S.J. Group 5 Championship Preview
Cherokee (8-3) vs. Rancocas Valley (9-2) 7 p.m. Saturday at Rowan. Coaches: Cherokee, P.J. Mehigan, 113-31 in 13th season; Rancocas Valley, Dan Haussman, 34-17 in fifth season.
Cherokee (8-3) vs. Rancocas Valley (9-2)
7 p.m. Saturday at Rowan.
Coaches: Cherokee, P.J. Mehigan, 113-31 in 13th season; Rancocas Valley, Dan Haussman, 34-17 in fifth season.
Previous titles: Rancocas Valley, one (1987 in Group 3); Cherokee, nine (2013 in Group 5; 2010, 2009, 2005, 1993, 1990, and 1985 in Group 4; 1982 and 1981 in Group 3).
Cherokee breakdown: The Chiefs were 3-3 after losing to rival Shawnee on Oct. 24 but have won five in a row. They played four consecutive home games in November.
Cherokee players to watch: Senior running back Marc Woodard has gained 1,108 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. Senior Jesse Streb is a top all-purpose player as a receiver, defensive back, and kicker. Junior Evan Powell is a strong runner at quarterback with 416 yards and a top tackler at inside linebacker.
Rancocas Valley breakdown: The Red Devils won their first six games, all on the road as their home field was being refurbished. After a stumble, they regained their stride in the South Jersey Group 5 tournament, scoring a combined 94 points in victories over Millville and Atlantic City.
Rancocas Valley players to watch: Senior Shaun Bradley has run for 1,126 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. Senior all-purpose athletes Stevie Stevenson and Collin Wilson are impact players on offense and special teams. Senior linebackers Chris Bright (112 tackles) and Adam Fricke (121 tackles) lead the defense.
Fast fact: Cherokee is 28-0-1 against Rancocas Valley since 1977, with the 1992 game ending in a 7-7 tie.
Pick: Cherokee, 21-14.
- Phil Anastasia