Burlington Township running back Drew Price had a simple philosophy entering his final high school game.
"I wanted to leave it all on the field," the shifty 5-foot-8, 171-pound senior said.
Price attained his goal by rushing for 160 yards and two touchdowns as Burlington Township defeated host Rancocas Valley, 24-19 on Wednesday in the season finale for both teams.
Each team was coming off a semifinal playoff loss, with Burlington Township falling to four-time defending South Jersey Group 3 champ Delsea, 27-21 and Rancocas Valley losing 32-15 in a Group 5 game against Millville.
As tough as those losses were, both teams played with boundless energy, each looking to reach the nine-win plateau.
For Burlington Township, finishing 9-2 had special meaning. It was the Falcons' most wins since 1977 when they went 10-0 in winning a second straight South Jersey Group 1 championship.
"Our class wanted to end it with a win and to get nine wins feels good," Price said.
The teams exchanged 1-yard TD runs in the first quarter by Burlington Township's Sirvon Wigglesworth and Rancocas Valley's Iverson Clement.
Price scored on a 9-yard run in the second quarter but Clement added a 9 yard run of his own in the third quarter but the Red Devils missed the conversion kick.
Among the top ranked juniors in the state, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Clement rushed for 98 yards and two scores on 21 carries.
He was hurt late in the third quarter and ended on crutches.
"I hurt my hamstring but I should be all right," Clement said.
He recently had an offer from Ohio State and coach Dan Haussman said Clement will be attending Saturday's Ohio State-Michigan game.
Burlington Township's Russell Gawlak extended the Falcons lead to 17-13 on a 26-yard field goal with 1 minute and 17 seconds left in the third quarter.
Price scored from 20 yards out with 4:37 left, giving Township a 24-13 advantage and the game looked over.
Yet Rancocas Valley cut the deficit to 24-19 when Robert Hawkins made a leaping grab of a Casey Connelly pass in the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown on the following series with 2:42 remaining.
The conversion run failed but the Red Devils got the ball back with 1:31 left on their own 36. They eventually reached the Township 38 yard line but their comeback effort ended on an incomplete pass on a fourth and one play.
"We had a lot of guys banged up but we kept fighting," said Haussman, whose team ended 8-3.
Rancocas Valley has now had seven straight seasons of going .500 or better, while Burlington Township's streak has reached 10 seasons.
Burlington Township 7 7 3 7 - 24
Rancocas Valley 7 0 6 6 - 19
B: Sirvon Wigglesworth 1 run (Russell Gawlak kick)
R: Iverson Clement 1 run (Nick Paliotta kick)
B: Drew Price 9 run (Gawlak kick)
R: Clement 9 run (kick failed)
B: Russell Gawlak 26 FG
B: Drew Price 20 run (Gawlak kick)
R: Rob Hawkins 28 pass from Casey Connelly (run failed)