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South Jersey high school football Week 5 games to watch, plus full weekend schedule

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Camden's Nasere Blakney (1) runs with the football against Camden Catholic in the football game played in the Rumble on the Raritan showcase at Rutgers University's SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey on Saturday, September 23, 2023. The Panthers defeated Camden Catholic, 28-6. Jada Sayers/D2 Sports Network

This upcoming weekend's highly anticipated action features the grand reopening of Cumberland County's Wheaton Field, a top 10 showdown, and a matchup between a pair of one-loss programs battling for first place in the West Jersey Football League National Division.

Here's an inside look at eight of this weekend's top matchups with players to watch, predictions and a complete schedule of games involving WJFL teams located throughout the traditional seven-county South Jersey region:

Bishop Eustace (3-1) at Riverside (3-1), Friday, 5 pm

After opening the campaign with three straight wins against Holy Cross Prep, Gloucester Catholic and Wildwood, the Crusaders suffered their first loss with a 24-0 defeat to Princeton last week.

Bishop Eustace's offense is fueled by junior running back Mekhi Simmons. The 2023 South Jersey Sports Zone Preseason All-South Jersey Third Team selection leads the Crusaders with 365 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Roman Faiola has added three scores on the ground. The sophomore signal caller is 17-for-38 passing this season with 264 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Freshman Delano Mann has emerged as Faiola's top target with 10 receptions for 192 yards and two scores.

Noah Glenn leads the Crusaders' defense with 22 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. The sophomore also has a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Senior Dakota Rivera has 18 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Matt Kraft has recorded 19 tackles, a forced fumble and a tackle for loss. Freshman Terrence Goffney returned an interception for a touchdown in a 36-0 win over Gloucester Catholic. Freshman Andrew Woods has tallied 14 tackles, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.

Riverside responded to a 42-18 loss to undefeated Schalick with a 30-21 triumph over Pitman last Friday. The victory improved the Rams' record to 3-1. John Boston rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Jamir Brown also rushed for a seven-yard score in the victory. Teddy Hawkins, Jr. reeled in a 53-yard touchdown reception on a pass from Brown. Isaiah Ali-Lewis powered Riverside's defense with 11 tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack. Felipe Santos matched Ali-Lewis with 11 tackles. Hawkins charted six tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss. George Branin contributed eight tackles and two tackles for loss.

Bishop Eustace edged the Rams, 12-7, a season ago. Simmons exploded for 167 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Kraft recorded 17 tackles, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. Glenn and Rivera each posted 12 tackles. Glenn also tallied two tackles for loss. Riverside's Justin Mary rushed for a team-high 128 yards in the setback. Boston added 65 rushing yards.

The pick: Riverside 20, Bishop Eustace 12.

Lenape (2-3) at No. 1 Millville (3-1), Friday, 6 pm

The Thunderbolts will unveil their new turf field in the grand reopening of Wheaton Field against Lenape on Friday night.

Millville had its bye week last weekend.

The defending Group 4 state champions defeated No. 3 St. Augustine, 21-7, in their last game on September 15. Quarterback Jacob Zamot finished 16-for-25 passing for 97 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The senior currently holds offers from Maine, Merrimack, Sacred Heart, Rhode Island and Delaware State. Jamal Wallace, Jr. rushed for a team-high 42 yards and Na'eem Sharp added a six-yard score on the ground. Syracuse commit Ta'Ron Haile reeled in five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.

Jayden Jones recorded five tackles, a sack and recovered a fumble for an 84-yard touchdown in the triumph. The sophomore has offers from Michigan, Penn State and Pittsburgh. A'Cear Cornish tallied a game-high nine tackles and a sack. Wallace added seven tackles and a sack. Kyon Conyers snared an interception. Millville's defense has limited opponents to 33 points in four games (8.3 points per game) this season.

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