The oldest series in New Jersey may be the
best holiday matchup of the year, as both teams expected to be in the
South, Group 5 final. Vineland linebacker Nihym Anderson will be
trailing Thunderbolts star running back Clayton Scott all morning.
No public school in New Jersey has been to
more sectional finals than Paulsboro, and the defending champs are one
win away from making it there for the 26th time. Fourth-seeded Salem
(7-2) will need to find a way to contain Red Raiders running back Dehron
Holloway, who exploded for 234 yards and four TDs against Pennsville in
the first round.
The Maroons defeated the Mustangs, 28-7, on
Sept. 22, despite being outgained on the ground, 216-131. Clifton
running back David Martinez rushed for 107 yards in that meeting, and
has only gotten better, totaling 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns this
The Aviators want to get the taste of a
heartbreaking NJIC title game loss to Rutherford out of their mouths
with a first round victory as their sectional championship defense
begins. The Panthers offense is led by QB Sammy Ventola, who has passed
for 1,663 and 18 touchdowns.
There are still power points on the line,
and Week 9 is far from meaningless for many teams. But even where teams
have already completed their first eight, there are rivalries and a
championship game on the slate this week. Let’s look at some of the best
of the final week before the playoffs.
This will be the second-to-last edition of the rankings. We will
not update the Top 20 during the playoffs. The final edition of the Top
20 will be unveiled after the sectional finals.
Revenge was very, very sweet for Manalapan,
who cruised past Piscataway, 28-0. The Chiefs had defeated the Braves in
last season’s Central, Group 5 final, but it was a totally different
story this time around
Stateliners running back Joe Green is having
a mean 2017 campaign, having rushed for 977 yards (6.7 yards per carry)
and 13 touchdowns. Green will need good blocking from his front five to
be able to crack a good North Hunterdon D and a strong linebacking
corps let by Erik Dehkes and Luke Ingenito.
It was another meeting and another classic
in the storied West Deptford-Haddonfield rivalry. The South Jersey
rivals played a hard-fought nail-biter that only ended when Eagles
kicker Mike Bilodeau hit a 35-yard field goal in overtime to give West
Deptford a 17-14 victory.
Somerville will need to slow down Crusaders
running back Joe Turek who has already rushed for 825 yards and nine
touchdowns. The Pioneers have played well against a tough schedule,
going 3-1 over teams that are currently .500 or better.