The Camden football team can bore a crowd to sleep.
It can also electrify a stadium.
The team can frustrate. It can dazzle.
It can change from play to play. And it did so on Friday night — except, as it generally does, the Panthers did just enough to overcome those frustrating moments in a 36-25 win over host Winslow.
"We knew we had to win this game," said quarterback Premire Wilson, who was solid throughout despite hurting his quad in the first quarter, forcing him to limp his way to a win that improved his team to 7-1, capitalizing on last week's huge upset of Rancocas Valley. "I give all the credit to my offense line.
The offensive and defensive lines won us the game," he said.
The final minute of the first half was exhibit A for how Camden found success on Friday night.
A series of penalties had backed the Panthers up to a third and 23 from the Winslow 38. They had already burned all of their time-outs.
The game felt stalled, and so did Camden. It was dragging and sloppy. Until it wasn't.
On third and 23 with 27 seconds left in the half, Wilson laced a perfectly thrown ball down the left sideline and hit JaJuan Hudson in stride — Hudson had burned his man — for a 38-yard touchdown.
It put the Panthers ahead by 22-13.
Camden (6-1) never lost the lead.
But that doesn't mean the game wasn't dramatic — arguably, needlessly dramatic.
A 16-yard touchdown run by Camden's Damon Rice made the score 28-13 with 1:31 left in the third quarter.
The Panthers looked like they had finally established a comfortable lead. It wasn't.
Winslow's Ismael Berry returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown.
On the next kickoff, the Eagles recovered an onside kick, turning it into a touchdown and making the score 28-25 with 11:42 to play.
Camden had coughed up 12 points in less than two minutes, turning the fourth quarter into a war of attrition that the team barely edged out thanks to a strong defense and strong running by Najyere Edwards who iced the game with a two-yard touchdown run with 16 seconds left.
Winslow's offense struggled though much of the game but wasn't without its bright spots.
Quarterback Prince-Dru Bey was strong throughout. He threw for two touchdowns and rushed for more than 100 yards.
On the game's first drive, he led his team on a 78-yard scoring drive, culminated with a beautifully thrown touchdown pass to David Wallace in the center of the end zone.
The two connected again on another eight-yard score in the second quarter.
But other than that, Winslow (3-4) was bogged down by its own mistakes and by a strong effort by the Camden defense.
Camden 6 16 6 8 – 36
Winslow Twp. 7 6 6 6 – 25
W: David Wallace Jr. 8 pass from Prince-Dru Bey (Daniel Dadura kick)
C: Kevin Smith Jr. 6 run (run failed)
C: Corey Palmer 10 pass from Premire Wilson (Palmer pass from Wilson)
W: Wallace Jr. 8 pass from Bey (kick failed)
C: JaJuan Hudson 38 pass from Wilson (Hudson pass from Wilson)
C: Damon Rice 16 run (pass failed)
W: Ismael Berry 96 kickoff return (pass failed)
W: Demetri Goodwater-Worthington 1 run (kick failed)
C: Najyere Edwards 2 run (Rice run)