August 7, 2018
2017 in Review: The Red Devils were 10-2, losing in the South Jersey Group 1 final to Paulsboro after beating Gateway and Schalick. They scored 537 points for a 44.75 average, while allowing 246 for a 20.5 average, including two shutouts. Wins included Pennsville, Woodbury, Florence, and Palmyra, while their other loss was to Salem.
Graduation Losses: OL/DL Dashawn Seals – Montclair State
Offense: Penns Grove runs a multiple spread, no huddle offense and return seven starters. The incumbent quarterback is junior Kavon Lewis (5-9, 160) and senior Nick Kotova (5-11, 195) backs him up and may be used in formations where Lewis plays wide receiver. At running back, sophomore Nasir Robinson (5-9, 175) steps in after starting on defense last year and another defensive starter from last year, junior Makhi Scott (5-11, 195), will also get carries.
The receivers have three men back in senior Tyreke Brown (6-1, 222), junior Jamar Johnson (5-10, 155), and junior Torvon Ransome (5-10, 160). Battling for the final spot will be seniors Jay Tillman (6-2, 200) and Andrew Burdey (5-11, 185). As mentioned before, Lewis may see a few reps here.
The line brings back three starters in senior center Joe Greene (5-9, 300), junior right tackle Robert Trauger (6-4, 230), and sophomore left guard Jenneil Williams (6-1, 260). Junior Jaylin Newton (6-6, 215) will play left tackle and junior Anthony Moore (6-2, 210) will be the likely right guard. Pushing hard is junior Thomas Newlin (5-11, 240) and two others who can see time are senior Michael James (6-1, 235) and sophomore Neyamiah Hill (5-11, 215).
Defense: The Red Devils run a 3-4 and return ten starters. Greene started at nose guard and he will share the position with Hill this year. James returns at one tackle, with Moore and Newton will also be playing.
All four linebackers return. Burdey and Tillman are back on the outside, while Brown and Scott are back inside. One who could crack the rotation is sophomore Jymir Gilliam (6-0, 175).
The secondary also has all their starters back. Ransome and sophomore Jayon Carter (5-10, 177) man the corners and Johnson and Robinson return at safety. One who is pushing to get time is junior Albree Stone (5-10, 173) and he may be inserted to give Robinson a rest, due to being the running back this year.
Special Teams: The kicker will be junior Jared McNair and the return men will be Robinson, Johnson, and Brown.
Thursday, 8/30, Pennsville at home, 7 PM
Saturday, 9/8, Woodstown at home, 12 PM
Friday, 9/14, Paulsboro at home, 7 PM
Saturday, 9/22, Union City (Tenn.) at home, 6 PM
Friday, 9/28, at Florence, 7 PM
Friday, 10/5, at Schalick, 7 PM
Friday, 10/12, at Cumberland, 7 PM
Saturday, 10/20, Glassboro at home, 12 PM
Saturday, 10/27, at Salem, 7 PM
Recruits: Brown has offers from Monmouth, Sacred Heart, Maine, plus interest from New Hampshire.
Concerns: Staying healthy, which they did last year. They need to take things one day at a time.
Comments: “Expectations are high. These kids have played together their whole life. It’s been a great summer with great attendance and the kids are very well prepared. We are ahead of where we were this time last year and we expect to be better, faster, and tougher to defend.” – Head Coach John Emel