Cummings set several records in leading the Eagles to a 49-0 win over Penns Grove on Thanksgiving eve. Cummings finished as SJ's all-time leader in career passing yards (7,695) and passing TDs (84). His 55 total TDs this season (31 passing, 24 rushing) is believed to be a state record. The old mark of 53 was set by Pennsauken's Manny Cortez (43 passing, 10 rushing) in 2011, according to SJ historian Chuck Langerman.
Pennsville coach Ryan Wood said Cummings is a "Pennsville Eagle legend."
And appropos of nothing: Has there ever been a one-game scoring swing in margin of victory to match Pennsville and Penns Grove the last two seasons? Penns Grove beat Pennsville 66-0 in 2012. Pennsville beat Penns Grove 49-0 this season. That's a 115-point swing in one year. That's impossible, right?
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