The Shawnee football team — normally a perennial power in South Jersey Group 4 — is once again in the sectional semifinals despite what is probably considered a sub-par 6-4 record by Renegades standards. Shawnee, No. 4 in South Jersey Group 4, visits top-seeded Hammonton on Friday at 6 p.m. with the winner taking on either No. 2 Millville or No. 3 Jackson Memorial in the championship game.
A big reason why the Renegades are in this position is the recent play of senior wide receiver Ethan Krauss. Shawnee lost four straight games in the middle of the season, but Krauss had a breakout game on Oct. 14 against Washington Township, catching five passes for 141 yards. That 24-10 win over the Minutemen started the Renegades’ current three-game winning streak that has them above .500 and mounting a serious challenge to Hammonton on Friday night.
Last Friday night at home vs. Ocean City, Krauss came up big early, catching a pair of first-quarter touchdown passes from junior Joe Papa. Those grabs helped Shawnee jump out to a 14-0 lead, and the Renegades never looked back, cruising to a 42-7 win.
What impressed me about Krauss is the smoothness with which he ran his routes. He’s not a blazer in terms of speed, but he’s got pretty good size at 6-foot-1 and very good hands. He’s just a really good all-around athlete, as evidenced by his success on the lacrosse field. He has 95 career goals and last spring ripped off 56 goals and 54 assists to earn All-South Jersey honors. The Renegades went 16-5 and won a South Jersey Group 3 championship with Krauss leading the way.
This kid is definitely fun to watch on the football field, and I’m sure he’ll be one of the top players to watch in South Jersey during the lacrosse season.
Dave O’Sullivan, South Jersey Glory Days Publisher