West Deptford's Nick Diaco and Paulsboro's John Pellegrini were each named most valuable player of their respective teams in Saturday's game between the longtime Thanksgiving weekend rivals.
That wasn't the only thing the seniors had in common.
Diaco, West Deptford's quarterback and defensive end, wore teammate Alex Malcolm's No. 2 jersey in honor of his classmate and friend.
Pellegrini, Paulsboro's wide receiver and defensive end, wore teammate Carlton Aiken's No. 15 jersey in honor of his classmate and friend.
Malcolm and Aiken were unable to play in West Deptford's 21-18 victory because of knee injuries.
"That was a good deal," Paulsboro coach Glenn Howard said of the jersey switch by the two seniors.
Said West Deptford coach Clyde Folsom: "I thought it was a great gesture by both kids. What a neat idea."
Pellegrini calls Aiken his "best friend." Pellegrini said Aiken approached him during the week, when it became apparent the senior quarterback would be unable to play after injuring his knee late in the team's loss to Pennsville in the South Jersey Group 1 semifinals on Nov. 20.
"He took a bad hit on the last [offensive] play, and I knew he was hurt bad," Pellegrini said. "I was happy to do it. I know he would do the same for me."
Malcolm, a defensive back, suffered a season-ending knee injury in West Deptford's victory over Buena in the South Jersey Group 2 semifinals Nov. 20.
"It was the best game he ever played," Diaco said of Malcolm's performance against Buena. "He was playing his butt off, and now he's never going to play again. I wanted to represent him and play for him."
End of an era? There's speculation Saturday's game could mark the final one in the series between West Deptford and Paulsboro, which began in 1981.
With the Colonial Conference teams moving into the West Jersey Football League next season, some traditional rivalries could end to make way for new matchups in crossover games.
Folsom, West Deptford's veteran coach, said he thought Saturday's game with Paulsboro might have been the last one in the foreseeable future, with the teams likely finding other Thanksgiving rivalries.
Folsom believes Deptford is a possible Thanksgiving opponent for West Deptford, especially since the Spartans' traditional rival, Glassboro, would be a natural foe for Paulsboro.
Paulsboro coach Glenn Howard isn't sure that's a good idea. He noted that with Paulsboro and Glassboro regularly appearing in the South Jersey Group 1 tournament, the teams could find themselves playing each other on consecutive weeks.
"I don't know if I'd like that," Howard said.
Chambers signs. Timber Creek senior wide receiver Cameron Chambers signed his national letter of intent to attend Michigan State on a scholarship last week.
Chambers signed early so he can enroll at Michigan State in January.
Chambers leads Timber Creek with 58 receptions for 946 yards and eight touchdowns.
Chambers and the Chargers play Shawnee in the South Jersey Group 4 title game Sunday at 6 p.m. at Rowan.
Thanksgiving, 2016 and beyond. There's speculation that Timber Creek could play Winslow Township and Triton could play Highland in Thanksgiving games starting in 2016.
Rancocas Valley is interested in renewing its Thanksgiving rivalry with Moorestown. The teams played for years, with some great matchups between legendary former coaches George Masters of Moorestown and Bill Gordon of Rancocas Valley.
The St. Augustine-Cedar Creek series is expected to end after four seasons, while Cumberland could revive its old rivalry with Bridgeton.
Leftovers. Haddonfield is 27-2 in its last 29 games after beating rival Haddon Heights. . . . Overbrook junior Marques DeShields leads South Jersey with 25 touchdowns after scoring four in a 63-20 win over Lindenwold.
Washington Township senior Nick Grosso caught a touchdown pass in seven of the Minutemen's 10 games, including the 28-7 upset of then-No. 2 Williamstown on Thanksgiving. . . . With two touchdowns in a 41-20 win over Riverside, Florence senior Joey Foga finished the season with 20 touchdowns.