It was a perfect morning for football Thursday as the Pirates traveled to Delran to take on the Bears in a West Jersey Football League Liberty Division contest. Cinnaminson came away with a share of the division crown with a 41-16 victory on Thanksgiving Day.
“It’s nice,” head coach Mario Patrizi said. “In the beginning of the year if you said league title, 8-2, and a playoff berth, I might have looked at you a little funny especially after the first couple of scrimmages.”
Cinnaminson got off to a slow start, failing to score in the first quarter. Delran opened the scoring in the second quarter with a sack of quarterback Shaun Davilla in the end zone.
“We came out and the first half wasn’t our game,” Davilla said. “We played to their level of play. We got in the locker room, the coaches talked to us, and we came out and played our game.”
The ensuing kickoff was returned to the Pirates 40 and Delran was able to move their lead to 9-0 on a four-yard run from Sharod Sanders.
“First half, we were a little bit sluggish,” Patrizi said. “It’s tough after a playoff loss, a week and a half, and the juice just isn’t there.”
“At halftime, the kids rallied and we came back. Delran came out and played early on. They did some nice things early defensively that took us out of our game. Give our kids credit. We got right back in it and did what we needed to do.”
That would be all the scoring from the Bears until there was 1:34 left in the game as the Pirates defense clamped down and the offense erupted for 41 unanswered points.
The Pirates finally got on the board with 6:33 left in the first half when Davilla busted out a 37-yard touchdown run. Tyler Simcoe added the kick and Delran clinged to a 9-7 lead.
Cinnaminson took their first lead of the game with 3:06 left before halftime when Davilla plunged two yards into the end zone. That would be all the scoring for the first half.
Delran opened the second half with the football and promptly began looking up at an insurmountable lead.
Sophomore defensive back Kevin Schoch picked off a Gianni Bryant-Lopez pass on the Bears first drive of the second half and returned it to the Bears two-yard line.
“Kevin Schoch is a great player,” Davilla said. “He is going to have a great season next year. I can’t wait.”
After a couple of failed runs, the Pirates punched it into the end zone from four yards out as Davilla scored his third rushing touchdown of the game.
Delran had to punt after a three-and-out on their next drive, which led to the Pirates starting at the Delran 43. On the first play of the drive, freshman running back Rashad Raymond scampered 43 yards for a score, giving Cinnaminson a 27-9 lead after a missed PAT kick.
Another Delran punt gave Cinnaminson the ball at the Bears 37. The Pirates turned this drive into a 30-yard touchdown strike through the air as Davilla hit senior wide receiver Devon Taylor, his ninth of the season.
Davilla then intercepted a Bryant-Lopez pass on the ensuing Delran drive, turning that into a one-yard run to cap the Cinnaminson scoring for the day.
All of the Pirates second half scoring drives began in Delran territory.
Davilla finishes the season with 30 total touchdowns; 14 passing, 15 rushing and one punt return.
The Bears added a touchdown late on a 10-yard pass on fourth and goal from backup quarterback John Hamblin to Bryant-Lopez, who moved to wide receiver.
Cinnaminson went into victory formation on the following drive en route to a 41-16 victory, an 8-2 overall record, a 4-1 mark in the division and a share of the Liberty title.
“The coaches and I really appreciated everything the seniors have done for us,” Patrizi said. “The thing that was special about this senior class was that nobody gave them a chance early. We lost a ton last year and this was supposed to be a two or three win season. These kids started in June and refused it. They set the tone. Their hard work and ethic created an atmosphere.”
Delran finishes the season 2-8 overall and 1-4 in the Liberty, losing their final seven games. This was the fifth game that Delran allowed 40 or more points by an opponent.
This was the fifth game of the season for the Pirates scoring 38 or more points and third scoring 40 or more. This is the fifth straight victory for the Pirates over Delran and they now lead the all-time series 13-11.
“Next week we will get back to work,” Davilla said. “We will get in the weight room, getting faster, so next season we can get to a state championship.”
Check Cinn City Sports on Monday for the Pirates football season review.