Atlantic City's Radi Tolbert carries the ball during last Friday's game against Hammonton. Tolbert has scored 10 touchdowns this season.

Staff photo by Ben Fogletto

Coach Thomas Kelly of the Atlantic City High School football team caught up on some sleep Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, his team's playoff future was decided in two thrilling games. Atlantic City's playoff future was in doubt after a 27-19 loss at Millville on Friday night.

"I didn't want to drive myself crazy," Kelly said. "We had a long night (Friday), so I caught up on some sleep."

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To clinch a South Jersey Group IV playoff berth, the Vikings needed Triton or Cherokee to lose Saturday.

Both games went to overtime at the same time. Triton beat Woodrow Wilson 33-32. Moments later, though, Cherry Hill East beat Cherokee 57-56.

The Vikings were in.

"It's probably a good thing I didn't know (what was going on)," Kelly said.

Atlantic City is one of nine local teams to make the postseason. The top eight teams with the most power points in each enrollment group at the conclusion of Saturday's games qualified. Teams earn power points based on their opponents' enrollment and victories.

Here's the list of local qualifiers:

•South Jersey Group IV: Millville (8-0); Southern Regional (7-1); Atlantic City (6-2).

•South Jersey Group III: Hammonton (7-1); Oakcrest (5-3); Lacey Township (4-5).

•South Jersey Group II: Barnegat (5-3)

•Non-Public I: St. Joseph (8-0)

•Non-Public II: Holy Spirit (5-3)

Atlantic City athletic director Frank Campo telephoned Kelly late Saturday afternoon and let him know that Atlantic City was in the playoffs.

"He woke me up," Kelly said with a laugh. "We're ecstatic about getting in. We still think we have some good football in front of us."

Oakcrest is another team that had a tense weekend. The Falcons were off this week and had to await the results of several games Friday night to see what their playoff prospects were.

"It's nerve-wracking to say the least because you have no control over what's going on," Oakcrest coach Chuck Smith said. "You're scoreboard watching with your fingers crossed."

The first round of the playoffs will be played this Friday and Saturday. Most of the championship games will be played the first weekend in December. The South Jersey public school title games will be played at Rowan University.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association will make all playoff matchups official Monday.

"It's a whole new season now," Smith said. "Everybody is 0-0. You don't have to play all eight teams. You just have to play a couple of them to get (to a championship game)."

Contact Michael McGarry:


Unofficial matchups

(seeds in parentheses)


Atlantic City (8) at Pennsauken (1)

Rancocas Valley Regional (7) at Millville (2)

Washington Township (6) at Williamstown (3)

Triton (5) at Southern Regional (4)


Lacey Township (8) at Timber Creek (1)

Kingsway Regional (7) at Hammonton (2)

Oakcrest (6) at Moorestown (3)

Central Regional (5) at Woodrow Wilson (4)


Willingboro (8) at Haddonfield (1)

Pemberton (7) at West Deptford (2)

Pt. Pleasant Borough (6) at Barnegat (3)

Woodstown (5) at Cinnaminson (4)


St. Joseph (1) bye

Immaculate Conception (3) at St. Mary (2)


Camden Catholic (1) bye

Holy Spirit (2) bye

Queen of Peace (6) at Montclair Kimberley Academy (3)

Bishop Eustace (5) at Holy Cross (4)

Who's in

Nine local teams qualified for the postseason:

Atlantic City, Millville, Southern Regional, Lacey Township, Hammonton, Oakcrest, Barnegat, St. Joseph, Holy Spirit

Matchups on B3


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