The Cedar Creek High School football team will meet one of the surprises of the South Jersey football season today.
The eighth-seeded Pirates (7-1) play at top-seeded Camden (8-0) in a South Jersey Group II quarterfinal at 1 p.m.
Camden is No. 8 in The Press Elite 11. Few predicted the Panthers would have this much success. Camden finished 5-5 last year and 1-9 in 2011.
But now Camden has won 11 straight dating back to last season. The Panthers have beaten five playoff teams this season.
Cedar Creek also has exceeded expectations this season. The Pirates reached the South Jersey Group II final last season, losing to West Deptford 42-28.
But Cedar Creek graduated several standouts off that team. Still, the Pirates qualified for the playoffs and have won six straight.
Key players for Cedar Creek: Jesse Milza, QB, 39-of-93 for 481 yards and seven touchdowns; Isa Willis, RB, 66 carries for 378 yards; J.B. Burrell, 64 carries for 368 yards; Ahmir Mitchell, WR/DB/RB, 35 carries for 211 yards and nine catches for 171 yards and four touchdowns; Nate Pauls, RB, 20 carries for 235 yards; Dustin Voss, LB; Ralphie Colazzo, OL/DL; Keith Alston, OL/DL.
Key players for Camden: Khalil Williams, QB/DB, 92-of-151 for 1,557 yards and 22 touchdowns; Khalif Williams, RB/DB, 100 carries for 692 yards and nine touchdowns; Sean Chandler, WR, 33 catches for 529 yards and six touchdowns; DyMelle Parker, LB, 60 tackles and five sacks.
Keys to victory: Cedar Creek must slow Camden's big-play offense led by the Williams twins. The best way to do that is control the ball on the ground behind the running of Willis, Pauls and Burrell and then mix in some passes to Mitchell to take advantage of his big-play ability.