High school football season is right around the corner. Heck, the Eagles started training camp this week, so official practices at St. Joseph’s Prep, Haddonfield, Imhotep, Penns Grove and St. Joseph are soon to follow.
As we await the start of the 2019 season, here is a look back at the 2018 championship games.
St. Joseph’s Prep 40, Harrisburg 20 (Dec. 8, 2018 at Hershey, Pa.)
Marques Mason scored two touchdowns for the Hawks, and Kyle McCord threw two TDs and ran for a third as the Hawks completed an undefeated season by scoring two unanswered TDs in the fourth quarter.
McCord, a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder who has already committed to Ohio State, completed 26 of 37 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns.
The Hawks finished 13-0 and captured their fourth state title in six seasons. They regained the first-place hardware after losing to District 7′s Pine-Richland, 41-21, in 2017.
“Losing last year really hurt,” McCord said that day. "All the underclassmen got together and we promised each other that it would never happen again. "
Cathedral Prep 38, Imhotep 7 (Dec 6, 2018 at Hershey, Pa.)
A 19-yard run by D’Shaun Seals in the second quarter was the only TD for Imhotep as Cathedral Prep scored four TDs and a field goal to close out the scoring.
In the South Jersey championships, Williamstown won Group 5. Shawnee won Group 4. Woodrow Wilson won Group 3. Haddonfield won Group 2, and Penns Grove won Group 1. St. Joseph Hammonton won the Non-Public 2 state title over Holy Spirit.
In the South/Central Bowl games, Haddonfield beat Hillside, and Penns Grove beat Willingboro. Williamstown lost to Sayreville. Long Branch beat Shawnee, and Rumson-Fair Haven beat Woodrow Wilson.
Haddonfield 17, Hillside 7 (Dec. 1, 2018 at MetLife Stadium)
Davis Smith’s dazzling 53-yard punt return for a touchdown with five seconds remaining in the first half was the highlight of Haddonfield’s victory over Hillside in a clash of unbeaten teams.
The impressive victory closed out the winningest season in Haddonfield football history, which dates to the 19th century. Haddonfield finished 13-0, joining Penns Grove as the first teams in South Jersey history to earn a baker’s dozen of victories in a season.
“It’s special,” coach Frank DeLano said of finishing with a 13-0 record. “We won everything the state put in front of us.”
Penns Grove 35, Willingboro 26 (Nov. 24, 2018 at MetLife Stadium)
Trailing 20-0, the Red Devils rebounded to beat Willingboro and finish the season as the first 13-0 team in South Jersey history. Tyreke Brown, a Sacred Heart recruit and one of just three seniors on the roster, scored two touchdowns and led a dominant defensive effort in the second half from his linebacker position.
The Red Devils registered four sacks in the second half and won going away, scoring the game’s final 29 points.
“This team just never quits,” kicker Jared McNair said that day. “Just being part of it, I realize how much these guys love to play and never give up.”
St. Joseph 41, Holy Spirit 22 (Nov. 30, 2018 at MetLife Stadium)
Jada Byers and Ahmad Ross each scored three touchdowns as St. Joseph won its ninth state title in the last 10 seasons and 20th since the creation of the Non-Public state tournament in 1993.