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No. 3 St. Augustine at No. 2 Williamstown among games to watch this weekend

Other key clashes include St. Joseph at Holy Spirit, Eastern at Kingsway, Pennsauken at Triton, Penns Grove at Salem, and Gateway at Paulsboro.

Senior quarterback J.C. Collins 9No. 7) leads Williamstown into Friday's showdown with St. Augustine.
Senior quarterback J.C. Collins 9No. 7) leads Williamstown into Friday's showdown with St. Augustine.Read moreAkira Suwa/For the Inquirer

Here are 10 games to watch this weekend in South Jersey football:


All games at 7 p.m. except Willingboro at Camden at 6.

No. 3 St. Augustine (6-2) at No. 2 Williamstown (8-0): This is the Game of the Week, a clash with major division, Top 25 and playoff implications.

These teams are rivals, although not in a traditional, play-every-season sense. It's more that they are both power programs and each is on the other side of the public/non-public divide, a difference that's always heightened when St. Augustine attracts athletes from Monroe Township.

In addition, Williamstown coach Frank Fucetola coached St. Augustine for three seasons back in the 1990s.

St. Augustine has won five in a row after a 1-2 start. The Hermits have developed a balanced offense, with senior quarterback Chris Allen sparking the passing game and freshman running back Nasir Hill emerging as a dependable factor in the ground game. Improved offensive-line play and a steady defense led by linebackers Joe Bonczek and Shane Quast, lineman Isaiah Raikes and cornerback Jaylen DeCoteau, a Williamstown resident, have also led to the Hermits' recent surge.

Williamstown has put together the program's best regular season since the 2012 team went 12-0 and won the first S.J. 5 title. The Braves defense, which features lineman Aaron Lewis and linebackers Brandon Perkins and Julian Gravener, set the pace early in the season.

In recent games, the offense has begun to flex its muscles as the Braves have scored 165 points in the last four outings (41.25 average). Running back Wade Inge scored three touchdowns and quarterback J.C. Collins ran for a score and passed for two others in an imposing win over Shawnee Friday night.

This is the first year that St. Augustine has been in the WJFL American, a bastion of public-school powerhouse programs for years. If the Hermits beat the Braves, they will capture the division title with a perfect record.

The same goes for Williamstown, as the Braves can secure sole possession of the American crown with a victory over the Hermits.

No. 9 St. Joseph (6-2) at No. 10 Holy Spirit (5-2): This is the so-called Holy War as these two non-public powers clash in a battle with major off-the-field implications – in terms of attracting prospective student athletes, since the programs tend to work many of the same youth leagues – as well as a likely playoff preview.

The game will mark the return of St. Joseph coach Paul Sacco, South Jersey's all-time leader in career victories. Sacco sat out the last two weeks while serving a school-enforced suspension after the social-media release of a video made by his players.

St. Joseph stumbled badly in the immediate wake of Sacco's suspension but rallied last weekend with an impressive win over Timber Creek. The Wildcats got a big game from sophomore Chase Lomax, who caught a touchdown pass and returned an interception for another score, and controlled play along both lines of scrimmage.

Holy Spirit has won five of six since a "Zero Week" setback at Mt. St. Joseph (Md.). The Spartans' lone loss was a competitive setback at No. 3 St. Augustine.

Holy Spirit has a dangerous passing game led by senior quarterback Ryan Yost and junior wideout Ahmad Brown, among others. The Spartans ground game features all-purpose junior Eli'Jah Gray, who ran for three scores and passed for another in a victory over Kingsway.

These teams are jostling for the top spot in the NP 2 tournament, although there probably isn't much difference between the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds since the title game will be played at a neutral site and the Wildcats and Spartans likely will meet again the weekend of Nov. 30.

Cherokee (0-6) at No. 18 Lenape (3-4): The visiting Chiefs were highly competitive in a 28-10 loss to No. 3 St. Augustine on Friday and should be urgent in their pursuit of their first victory of the season.

This is a clash between Lenape school district rivals. Players and coaches from both programs are familiar with each other, with many of the athletes having faced each in sub-varsity competitive as well as youth sports.

Lenape is looking strengthen its position in the coming South Jersey Group 5 tournament. The Indians are coming off a 19-16 loss to Rancocas Valley in a possible preview of a playoff rematch. Ryan Erlanger ran for a score and passed for another for Lenape.

Pennsauken (4-3) at Triton (4-3): Both teams are 3-1 in the WJFL National, so the winner will clinch at least a share of the title (Cherry Hill West can finish 4-1 as well with victories over Cumberland this week and Cherry Hill East on Thanksgiving eve).

Pennsauken is coming off a bye after a tough loss to rival Camden. The Indians have a big-play man in running back Nahzir Russell and a sturdy defense led by end Kenneth Corbin, among others.

