S.J. football: Scoring surges and six picks

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Holy Cross receiver Miles Cook gains yardage against Haddonfield.

The most famous football season in Collingswood High School history was in 1948, when legendary coach Howard “Skeets” Irvine died Thanksgiving night, after hearing that his team had finished an undefeated season with a victory over rival Woodbury earlier that day.

Little known fact: That Collingswood team started the season with a 59-point performance against Gloucester.

Last Friday night, Collingswood defeated Delran, 57-29, in a West Jersey Football League crossover game, scoring the most points in a game in 69 years, per Collingswood sports historian Geoff Filinuk.

Junior running back Michael Jenkins scored three touchdowns, and senior running back Abdul Bangura added two for the Panthers (1-1).

Two of Jenkins’ scoring runs covered 27 and 67 yards, and Bangura found the end zone from 65 and 35 yards.

Collingswood coach Jack McConnell said Delran’s explosiveness and resilience were factors in the scoring outburst, as the Panthers kept needing to answer big plays by Bears sophomore quarterback Dustin Desher and sophomore all-purpose player R.J. Moten.

“Line blocked well. Kids ran well and executed,” McConnell said in a text. “Delran kept coming at us, and the players responded.”

Penns Grove didn’t go back as far as Collingwood, but the Red Devils scored more points on Saturday.

Penns Grove’s 69-8 victory over Haddon Heights marked the team’s most points in a game since putting 80 on the board against Clayton in 1970, according to South Jersey sports historian Chuck Langerman.

Junior Tyreke Brown scored five touchdowns, three on rushes and two on receptions, as Penns Grove built a 49-0 halftime lead over a Haddon Heights team that had won, 33-0, over Haddon Township on opening day.

Penns Grove (2-0) is averaging 60 points per game, having scored 51 in the opener against Deptford.

It’s just two games, but the Red Devils are putting up video-game numbers. Sophomore quarterback Kavon Lewis has 637 passing yards with six touchdowns; Brown has 340 receiving yards with five touchdowns; sophomore Jamar Johnson has 13 receptions; and senior Semaj Moore has run for five touchdowns.

“We won the West Deptford [7-on-7] passing league and have carried that momentum into the season,” Penns Grove coach John Emel said. “We’ve got a young team, but they play well together. We have a lot of weapons for a small school.”

Pick Six

No. 2 Millville (2-0) at No. 5 St. Augustine (2-1): Lots of subplots to this WJFL Continential Division game, as some of St. Augustine’s top players, such as senior all-purpose Shamere Collins, are from Millville.

The visiting Thunderbolts hardly needed another weapon but got one with the arrival of senior all-purpose Elijah Nichols, a transfer from Camden Catholic.

Pick: Millville, 27-24.

No. 19 Highland (1-1) at No. 22 Moorestown (2-0):Two teams angling for berths in the South Jersey Group 4 tournament clash in this WJFL Royal Division game.

The host Quakers have played sturdy defense behind junior linebacker Jack Ginley, allowing just 13 points.

The Tartans have a pair of top running backs in senior DaeJuan Sanders and freshman Johnny Martin.

Pick: Highland, 16-13.

Holy Cross (1-1) at Cinnaminson (1-1): Both teams will be looking to bounce back from tough losses in this key WJFL Liberty Division game.

Holy Cross has senior receivers to watch in Jordan Baxter and Miles Cook.

Cinnaminson’s front lines are led by senior Kail Leibfried.

Pick: Cinnaminson, 20-19.

No. 7 St. Joseph (2-0) at Absegami (1-1): The visiting Wildcats are riding high after rallying for a 42-26 win over archrival Holy Spirit, with senior defensive end Sencere Tapp and senior running back Qwahsin Townsel leading the way.

Absegami has some momentum after putting 49 on the board last weekend against Lower Cape May behind senior quarterback Andrew Marcucci, who passed for 196 yards and a touchdown.

Pick: St. Joseph, 26-13.

Salem (1-1) at Penns Grove (2-0): This clash of Salem County rivals on Saturday could light up the scoreboard.

The visiting Rams dropped a 36-34 decision to Burlington City last weekend, though senior running back Zaire Jones went for 254 yards and four scores.

Pick: Penns Grove, 40-34.

Audubon (1-1) at No. 17 Haddonfield (2-0): The visiting Green Wave will be led by senior quarterback Matt Connelly and senior running back Shane Snyder in this Saturday afternoon clash at Cherry Hill West.

Haddonfield is riding high after victories over Collingswood and Holy Cross, the latter thanks in part to two touchdowns and two interceptions by senior Ben Klaus.

Pick: Haddonfield, 28-14.

Last week: 6-1.

Year to date: 11-3.