South Jersey Group II football final preview: Cedar Creek vs. West Deptford

Cedar Creek High School’s Nolan Seward gains yardage against St. Augustine Prep during their Thanksgiving Day game in Egg Harbor City. Seward, a wide receiver, has scored seven touchdowns this season.

Staff photo by Edward Lea

The Cedar Creek High School football team will play in its first South Jersey title game Saturday.

Waiting for the Pirates is a perennial power.

Cedar Creek (10-1) will play West Deptford (11-0) at 1 p.m. at Rowan University in Glassboro.

Latest Video

West Deptford has won five S.J. titles, including the 2011 Group II championship. Saturday's game will be West Deptford's ninth appearance in the S.J. Group II finals in 11 years. The Eagles have won 20 straight with their last loss coming against Haddonfield, 31-21, on Sept. 30, 2011.

Meanwhile, Cedar Creek is in just its second varsity football season. The Egg Harbor City school opened in 2010.

West Deptford is ranked No. 4 in The Press Elite 11, while Cedar Creek is No. 11.

West Deptford standout junior fullback Gerald Owens missed last Friday's 28-7 semifinal win over Woodstown with a concussion.

Key players for Cedar Creek: Gary Melton, RB/DB, 112 carries for 973 yards, 25 touchdowns; Damon Mitchell, QB/DB, 109-of-178 for 1,823 yards and 21 touchdowns, also has 17 rushing touchdowns; Nolan Seward, WR, seven touchdown catches; Caleb Graves, WR/DB, scored two defensive touchdowns and returned punt for score.

Key players for West Deptford: Alex Hilbmann, QB/DB, 22-of-50 for 329 yards and seven touchdowns; Connor Smith, RB/DB, 114 carries for 1,029 yards and 12 touchdowns; Josh Cornelius, RB/LB, 112 carries for 904 yards and nine touchdowns; Gerald Owens, RB/DE, 184 carries for 1,485 yards and 21 touchdowns; Shai Mumford, WR/DE, 22 catches for 332 yards; Kevin DeCaesar, LB, 74 tackles.

Keys to victory: Cedar Creek must match West Deptford's prowess on the offensive and defensive lines. As it has done all season, Cedar Creek must use its speed to make big plays.


Stay informed! Sign up to receive top headlines delivered to your inbox each morning.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.