South Jersey Football Game of the Week: Camden at Cedar Creek

South Jersey Football Game of the Week: Camden at Cedar Creek
Camden (8-2) at Cedar Creek (9-2), Saturday, 12 pm.
 
What: Central Jersey Group 2 championship
 
Coaches: Cedar Creek, 70-26); Camden, Dwayne Savage (62-23).
 
Background: This game had to be moved due to the terrible tragedy in the second round when a shooting at the Camden-Pleasantville semifinal suspended the game in the third quarter with the Panthers up 6-0. The game was resumed the following Wednesday, November 20 at Lincoln Financial Field and Camden won 22-0. Because this game is on Saturday, Camden has a Thanksgiving game two days earlier with rival Woodrow Wilson. As much as the Thanksgiving game is one of the best rivalries in South Jersey, the priority will be on the playoff game for Camden. The game against Cedar Creek is a rematch from their September 14 meeting when Camden won a 42-41 offensive shootout. In that game Camden junior Alijah Clark had four receptions for 103 yards and three TDs. These two teams are in the same division, the WJFL Constitution. Cedar Creek tied for the division title with Willingboro, both with 4-1 records. Camden is tied for third with Woodrow Wilson at 2-2.
 
This season
CAMDEN
September 6 Winslow Township 24-0
September 14 at Cedar Creek, 42-41
September 20 Paul V. 58-0
September 27 Delsea, 14-18
October 5 at Pemberton, 40-0
October 18 Pennsauken, 50-6
October 25 Camden Catholic, 57-0
November 1 at Willingboro, 12-24
November 9 Lincoln, 45-20 (CJ Group 2)
November 20 at Pleasantville, 22-0 (CJ Group 2)
 
CEDAR CREEK
August 30 Willingboro, 24-20
September 7 at Salem, 34-12
September 14 Camden, 41-42
September 28 at Woodrow Wilson, 29-28
October 4 at Pleasantville, 18-6
October 18 at Oakcrest, 42-6
October 26 Delsea, 47-12
November 1 at Camden Catholic, 41-7
November 9 Pt Pleasant Boro, 49-14 (CJ Group 2)
November 16 Bernards, 50-10 (CJ Group 2)
 
Sectional titles:
Camden (1) 1976 (South Jersey Group 4)
Cedar Creek (1) 2015 (South Jersey Group 2)

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Outlook:
Camden will rely on a strong running game led by sophomore Nasir Dale, who has rushed for 1,179 yards and 11 touchdowns on 123 carries. Senior linebacker Tirek Austin-Cave is among the best players in the state. He has 135 tackles and 10 sacks and has committed to the University of Miami. Cedar Creek hasn’t been challenged in its two playoff games. The Pirates are led by Malachi Melton, who is a Purdue recruit. He is a big-play performer who scored on an 85-yard kickoff return in last week’s 50-10 playoff win over Bernards. Quarterback Louie Barrios is a dual threat and runs the potent offense. As the previous game suggests, this should be a high scoring game and is expected to once again come down to the wire.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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