Shawnee (10-1) vs. Timber Creek (11-0)
3:30 p.m. Sunday at Rowan.
Coaches: Shawnee - Tim Gushue, 220-102-6 in his 32d season; Timber Creek - Rob Hinson 72-27 in his ninth season at Timber Creek; overall, 77-32.
Previous titles: Shawnee, five (2013, 2004, and 2002 in Group 4; 2008 and 2007 in Group 3); Timber Creek, two (2012 in Group 4, 2011 in Group 3).
Shawnee breakdown: The Renegades are looking to bounce back from their first loss, Thanksgiving's 10-7 setback against Lenape. Before that, Shawnee had won every game by 13 or more points.
Shawnee players to watch: Senior Jake Parola has rushed for 1,280 yards (7.57 average) and 24 touchdowns. Junior Michael Welsh has thrown for 1,494 yards, 15 TDs, and seven interceptions. Anthony Mague has been the top target with 34 receptions for 592 yards and five TDs. Parola has eight interceptions from his safety position, and senior linebacker Curtis Corley, a University of Maryland lacrosse recruit, has 102 tackles and 12.5 sacks.
Timber Creek breakdown: The Chargers' success stems from winning close games. Four of the wins, including their last two, were by a touchdown or less. A 26-20 win on Thanksgiving over Triton was led by freshman Devin Leary, who threw for 232 yards and two TDs, while starter Khalil Trotman missed the game because of an ankle injury.
Timber Creek players to watch: Timber Creek hopes Trotman will return. He has thrown for 2,093 yards, 20 touchdowns, and four interceptions. Temple recruit Kareem Ali has rushed for 802 yards (8.4 avg.) and six touchdowns. Junior Cameron Chambers, a Michigan State recruit, leads a deep receiving corps. He has 42 receptions for 689 yards and seven touchdowns. Bucknell recruit Alan Butler has 42 receptions for 637 yards and six touchdowns, and senior Shaquese McIntyre has added 38 receptions for 784 yards and six TDs. Junior linebacker Julian Mahan has a team-high 111 tackles.
Fast fact: This is the third straight year these two are meeting in the postseason. Timber Creek won, 32-22, in a South Jersey Group 4 semifinal in 2012, and Shawnee triumphed, 31-22, in last year's South Jersey Group 4 final.
Pick: Shawnee 24, Timber Creek 21.
- Marc Narducci