Last week was a battle of big plays on a dry, fast track.
This week was mud wrestling.
The conditions couldn't have been more different, but the result was the same for the Camden Catholic football team.
The Irish overcame the elements as well as a serious challenge from Moorestown en route to a 21-10 victory Saturday in a West Jersey Football League Constitution Division game.
Senior Pete Galiano threw two touchdown passes to senior tight end Andrew Racobaldo, and junior Jarred Alwan ran for another score for Camden Catholic (7-0, 3-0).
The Irish, the No. 4 team in The Inquirer's South Jersey rankings, clinched a tie for the division title, with a game to play against Paul VI on Thanksgiving.
"You never know what you're going to see in the playoffs," said Camden Catholic coach Gil Brooks, whose team likely will enter the Non-Public 2 tournament as the No. 1 seed. "So it was nice to see that we could win in these conditions after last week."
The game was played in snow, sleet and rain, as well as gusting wind. The temperature was in the 30s. The Moorestown field was a quagmire.
Moorestown coach Russ Horton said the conditions were "the worst I've ever been associated with."
Horton wasn't using the weather as an excuse after his team dropped to 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the division.
"It was the same for both teams," Horton said. "They made plays. We just made too many mistakes."
On Oct. 21, Camden Catholic beat then-No. 2 Pennsauken by a 42-35 score in a speeding bullet of a game on the Irish's artificial-turf field.
On Saturday, the Irish sloshed their way to victory as Galiano and Racobaldo hooked up for two huge plays and Alwan powered to 64 rushing yards on 17 carries.
Galiano passed 21 yards to Racobaldo for a touchdown with just 1 minute, 8 seconds remaining in the first half to give the Irish a 14-7 lead.
After Moorestown closed to within 14-10 with an Alex Martinelli field goal after a strong drive early in the third period, Galiano fired a 65-yard scoring pass to Racobaldo on the next play from scrimmage for a 21-10 lead.
"Pete did a great job of finding me on both plays," said Racobaldo, a 6-foot-3, 202-pound athlete who busted through tackles on both scoring plays.
Galiano ran six times for 24 yards and was 4-for-12 passing for 96 yards. He also made an interception in the end zone to thwart Moorestown's final drive.
"He's tough, and he's smart," Brooks said of Galiano. "Tough and smart go a long way."
Camden Catholic 0 14 7 0 – 21
Moorestown 0 7 3 0 – 10
M: Sidney Ruffin 1 run (Alex Martinelli kick)
CC: Jarred Alwan 6 run (Kandeh Kamara kick)
CC: Andrew Racobaldo 21 pass from Pete Galiano (Kamara kick)
M: FG Martinelli 32
CC: Racobaldo 65 pass from Galiano (Kamara kick)