S.J. Group 1 Final Preview
South Jersey Group 1 FinalGlassboro (6-5) vs. Penns Grove (8-3)
Saturday, 10 a.m. at Rowan
Previous titles: Glassboro, 9 (2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 1999, 1987, 1983, 1981, 1975); Penns Grove, 1 (2012).
Coaches: Mark Maccarone, Glassboro (25-9 in three years); Kemp Carr, Penns Grove (74-33 in 10 years).
How Glassboro can win: The Bulldogs have a great ground game led by Ronnie James, who has rushed for 1,047 yards and 14 touchdowns, but a key will be the passing game. QB Mike Maldonado, who didn't come out for the team until midseason, has enjoyed a solid stretch, and receiver Juwan James (23 receptions, 333 yards, 4 TDs) is a major threat despite being hampered by an ankle injury. The Bulldogs also must stop the strong Penns Grove ground game. Tackle Caron Lee (94 tackles) will lead the defensive effort.
How Penns Grove can win: By sticking to its postseason formula of running the ball and playing tight defense. Sophomore Corey Ransome is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing and has run for 11 TDs. The Red Devils also have to pressure Maldonado. Linebackers Jaron Maldonado (14 sacks) and Isaiah Coppage (11 sacks) will give Glassboro's blockers all they can handle.
Fast fact: With Glassboro in the title game, it marks the 28th straight season that at least one South Jersey Group 1 finalist comes from Gloucester County.
- Marc Narducci