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Part II: South Jersey Games of the Week

Part II: South Jersey Games of the Week
Here are more of the top South Jersey high school football games in the first full week of the season.

Haddonfield (1-0) at Sterling (1-0), Friday, 7 pm.
This is a WJFL Colonial game between two teams that are very familiar with each other. Last year Sterling beat Haddonfield, 37-19 in the regular season only to lose to the Bulldogs, 17-7 the next week in a South Jersey Group 2 opener. Haddonfield would go on to win the SJ Group 2 title. The Bulldogs opened with a 20-7 win over Pleasantville, another Group 2 contender. Senior Drew Gavranich, scored on TD after recovering a blocked punt by Gabe Klaus in the end zone and added another on a 24-yard reception. The Haddonfield offense didn’t really get untracked, but the Bulldogs, led by QB Jay Foley, can put up points. Sterling, coming off an 8-2 season, opened with a 26-7 win over Triton, a surprisingly convincing score, especially since the Silver Knights lost so much to graduation. Nick Harmer had a TD reception and run for the Silver Knights. He also kicked a pair of extra points.
 
No. 15 Holy Spirit (0-1) at Eastern (0-0), Friday, 7 pm.
Holy Spirit opened with a 35-16 loss to Maryland power St. Joseph. Senior quarterback Ryan Yost ran for a touchdown and passed for another. The Spartans have a tough schedule, with future games against St. Joseph and St. Augustine, the top two teams in South Jersey in the latest Philadelphia Inquirer ratings. Eastern showed great improvement last year in coach John Doherty’s first season, going 5-5 and qualifying for the SJ Group 5 playoffs. Now the key is whether the Vikings can make another step up. These two teams are considered among the major contenders in the WJFL Royal Division.

West Deptford (0-1) vs. Collingswood (1-0) at Haddon Twp., Saturday11 am. 
With field renovations at Collingswood, the Panthers have scheduled their first two home games at Haddon Township. West Deptford lost 19-14 in its opener to fellow Gloucester County power Paulsboro. Junior Tyshawn Brookman rushed for 150 yards on 19 carries and scored on an electrifying 80-yard run. Last year West Deptford beat Collingswood, 49-0 but this should be closer. Collingswood has two of the better backs in the WJFL Colonial, seniors Ja’Quan Paige and Michael Jenkins. In an opening 27-14 win over Audubon, Paige rushed for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Since both teams depend on rushing attacks, the one that runs the ball better will be the victor


Millville (0-1) at St. Joseph (1-0), Saturday, 12 pm.

Nobody has a rougher opening schedule than Millville. The Thunderbolts lost their opener last week, 35-6 to North Jersey power St. Peter’s Prep and now they have to visit South Jersey’s top teams. (Week 3 won’t be a picnic either with a game at Williamstown, a consensus Top 10 South Jersey team). St. Joseph opened with an offensive explosion in a 52-24 win over Connecticut’s Hamden Hall. Junior Jada Byers rushed for 267 yards and 6TDs. Millville’s run defense will receive a major threat against one of the top running teams in the state. St. Joseph has won 13 in a row after going 12-0 last season.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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