Pleasantville at Holy Spirit football

Holy Spirit's Josh Zamot pass to a receiver during the game against Pleasantville. Oct. 6, 2017 (Craig Matthews / Staff Photographer)

Craig Matthews / Staff Photographer

Shamere Collins and Josh Zamot grew up together in Millville.

They either talk or communicate through social media just about every day.

That hasn’t changed this week even though the former teammates will be on opposite sides of the football field Friday night.

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Holy Spirit (4-1) plays at St. Augustine Prep (3-2) at 6 p.m. in a West Jersey Football League interdivision matchup.

Zamot plays quarterback for Holy Spirit. He played the past three seasons at St. Augustine before transferring during the summer.

Collins excels at defensive back and wide receiver for St. Augustine.

“It’s weird coming back to play there,” Zamot said. “But it’s a good feeling to come back and play there one last time against my old teammates with my new teammates. I’m happy about it.”

The game also will mark the return of Holy Spirit assistant Charlie Roman to St. Augustine, where he was an assistant the past five seasons and helped the Hermits win 24 straight against South Jersey teams from 2014-16.

“We have to treat this like any other game,” Collins said. “We have to do what we have to do. Josh and I are friends, but that really doesn’t change much. At the end of the day, he’s another football player. You have to prepare for him like anyone else.”

Holy Spirit-St. Augustine would be a must-see game even if it didn’t have the added intrigue of Zamot’s and Roman’s returns to St. Augustine. The Hermits are ranked ninth in The Press Elite 11, Holy Spirit No. 10.

The schools are rivals in every sport, but they have played just once in the past five years in football. St. Augustine won 41-0 last season. Both sides expect Friday’s game to be closer.

“I can’t wait,” Zamot said. “I’ve been waiting for this game for a while. I can’t wait to see what happens out there.”

Zamot helped lead the Hermits to a 9-1 record last season. He transferred to Spirit after St. Augustine head coach Mark Reardon and Roman resigned during the spring. Zamot moved to Buena Vista Township and was eligible to play immediately for Spirit.

The Spartans come off back-to-back comeback victories, having rallied from fourth-quarter deficits to beat Delsea Regional 43-35 in overtime and Pleasantville 36-24.

Zamot, who this month committed to attend Stony Brook in New York on a football scholarship, has thrown for 713 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. He has run for 242 yards and two TDs.

After Reardon resigned, St. Augustine hired Pete Lancetta, one of the winningest coaches in South Jersey history with 218 victories, 215 of which came during a 26-year stretch at Hammonton that ended in 2014. St. Augustine has scored at least 30 points in all three of their wins this season.

Collins, who committed this season to attend Sacred Heart in Connecticut on a football scholarship, has caught 30 passes for 309 yards this season. Chris Allen has stepped in at quarterback for the Hermits and completed 67 percent of his passes for 585 yards.

The home and visiting bleachers will be packed Friday.

Zamot knows he will hear a view chants from the Hermits’ student section nicknamed the Richland Rowdies.

“I have to keep a tunnel vision and block out all the noise,” he said. “Both fan sections should be going crazy.”

Collins isn’t the only former teammate Zamot has heard from this week.

“There’s been some good gestures,” Zamot said, “But there’s also been some smack talk. I like that. It’s going to be a fun one.”

Who: Holy Spirit (4-1) vs. St. Augustine Prep (3-2)

When/where: 6 p.m. Friday at St. Augustine in Buena Vista Township

Key players

Holy Spirit: Josh Zamot, QB, 61 of 95 for 713 yards and 10 TDs; Elijah Gray, RB, 102 carries for 883 yards and 12 TDs; Dan Tarsitano, WR, 17 catches for 235 yards and five TDs; Lee Dawson, RB/WR/DB, 21 carries for 182 yards and 11 catches for 183 yards; Dimitris Pali, OL/DL; John Bee, LB.

St. Augustine Prep: Patrick Smith, RB, 38 carries for 365 yards and seven TDs; Chris Allen, QB, 51 of 76 for 584 yards and two TDs; Shamere Collins, WR/DB, 30 catches for 309 yards; Xavier File, WR/DB, 14 catches for 210 yards; Joe Bonczelk, LB; Garrett Dolan, LB.

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I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.