Salem (8-3) vs. Paulsboro (9-2)
Noon, Saturday, at Rowan.
Coaches: Salem, Dennis Thomas, 13-9, in second season; Paulsboro, Glenn Howard, 255-53, in 28th season.
Previous titles: Salem, one (1983); Paulsboro, 16 (1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006).
Salem breakdown: The Rams have won six in a row. They rallied from two-touchdown deficits to beat Penns Grove in the playoff opener and Woodstown in their Thanksgiving Day game.
Salem players to watch: Senior Dione Alston has 1,129 rushing yards and
12 touchdowns. Junior Shareef Jefferies has
1,112 passing yards and
14 touchdowns. Junior outside linebacker Daiquan Blake has 13 sacks.
Paulsboro breakdown: The Red Raiders have won four in a row. They rallied from deficits of 17-0 and 27-12 to beat rival
West Deptford, a South Jersey Group 2 finalist,
last Friday night.
Paulsboro players to watch: Junior Carlton Aiken has flourished in the Red Raiders' new no-huddle, spread offense, passing for 1,805 yards and 18 TDs. Senior all-purpose player De'Shaun Burgess has run for eight touchdowns and caught seven touchdown passes. Senior wide receiver Theo Holloway has 32 catches for 493 yards and six touchdowns.
Fast fact: Paulsboro and Salem have never met in a championship game.
Pick: Paulsboro, 26-22.
- Phil Anastasia