Timber Creek climbing in Camden County record books

Timber Creek quarterback Devin Leary has led the Chargers to a 20-game winning streak.

Timber Creek’s football team is on the verge of making history in tradition-rich Camden County, something that is news to many, including coach Rob Hinson.

What Hinson does know is that his team has won 20 in a row.

Hinson wasn’t aware that the Chargers could tie the longest winning streak ever in Camden County in a little more than a month.

“Really?” Hinson said.

Yes, really. Thanks to the dutiful research of South Jersey’s top football historian, Chuck Langerman, this has been discovered.

First, here are the longest winning streaks in South Jersey history, a list compiled by Langerman.

Rank Team Year streak broken Wins
1 Paulsboro 1998 63
2 Florence 2006 43
3 (tie) Paulsboro 2003 37
3 (tie) St. Joseph (Hammonton) 2007 37
5 Bordentown Military Inst. 1963 33
6 Millville 1955 31
7 (tie) Cherokee 1983 30
7 (tie) Glassboro 2009 30
9 (tie) Woodbury 1990 29
9 (tie) West Deptford 2013 29

As one can see, there are no Camden County teams in the Top 10, so Langerman went further and found that besides Timber Creek, two other Camden County schools have had win streaks of 20 or more games. From  1974 to 1975, Sterling won 20 consecutive games under coach Jim Coombs. Collingswood had 24 consecutive wins from 1931 to 1933.

Keep in mind that Camden County has 23 of the 79 football schools from the seven-county South Jersey area (29 percent), according to Langerman. The county has produced two Heisman Trophy winners, Mike Rozier of Woodrow Wilson and Ron Dayne of Overbrook, along with countless great teams.

There is a rich heritage in the county, and Timber Creek, which didn’t field its first varsity football team until 2001, has made plenty of history in its relatively brief time. Senior quarterback Devin Leary is already South Jersey’s career leader in passing yards (7,866) and TD passes (86).

Timber Creek has won four South Jersey championships, all since 2011. This year, the Chargers are 4-0 and ranked No. 1 in South Jersey by The Inquirer.

Here’s another nugget from Langerman: Collingswood saw the 24-game streak end Nov. 4, 1933, in a 12-0 loss to visiting Camden before more than 11,000 fans. (For any wiseguys out there, no, I wasn’t assigned to cover that game.)

Collingswood was coached by Skeets Irvine, and Camden was guided by Phillips R. Brooks. You might have heard of these two coaches. South Jersey has the Brooks-Irvine Football Club, named after the two of them, which honors the top South Jersey players.

One footnote on that Camden team of 1933: The Panthers went 9-0 and outscored opponents, 197-4. Needless to say, Brooks had his defense charged up that year.

If Timber Creek keeps winning, the Chargers would tie Collingswood’s mark on Nov. 4, in a game against Cherry Hill East. That would be 84 years to the day that the Collingswood streak ended.

This is some great historical information from Langerman, who is to statistics what Timber Creek has been to football dominance.

Of course, the person who least wants to know any of this is Hinson.

“It’s weird, man, but all I am thinking about is trying to get by Eastern,” he said of his next opponent.

That old Collingswood team went 10-0 in 1931 and 9-0 in 1932 and, according to Langerman, is the only Camden County school to record two perfect seasons in a row. Timber Creek was 12-0 last season, so the Chargers have a shot at equaling that.

“We really can’t think about all that,” Hinson said. “We’re just trying to get everything lined up for the playoffs.”

He’ll let others worry about the team’s legacy. Hinson simply doesn’t have the time. Fortunately, Langerman does.