Rashad Raymond, Pirates run past Panthers in Group 2 opener

Cinnaminson High middle linebacker/offensive guard Kai Leibfried.

Rashad Raymond ran for a pair of touchdowns as Cinnaminson controlled the clock in a 28-12 victory over Camden in the first round of the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs.

Raymond also had an interception for the seventh-seeded Pirates, who finished the regular season on a five-game winning streak. Next up for Cinnaminson is No. 6 seed Haddonfield, 17-7 winners over Sterling.

“I love having the rock in my hands,” said Raymond. “I always feel like I can do something special.”

Camden’s high-powered offensive attack featuring quarterback Premire Wilson and running back Najyere Edwards couldn’t get into a rhythm. The offense had been key in the Panthers’ six-game winning streak coming into the game.

The Pirates got Raymond going early as he scored from 18 yards out on the game’s opening possession. Cinnaminson added to its lead with an impressive 16-play drive, which Shawn Ruffin capped with a quarterback sneak for a 14-0 lead late in the second half.

Camden appeared to gain momentum when Damon Rice took a wide receiver screen 42 yards for a touchdown, but the score was negated due to an offensive holding penalty. The Panthers eventually punted the ball.

“You can’t make those mistakes in the playoffs. That stuff really adds up in the playoffs,” said Camden head coach Dwayne Savage.

The Pirates seemed poised to run away with the game after Raymond’s 9-yard touchdown run made it 20-0 with under a minute to play in the third quarter.

“They had a great game plan,” said Savage. “We knew they were going to run the ball. They just did it better than we could do.”

But a crazy turn of events gave the Panthers life. David Taplin made a nice catch and scored on a 44-yard pass from Wilson to cut the gap to 20-6. Camden followed that up with a recovery on the ensuing kickoff thanks to some miscommunication by Cinnaminson. Kevin Smith Jr. had the home team thinking comeback when he scored on a short run. A failed two-point conversion had the Panthers down eight with 8:30 to play.

Kevin Schoch silenced the home crowd when he raced 83 yards for a score on the ensuing kickoff. Raymond followed that up with a big interception on defense and then put the game away with his legs.

The Pirates are off to the semifinals for the first time since 2014.

Cinnaminson: 8    6   6   8 — 28

Camden:          0    0   0   12 — 12

Cinnaminson: Rashad Raymond 18 run (pass)

Cinnaminson: Shawn Ruffin 1 run (run fail)

Cinnaminson: Raymond 9 run (pass fail)

Camden: David Taplin 44 pass from Premire Wilson (pass fail)

Camden: Kevin Smith Jr. 3 run (run fail)

Cinnaminson: Kevin Schoch 83 kickoff return (run)

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