Cedar Creek Wins First State Title in School History
The Cedar Creek Pirates (10-2) have been in existence for five years, now they are champions.
The Egg Harbor City school won the South Jersey Group II title by beating West Deptford (11-1) 28-27 on Sunday at Rowan University, beating the Eagles, who had beaten them in the 2012 game.
"Effort, attitude and tenacity," Pirates head coach Tim Watson said after the game to describe his teams come-from-behind win. "Nobody gave us a shot all season, i'm just so proud of these kids."
Cedar Creek found themselves down 14-0 at halftime when West Deptford took their opening drive down-the-field and got a one-yard run by quarterback Nick Diaco, followed by a Gio Gismondi four-yard run.
Gismondi ended the day with 18 carries for 173 yards and a touchdown.
Cedar Creek ran just one play the entire first quarter and gained just six yards and Pirates quarterback Jesse Milza was picked off twice, but Pirates coach Tim Watson didn't seemed worried.
"We have playmakers, 14 points is nothing for us," Watson said at halftime of the broadcast on 97.3 ESPN.
In the second-half the Pirates playmakers got to show their skill.
The Pirates got the ball to start the third quarter and Bo Melton lined up as a quarterback and ran for a 10-yard touchdown, cutting the lead to 14-6. West Deptford would answer on another one-yard plunge by Diaco to make it 20-6.
Cedar Creek wouldn't go away.
Milza found junior Isiah Watson for a 28-yard score with 1:18 left in the third quarter to make it 21-13. Some tricky helped Cedar Creek as Milza handed to Melton, who threw the ball down-the-field and found Louie Pitale for a 38-yard score. Melton then took a pitch and found Milza in the end zone on the two-point try to make it 21-21.
West Deptford answered with 3:46 left in the game Diaco found Paz Gismondi wide open for a 69-yard touchdown and a 27-21 lead, as the extra point was no good.
With Melton, Ahmir Mitchell and Isiah Watson all having good games, it was Milza finding Malachi Timberlake for a 38-yard touchdown, Pat Moran kicked the extra point for a 28-27 lead.
1:13 minutes later the Pirates were state champions.
"I'm so proud," Watson said during the post-game broadcast. "That's team we beat is a program we try to emulate."
"Its great, unbelievable, i'm speechless," said junior quarterback Jesse Milza, who threw for 198 yards and two touchdowns.
"We are a second half team," Junior running back Bo Melton, who had a huge game with nine carries for 120 yards and a touchdown, eight catches for 71 yards, plus a 38 yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion pass.
In all three playoff games the Pirates needed to overcome a first half deficit and in the final it was no different.
(Listen to Cedar Creek head coach Tim Watson on the South Jersey Sports Report before their win over West Deptford)