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Red Devils beat Cougars in Group 1 football playoffs

For the sixth time this season, Penns Grove scored at least 50 points.

Penns Grove's Jamar Johnson runs for a big gain, with fellow running back Tyreke Brown leading the blocking.
Penns Grove's Jamar Johnson runs for a big gain, with fellow running back Tyreke Brown leading the blocking.Read moreMarc Narducci

The postseason will determine the best football teams in South Jersey, but most would be hard-pressed to be as entertaining as Penns Grove.

The Red Devils are averaging 49.3 points per game following their 52-20 win Saturday over Schalick in the opening round of the South Jersey Group 1 playoffs.

More important than the scoring barrage is that Penns Grove is 8-1 and will host another  8-1 team, Gateway, at 1 p.m. Saturday in a  South Jersey Group 1 semifinal.

Schalick (5-4) hung tough early, scoring first, only to see Penns Grove turn on the jets and put up the  next 44 points.

"We have a lot of options," coach John Emel said.

That might be the biggest understatement of the season.

The biggest option is 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior Tyreke Brown, who on Saturday played receiver, running back, and Wildcat quarterback while also operating as an effective lead blocker. He was also an active linebacker, and for good measure he's also the  long-snapper.

Brown rushed for 137 yards and three scores and caught four passes for 132 yards. He even completed a pass for 50 yards. While it may not yet be known what position he will play at the next level, plenty should be clamoring for his services.

"I like being able to contribute on both sides of the ball," he said.

Emel was going to use Brown at quarterback this season, but he thought nobody could defend him as a receiver. So Emel got sophomore Kavon Lewis, who never played the position before, to be the quarterback.

Lewis has thrown 29 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. What's going to happen once he gains more experience?

Senior Josh Martin, who had two touchdown receptions against Schalick, is a deep threat.

Sophomore Jamar Johnson might be a star on most teams. On Saturday, he scored on an electrifying 77-yard run.

"Nobody hears about him," Emel said. "But we have three full-time two-way players and he is one of them."

The others are Brown and senior lineman DaeShawn Seals.

There is also senior Samej Moore, a 5-9, 230-pound bowling ball of a running back who can wear down even the most formidable defenses.

Emel also pointed out another major threat in  sophomore wide receiver Torvon Ransome, who has  seven touchdown receptions, which is barely enough to get noticed on this team.

One would think the coach would need several footballs to keep everybody content.

"If the kids were selfish, it would be hard to keep everybody happy, but for the most part they are cool and understand that we take what the defense gives us," Emel said.

This year there has been a lot of taking from defenses.

"It's been a lot of fun," said Emel. "A lot of fun."

Schalick             6    0    0    14    — 20

Penns Grove     6    16    22   8    — 52

S: Javon Spann 45 pass from Patrick McCan (run failed)

P: Makhi Scott 59 fumble return (run failed)

P: Tyreke Brown 4 run (Jamar Johnson run)

P: Josh Martin 16 pass from Kavon Lewis (Jamar Johnson run)

P: Brown 37 run (run failed)

P: Martin 71 pass from Lewis (Samej Moore run)

P: Johnson 77 run (Brown run)

S: Solomon Robinson 8 pass from McCann (pass failed)

P: Brown 49 run (Moore run)

S: Ethan Long 10 pass from McCann (Spann pass from McCann)