GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Members of the Absegami and Cedar Creek High School football teams found themselves in an interesting position on a rainy Friday night in Galloway Township.
Players on each side of the intradistrict rivalry are from neighboring towns and grew up as youth football teammates.
On Friday, they were opponents.
Three touchdowns in the first quarter and another three in the third led to a 41-6 Cedar Creek win. The Pirates have won all three meetings between the Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District schools.
“It’s a rivalry game,” Cedar Creek coach Tim Watson said. “A lot of these guys are friends. A lot of these guys know each other. Anytime you play one of the district teams, the guys get excited for it.”
Absegami bounced back from a disastrous start with a solid second quarter. Running back Carnell Davis led the host Braves down the field with some tough running in wet conditions. Davis’ 10-yard touchdown run gave the Braves some momentum heading into halftime.
But any hopes of an Absegami comeback were quickly squashed as Cedar Creek dominated the third quarter.
Kamaal Reed’s 3-yard touchdown run capped an eight-play, 52-yard drive to open the second half.
The Pirates were just getting started.
Junior standout Malachi Melton scored his second touchdown of the game with a 32-yard run less than three minutes later. Reed Added another 3-yard TD run in the third to put the game out of reach.
“We definitely wanted to make sure we came out strong,” Watson said.
Reed finished with 17 carries for 102 yards and two TDs and caught three passes for 38 yards. Melton had one rushing TD and one receiving TD. Creek quarterback Louie Barrios finished 7 for 10 for 162 yards passing and two touchdowns.
“Those are some of our dudes,” Watson said. “All three of those guys are three of our main playmakers on offense.”
Cedar Creek improved to 2-1 but faces a tough test next week against Woodrow Wilson. The Pirates have one of the toughest schedules in the area this season.
“As daunting as the schedule is, it’s also exciting,” Watson said. “Every week, you’re playing some of the best teams in South Jersey.”
Davis finished with 51 yards on eight carries and the touchdown to lead the Braves.
Freshman quarterback Ray Weed had a highlight-reel 46-yard run in the game’s final minutes. He broke a pair of tackles at the line and then cut back before making another defender miss before getting taken down near the sideline.
Absegami (0-2) will play Ocean City next Friday.
Cedar Creek 21 0 20 0—41
Absegami 0 6 0 0—6
CC-Melton 24 pass by Barrios (Manning kick)
CC-Brumfield fumble recovery in end zone (Manning kick)
CC-Reid 57 pass by Barrios (Manning kick)
A-Davis 10 run (kick failed)
CC-Reed 3 run (kick failed)
CC-Melton 32 run (Manning kick)
CC-Reed 3 run (Manning kick)
Records — Cedar Creek 2-1; Absegami 0-2