By TOM WILLIAMS
Millville, which won the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 3 championship last year after a four-decade gap, is the only Cape-Atlantic League football team currently rated No. 1 in the power ratings that determine the eight qualifiers.
Millville, one of 10 CAL teams currently in the playoff picture as we approach the halfway mark to the Nov. 5 deadline, is joined by No. 5 Vineland in the Group 5 top eight. Atlantic City is very close at No. 9. If the playoffs were this weekend, Millville would host Cherokee and Vineland would travel to Howell, the team that eliminated the Fighting Clan last year.
There are no CAL schools in the Group 4 top eight, though Absegami is a close No. 9. Central is the No. 1 team right now.
In Group 3, Ocean City moved up to No. 7 with its win over West Windsor-Plainsboro South. If the playoffs were this weekend, the Raiders would travel to Lacey Township.
Camden moved to the top in Group 2 with its win over Cedar Creek on Saturday. But three CAL teams are bunched together this week – Cedar Creek at No. 3, Middle Township No. 4 and Pleasantville No. 5. Right now, undefeated Haddonfield is outside the top eight. If the playoffs were this week, Pleasantville would be at Middle and Sterling at Cedar Creek.
In Group 1, Buena is No. 2 behind Penns Grove and would host Gloucester City if the playoffs started this week.
St. Augustine Prep is No. 8 in Non-Public 4 and would travel to play Bergen Catholic if the playoffs started this weekend. Two of the teams ahead of The Prep are 0-4 but they have high ratings because of the failed NJSIAA decision that gives them victory points even when they lose against the North Jersey non-public powerhouses.
In Non-Public 2, St. Joseph is No. 2 behind Hudson Catholic, which also benefitted from the foolish NJSIAA system for non-publics. Holy Spirit sits at No. 4 in Non-Public 2. If the playoffs were this week, St. Joe would host Immaculata and Gloucester Catholic would come to Ed Byrnes Stadium to play the Spartans.
There are still five weekends of games that will influence these power point rankings. This weekend, for example, Pleasantville is at Holy Spirit, Ocean City at Absegami, Middle Township at Triton and Buena at Highland in games that will impact the ratings.