South Jersey Group IV football semifinal preview: No. 6 Southern Regional at No.2 Eastern
Both Southern Regional and Eastern high schools showed resiliency in their South Jersey Group V quarterfinal wins on Nov. 16.
Both also showed the ability to score points.
Southern blocked an extra point to beat Washington Township 33-32, while Eastern rallied from 10-point deficit with less than 10 minutes to play to beat Toms River North 41-38.
Southern and Eastern meet at 7 p.m. today at Eastern in a semifinal. Southern (8-2) is No. 8 in The Press Elite 11, while Eastern is No. 9.
Eastern features quarterback Tom Flacco, the younger brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Eastern wide receiver and defensive back Eli Woodard has verbally committed to attend Ohio State.
Meanwhile, quarterback Dan Higgins, wide receiver Mike Gesicki and running back Abe Gonzalez lead a Southern offense that has scored at least 30 points in three straight games.
Key players for Southern: Dan Higgins, QB, 91-of-157 for 1,509 yards and 17 touchdowns; Abe Gonzalez, RB, 214 carries for 1,123 yards and 14 touchdowns; Mike Gesicki, WR, 40 catches for 740 yards and eight touchdowns; Nick Munafo, LB, 67 tackles; Luke Sheehan, DB, six interceptions.
Key players for Eastern: Tom Flacco, QB, 167-of-273 for 2,609 yards; Eli Woodard, WR/DB, 39 catches for 770 yards; Devin Nicholas, WR; Ryan Delaney, WR; T.J. Gardner, RB.
Keys to victory: Both teams have to figure out a way to slow the other team's offense. The team that does the best job of running the ball should be able to control time of possession and keep the other team's offense off the field. But this game might come down to who has the ball last.