EGG HARBOR CITY — Cedar Creek High School’s first home football game as a full-fledged member of the Cape-Atlantic League was a success.
Damon Mitchell made sure of it.
The senior quarterback put on a show in front of a lively crowd Saturday as Cedar Creek beat Bridgeton 35-6 in a CAL National Conference game.
“It felt good,” said Mitchell, who is verbally committed to play at Georgia Tech University. “We have a lot of support. I feel like people that come to our games actually pay attention to the football game. It’s just a great place to be.”
Mitchell threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another 90 yards and a touchdown.
He also intercepted two passes, even running one back for a touchdown that would come back due to an illegal block in the back.
“He’s definitely our guy,” Cedar Creek coach Tim Watson said. “He’s the dude out there. He’s the guy that makes big plays, but we had other guys step up today, too.”
Gary Melton ran 11 times for 78 yards and a touchdown and caught a 74-yard touchdown pass.
Nolan Seward, who had two touchdowns in the team’s Week 1 win against Ocean City, caught four passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
Cedar Creek led 21-6 at halftime, but Bridgeton looked ready to make a game of it with a long drive to open the third quarter.
Sophomore running back Stefon Bowman took the first snap of the second half and burst around the right edge of the line for a 50-yard gain.
Quasheem Taylor’s 22-yard run set up a first-and-goal at Cedar Creek’s 5-yard line.
But the Pirates stopped Bridgeton on four straight running plays to take over the ball on downs.
Cedar Creek converted a third-and-20 with a 27-yard pass from Mitchell to Seward up the seam later in the quarter.
On the next play, Melton caught a swing pass in the flat and took it 71 yards for a touchdown.
“We knew they were a quick-strike offense,” Bridge-ton coach Dave Ellen said. “I thought we missed some tackles, but they made some plays.
“We didn’t make some crucial stops on defense and I don’t think we controlled the ball like we need to do on offense.”
Cedar Creek left some room for improvement despite the big win.
The team came out flat as Bridgeton scored the first touchdown of the game on a 15-yard run by Cappadonna Miller to take a 6-0 lead.
Cedar Creek also was hampered by penalties and had two interception returns for touchdowns called back. The Pirates racked up 13 penalties for 118 yards while the Bulldogs had two for 10.
“We can be really dangerous when we go mistake-free,” Mitchell said.
“We’re going to go back to work on some things this week. We’re not happy with our performance today even though we did come out victorious. It’s just back to work on Monday.”
The team now shifts its focus to Oakcrest, its first intradistrict game in school history, this Saturday.
Members of the Falcons, about a dozen of whom were in attendance Saturday, have already deemed it “Creek Week.”
“It’s a big one,” Watson said. “A lot of these guys played with each other growing up. Some of the kids used to go to Oakcrest.
“In the long run, it’s just one game and that’s the way we treat it, but I’m sure there is going to be a little more fire this week.”
Contact John O’Kane:
Bridgeton 6 0 0 0—6
Cedar Creek 7 14 6 8—35
B—Miller 15 run (kick failed)
CC—Seward 49 pass from Mitchell (Kruger kick)
CC—Seward 14 pass from Mitchell (Kruger kick)
CC—Mitchell 2 run (Kruger kick)
CC—Melton 71 pass from Mitchell (conversion failed)
CC—Melton 42 run (conversion good)
TEAM STATS B CC
Rushing 114 216
Passing 20 244
First downs 7 15
Penalties 2-10 13-118
Turnovers 2 1
Rushing: Bridgeton, Bowman 17-75, Taylor 8-40, Miller 2-8, Williams 4-(-9); Cedar Creek, Mitchell 13-90, Melton 11-78, Burrell 2-19, Riek 5-18, Barry 1-13, Graves 1-2, McFadden 1-(-4).
Passing: Bridgeton, Williams 3-8-20-2; Cedar Creek, Mitchell 11-20-244-1.
Receiving: Bridgeton, Bowman 1-13, Clybourne 2-7; Cedar Creek, Seward 4-118, Melton 2-74, Graves 3-32, Toure 1-20, McFadden 1-0.
Records—Bridgeton 1-1; Cedar Creek 2-0.