By Phil Anastasia
On the road, again.
Against an unbeaten opponent, again.
By double digits, again.
"It's amazing," senior two-way standout Teddy Stavetski said after Haddonfield's stunningly imposing, 45-19 victory over previously undefeated and top-seeded Camden in the South Jersey Group 2 semifinals on Saturday.
Senior quarterback Mike McLaughlin (pictured) ran for one touchdown and passed for another and junior Mike DeFeo ran for three scores for Haddonfield (8-2), the No. 5 seed and the No. 12 team in The Inquirer Top 25.
The Bulldogs dominated play on a cold, overcast afternoon at Camden's Farnham Park to advance to face second-seeded Woodstown (10-0) in the South Jersey Group 2 championship game Dec. 7 at Rowan University.
"Our kids are hungry," said Haddonfield coach Frank DeLano, whose team will face Haddon Heights in the traditional Thanksgiving Day game. "They sensed the opportunity."
Camden (9-1), the No. 7 team in the Top 25, committed five turnovers and also was hurt by untimely penalties. The Panthers had won 13 in a row.
"They beat us in every way," Camden coach Dwayne Savage said of Haddonfield. "Hats off to them. They were the better team today."
Haddonfield's last three victories have been on the road against undefeated foes. The Bulldogs beat 7-0 Paulsboro by 42-20 on Nov. 9; beat 8-0 West Deptford by 21-9 in the first round of the South Jersey Group 2 tournament Nov. 15; and thoroughouly outplayed a 9-0 Camden team before a huge crowd at the Panthers' refurbished field.
"It's a huge accomplishment to come in here and do this," said McLaughlin, who ran eight yards for the game's first touchdown on a 4th-and-goal play and also fired a 28-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Tyler Klaus in the fourth quarter.
DeFeo carried the football 15 times for 173 yards. He broke off four runs of more than 30 yards and each one was part of a scoring drive.
"The way the offensive line was blocking, anybody could have run through those holes," DeFeo said of a front line that included Frank Fortino, Patrick Porter, Charlie O'Neill, Chris Cotter and Nick Rollo.
Haddonfield's defense contained the scrambling of Camden quarterback Khalil Williams. DeFeo came up with two interceptions, junior linebacker Mark Walker returned another pick for a score, and sophomore defensive end Jake Walter registered three sacks.
"They are scary," DeLano said of Camden. "They made some really good teams look average. But our kids are playing with a lot of confidence right now."
Haddonfield will advance to the South Jersey Group 2 title game for the third time in four seasons. The Bulldogs won the title in 2010 and lost the championship game in 2011.
Haddonfield will be designated as the away team as the lower seed. And if Woodstown beats rival Salem on Thanksgiving, the Bulldogs will be playing an undefeated opponent for the fourth time in five weeks.
"It's crazy," DeFeo said of Haddonfield's remarkable run.
Haddonfield 7 7 14 17 -- 45
Camden 0 7 0 12 -- 19
H: Mike McLaughlin 8 run (Drew Tomlinson kick)
H: Mike DeFeo 1 run (Tomlinson kick)
C: Brad Hawkins 1 run (Dymelle Parker kick)
H: DeFeo 5 run (Tomlinson kick)
H: Tomlinson 29 FG
C: Parker 5 pass from Khalil Williams (pass fail)
H: Tyler Klaus 28 pass from McLaughlin (Tomlinson kick)
H: DeFeo 33 run (Tomlinson kick)
H: Mark Walker 40 interception return (Tomlinson kick)
C: Sean Chandler 17 pass from Williams (pass fail)
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