Phil's Picks

Posted: October 27, 2011

It's one week before the playoff cutoff date. It's now or never for a lot of teams.

The envelope, please:

Friday, 7 p.m.

Sterling (3-3) at Haddon Heights (5-1). The Silver Knights still have a shot at qualifying for the South Jersey Group 2 tournament. The Garnets are looking to improve their seed in Group 1.

Sterling's defense will be tested by a Haddon Heights offense featuring quarterback Nick Lundholm and running back Brandon Joyner.

Pick: Haddon Heights, 26-13.

No. 1 St. Joseph (6-0) at Bridgeton (4-2). The Wildcats need a challenge. The Bulldogs could provide one for a couple of quarters, anyway.

St. Joseph's ground game features running backs Kaheem Reynolds and Eli Pogue. Bridgeton has good size and strength, and this game could help prepare the Bulldogs for the Group 2 tournament.

Pick: St. Joseph, 27-6.

No. 6 Hammonton (6-0) at Atlantic City (5-1). Lots of power points are on the line in this Cape-Atlantic interdivision clash.

Hammonton, gaining confidence by the week, still has a shot at passing Timber Creek for the No. 1 spot in Group 3. Atlantic City is angling for a Group 4 berth.

Pick: Hammonton, 22-13.

Cherry Hill East (3-3) at Lenape (2-4). The Cougars, who are coming off a bye week and have lost three in a row, still have an outside shot at the Group 4 tournament.

The Indians have won two straight after an 0-4 start. The teams have good ground games, led by Cherry Hill East's Brian Regan and Lenape's Trevor Terrell.

Pick: Lenape, 20-17.

Mainland (3-3) at Absegami (3-3). The Mustangs have recovered from a slow start to move into contention in Group 3. The Braves are still alive in Group 4.

Mainland is everybody's sentimental favorite after the Mustangs were devastated by the loss of four players in an auto accident in August.

Pick: Mainland, 24-21.

Pennsville (6-0) at Glassboro (5-1). This game likely will determine the top seed in Group 1.

Pennsville has a top passing attack led by sophomore quarterback Dylan Cummings and senior wideouts Colton Newsome and Ryan Hawthorne. Glassboro junior Corey Clement has a chance to lead South Jersey in rushing and scoring.

Pick: Glassboro, 27-23.


Eastern (2-5) at Winslow Township (2-5), noon. The Vikings pushed No. 2 Timber Creek to the brink last weekend, and the Eagles scored a dramatic victory over Paul VI.

This is a big game for both programs. If the weather is good, it will be a shootout.

Pick: Eastern, 20-13.

Washington Township (5-1) at No. 5 Pennsauken (5-1), noon. There are major playoff implications in this Group 4 clash.

The surprising Minutemen are coming off a bye. The Indians need to bounce back from a tough loss to Camden Catholic. Cold rain probably would favor the visitors.

Pick: Pennsauken, 19-14.

Burlington Township (5-2) at Pemberton (4-2), 1:30. The Hornets can jump into the thick of South Jersey Group 2 with a victory over the Central Jersey Group 3 Falcons.

Burlington Township will rely on quarterback Brian Verbitski and an opportunistic defense.

Pick: Burlington Township, 19-13.

No. 4 Camden Catholic (6-0) at No. 9 Moorestown (4-2), 2. The Irish are coming off one of the program's best wins in recent seasons, a 42-35 thriller over Pennsauken.

Moorestown has won three in a row. Bad weather might help the Irish, who rely more on defense and a powerful ground game.

Pick: Camden Catholic, 17-10.

Last week's record: 6-4. Year to date: 53-17.

Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223,, or @Phil Anastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at

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