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Haddonfield beats Camden in South Jersey Group 2 title game

The Bulldawgs' defense lifted three interceptions and registered three sacks in capturing their second straight title and fifth since 2010.

Haddonfield players celebrate South Jersey Group 2 title.
Haddonfield players celebrate South Jersey Group 2 title.Read moreAkira Suwa

It took six minutes and 12 seconds. It covered 65 yards.

It effectively ended the game. It definitively described the Haddonfield football team.

It was precision, depth, preparation, execution – and one semi-improvised big play thrown in for good measure.

"That drive," Haddonfield senior two-way standout John Foley said. "That drive was us."

Haddonfield beat Camden, 23-12, on Friday night to capture the South Jersey Group 2 title before a crowd of 2,500 spectators in the Bulldawgs' refurbished old stadium.

John Foley caught a touchdown pass and lifted a key interception and Gabe Klaus led the defense with three sacks as Haddonfield (11-0) captured its second sectional championship in a row as well as its fourth since 2013 and fifth since 2010.

But this was the first title that the Bulldawgs captured on their home field, since they won the 2010 crown as visitors and the next three at Rowan University.

"This is way better than Rowan," Klaus said. "To win on our home field, in a night game, it's an amazing feeling. I can't even describe it."

The victory sent Haddonfield into uncharted territory. The Bulldawgs will play in the NJSIAA's new super sectionals, or "Bowl Games" against the Central Jersey champion on the weekend of Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

The Central Jersey Group 2 championship will be decided Saturday as Manasquan visits Hillside.

Haddonfield also has a Thanksgiving Day home game vs. long-time rival Haddon Heights, so the Bulldawgs have the opportunity to become the first 13-win team in program history.

"Got to get 12 first," Haddonfield coach Frank DeLano told his players after the game. "I know that's coach speak but that's our approach, right?"

Camden (9-2), which had won nine in a row, got several big plays from senior quarterback Monte Williams, who passed for 211 yards and touchdown.

Camden has one game remaining, a home clash Thanksgiving Day with cross-town rival Woodrow Wilson, which plays in the South Jersey Group 3 title game Saturday at Burlington Township.

Haddonfield burst to a 6-0 lead 13 seconds into the game as senior Chris Brown returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown.

"I just went straight and my blockers did everything," Brown said. "I remember crossing the goal-line and screaming."

John Foley made a diving catch of a 42-yard touchdown pass from Jay Foley later in the first quarter as Haddonfield stretched its lead to 13-0.

"Big-time players making big-time plays," DeLano said of the Foley brothers.

Camden cut the deficit to 13-6 at halftime as Williams hit dynamic wide receiver Corey Palmer with a 23-yard touchdown pass with one minute, 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

"Our guys were mad at halftime," DeLano said. "They thought we should have been up three, four scores."

Haddonfield's defense came up with several big plays, as Foley, Davis Smith and Drew Gavranich registered interceptions and Klaus led the pass rush with three sacks.

Gavranich's interception set up Henry Grozier's 25-yard field goal for a 16-6 lead late in the third quarter.

Then came The Drive.

Haddonfield took over at its own 35 with 10:52 on the clock. Camden was a stop and a big play away from getting back into the game.

But the Bulldawgs methodically marched down the field behind great work by the offensive line and hard running by a pair of reserve backs in sophomore Tommy Batson and junior Alex Kadar, both of whom were pressed into action because Brown was sidelined with a foot injury.

The Bulldawgs ran the football 10 times for 45 yards. The lone pass was Jay Foley's 20-yarder to John Foley, who reached back and made the catch after his brother scrambled away from trouble and side-armed a dart.

"I knew he was coming to me," John Foley said.

Kadar finished the drive with a three-yard scoring run. After Grozier's placement, it was 23-6 and all over except for DeLano's ice-bucket bath in the celebration along the sideline.

"Hey guys," DeLano told his players as they knelt in front of the coach on a cold night in their old stadium. "That's five in nine years. Not even Alabama has done that."

Camden         0  6  0   6  – 12

Haddonfield  13 0  3  7  –  23

H: Chris Brown 87 kickoff return (kick fail)

H: John Foley 42 pass from Jay Foley (Henry Grozier kick)

C: Corey Palmer 23 pass from Monte Williams (pass fail)

H: Grozier 25 FG

H: Alex Kadar 3 run (Grozier kick)

C: Ramer Nock 1 run (run fail)