By TOM WILLIAMS
Ten football teams from Cape-Atlantic League schools are currently in the NJSIAA playoff picture with Cedar Creek in Group 2 and Holy Spirit in Non-Public 2 rated the highest in their groups.
Cedar Creek, which has reached the South Jersey championship game three of the last five years, is currently No. 2 in South Jersey Group 2 behind Camden, the only team to beat the Pirates this year. Middle Township is No. 4 in Group 2 while Pleasantville dropped out of the top eight to No. 9. If the playoffs started this week, Cedar Creek would host Haddonfield and Middle would host West Deptford. But remember that Middle has played six games and will sit out two of the next four weekends when they will get very few rating points.
Holy Spirit is No. 2 in Non-Public 2, a notch above St. Joseph, which defeated the Spartans. If the playoffs were this week, Gloucester Catholic would come to Ed Byrnes Stadium in Absecon and Immaculata to Bill Bendig Field in Hammonton for first round games.
In Group 5, Millville is No. 5, Vineland No. 7 and Atlantic City moved up to No. 8. Millville and Vineland, both 4-0, will have good opportunities to move up because most of the teams ahead of them have played five games. If Group 5 started this week, Millville would be at Lenape, Vineland at Howell and Atlantic City would be at No. 1 rated Rancocas Valley.
In Group 3, Ocean City moved up to No. 5 with its win over Absegami. If the playoffs started this week, the Raiders would go to Pemberton.
In Non-Public 4, St. Augustine Prep is still No. 8 and would open at Seton Hall Prep. In the bizarre result of a misguided decision by the NJSIAA football committee, Seton Hall Prep (1-4) and Delbarton (0-5) are both ranked ahead of The Prep because they got points like they won when they lost to certain North Jersey powers.
In Group 1, Buena is No. 3 and would host Schalick in the first round if things started this week.
Absegami dropped from No. 9 to No. 10 in Group 4 after losing. But the Braves can win their next three games and, if they do, will likely qualify.
There are still four weekends of games that will influence these power point rankings. This Friday, for example, Holy Spirit visits St. Augustine, Cedar Creek is at Buena, Ocean City at Middle Township, Absegami at Triton, St. Joseph at Allentown and Atlantic City at Williamstown in games that will impact the ratings.
The top eight teams in each group will play in the opening round of the playoffs on Nov. 10-11 based on the NJSIAA power rating system. Only seven of a team’s first eight games will count when compiling the ratings.