The first surprise isn't that Williamstown is in the playoffs but that the Braves are home and a high seed and one of the favorites in the tournament. That's fairly new for the rising program.
The other surprise - and this one actually is a double twist - is that Washington Township is in the tournament, too. The Minutemen were projected to be in rebuilding mode this season.
But that's the second part of that second surprise: A perennial power such as Washington Township entering the season as an afterthought in most South Jersey Group 4 and West Jersey Football League American Division projections.
"For the first time in a long time, we were not expected to be here," Washington Township coach Mark Wechter said. "So it is exciting, refreshing, not an 'automatic'. So the players are looking forward to the challenge."
A lot has happened in the last two years. The big change was the creation of the WJFL, and the inclusion of Williamstown in the American Division, and the way the Braves have established themselves as a program that can compete regularly with established big-school powers such as Cherokee, Shawnee and, yes, Washington Township.
Williamstown is 14-4 since the WJFL was formed, including a 6-1 mark in American Division play. But the playoffs mark another bridge to cross for this emerging power.
Washington Township has been a South Jersey power for 25 years. But the Minutemen slumped to 3-7 last season - their first losing season since 1984 - and not much was expected of a team in a rebuilding mode at the start of this season.
But the Minutemen have surprised everyone. Now they find themselves on the road against their new Thanksgiving Day rivals. In fact, the teams will play again in 13 days, with the American title on the line.
"Crosstown - doesn't get any better than that," Wechter said of the rivalry.
Washington Township has been led by junior quarterback Tom Hildebrand (707 passing yards, 354 rushing yards), running back John Montesjardi (471 yards, seven touchdowns), and an active defense.
Williamstown features quarterback Dan Collins (638 passing yards), running backs John Chamberlin (634 yards, 12 touchdowns) and Marques Little (800 yards, nine touchdowns), and a swarming defense led by tackle Fidel Okoye and linebackers Rashon Pleasents and Buddy Brown.
"They are challenging in every aspect," Wechter said of Williamstown.
Analysis. Williamstown's speedy defense could make it tough for Washington Township to sustain drives or bust loose for a big play.
Pick: Williamstown, 17-10.
Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223, email@example.com, or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports