The Kingsway Regional High School football team enters its stadium ahead of the football game against Williamstown played at Kingsway Regional High School in Swedesboro, New Jersey on Friday, September 1, 2023. Kingsway defeated Williamstown, 28-0. Collin Conway/D2 Sports Network
This upcoming weekend's highly anticipated action features a meeting between Gloucester County's two largest programs, a pair of Top-10 teams battling for leverage in the West Jersey Football League American Division title race, and the latest edition of the River Road rivalry featuring two Camden County schools separated by only 4.5 miles.
Here's an inside look at seven of this weekend's top matchups with players to watch, and a complete schedule of games involving WJFL teams located throughout the traditional seven-county South Jersey region:
No. 11 Kingsway (2-0) at Washington Township (1-1), Friday, 6 pm
The Dragons have outscored their opponents 73-0 over their first two contests of the 2023 campaign. The No.11 ranked team in the latest South Jersey Sports Zone Top 15 high school football rankings cruised past Egg Harbor Township, 45-0, in Week 0 and dominated Gloucester County rival Williamstown in a 28-0 triumph last Friday.
Neumann Rojas rushed for 128 yards and four touchdowns in the win over the Braves. Tommy Popoff finished 9-for-17 passing for 92 yards. Kingsway's defense posted its second consecutive shutout behind the strength of 11 tackles for loss. Tommy DiPietro and Amir Washington each tallied three tackles for loss and a sack. Kyle Nordone and Brady Williams charted interceptions against Williamstown. Williams also posted a team-high eight tackles.
Rojas has 156 rushing yards and five touchdowns through two games. Benny Liles III has nine receptions for 227 yards and three touchdowns.
Washington Township bounced back from a 26-7 loss to No. 4 Mainland in Week 0 at the Battle at the Beach with a victory in Week 1. The Minutemen thumped Eastern, 50-6, last Friday. Washington Township racked up 273 rushing yards against the Vikings. Logan Perez rushed for a team-high 67 yards and a touchdown. Jared Dzierzgowski added 66 yards and a score, Giuliano Scavetta charted 56 yards and a score, and Jyair Moore contributed 56 rushing yards. Dzierzgowski also completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Gabe Mosco. Perez returned an interception for a touchdown and Quienton Singleton snared two interceptions on defense. Both of Singleton's takeaways resulted in touchdowns. Washington Township's defense also racked up six tackles for loss.
Kingsway has won each of the last five meetings since 2018. Two out of the last three matchups have been decided by only a touchdown.
The Dragons prevailed for a 24-10 victory last season. Liles III reeled in two receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Luke Van Brill returned an interception for a 26-yard touchdown to seal the win in the fourth quarter. Carter Williams also forced a fumble and recovered the ball for a 37-yard touchdown. Kingsway's defense forced four turnovers. Dzierzgowski powered Washington Township's ground attack with 79 rushing yards. Minutemen wide receiver Dashawn Long hauled in four catches for a game-high 63 yards and a touchdown. Mosco led the defense with 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
The pick: Kingsway 21, Washington Township 14.
Moorestown (1-1) at Northern Burlington (1-1), Friday, 6 pm
The Quakers evened their record at 1-1 with a 16-0 win over Cherry Hill East last Friday.
Moorestown dropped its season opener to former Burlington County Scholastic League rival Burlington Township, 32-27, on August 25. Quarterback John Zohlman completed 13 out of 28 pass attempts for 237 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in the loss. The senior also ran for 41 yards and a touchdown. Junior Chase Caulder hauled in six receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Shane Ginley caught three passes for 52 yards. Anthony Yates returned a fumble for a three-yard touchdown and Andreas Kalavrusos intercepted a pass on defense.
Northern Burlington responded to a 48-21 loss to No. 7 Shawnee in Week 0 with a 41-0 victory over backyard rival Pemberton last Thursday. Ronnie Borden completed 12 out of 19 pass attempts for 219 yards and four touchdowns. Tony Kownacki racked up 108 yards on the ground as the Greyhounds ran for 236 yards as a team. Andrew Reynolds added 80 rushing yards and a touchdown. Reynolds also caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from Borden. Jordan Wilkerson hauled in three receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Northern Burlington's defense held the Hornets to 31 yards on 30 attempts and racked up 10 tackles for loss. Manny Saenz finished with a game-high 7.5 tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks. Khyle Sallard-Franconi added seven tackles and a tackle for loss. Jailen Lopez registered a sack.
The Quakers edged Northern Burlington, 24-21, in last year's meeting. Zohlman finished 8-for-15 passing for 157 yards and a touchdown. Ginley intercepted a pass, and 2023 South Jersey Sports Zone preseason All-South Jersey Second Team offensive line selection Chris Gorman charted a team-high 10 tackles in the victory.
Borden missed last year's contest against Moorestown due to injury. As a junior, Borden threw for 207 yards and a touchdown in a two-point loss to Shawnee. He also put together quality performances in a win against Paul VI and a seven-point loss to Rancocas Valley. Borden's presence could make a difference on Friday night.
The pick: Northern Burlington 28, Moorestown 16.
No. 5 Cherokee (2-0) at No. 6 St. Augustine (1-1), Friday, 6 pm
The Chiefs made a statement with a jaw-dropping 47-7 triumph over then-No. 5 Hammonton in Marlton last Thursday. Cherokee scored 34 unanswered points in less than 10 minutes in the third quarter to erase a 7-6 halftime deficit. The rally was sparked by a 74-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ryan Bender. Murad Campfield added two rushing touchdowns in the frame and Luke Brown reeled in a 16-yard touchdown reception from Bender. Leo Bluestein scooped up a forced fumble for a 59-yard score.
Bender finished 7-for-15 passing for 117 yards and a touchdown. He also contributed 88 yards on the ground as the Chiefs' offense racked up 256 rushing yards. Campfield tallied 134 yards and Cooper Burti added 24 yards highlighted by a 21-yard touchdown run. Evan Bryfogle intercepted a pass on defense and Tommy Pajic went a perfect 2-for-2 on field goal attempts including a 35-yard field goal to cut Cherokee's deficit to a point before intermission.
The Chiefs own two signature wins over Hammonton and Winslow this season.
St. Augustine exploded for 37 points in the first quarter en route to a 51-15 victory over Route 54 rival St. Joseph Academy last week. The Hermits scored 51 points over the first two quarters. Julian Turney rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Roman Coney added 68 yards on the ground and Ty Watson added a six-yard touchdown run. Tristan McLeer rushed for a 14-yard touchdown and returned a kickoff for a 58-yard score. Ryan Gambill tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Paris Pratt in the first quarter.
Cherokee upset the Hermits, 20-14, at home in last year's meeting. Bender completed 12 out of 17 pass attempts for 187 yards and two touchdowns. Campfield tallied 60 yards from scrimmage and scored a pair of touchdowns on offense. Austin Lenart racked up a game-high 15 tackles, a forced fumble and a tackle for loss. Bluestein forced a fumble, charted eight tackles and earned half a sack along with teammate Zach Ott.
Gambill finished 11-for-18 passing for 151 yards in the setback. McLeer rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown and led St. Augustine with five receptions for 45 yards. The Hermits have won two out of the last three meetings dating back to 2018.
The pick: Cherokee 27, St. Augustine 24.