Highland’s Johnny Martin is the most reliable of running backs. He steadily gains yards, game after game, season after season.
Martin is the 39th running back in South Jersey history to generate more than 4,000 career yards. But he’s the first to reach that plateau as a junior, according to research by sports historian Chuck Langerman.
On Friday night, Martin jacked his career total past the 4,200-yard mark with a 22-carry, 169-yard performance in Highland’s 21-17 victory over Black Horse Pike School District rival Timber Creek.
The victory vaulted the Tartans back into the South Jersey Top 10. Here are the new rankings, with last week’s ranking in parentheses:
1. Williamstown (1) 5-0: In an echo of last season, the Braves’ defense held down the fort through the first few games while the offense found its footing. In Friday night’s 41-0 win over Atlantic City, quarterback Doug Brown built on his sensational second-half play the week before against Lenape with three touchdown passes, two to Quinn Hart. Williamstown, which has shut out three of its first five opponents, visits improved Cherokee on Friday.
2. Shawnee (2) 5-0: Sophomore quarterback Matt Welsey was 12-for-15 passing for 124 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in a 45-0 victory over Moorestown. The Renegades are 9-1 since starting last season 2-6. Shawnee has a big home game Friday vs. No. 9 Woodrow Wilson.
3. Lenape (3) 4-1: Senior quarterback Brady Long continued his strong play with two touchdown passes in a 41-0 win over Allentown. Junior all-purpose Xavier Coleman scored three touchdowns as the Indians entered their bye week on a high note. Lenape returns to action Oct. 18 at Camden Catholic.
4. St. Augustine (4) 2-3: Transfer Carnell Davis, from Absegami by way of a stop in Florida, made an immediate impact in his first game with three touchdown receptions in 35-3 victory over Ocean City. Davis caught seven passes for 178 yards in a glimpse of the big-play ability that should make the Hermits more formidable over the second half of the season. St. Augustine is home Friday vs. Rancocas Valley.
5. St. Joseph (5) 4-1: The Wildcats ended Haddonfield’s 21-game winning streak in emphatic fashion with a 43-8 victory on Friday night. Junior quarterback Jayden Shertel passed for 319 yards and three touchdowns and junior defensive end Chase Lomax registered two sacks. Senior all-purpose Jada Byers scored three touchdowns to jack his career point total to 530. He is one touchdown away from breaking the Cape-Atlantic League record of 532, set in 1996 by Ocean City’s Kevin Sinclair, per Langerman’s research.
6. West Deptford (6) 4-0: The Eagles enjoyed a week off in advance of their home game against arch-rival Haddonfield on Friday, West Deptford has outscored opponents by a cumulative total of 139-26.
7. Penns Grove (7) 5-0: Kavon Lewis three threw three touchdown passes, two of Torvon Ransome, in a 42-0 win over Florence. The Red Devils are averaging 44.8 points this season. They’ve won a school-record 18 in a row, per Langerman’s research. They visit 5-0 Langanore (Md.), a six-time state champion, on Friday.
8. Highland (NR) 4-1: The Tartans made a statement by beating perennial power Timber Creek for the second season in a row. Freshman Hamin “The Highlighter” Anderson sealed the victory with an interception at the three-yard line in the closing seconds. Highland is home Friday vs. Moorestown.
9. Woodrow Wilson (10) 4-1: Senior Muheem McCargo ran for 198 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Tigers beat Seneca 53-34. Sophomore quarterback Devin Kargman was 17-for-25 for 255 yards and four touchdowns. Wilson visits No. 2 Shawnee Friday night in South Jersey’s Game of the Week.
10. Camden (NR) 4-1: The Panthers jump back in the rankings after a 40-0 win over Pemberton. Junior Alijah Clark scored two touchdowns with two, two-point conversions while sophomore Nasir Dale ran for 244 yards and a score. Camden has a bye this weekend before visiting rival Pennsauken Oct. 18.
Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Cedar Creek (4-2), Haddonfield (4-1), Pleasantville (4-1), Timber Creek (3-2), Willingboro (4-1).