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  • Kevin Emmons

Week 4 Games to Watch in South Jersey (Part One)

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

Hammonton Football Player

Hammonton's Kenny Smith sheds a tackle in a game against Cherokee on September 2, 2022. Joshua Guirguis for D2 Sports Network

Friday night's loaded slate of games features the latest installation of the Holy War, a pair of Top-10 unbeatens lobbying for bragging rights, and a head coach returning to his former post for the first time in three years. Here's a breakdown of Friday's top games with players to watch, and a complete schedule of games involving teams located throughout the traditional seven-county South Jersey region:

Delsea (3-0 ) at Kingsway (2-1), 6 pm

The Crusaders marched past Ocean City, 35-6, to record a 3-0 start for the second time in as many seasons. Delsea has won 19 out of its last 20 games dating back to 2020. Luke Maxwell rushed for three scores in the triumph.

Jared Schoppe provided a hat trick with three touchdowns in a 35-21 win over Winslow a week earlier. The senior fullback and 175-pound wrestling state finalist tallied 136 yards from scrimmage.

Teammates Wayne Adair and Zach Maxwell add depth in the Crusaders' Wing-T offense.

Linebacker Danny DiGiovacchino and interior lineman Ashton Blose headline Delsea's massive front-seven. Dom Teti works with Adair in the secondary and is a home run threat on special teams. Teti returned a kickoff for an 82-yard touchdown in the Crusaders' 35-21 win over Winslow.

Kingsway bounced back with wins over Washington Township and Vineland after being upset by Williamstown, 28-14, in its season opener.

Dual-threat quarterback Nate Maiers has paced the offense with 493 passing yards, seven touchdowns (five passing, two rushing) and 144 yards on the ground. Senior Camillo Marusco leads the unit with 151 rushing yards. 2022 South Jersey Sports Zone Preseason All-South Jersey selections Darrell Brown, Jr. (leads team with nine receptions for183 yards), Benny Liles III (144 yards, two touchdowns) and Luke Van Brill (116 yards, a touchdown) have emerged as a competent trio for Maiers. Brill also has 21 tackles, a tackle for loss and an interception on defense.

D.J. DiPietro leads the Dragons with 23 tackles. The senior has also tallied two tackles for loss and a sack. 2022 SJ Sports Zone Preseason All-South Jersey Second Team selection Carter Williams has recorded 11 tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Jordan Potts hovers in the secondary and has recorded 13 tackles and two interceptions.

The Crusaders have won each of the last three meetings with the latest being a 49-32 decision in 2017.

Holy Spirit (3-1) at St. Augustine (1-3), 6 pm

When the Holy Spirit High School and St. Augustine Preparatory School football programs meet in Buena Vista Township on Friday night, just make sure to throw the records out the window.

The Holy War is always a battle, and the latest installation of the storied rivalry proves to be no different.

The teams have split the previous two matchups. The Hermits defeated Holy Spirit, 35-21, last season. The Spartans celebrated a 12-7 victory in a shortened 2020 season. The Prep has won three out of the last five matchups.

After a narrow 30-26 loss to rival St. Joseph, Holy Spirit responded with a 21-14 win over Washington Township last Friday. The Spartans also knocked off Cherokee, 34-31, in the Battle at the Beach in Ocean City on August 28.

Sean Burns has thrown for over 1,000 yards in four games, 1,035 to be exact, and has added 10 passing touchdowns with six interceptions. Gavin Roman has been his top target with 31 receptions for 407 yards and two touchdowns. Jayden Llanos has augmented the passing attack with 13 catches for 214 yards and four touchdowns. Jahcere Ward is a bulldozing runner for the Spartans that has racked up 559 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

Sean Finan has been the spark plug for the Holy Spirit defense. The senior has a team-high 24.5 tackles with two sacks and a fumble recovery. Sophomore linebacker Nick Medina has contributed 14.5 tackles, 0.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Nolan Bradley (12.5 tackles, 2.5 sacks), Tommy Innocente (12 tackles, 0.5 sacks, a forced fumble) and Robert McDevitt (seven tackles, one sack, a forced fumble) help exemplify the strength the Spartans possess upfront on defense.

Don't be fooled by the Hermits' 1-3 record.

