As cutoff nears, analyzing football races

Posted: November 07, 2013

Haddonfield football fans will have three favorite teams this weekend.

One will be the Bulldogs, of course.

The other two will be Audubon and Woodbury.

Remarkably, Haddonfield (5-2) has a chance to earn the No. 4 seed in the South Jersey Group 2 tournament and host a first-round game Nov. 15 against undefeated defending champion West Deptford.

The top eight teams in each section, based on power points, qualify for the state tournament. Second-round games will be the weekend of Nov. 22, with the championship games set for the weekend of Dec. 6.

That improbable scenario could play out if Haddonfield beats Paulsboro, Audubon beats Haddon Heights, and Woodbury beats Sterling in Colonial Conference games set for this Saturday, the cutoff for the state tournament.

It also would happen only if Woodstown (7-0, 114 power points), Camden (7-0, 117), and Cinnaminson (6-1, 106) win their games this weekend and snare the top three seeds in the South Jersey Group 2 field.

That would leave West Deptford (7-0, 103), which has won 28 games in a row and is the two-time South Jersey Group 2 champion, and Haddonfield (5-2, 91) battling for the No. 4 spot.

Haddonfield would earn 28 power points with a win over Paulsboro (7-0), and West Deptford would earn 13 with a win over Haddon Township (2-5).

The race could be decided by residual points, with Haddonfield gaining three for each game if Audubon and Woodbury win their games, while West Deptford would pick up three for each game if Haddon Heights and Sterling win.

If there's a split result of the Audubon-Haddon Heights and Sterling-Woodbury games, West Deptford is likely to edge Haddonfield for the No. 4 seed.

The rest of what should be a loaded South Jersey Group 2 field likely will include Bridgeton (6-2, 103), Cedar Creek (6-1, 93), and Sterling (6-1, 74).

The Silver Knights could seize the No. 6 seed with a win over Woodbury.

South Jersey Group 5. Eastern (7-1, 146) looks to have the No. 1 seed in hand, as Cherokee (6-1, 132) would pick up just 11 power points with a win over Cherry Hill East (0-7) on Saturday.

Williamstown (5-2, 104) would secure a top-four seed and a first-round home game with a win Friday over Kingsway (5-2). Millville (5-2, 88) also could earn a top-four seed by defeating Hammonton (6-1), although the Thunderbolts probably also would need a loss by Williamstown or Jackson (5-2, 104).

Rancocas Valley (4-3, 96) can punch its ticket with a win over Steinert (2-5), and Washington Township (5-2, 75) will clinch a berth with a win over Clearview (4-3).

Atlantic City (3-4, 60) and Absegami (3-4, 60), which play each other Friday, remain in the mix for the final spot along with Southern (3-4, 63), which plays Toms River East (2-5).

The most interesting scenario in this group might involve Lenape (3-4, 60), which would rocket into position for the No. 8 seed by beating Eastern in a game televised by the Comcast Network at 6 p.m. Friday.

S.J. Group 4. Defending champion Timber Creek (6-1, 131) would lock up the No. 1 seed with a win at Seneca (1-6).

Hammonton (6-1, 108) could rise as high as No. 2 with a win over Millville. Kingsway (5-2, 87) could seize a top-four seed by topping Williamstown.

Toms River South (5-2, 117), which plays Toms River North (0-7), and Lacey Township (5-3, 88), which has played its first eight games, also are in contention for top-four seeds.

Shawnee (4-3, 72) could earn a top-four seed with a win over Pennsauken (2-5), although the Renegades would need a loss by Kingsway and help with residuals.

Moorestown (4-4, 76) has played its first eight games but could earn a few points through residuals.

Cherry Hill West (4-3, 71) could earn the first playoff berth in the history of the program by beating Camden Catholic (3-4), although there's the slimmest of chances that Toms River East (2-5, 65) could edge the Lions for the final spot with a win over Southern (3-4) and an improbable series of other results.