Triton will look to bounce back from a loss to Seneca last weekend. The Mustangs are seeking a share of their first division title since 2006. Running back Eric Staton is a player to watch for Triton.

No. 25 Willingboro (4-3) at No. 4 Camden (6-1): The visiting Chimeras are bit unpredictable, but they showed their potential with an imposing win over then-No. 7 Woodrow Wilson on Saturday.

Chris Long led the way with a touchdown catch as well as an interception return for touchdown. The Chimeras defense came up with four interceptions to stymie the Tigers' potent passing game.

Camden has won six in a row since a "Zero Week" loss at Wise (Md.). Quarterback Monte Williams threw four touchdown passes in a shutout of Camden Catholic on Friday. Linebacker Tirek Austin-Cave, secondary standouts Donald Williams and Ramer Nock, and lineman Tidaine Bamba lead the Panthers' heavy-hitting defense.

Deptford (5-2) at No. 1 Haddonfield (7-0): The visiting Spartans are coming off an impressive loss, as they pushed No.  8 West Deptford to the brink in a 28-21 setback Friday.

This game marks another opportunity for the Spartans to show they can compete with some of South Jersey's top programs. Senior twins Naseem and Khi'on Smith, a pair of speedy track standouts, lead the way for Deptford.

Haddonfield has allowed a touchdown or less in five of its victories. Seniors Gabe Klaus and Lewis Evans spark a sturdy, steady defense, and seniors Chris Brown, Davis Smith and John Foley are among the athletes to watch on the top-ranked team's versatile offense.

Haddonfield is looking to secure the No. 1 seed in what should be a loaded South Jersey Group 2 field. That's more important this season than in the past, since the sectional-title games will be played on the home field of the higher seed the weekend before Thanksgiving.

No. 12 Rancocas Valley (5-2) at Shawnee (2-5): The visiting Red Devils are looking to strengthen their position in the South Jersey Group 5 tournament while the Renegades, despite their record, have the same goal with regard to the South Jersey Group 4 playoffs.

Shawnee is coming off a tough loss to Williamstown. The Renegades, the defending S.J. 4 champions, have played a loaded schedule and will look to build some momentum before the start of the tournament. Seniors all-purpose standouts Jon Searcy and Joe Dalsey are players to watch for Shawnee.

Rancocas Valley is battle-tested as well. The Red Devils are coming off a 19-16 win over Lenape as senior Bryce Mangene passed for 251 yards and three touchdowns — including a "Hail Mary" to Jahmier Washington on the final play of the first half.

No. 11 Eastern (6-1) at Kingsway (4-3): The visiting Vikings are looking to secure their seventh straight win since a season-opening setback to No. 10 Holy Spirit and improve their position in the South Jersey Group 5 tournament.

Eastern survived a tough battle with Hammonton on Friday, thanks in large part to a strong defensive effort. Senior linebacker/running back T.J. Franden is a player to watch for the Vikings.

Kingsway's losses have been to Top 10 teams Highland, Millville and Holy Spirit, and all three have been competitive games. The Dragons were in a scoreless tie at halftime with Holy Spirit on Friday before the Spartans took command after intermission.

Senior two-way back A.J. Butler and senior linebacker Blake Tambone are players to watch for Kingsway.


No. 13 Penns Grove (8-0) at No. 19 Salem (6-1), noon: This is a clash of rivals with significant WJFL Diamond and South Jersey Group 1 playoff overtones.

Penns Grove has been rolling all season behind senior Tyreke Brown, who has 19 touchdowns, among others. Sophomore Nasir Robinson, who scored three touchdowns in last weekend's win over Glassboro, is another player to watch for the Red Devils.

Salem has been led by senior Jamael Bundy, who ran for two scores and passed for two more in a victory over Pennsville. Senior all-purpose Ji'Yon Mejias is another player to watch for Salem.

No. 22 Gateway (6-0) at No. 15 Paulsboro (6-1), 12:30: This game has major WJFL Memorial and South Jersey Group 1 playoff implications.

It's also a chance for the visiting Gators to beat the Red Raiders on the field for the first time since 1985, per research by South Jersey historian Chuck Langerman. Gateway won that game 33 years ago by 6-0. The Gators also were awarded a forfeit victory over the Red Raiders in 2007 (a game won on the field by Paulsboro by 48-14) because of the use of an ineligible player.

Josh Mason's Gators are 14-3 since the start of last season. That's a remarkable turnaround for a program that was 5-45 from 2009-13.

Gateway is coming off a big win over Haddon Heights as senior quarterback Matt Goetz threw three touchdown passes.

Paulsboro has won four in as row since a loss to Penns Grove. The Red Raiders have allowed just 30 points in the stretch and are coming off a 17-7 win over Audubon.