St. Augustine has dropped back-to-back contests to Cherokee and Millville by a combined 13 points. Their third setback came at the hands of North Jersey parochial power St. Peter's Prep.

A dominating 30-10 triumph over St. Joseph was sandwiched between the losses to the Marauders and the Chiefs.

St. Augustine's experience stands out in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Robert Adamson, Noah Cressman and Vincent Isom, Jr. are sizeable threats that can impact matchups either as subsidizers to the run on defense and/or as lane creators as blockers on offense. Adamson, Matthew Bonczek and Asher Jenkins each posted a sack in the loss to Millville. Christian Collot leads the Hermits' defense on the second level. Freshman Donovan Linthicum is an emerging linebacker that can invade gaps and make stops from sideline to sideline. The freshman returned a blocked punt for a touchdown against the Thunderbolts last Friday.

Junior Tristen McLeer is a threat as a runner (164 rushing yards, two touchdowns), a receiver (eight receptions, 98 yards, a touchdown) and a ballhawk in the secondary. Terrin Walker (138 receiving yards, a touchdown) complements McLeer in an offense that features quarterbacks Rory Friel and Ryan Gambill.

Hammonton (4-0) at Mainland (3-1), 6 pm

Hammonton has won four out of the last five meetings between the two Cape-Atlantic League foes.

And Mainland's lone win during the stretch was a 14-13 triumph a season ago.

The Blue Devils led 13-0 before a pair of fourth-quarter scores by Villanova commit Ja'Briel Mace and Marlon Leslie lifted Mainland to a one-point victory in 2021.

Mace leads the Mustangs with 366 rushing yards and nine touchdowns this season. Cohen Cook has added 153 yards and four scores on the ground.

Jamie Tyson is a speedster on the outside and is a homerun threat in the open field. The junior hauled in an 18-yard touchdown pass in a 56-26 win over Atlantic City and scored two touchdowns in a 37-0 win over Egg Harbor Township. 6-foot-4 outside linebacker and tight end Hunter Watson is a two-way force that can move very well. The junior is the son of former Cedar Creek coach and current Mainland assistant coach Tim Watson and the younger brother of Notre Dame women's basketball forward Kylee Watson.

Hammonton has climbed up the South Jersey Sports Zone Top 15 rankings to No. 5 with wins over Notre Dame, Cherokee, Highland and Eastern. Sophomore sensation Kenny Smith has exploded for 529 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in four games. Lucas Goehringer has added 220 yards and a pair of scores.

Linebacker Andrew Wehner is an explosive run stopper and is instinctive penetrating the gaps on defense. The 2022 South Jersey Sports Zone Preseason All-South Jersey Second Team selection snared an interception on a tipped pass against Highland. The junior glides from sideline to sideline and consistently positions himself in the right spot to make a key play.

Kye Pressley leads the Blue Devils with a team-best seven sacks. The senior holds a lengthy list offers from Army, Duke, Towson, Navy, Maine, Stony Brook, Bryant, Delaware, James Madison, Lehigh, Richmond, Colgate and Duquesne. Edge rusher John Smith has added four sacks this season and free safety Dylan Testa snagged an interception in the Blue Devils' 24-14 statement win over Cherokee.

Friday's Schedule

- Wildwood at Lower Cape May, 6 pm

- Bridgeton at Cumberland, 6 pm

- Bordentown at Allentown, 6 pm

- Clearview at Egg Harbor Township, 6 pm

- St. Joseph (Hammonton) at Willingboro, 6 pm

- Atlantic City at Deptford, 6 pm

- Moorestown at Oakcrest, 6 pm

- Palmyra at New Egypt, 6:30 pm

- Delran at Cinnaminson, 6:30 pm

- Pennsville at Schalick, 7 pm

- Rancocas Valley at Burlington Township, 7 pm

- Pitman at Riverside, 7 pm

- Northern Burlington at Hopewell Valley, 7 pm

- Woodstown at Glassboro, 7 pm

- Clayton at Paul VI, 7 pm

- Eastern at Lenape, 7 pm

- Mastery Charter at Collingswood, 7 pm*

- Holy Cross Prep at Lindenwold, 7 pm

- Middle Township at Gateway, 7 pm

- Seneca at Hightstown, 7 pm

- Bishop Eustace at Princeton, 7 pm

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