Staff report

Ocean City has been building into a championship contending program the past couple of years, having made the South Jersey Group 4 title game in 2019 and a pod championship game appearance during last year’s covid-shortened season. Tonight, the Red Raiders get a chance to prove they not only contend for championships, but win them.

It’s a tall task, however, as Ocean City travels to No. 1 Millville — a team with a wealth of talent, speed and toughness. Ocean City has plenty of that, too, however, and this matchup is one of the most anticipated of sectional championship weekend.

Here’s a quick look at the matchups throughout the South and Central Jersey brackets that feature teams from the West Jersey Football League:

The lineup:


6pm: Ocean City at Millville; Don Bosco Prep at St. Augustine Prep

7pm: Kingsway at Toms River North; Willingboro at Point Boro; Holy Spirit at DePaul Catholic; St. Joseph Academy at Red Bank Catholic; Woodrow Wilson at Rumson-Fair Haven; Haddonfield at Raritan


10:30 am: Woodstown at Woodbury;

11 am: Salem at Paulsboro

Noon: Delsea at Cedar Creek

7 pm: Shawnee at Winslow

SJG4: (2) Ocean City at (1) Millville, tonight, 6 p.m.: Millville has crushed its first two opponents in this section, outscoring eight-seeded Toms River South and No. 4 Pennsauken 108-15. On the other side of the bracket, undefeated Ocean City has cruised as well, beating Mainland 41-7 and Long Branch 45-10. This game features one of the top offenses in South Jersey in Millville going up against one of the most sturdy defenses in the state. Only Williamstown and Long Branch have scored more than eight points in a game against the Red Raiders, and they’ve posted five shutouts. This is a whole different type of challenge, however. Millville features senior running back LeQuint Allen, a Syracuse recruit and perhaps the best player in South Jersey, as well as freshman phenom WR Lotzeir Brooks. The Bolts also feature one of the more underrated quarterbacks in Nate Robbins, who has passed for more than 2,000 yards and 23 TDs against just five interceptions.

Crazy stat: Allen has accounted for 149 carries this year. No other back on Millville’s roster has more than 18.

SJG5: (4) Kingsway at (3) Toms River North, tonight, 7 p.m.: The Dragons are riding the high of getting past No. 8 Lenape in the semfinals, 20-17, while T.R. North has had an easier time, beating East Brunswick by two touchdowns and topping Edison 48-7 in the semis. The top two seeds in this bracket, Washington Township and Edison, both went down in the opening round. Kingsway is just 6-4 but has won three straight since a loss to Cherokee, and the Dragons have a pretty balanced attack. They’ve rushed for 1,138 yards and passed for 1,345.

Crazy stat: Kingsway uses two quarterbacks, and their numbers are almost identical: sophomore Joseph Lyons (56-91, 679 yards, 3 TDs, 4 INT), and junior Nate Maiers (50-105, 662 yards, 3 TDs, 4 INT).

Glory Days photo/Sully

SJG3: (3) Delsea at (1) Cedar Creek, Saturday, noon: Cedar Creek has been rolling all year, posting an 11-0 record that included a 47-6 win over Absegami in the opening round of the state playoffs and a 27-0 blanking of Somerville in the semis. Delsea essentially got a bye last weekend when Wall Township pulled out of the tournament because of a hazing scandal. Cedar Creek has five shutouts in 11 games and really has had only two close games, a 7-6 win over Holy Spirit on Oct. 1 and a 35-27 win over Winslow on Oct. 15. The Pirates rely on a high-powered offense that features QB J.C. Landicini, RB Ja’Quan Howard and WR JoJo Bermudez, who recently committed to the University of Cincinnati.

Crazy stat: How good is Cedar Creek’s defense? Seven of the 11 defensive starters — C.J. Resto, Jamal Chapman, Kevin Dougherty, Malik Moore-Summers, D.J. Martinez and Elijah Usher — have double-digit TFLs.

SJG2: (2) Willingboro at (1) Point Pleasant Boro, tonight, 7 p.m.: Willingboro got off to a rough start this season, falling 27-14 to Delran in the season opener then getting beaten 36-0 by Cedar Creek In Week 2. But since then the Chimeras have gone 8-1, including wins over Sterling and Nottingham in the state playoffs.

