The Saturday playoff football schedule is much lighter, but there are several interesting matchups, especially in South Jersey Group 1. Here is a preview.
SATURDAY at 1
SOUTH JERSEY GROUP 3
No. 7 Deptford (3-5) at No. 2 Woodrow Wilson (6-2). Woodrow Wilson’s two losses are to playoff teams, Willingboro (Group 2) and Delsea (Group 3). The high scoring Tigers certainly have the capability to reach the sectional final. Deptford earned its postseason berth largely off two wins over playoff teams Pennsville and Schalick.
No. 6 Lakewood (4-4) at No. 3 Lacey (7-2). Lacey beat Lakewood, 34-33 on Oct. 7.The Lions have won five in a row since a 14-13 loss to a 2-7 Jackson Liberty team. Three of Lakewood’s loses have been by a TD or less and the Piners own a three-game win streak.
SOUTH JERSEY GROUP 1
No. 8 Pennsville (4-4) at No. 1 Paulsboro (7-1). Paulsboro has won three in a row since a 31-0 loss to Haddonfield. The Red Raiders have a strong running attack led by senior Denron Holloway, among the top running backs in South Jersey. Pennsville has played a difficult schedule in the WJFL Diamond Division. The Eagles lost to Paulsboro, 49-28 in last year’s SJ Group 1 semifinal. Senior Nick Bard has rushed for 1,317 yards (7.8 avg.) and 15 TDs.
No. 5 Woodbury (6-2) at No. 4 Salem (6-2), Saturday: Woodbury beat Salem, 14-6 on Sept. 30, but the the Thundering Herd still must hit the road. Salem has already beaten two SJ Group 1 playoff teams (Pennsville and Penns Grove) and enters the postseason on a four-game win streak. Senior Zaire Jones has rushed for 1,406 yards (10.6 avg.) and 23 TDs for Salem.
No. 7 Schalick (5-3) at No. 2 Penns Grove (7-1). Penns Grove sophomore Kavon Lewis has completed 75.5 percent of his passes for 2,266 yards, 27 TDs and just three interceptions. Junior Tyreke Brown has added 37 receptions for 959 yards and 14 TDs. Senior Dashaw Seals has a team-high five sacks. Schalick earned is postseason berth with last week’s 14-3 win over a Gloucester Catholic team that qualified for the Non-Public Group 2 playoffs.
No. 8 St. Mary (5-4) at No. 1 St. Joseph (9-0). St. Joseph will be a prohibitive favorite in this game. The Wildcats are also the favorite in Non-Public Group 2, although Holy Spirit, a team St. Joseph beat, 42-26 in a wild early-season game, will be a major threat. St. Joseph has a dangerous running game led by senior Qwashin Townsel, who has rushed for 1,043 yards (6.5 avg.) and 23 TDs and sophomore Jada Byers, who has 965 yards (11.0 avg.) and 14 TDs. St. Mary has averaged 40.6 points in its five wins.
No. 6 Holy Cross (5-4) at No. 3 Mater Dei (6-1). Holy Cross has a dangerous offense, led by Jeff Undercuffler, a 6-6, 220-pound senior quarterback who is a University of Albany commit. Mater Dei’s only loss was 28-26 to Delbarton. This has a chance to be a high-scoring affair.
NON-PUBLIC GROUP 4
No. 8 St. Augustine (5-4) at No. 1 Bergen Catholic (7-2). St. Augustine is coming off a 14-0 loss over previously unbeaten Vineland. Now the Hermits have to compete in what many feel is the most difficult section in the state. Bergen Catholic senior Johnny Langan has thrown for 1,563 yards and 17 TDs while classmate Dylan Classi has 43 receptions for 702 yards and 9 TDs.