Delsea football forfeits win over Cedar Creek

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Delsea’s defense swarms around a Wall Twp. player in last year’s South Jersey Group 3 title game.

The Delsea football team will forfeit last Friday’s 28-20 win over Cedar Creek for use of an ineligible player, Delsea athletic director Ken Schoudt confirmed Friday morning.

Schoudt said a “clerical error” resulted in a player who should have sat out the first 30 days of the season participating in the team’s first two games.

“We self-reported it,” Schoudt said. “It was a mistake. We missed it at the administrative end.”

The player is believed to have transferred to Delsea this year under the school-choice program. Under NJSIAA rules, the athlete was required to sit out 30 days because he had earned a varsity letter at his old school.

Delsea, the No. 9 team in the Inquirer Top 25, lost its opener to No. 1 Timber Creek, 39-36, on Sept. 8.

As a result of the forfeit, Delsea’s record drops to 0-2.

No. 18 Cedar Creek improves to 2-0.

The forfeit likely will have a major impact on playoff races in South Jersey Group 3 and South Jersey Group 2.

Delsea is one of the top programs in South Jersey Group 3, having made the championship game five years in a row and six of the last seven. The Crusaders won four straight titles from 2012-15.

Delsea still is eligible for the state tournament but will need to rally from an 0-2 record to qualify for the playoff field.

“Our coaches, our kids know what they have to do,” Schoudt said. “We’ll go from here.”

The forfeit win will boost Cedar Creek’s playoff chances. The Pirates have made the last two South Jersey Group 2 title games, winning the crown in 2015.

NJSIAA associate director Larry White confirmed the organization’s knowledge of the Delsea forfeit.