|High School Football:
Semi-finals South Jersey Football Preview
Thursday, November 16, 2000
By Ed Benkin
SJSports Staff Writer
(7)Shawnee at (6) Washington Township
Washington Township defeated Shawnee, 24-7, in the regular season. The Minutemen will be without quarterback Keven Williams, who suffered a shoulder injury last week against Lenape. Senior Jeff Brown will start this week after an impressive performance last Friday. Washington Township is led by running back Fred Von Bryant, who scored two touchdowns last week. Shawnee is coming off a 21-6 win at Cherokee. The Shawnee defense came up with two interceptions in the fourth quarter last Friday. Running back Adam Francks, who rushed for 116 yards last week, will get a heavy workload against the Minutemen.
(5)Brick Township at (1) Jackson
The top-seeded Jaguars are 9-0 this season. Jackson defeated Brick, 26-21, earlier in the year. Jackson's linebackers are the heart of one of the top defenses in the state. Cornerback Mark Rodriquez has ten interceptions this season. Brick's powerful running game racked up 252 yards in last week's 31-13 victory over Toms River North. Matt Rivera is the Green Dragons' top rusher.
(5)Ocean City at (1)Edgewood
The unbeaten Eagles will face their toughest test of the season against an Ocean City squad which has won two straight sectional titles. Edgewood quarterback Mike Rosetti will play despite injuring his shoulder last week against Toms River South. The high-powered Edgewood offense is led by running backs Dennis Davis and Brandon Osbourne. Ocean City is coming off an impressive 20-0 shutout over arch-rival Mainland. Linebacker Dale Holzer is the leader of one of the best defenses in the region. The Red Raiders have a powerful offensive line and a balanced attack. Running back Ken Hannah scored on an 88 yard touchdown run last week.
(6) Egg Harbor Township vs. (2)Delsea (Game Played at Williamstown)
These two teams met last season at Egg Harbor Township with the Eagles coming away with a 21-7 victory. Delsea has one of the fastest teams in South Jersey. Last weekend, the Crusaders rushed for 284 yards in a 45-20 rout of Lacey Township. Junior Assad Hafiz, who had 38 carries for 142 yards last weekend, will lead the Delsea attack. Egg Harbor has plenty of offensive balance with running backs Neil Anderson and Terrance Tolbert and quarterback Lou Pepper. The Eagles defense has forced a lot of turnovers this season. Last week, cornerback Jason Vazques returned an interception for a touchdown in Egg Harbor's 20-12 win at Lakewood.
(5)Buena at (1)Moorestown
Moorestown struggled in the first half last week against Collingswood before scoring 21 points in the third quarter to pull away for a 35-7 win. The Quakers have an explosive running attack led by Albert Young and Luke Hadden. Hadden rushed for three touchdowns last week. Young reached the end zone twice, with one of his scores coming on a 55-yard run. Buena rallied for a 20-14 win at West Deptford in the opening round. Running back/linebacker Andrew Mack is the best player on the field for the Chiefs on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Steve Shaughnessy is a veteran leader who is capable of getting the ball deep.
(3)Kingsway at (2)Hammonton
This game is a rematch of last year's Group 2 semifinal when Hammonton
defeated Kingsway, 21-13. The 9-0 Blue Devils had the easiest first round win of any team in the region last week as they routed Cinnaminson, 37-0. Running back Mike Mazzeo paces the always tough Hammonton ground game. The Blue Devils have not allowed two touchdowns or more in any game this year. Kingsway rallied from an 18-0 half-time deficit last week to defeat Haddon Heights, 26-18. The Dragons are led by running back Tarif Hill who scored all four of Kingsway's touchdowns last week. This will be a battle between a Kingsway team with great speed against a Hammonton squad with a powerful offensive and defensive line.
(5)Burlington City at (1)Paulsboro
The Blue Devils need to cut down on their mistakes after committing 115 yards in penalties in their first round win over Bordentown. The Blue Devils are led by running back Omar Johnson, who rushed for 104 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Bill Cooper is an efficient signal caller who gives Burlington City balance. The 9-0 Red Raiders average over 35 points a game. Leading the is running back Isaac Redman, who has rushed for 15 touchdowns this season. The Red Raiders have plenty of experience, and could turn this game into a rout if the Blue Devils don't cut down on their penalties.
(3)Gloucester at (2)Glassboro
This will be the first of two straight meetings between the Lions and Bulldogs. The two teams will finish their regular season Thanksgiving weekend in a game that will decide the Tri-County Classic Division crown. Gloucester dominated both sides of the field last week in a 47-6 rout of Salem. Running back Mike Blankenship picked up 155 yards on the ground last week for the Lions. Glassboro has not played in three weeks thanks to a forfeit win and a first round bye. Quarterback Sakeen Wright and wide receiver Terrence Holmes make up the most explosive tandem in South Jersey. Running back Kevin Evans makes the Bulldogs just as dangerous on the ground. Gloucester will need to control the clock to have any chance of an upset.
(5)Holy Cross at (1)Delbarton
The Lancers were very impressive last week in a 48-17 opening round rout of Seton Hall Prep. Quarterback Matt Burdalski passed for 223 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Julius Davis is also a threat to score on every play. He has reached the end zone 21 times this year. 10-0 Delbarton has an equally effective quarterback in Mike Loree, who has 16 touchdown tosses this season. Running backs Geoff Close and Mike DeFazio are also dangerous. Expect this one to be a shootout. The winner will play either Don Bosco Prep or Notre Dame in the championship.
(3) St. Joseph, Montvale at (2)Camden Catholic
The Fighting Irish are coming off a hard fought, opening round victory over Holy Spirit. Camden Catholic's defense made the difference in a 9-6 win. Running back Mark Caputi, who rushed for 117 yards last Saturday, is the top weapon in the team's ground game. St. Joseph is the defending Parochial 3 champions. Quarterback Pat McMahon leads a balanced attack. The winner of this contest will play either Pope John XXIII or top ranked Immaculata in the championship.
(4)Bishop Francis at (1)Gloucester Catholic
The top-seeded Rams don't light up the scoreboard, but they are one of the most efficient teams in the region. Running back Bill Boyer will once again carry the load for the Gloucester Catholic offense. Linebacker Vinnie Ferrigno leads the Rams defense. Bishop Francis had a quick strike offense led by quarterback Anthony Bailey and running back Jason Grove. The winner will play either DePaul or Paterson Catholic for the championship.
(4)Immaculate Conception vs. (1)St. Joseph (Game Played at Holy Spirit)
The Wildcats have won seven straight games. Junior fullback James Hargrave is the heart and soul of the offense. The St. Joseph defense has been nearly unbreakable in the second half of the season, and has given up more than one touchdown in just one game. Immaculate Conception is led by running backs Kyle Leacock and Shamik Songui. This will be a great battle in the trenches on both sides. The winner will face either Morristown-Beard or St. Mary for the championship.