South Jersey Football Game of the Week: Cinnaminson at Delran

South Jersey Football Game of the Week: Cinnaminson at Delran
Cinnaminson (0-0) at Delran (0-0), Friday, 7 pm.
 
Background: These two Burlington County rivals are only 4.4 miles apart and the rivalry is heightened because both teams are division contenders. Cinnaminson is the defending WJFL Patriot Division champion finishing 8-3 overall and 5-0 in the division. Delran had a breakthrough season last year going 8-2 and finishing third in the Patriot with a 3-2 mark.
 
These two teams have frequently met on Thanksgiving, but due to the new playoff format, where there is an extra postseason game, many schools have moved that Thanksgiving game to the beginning of the season. Last year Cinnaminson beat Delran 39-20 on Thanksgiving eve, clinching the outright Patriot League champion (with Northern Burlington at 4-1 finishing second).
 
Coaches: Cinnaminson, Mario Patrizi (83-50); Delran, Garrett Lucas (8-2).
 
Storyline: The winner of this game will have a major leg up in the Patriot, with Northern Burlington again figuring to be in the mix. In addition, both are contenders for a Group 2 South playoff spot. Cinnaminson won a Central Jersey Group 2 opener last year, beating Shore 7-0 before losing a sectional semifinal the next week to Manasquan, 14-7. Delran, despite its record, just missed qualifying for a Group 2 playoff berth. The Bears appear to be improved and should be a viable contender this season.
 
One other subplot is the battle between Division I recruits. Cinnaminson senior two-way lineman Cameron Horsley (6-4, 280) has committed to Boston College. Delran’s versatile running back-receiver-safety R.J. Moten has committed to Michigan, where he will play football and baseball.
 
Outlook: Delran has may of its veterans back and the Bears will surely unleash Moten. He has even at times been used at quarterback. At 6-1 and 200-pounds, he is among the best athletes in South Jersey. It’s possible he could hear his name in the MLB first-year player draft during the spring.
 
Last year he rushed for 1,305 yards (8.7 avg.) and 16 TDs. He also caught 16 passes for 298 yards and four TDs and completed 6 of 13 passes for 157 yards and two TDs. He also recorded 44 tackles and five interceptions. Complementing Moten is senior WR-dB Jack Benson, who had 15 receptions for 350 yards and 4 TDs. Senior Miekel House added 16 receptions for 294 yards and 2 TDs. Senior quarterback is an experienced veteran who threw for 1,050 yards and seven TDs last year.
 
Moten will also key the defense as well.
 
While Delran may be considered the favorite, Cinnaminson has enjoyed six straight year of six or more wins, a streak that looks to continue this year. Leading the offense is senior QB Shawn Ruffin, a third-year starter. He threw for 1,135 yards and 11 TDs last year. Senior RB-WR-DB Eligah Bryant had 2t5 receptions for 250 yards and two TDs and can be a game-breaker.
 
Horsley, who was recruited by Boston College to be a defensive lineman, will be the Pirates defensive leader.
 
Can Cinnaminson stop Moten and the Bears ground game? Can Delran contain the passing of Ruffin? These are just two of the questions on a game that could have championship implications despite being the opener for both teams.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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