This was pinball football, with West Deptford's Gerald Owens and Cedar Creek's Damon Mitchell bouncing off tacklers when they weren't running around them.
It was one of South Jersey's best juniors against one of the top seniors playing for two of the most impressive teams.
In the end, the experience of West Deptford along with the depth of its running game prevailed as the Eagles defeated Cedar Creek, 42-28, in Saturday's NJSIAA South Jersey Group 2 final at Rowan University.
West Deptford successfully defended its title and finished 12-0. Almost as remarkably, Cedar Creek, in only its second season of fielding a varsity football program, ended 10-2.
Owens, a powerful, 6-foot-2, 230-pound junior fullback, rushed for 206 yards and five touchdowns on 26 carries. Mitchell, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound quarterback headed to Georgia Tech, scored four rushing touchdowns.
It's the second straight season Owens has ended his season on this field in an exemplary manner. During last year's 22-14, sectional-final win over Haddonfield, he rushed for 190 yards and three touchdowns.
"I feel blessed to be back here and blessed to have a perfect season," Owens said.
Most of Owens' damage was done in the first half when he rushed for 184 yards and four touchdowns.
Mitchell completed 14 of 23 passes for 203 yards, but threw four interceptions, three in the end zone. West Deptford junior safety Joe Diaco picked off three passes.
"You could see those interceptions deflated them and picked us up," Diaco said.
Mitchell showed great poise in the pocket and provided a combination of speed and power when he took off with the ball. He gained 186 yards on 26 carries.
"If we would have executed better on offense, it would have put us in a better position," Mitchell said.
Still, the Pirates kept fighting, getting to within 35-28 on Mitchell's 5-yard scoring run and Gary Melton's two-point conversion run with 6 minutes, 27 seconds left.
West Deptford's Connor Smith, who rushed for 150 yards, gained 40 yards to the Pirates' 16 on West Deptford's first play from scrimmage after the score. Three plays later, Owens scored a 4-yard touchdown run to seal the victory.
West Deptford, which attempted only one pass, also received 77 yards rushing from Josh Cornelius, but it was Owens who set the tone.
"He has been a warrior all year with four or five legitimate injuries that he battled back from," West Deptford coach Clyde Folsom said. "This is his field; he scored eight touchdowns and [had nearly] 400 yards in 12 months."
More importantly, his team has collected two titles in his two dominating appearances at Rowan.
Cedar Creek 6 14 0 8 – 28
West Deptford 14 14 7 7 – 42
WD: Gerald Owens 19 run (kick failed)
CC: Damon Mitchell 6 run (run failed)
WD: Owens 5 run (Owens run)
WD: Owens 64 run (Josh Cornelius kick)
CC: Mitchell 66 run (pass failed)
WD: Owens 37 run (Cornelius kick)
CC: Mitchell 5 run (Mitchell run)
WD: Joe Diaco 11 run (Cornelius kick)
CC: Mitchell 5 run (Gary Melton run)
WD: Owens 4 run (Cornelius kick)