Before the game, every player from both teams converged at midfield. The familiar rivals, Camden and Woodrow Wilson, jawed back and forth. And there was a fine line, it seemed, between friendly banter — most of the kids on each team know each other outside of football — and real talk.
The annual Thanksgiving Day matchup was obviously personal for both teams. But even though it was mentioned various points during the week, the real difference between the two teams didn’t sink in for Camden quarterback Premiere Wilson until halftime.
“I remember sitting in the locker room,” Wilson said, “and thinking to myself, ‘Wow, this really is my last high school game.’“It hit me: We couldn’t lose. We had to bring the heat.”And he did. Premiere Wilson, and some heroics by wide receiver and defensive back Damon Rice, carried Camden to an 8-6 win at Woodrow Wilson in the latest chapter of the Whip Wilson Turkey Bowl, one of the most historic Thanksgiving Day showdowns in South Jersey between two neighboring rivals.
“We can walk around this city with our heads held high — we wish them good luck next week — but right now, this is our city,” Rice said. “I love this team and this is a great win for me in my last high school game.”In one of the only big offensive plays of the game, Rice snagged an 85-yard touchdown pass from Wilson with 2 minutes, 20 seconds left in the third quarter. Najyere Edwards ran in a direct snap to give Camden (9-2) an 8-6 lead it never lost.
“I just ran my keys, and tried to make a big play for my team,” Rice said.Wilson was down to its third string quarterback because head coach Preston Brown decided to sit starting quarterback Nick Kargman — who has battled nagging injuries this season — as a precaution.
Woodrow Wilson (8-4) controlled most of the game and dominated time of possession. On the opening drive of the second half, Ramos led the Tigers on a 19-play, 54-yard drive that ate up almost 10 minutes of clock, only to come up empty-handed on a missed field goal attempt and allow Camden to score on the ensuing drive.