Cherry Hill West would clinch with a win if Clearview and Toms River East lose.

The Lions also could qualify with a loss but would need losses by Clearview and Toms River East and residual help from Paul VI, which plays Moorestown, and Woodrow Wilson, which plays Deptford.

Clearview (4-3, 70) would clinch a spot with a win over Washington Township (5-2). The Pioneers could rise as high as the No. 4 seed, but that would largely depend on a Kingsway loss.

S.J. Group 3. Manasquan (6-1, 109) would seize the No. 1 seed with a win over Rumson (7-0) and could even hold the top spot with a loss.

Defending champion Delsea (6-2, 103) has played its first eight games and can pick up only residuals. The Crusaders are in good position to earn a top-four seed and first-round home game.

Barnegat (6-1, 95) could move ahead of Delsea with a win over Red Bank (1-6). The same is true of Northern Burlington (5-2, 85), which would pick up 25 power points with a win over Burlington Township (5-2).

Central (5-2, 84) still has an outside shot at a No. 4 seed with a win over Manchester (2-5), and Pemberton (3-4, 64) is in good position to nail down the No. 6 seed by beating Princeton (0-8).

Wall (3-4, 60) and Highland (3-5, 60) look like the last two seeds.

S.J. Group 1. Defending champion Penns Grove (6-1, 90) could earn the top seed with a win over Highland, but Pennsville (6-1, 86), Schalick (5-2, 85) and Paulsboro (7-0, 79) are alive in the hunt for the top spot.

Schalick would rocket up the ranks with a win over Woodstown on Thursday night that would be worth 29 power points.

Woodbury (5-2, 63) has a chance to seize a top-four seed with a win over Sterling.

Salem (3-4, 53), Glassboro (2-5, 52), and Gloucester (3-4, 51) look like the last three seeds.

Central Jersey Group 4. Burlington Township (5-2, 83) is sitting fifth but could secure a top-four seed with a win over Northern Burlington.

C.J. Group 2. Delran (6-1, 96) could earn the No. 1 seed with a win over Ewing (5-3), if Weequahic (7-0) falls to Cedar Grove (7-1) and Rumson (7-0) falls to Manasquan (6-1).

The Bears also could drop as low as the No. 6 seed.

Bordentown (4-3, 68) would earn a berth with a win over Cinnaminson. The Scotties still could qualify as the eighth seed with a loss but would depend on residuals to edge Keyport (5-3, 71).

C.J. Group 1. Florence (5-2, 76), Burlington City (4-3, 52) and Palmyra (3-4, 50) are sitting as the Nos. 6, 7, and 8 seeds, respectively.

They likely will stay in those positions, although the defending-champion Flashes could take the fifth spot if they defeat the Blue Devils.

Non-Public Group 4. St. Augustine Prep (6-1, 104) has a chance to edge Seton Hall Prep (6-2, 114) for the No. 5 seed.

That likely would result in a first-round game against projected No. 4 seed Don Bosco Prep (4-3, 103).

Paul VI (5-2, 76) projects as the No. 7 seed and likely will face second-seeded St. Peter's Prep (7-1, 153).

N-P Group 2. Holy Spirit (7-0, 129) and DePaul (6-2, 137) will be the top two seeds, with the Spartans likely taking the top spot by defeating Oakcrest (1-6).

Holy Cross (4-3, 90) probably will secure the third seed with a win over Robbinsville (2-6), although Bishop Eustace (4-3, 74) would earn 29 power points with a win over Camden.

Camden Catholic (3-4, 68) also would have a shot at a top-four seed and first-round home game by beating Cherry Hill West.

Gloucester Catholic (3-4, 64) will be the sixth or seventh seed.

N-P Group 1. St. Joseph (6-1, 120), which has won four state titles in a row, will be the No. 1 seed and prohibitive favorite to capture another crown.


panastasia@phillynews.com

@PhilAnastasia

www.inquirer.com/

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