The Bulldogs came through with a hard-fought, 13-12 win over the visiting Red Devils on Friday night. Last season, the Red Devils ended a run of 30 straight wins by Glassboro, so this was redemption for the Bulldogs, who were led by P.J. James' 140 yards on 15 carries.
"We're a Group 1 school, so there is always a group of young kids you have to integrate into your lineup," Neilio said. "Last year, we had an experienced line to fall back on. This year, it's our skill positions. This was a good early test for us, but it's just a first step."
A good first step that could put the Bulldogs on a path for a rematch with Penns Grove in December, with the South Jersey Group 1 title on the line.
BYES? WHO NEEDS BYES?
Game of the year
The first 2 weeks are filled with big division rivalry games, and that's before you consider what will go down at Holy Spirit (1-0) Friday night. The Spartans will host Absegami (1-0) and while the two programs reside in different Cape-Atlantic League divisions - the Spartans in Division II and Braves in Division I - something much larger is at stake for two of South Jersey's top teams.
"It should be extremely interesting," Spirit coach Charlie Roman said. "For us, the big thing is health. We aren't hitting this week and, luckily, we have a lot of seniors that know what their responsibilities are. If we had a lot of juniors and sophomores on our roster, that probably wouldn't be the case."
As for his game plan, Roman is keeping it simple.
"No. 5 and No. 7," Roman said of Absegami sophomore quarterback Rashad Kinlaw and senior running back Ben Martin, respectively. "You can't feel good about three-and-out. You can hold them to three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out, and then either could burn you for 80 yards."
Games to watch
7 p.m. Thursday: It's only the second week of the season, but this game could decide the winner of the West Jersey Football League's National Division. It is a classic showdown of offense (Winslow Township follows quarterback Bill Belton's lead) and defense (Shawnee's is led by linebacker Dillon Lucas).
* Timber Creek at Delsea
7 p.m. Thursday: Delsea, the two-time defending Group 2 champion, made some youthful mistakes Friday in a win over Kingsway. After reaching the Group 3 finals last season, Timber Creek has the horses on offense - particularly wide receiver Damiere Byrd - not only to win on the road, but also take the West Jersey Royal Division title. Add in the fact both teams look to be Group 3 contenders this year, and this game is not lacking a story line. *
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* Winslow Township at Shawnee The 2010 schedule makers must have something to do in October, because they've all shown a lack of patience when it comes to big games this year.
"To be honest, I'm not a fan of the off week," Haddonfield coach Frank Delano said. "So I'm not a fan of having the first week off."