The winning touchdown in overtime was a blueprint for how to win three consecutive sectional titles.
Rain was pouring onto the turf at Rowan University. And both teams were physically drained when Rashaad Washington took a handoff up the middle from the 10-yard line.
"I ran a couple yards. After that, I didn't see anything," Washington said. "My teammates pushed me all the way into the end zone.
"Once again, my line did what they had to do. . . . Everyone did what they had to do to help us win."
Washington's 10-yard touchdown run led to a 42-35 overtime win for Delsea over Allentown on Saturday in the South Jersey Group 3 championship game.
It was Delsea's third straight title, the first three-peat for one of South Jersey's most decorated football programs.
"It was a tough game, it was a war - just like we thought - but we stuck it out," running back Isaiah Spencer said. "It feels like Christmas morning right now."
Delsea received the ball first in overtime and, per standard high school overtime rules, started the drive at the Allentown 25. It took the Crusaders (8-4) five plays to score.
They followed it with a gutsy defensive stand, turning away Allentown (9-3) in four plays, capped by a sack on fourth and 12 by Ameer Banks.
"Our kids hung in there," Delsea coach Sal Marchese said. "We had three defensive linemen out of this game, so I have to give it to everyone who was in there. They could have folded, but they didn't."
A game that was expected to be low-scoring turned into a shootout early.
Delsea led by 21-14 at halftime.
Spencer carried the load for Delsea in the half, toting the ball eight times for 90 yards in the first two quarters, including touchdown runs of 34 and 25 yards. He went on to finish with 13 carries for 105 yards.
The team also received a big first-half play from quarterback Quinn Collins, who broke an option outside for a 52-yard score.
The teams traded punches in the second half before the overtime period.
Allentown tied the score twice in the second half, as the Delsea running game cooled off, aside from a 44-yard scoring run by Washington (10 carries, 84 yards, two touchdowns) on the opening drive of the second half.
The final touchdown of regulation was a 1-yard score by Dean Apostolico, who was the leader of a strong Allentown ground game, on fourth and 1.
"We just kept believing," Spencer said. "We knew we just had to do what we had to do - punch it down their throat and get the W."
Delsea 14 7 14 0 7 - 42
Allentown 7 7 14 7 0 - 35
A: Kevin Locke 8 pass from Michael Curry (Matt Derisi kick)
D: Quinn Collins 52 run (Bronson Deckert kick)
D: Isaiah Spencer 34 run (Deckert kick)
D Spencer 25 run (Deckert kick)
A: Dean Apostolico 1 run (Derisi kick)
D: Rashaad Washington 44 run (Deckert kick)
A: Robert McClees 88 kickoff return (Derisi kick)
A: Jake Alessi 17 run (Derisi kick)
D: Ameer Banks 66 kickoff return (Deckert kick)
A: Apostolico 1 run (Derisi kick)
D: Washington 10 run (Deckert kick)