Updated: Nov 29, 2022
HADDONFIELD (N.J.) - Saturdays are normally set aside for college football.
Well that changed last Saturday at Paul VI High School.
It was the biggest stage for some of South Jersey's 12 , 13 and 14 year-old youth football players. This was dubbed the Battle of the Champions as the Eastern Junior Vikings where crowned as champions of SJIFL and the Glassboro Midget Football program won the TCUFL Championship last weekend at Camden High School.
When you look at both teams' rosters, you will quickly notice some familiar names on both sides.
Eastern has Ausar Heard, younger brother of Camden defensive end and West Virginia commit James Heard, Jr., Dariel Jaquez, the younger brother of St. Augustine Prep alumnus and Syracuse defensive end Dennis Jaquez Jr., running back Masiia Arcey, quarterback Charlie Faulk, defensive end Jayson Nitz, middle linebacker John Boggs, wide receiver and defensive back Terry Cook and wide receiver and defensive back Austin Frisby.
Glassboro's roster featured major talent as well with Xavier Sabb, the younger brother of Michigan safety Keon Sabb. Xavier is a 6-foot wide receiver and safety, and holds offers from Oregon , Ole Miss and Penn State. Amon Wright (6’4", 250 lbs, OT/DT), Tasheem Butler (6’1”, 230 lbs, MLB, Joe Deleece (5’10", WR/S) and Maurice Davis (6’3” DE/WR). Davis is the younger brother of Woodbury alum and Las Vegas Raiders defensive back Anthony Averett. (RB/LB) Davon Barr, (DB) Kenny Jonson III & (QB) Kristopher Foster Jr
The Bulldogs played a very physical brand of football on both sides of the ball. Delecce had a big catch and Xavier Sabb made solid plays. In the fourth quarter, Glassboro's defensive line took over the game. The biggest impact player of the day was Naaim Presbery who stole the show with two rushing touchdowns and a pick six. He was the rock that guided Glassboro to a 19-14 victory.
"The Battle of the Champions was something we started last year at the 14U level for Glassboro and Pennsauken," Bulldogs coach Antoine Sabb said. "The vision was to create an atmosphere in our back yard, not traveling to post season tournaments."
This game was highly anticipated all year as both teams won weekend after weekend in their respective leagues.
"The matchup was a game we knew was going to happen in August, and it was created for the youth football community.
And it proved to be the best youth football game all year. It had its sloppy moments, but overall it was a hard fought game on both sides" Vikings coach Melik Brown said.
Eastern's offense was lead by Faulk, who made some big plays with his arm and tallied two touchdown passes. Arcey reeled in a touchdown reception and the second went to Heard.
Defensively, the Vikings were led by Doggs who had an interception and a boatload of tackles. Cook also had an interception and Nitz played a really tough game battling through injury. Jaquez made strong plays at the down safety position and Heard played solid in coverage on the backend of the defense.
"It was awesome. Great battle between two undefeated teams, great weather all day for football," Antoine Sabb said. "South Jersey football is in good hands with the 2027 class. Tons of college prospects on the field with both teams."