Eight local high school football teams already have qualified for the playoffs.
Several more would make the postseason with wins this week.
The following teams from Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and southern Ocean counties have qualified in the following enrollment groups:
South Jersey Group V: Southern Regional; Millville; Vineland
South Jersey Group IV: Absegami
South Jersey Group II: Cedar Creek
State Non-Public IV: St. Augustine
State Non-Public II: Holy Spirit and St. Joseph.
The fields for the high school football playoffs will be finalized after this week’s games.
The eight teams with the most power points in each group will qualify. Teams earn power points based on their record and their opponents’ records and enrollment. The playoffs begin Nov. 11-12. championship games will be held the first weekend in December.
A look at each enrollment group (local teams in bold) follows:
South Jersey Group V
Qualified: Toms River North (8-0), Rancocas Valley (7-1), Howell (4-4), Vineland (7-0), Southern Regional (4-4), Millville (6-1), Cherokee (4-3)
On the bubble: Atlantic City (4-3), Washington Township (3-4)
Outlook: Toms River North has clinched the top seed. Atlantic City’s and Washington Township’s fates will depend on their results Friday. Atlantic City plays at Millville, while Washington Township is at Kingsway Regional (1-6). Atlantic City would qualify with an upset of Millville.
South Jersey Group IV
Qualified: Lenape (7-0), Timber Creek (7-0), Shawnee (6-1), Cherry Hill West (7-0), Highland Regional (6-1), Absegami (5-2), Clearview (5-2)
On the bubble: Woodrow Wilson (4-3), Hammonton (4-4)
Outlook: Woodrow Wilson would qualify with a win over Cumberland Regional (1-6) on Friday. Absegami can be no higher than the No. 6 seed.
South Jersey Group III
Qualified: Burlington Township (7-1), Wall Township (6-1), Delsea Regional (5-3)
On the bubble: Hamilton (5-2), Pemberton (5-3), Lacey (5-3), Lakewood (5-2), Oakcrest (5-2), Camden (2-5), Ocean City (4-3), Deptford (3-4)
Outlook: This is the most unpredictable of all the South Jersey groups as only three teams have qualified.
The reason for that is so many contenders have big power-point games this weekend. Oakcrest plays Cedar Creek (7-1), and Ocean City meets St. Joseph (5-3). Lakewood plays Pinelands Regional (4-3), and Deptford hosts Salem (5-2).
These games will impact the field.
South Jersey Group II
Qualified: Cedar Creek (7-1), West Deptford (7-0), Willingboro (5-3), Collingswood (6-1), Cinnaminson (5-2), Haddonfield (4-3)
On the bubble: Middle Township (4-3), Delran (3-4), Barnegat (3-4), Pleasantville (4-3)
Outlook: Cedar Creek will be no lower than the No. 2 seed. The winner of Friday’s game between Middle Township and Pleasantville will take a major step toward the playoffs. The winner also would benefit from Holy Cross (5-3) beating Delran and Point Pleasant Borough (7-1) beating Barnegat.
State Non-Public IV
Qualified: Paramus Catholic (6-2), Bergen Catholic (5-3), St. Peter’s Prep (6-2), Don Bosco Prep (4-4), Seton Hall Prep (2-6), Delbarton (4-4), St. Augustine (8-0), St. Joseph Metuchen (8-0)
Outlook: The field is set. St. Augustine most likely will be the No. 7 seed and play at No. 2 Bergen Catholic.
The St. Augustine Prep football team is undefeated.
State Non-Public II
Qualified: Hudson Catholic (6-2), Mater Dei (8-0),Holy Spirit (6-2), St. Joseph (5-3), Montclair Kimberley (6-2), Holy Cross (5-3)
On the bubble: St. Anthony (5-3), Immaculata (4-4), St. Mary (4-3), Gloucester Catholic (4-3)
Outlook: Hudson Catholic is the top seed. St. Joe and Holy Spirit are assured of first-round home games. Gloucester Catholic would qualify with a win at Schalick (6-1) on Friday night.