S.J. Group 3 Championship Preview
Delsea (7-4) vs. Allentown (9-2) 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Rowan. Coaches: Delsea, Sal Marchese Jr., 172-60-1 in 22d season; Allentown, Jay Graber, 35-17 in fifth season.
Delsea (7-4) vs. Allentown (9-2)
3:30 p.m. Saturday at Rowan.
Coaches: Delsea, Sal Marchese Jr., 172-60-1 in 22d season; Allentown, Jay Graber, 35-17 in fifth season.
Previous titles: Delsea, 11 (2009, 2008, 1986, 1984, 1982, and 1976 in Group 2; 2013, 2012, 2005, 2000, and 1979 in Group 3; Allentown, none.
Delsea breakdown: For the first time in school history, Delsea is attempting to win three consecutive sectional titles. The Crusaders have played an extremely difficult schedule, with nine of their 11 games against teams that qualified for the playoffs.
Delsea players to watch: Senior Isaiah Spencer has rushed for 1,406 yards (8.9 avg.) and 16 touchdowns. Junior Quinn Collins has attempted only 31 passes, but has done a good job running the wing-T offense, and has rushed for 587 yards (6.0 avg.) and 10 touchdowns. Senior defensive end Phil Sampson is a third-year starter who has recorded 39 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and five sacks. Senior defensive lineman Ameer Banks has 79 tackles and 10 tackles for loss.
Allentown breakdown: The Redbirds also have played a difficult schedule, with their only losses to two Inquirer Top 10 South Jersey teams: No. 4 Lenape and No. 9 Rancocas Valley, a South Jersey Group 5 finalist.
Allentown players to watch: Senior quarterback Michael Curry is a dual-purpose threat. He has thrown for 1,039 yards, 14 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, and has rushed for 1,325 yards (8.0 avg.) and 16 TDs. In a 25-18 semifinal win over Central Regional, he rushed for 181 yards and three TDs. Senior Jake Alessi has rushed for 714 yards (6.0 avg.) and seven touchdowns, and senior receiver Jake Morse has caught 11 passes for 254 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore linebacker Rick Mottram is the defensive leader with 118 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and five sacks.
Fast fact: In their semifinal wins, Delsea and Allentown combined to attempt two passes, both by the Redbirds.
Pick: Delsea, 21-20.
- Marc Narducci