Crazy stat: Pt. Boro has rushed for nearly 3,000 yards this season and 12 different players have gotten carries.

SJG1: (3) Woodstown at (1) Woodbury, Saturday, 10:30 a.m.: The Thundering Herd must like early starts because they’ve put up 64 points in two playoff games, but Woodstown is just as capable as it put up 42 in an opening-round win over Middlesex and 24 in a tight win over Shore Regional in the semis. Woodbury is 10-0 and has scored fewer than 20 points just once all season. Junior quarterback Bryan Johnson has passed for more than 2,000 yards and senior back Teddy Lockhart has more than 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Crazy stat: Neither Woodbury junior Nyrell Redrow or freshman Jasuan Solomon have forced a fumble all year, but combined they have 50 percent of the Herd’s 12 fumble recoveries this season.

Non-Public Group A: (6) Don Bosco Prep at (2) St. Augustine Prep, tonight, 6 p.m. (semifinals): St. Augustine Prep is hosting a state semifinal for the first time since 1994 after a big-time win over Delbarton last week. The Hermits got a huge game from senior running back Kanye Udoh, who rushed for more than 140 yards and a couple scores. Of the four teams remaining in this bracket, three are traditional North Jersey powers — No. 1 Bergen Catholic, No. 4 St. Peter’s Prep and No. 6 Don Bosco.

Crazy stat: When Kenny Selby or Franklin Simms get the ball as a running back for St. Augustine Prep they score on one out of every five carries.

Glory Days photo/Sully

Non-Public Group B: (5) Holy Spirit at (1) DePaul Catholic, tonight, 7 p.m.; (3) St. Joseph Academy at (2) Red Bank Catholic, tonight, 7 p.m. (semifinals): Could we see another Holy Spirit-St. Joe championship game, like in 2019? Absolutely, but it will be a tall order as DePaul and RBC are two of the top parochial programs in the state. Holy Spirit has gone with senior Trevor Cohen more as a running back than QB of late, and the move paid huge dividends last week in a win over Hudson Catholic as the Rutgers baseball recruit ran for 191 yards on just 15 carries.

Crazy stat: Holy Spirit has 1,499 passing yards on just 110 completions, or 13.6 yards per catch, and Spartans receivers have more touchdowns (14) than Spirit’s running backs (13).

CJG4: (2) Shawnee at (1) Winslow, Saturday, 7 p.m.: This is a huge matchup with a lot of talent on the field, as the Renegades have won three straight and feature senior QB Matt Welsey, who has passed for 2,240 yards and 20 TDs, while Winslow has talent all over the field, including RB Trey Thorpe, one of the best backs in South Jersey.

Crazy Stat: Welsey and Winslow QB Hamas Duren have combined to pass for 4,549 yards, 54 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.

CJG3: (2) Woodrow Wilson at (1) Rumson-Fair Haven, tonight, 7 p.m.: Wilson has one of the premier quarterbacks in the state in Devin Kargman (2,284 yards, 20 TDs and only 3 INTs) and the Tigers have won five straight, but RFH is a beast of a different color. In their nine wins nobody has been able to score more than one touchdown against the Bulldogs, and their only loss came against Red Bank Catholic.

Crazy stat: Rumson has two players with more than 100 tackles: senior John Lista with 116 and senior Ryan McKay with 108. Lista also has eight sacks and the two have combined for 17 TFLs.

CJG2: (3) Haddonfield at (1) Raritan, tonight, 7 p.m.: What looked like a down year after a 2-2 start turned around quickly for Haddonfield, winners of six straight. The Bulldogs have scored 24 or more points in five of the last six games and will rely on a rushing game that has churned out more than 1,000 yards to keep the ball away from the Rockets as much as possible.

Crazy stat: Haddonfield senior kicker Jack Cutter hasn’t missed a darn thing all year: 1-for-1 on field goals and 16-for-16 on extra points.

CJG1: (2) Salem at (1) Paulsboro, Saturday, 11 a.m.: A classic South Jersey small school rivalry, this one for all the marbles! Salem’s only loss this season came against — you guessed it, Paulsboro. This is a rematch from Sept. 25 when Paulsboro won, 25-17. Since then, nobody has come close to touching the Rams as they’ve scored 30+ points in five straight wins.

Crazy stat: Paulsboro has 15 sacks on the season, but no one player has more than 2.5.