Southern Regional football

Southern Regional's Rob Yaiser #15, left avoids Toms River East's Dante Avignone #48 right during the first half high school football game at Southern Regional High School Saturday, Nov 10, 2012.

Edward Lea

Southern Regional entered the playoffs last year with plenty of momentum. But Triton stunned the Rams, beating Southern 26-7 in the first round.

Southern can take a step toward erasing the disappointment of that defeat tonight. The Rams play at Washington Township in a South Jersey Group V quarterfinal at 7 p.m.

Just like last year, the Rams come into tonight's contest with plenty of momentum. Southern, No. 9 in The Press Elite 11, has won three straight. Quarterback Dan Higgins threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns as the Rams beat Toms River East 41-20 on Nov. 10.

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Washington Township, No. 10 in the Elite 11, also brings momentum. The Minutemen have won seven straight after a season-opening 9-6 loss to Eastern. Southern and Washington Township met in the 2007 playoffs, with Southern winning 21-7 at Washington Township.

Key players for Southern: Dan Higgins, QB, 65-of-122 for 1,083 yards and 12 touchdowns; Abe Gonzalez (above), RB, 169 carries for 875 yards and 10 touchdowns, Mike Gesicki, WR/DB, 30 catches for 563 yards and six touchdowns; Nick Munafo, LB, 61 tackles; Logan Sheehan, DB, five interceptions.

Key players for Washington Township: Tim Hildebrand, QB, 90-of-165 for 1,074 yards and 11 touchdowns; Andrew O'Neill, RB, 56 carries for 433 yards; John Williams 30 catches for 412 yards and four touchdowns; D.J. Brown, LB, 124 tackles; Joseph Cotton, LB, 90 tackles and four sacks.

Keys to victory: The Southern Regional defense has allowed a touchdown or less in four of the Rams six wins. Southern must find a way to slow down a Washington Township offense that is averaging 42 points in its last three games.

Michael McGarry

Game details

Who: Sixth-seeded Southern Regional (6-2) at third-seeded Washington Township (7-1)

When/where: 7 p.m. today at Washington Township

What's next: Winner advances to the semifinals on Nov. 30/Dec. 1 against the winner of tonight's quarterfinal between seventh-seeded Toms River North (5-3) and second-seeded Eastern (6-3)

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