South Jersey football: A pick for every Thanksgiving-week game
Cherry Hill East-Cherry Hill West, Woodrow Wilson-Camden and Lenape-Shawnee are among games to watch in traditional Thanksgiving rivalry battles.
For the second Thanksgiving week in a row, here's a fearless forecast of every game set for this holiday schedule:
Cherry Hill East (3-6) at Cherry Hill West (5-4), 6: This series has been all purple for the last five years. The guess here is the that Lions make it six in a row over the much-improved Cougars, 22-19.
Egg Harbor Twp. (4-5) at Mainland (7-3), 6: The visiting Eagles can see their way to a .500 record and should play with a lot of urgency. But it's been a special season for Mainland and the Mustangs get their eighth win, 21-20.
Absegami (4-5) at Oakcrest (4-4), 6: Same scenario in this clash of school-district rivals, as both teams are hovering around the .500 mark and would drop below that line with a loss. That should make for some spirited play. Flipped a coin and it landed on the visiting Braves, 27-26.
Cumberland (0-8) at Schalick (3-6), 6: The host Cougars build some momentum for next season, 27-13.
Timber Creek (4-6) at Winslow Twp. (3-6), 6: This should be a high-scoring clash of high-powered passing games. Slight edge to the visiting Chargers, 30-26.
Delran (8-1) at Cinnaminson (7-3), 7: The host Pirates can clinch the Patriot title while the Bears can earn a share of the division crown plus further validate their claim that they were robbed by missing the playoffs. A little extra motivation for the visitors, and the Bears take it, 20-19.
Kingsway (5-4) at Clearview (7-3), 7: Tough duty for the host Pioneers to bounce back in five days from that emotional double-overtime loss to Shawnee in South Jersey Group 4 finals. But the sight of red and black tends to inspire the green and gold. Clearview, 24-21.
Pennsauken (5-5) at Bishop Eustace (3-6), 7: The host Crusaders are 3-1 in their last four. But the Indians have their sights set on a plus-.500 mark and hope to build some momentum for next season. They take this one, 15-14.
Camden Catholic (0-9) at Paul VI (0-9): Tough seasons for these two proud programs. Threw a dart and it landed on the blue. Paul VI, 20-19.
Triton (5-4) at Highland (8-2), 10: This clash of school-district rivals should be among the weekend's hardest-hitting games. Giving a slight edge to the host Tartans, who are looking for their second nine-win season in three years. Highland, 24-19.
Rancocas Valley (8-3) at Pemberton (1-9), 10: The visiting Red Devils cap another strong season with the win, 30-10.
Bordentown (1-8) at New Egypt (3-6): Like the Pharaohs in this one, even though that's not their real nickname, 20-13.
Lower Cape May (6-3) at Middle Twp. (4-5), 10: Ah, the Anchor Bowl. Just the name makes some people think of the clam chowder at the Anchorage. This game is almost always a battle. Leaning Lower, 19-18.
Ocean City (4-5) at Pleasantville (7-3), 10: This rivalry started in 1917. The host Greyhounds have a terrific senior class that has revitalized the program. They finish with a win, 24-22.
Atlantic City (0-9) at Holy Spirit (7-3), 10: It's been a tough year for the visiting Vikings. The Spartans are looking to keep the good vibes going heading into the state-final rematch with St. Joe. Holy Spirit, 27-13.
Deptford (5-5) at Glassboro (5-4), 10: Flipped a coin on this clash of much-improved Gloucester County rivals. Deptford, 21-19.
Gateway (8-1) at Woodbury (6-3), 10:30: The visiting Gators can clinch sole possession of first place in the WJFL Memorial with a win. The guess here is that they pull it off, 19-13.
Lenape (5-5) at Shawnee (5-6), 10:30: This clash of school-district rivals is an interesting matchup as the visiting Indians try to get to 6-5 in a bit of a rebuilding year. The Renegades have their sights set on the first 7-6 season in South Jersey history and take this one with another late field goal, 13-10.
Clayton (4-5) at Pitman (1-2), 10:30: This is a big deal for the Panthers, who are rebuilding their program after shutting down varsity competition last season. Lot of history and tradition in this game. It always was something special to former Eagles general manager Harry Gamble, a Pitman graduate who coached at Clayton. The visiting Clippers take this one, 20-19.
Gloucester (3-6) at Gloucester Catholic (2-8), 10:30: It's always a battle when these cross-town rivals who share the same field meet in a renewal of the series that started in 1948. It's a maroon-and-gold day in the holy city. Gloucester Catholic, 19-14.
Woodstown (2-7) at Salem (8-3), 10:30: This series started in 1911. Salem won that one, 10-6. The host Rams win another one, 30-13.
Millville (6-4) at Vineland (4-6), 10:30: This series started in 1893, which means there probably were sons of Civil War veterans playing in that first game. Think about that. Millville won that first one, 14-0. The host Clan have taken the last two in this ancient rivalry. The guess here is that the visiting Thunderbolts turn the tables this season, 29-26.
Haddon Twp. (5-4) at Audubon (3-6), 11: The visiting Hawks have put together a solid season, with four wins in their last five, and are seeking their first six-win campaign since 2012. Haddon Twp., 20-19.
Haddon Heights (2-7) at Haddonfield (11-0), 11: This series started in 1902. Haddonfield won that one, 12-0. The Bulldawgs have their sets firmly set on the first 13-0 season in program history. Haddonfield, 31-13.
Florence (6-4) at Riverside (3-7), 11: Flashes coach Joe Frappolli, whose first season was 1974, gets his 309th career win, 26-14.
Burlington City (2-7) at Palmyra (4-5), 11: This series started in 1909. Palmyra won that one, 34-0. This one will be closer. Palmyra, 27-20.
Woodrow Wilson (9-2) at Camden (9-2), 11: This clash of cross-town rivals should be one of the best games of the weekend. This season marks the first time in the 85-year history of the city series that both teams have nine wins, per research by sports historian Chuck Langerman. The Tigers are riding high after beating Burlington Twp. in the S.J. 3 final and have another game after this one, vs. Rumson-Fair Haven in one of those new "Bowl Games." So the Panthers might have a touch more urgency.
This piece started with a purple pick. It ends with a purple pick. Camden, 14-13.