When it comes to quarterbacks in the city of Camden, talk this year had centered on just one. And it wasn't Monte Williams.
But in the final game of his high school career — on the biggest stage his city has to offer — Williams added his own twist to all of that talk.
"I'm underrated, probably because of my size," said the 5-foot-9, 170-pound, dual-threat quarterback for the Camden football team. "But my heart makes up for what I'm missing in size. So, my main goal was to come out here today and prove a point — show this city what I can do."
It was a mindset embodied by the entire Panthers football team, as Williams turned in a monster performance to lead Camden to a 39-28 win at home over cross-city rival Woodrow Wilson in the annual Thanksgiving Day matchup that spans 85 years.
This is Camden's fifth win in six years and second in a row.
In the history of the rivalry, this is perhaps the most successful both teams have been entering the game. Both came in with 9-2 records. Camden lost last week's South Jersey Group 2 championship to Haddonfield. Woodrow Wilson beat Burlington Township in the SJ Group 3 title game, extending its season to next week's South-Central Bowl Game against Rumson-Fair Haven at MetLife Stadium.
"This win means everything," said Williams who was 12 of 17 passing for 205 yards and two touchdowns while rushing 12 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns. "To finish my senior season off with a win, especially in this fashion, with my new brothers, it's unbelievable."
Williams outdueled Nick Kargman, the Tigers' highly touted signal caller.
Kargman entered the game with 3,427 passing yards on the season, 262 shy of the state's single-season passing record set by Timber Creek's Devin Leary in 2016.
But Kargman and his offense were held in check most of the game by a smothering Camden secondary, which has been strong all season.
Kargman was limited to 15-of-38 passing for 226 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown pass to Muheem McCargo (one of his four touchdowns) on the team's opening drive.
"We weren't going to allow him to break that record on our field," said Camden's Ramer Nock, who shined as a defensive back and running back.
Nock and Williams were instrumental in helping Camden build a lead and counter with big plays every time it looked as though Woodrow Wilson was building momentum.
"We had our chances and our opportunities … it just didn't happen the way we wanted it to today," Wilson coach Preston Brown said. "It was a great game. It was competitive. My hats are off" to Camden.
Woodrow Wilson 6 6 0 16 — 28
Camden 7 13 7 12 — 39
C: Elijah Clark 35 pass from Monte Williams (Roberto Lugo kick)
WW: Muheem McCargo 37 pass from Nick Kargman (pass failed)
WW: McCargo 5 run (pass failed)
C: Williams 11 run (Lugo kick)
C: Williams 11 run (kick blocked)
C: Ramer Nock 6 run (Lugo kick)
WW: McCargo 3 run (Malik Harvey pass from Kargman)
C: Nicholas Cataldo 29 pass from Williams (kick failed)
WW: McCargo 1 run (Stanley King pass from Kargman)