Post game handshakes between Cinnaminson and Collingswood. Chris Baker for D2SN
CINNAMINSON (N.J.) - The Cinnaminson High School football team entered its season opener fresh off a 2-8 campaign in 2021.
The Pirates looked to begin their new season on the right foot.
Their mission was accomplished with a 31-12 win over Collingswood in a West Jersey Football League battle on Thursday night. Cinnaminson could fly the jolly roger for the first time this season.
Collingswood struck first with a field goal from Nathaniel Potts on its opening drive.
After a few punts from both teams, Cinnaminson responded with a rushing touchdown by Brian Finerghty from 19 yards out to make it 7-3.
The Pirates expanded their lead when Jack Zarnawski found a wide open Michael Beers for a 16-yard touchdown with 6:53 left in the second quarter. An unsuccessful PAT attempt brought the score to 13-3. Cinnaminson maintained a 10-point lead at intermission.
The Pirates fumbled on the second play from scrimmage in the second half which allowed Collingswood to take over deep into Pirate territory.
The Panthers' drive stalled out.
On the ensuing drive, Cinnaminson chewed valuable minutes off the clock and capped a lengthy drive with a rushing touchdown by Eddie Davis. The score gave Cinnaminson a19-3 advantage.
The Panthers showed signs of life with a huge drive that narrowed the Cinnaminson lead to 10 points as Noah Waldron found his way into the end zone up the sideline.
Collingswood trailed 19-9 heading into the fourth quarter. Another field goal by Potts cut the deficit to seven points making it a 19-12 contest with less than 11 minutes left in regulation.
The remainder of the fourth quarter belonged to the Pirates' defense and Kyle Willis. Willis scored two touchdowns in the final quarter to put the game out of reach.
“There were definitely a few plays on our end that could’ve changed the game, Collingswood coach Mike McKeown said. "Such as bobbling the catch on a possible touchdown and another possible touchdown on the same drive being called back due to a holding penalty. I start four sophomores and a junior up front so there’s definitely a learning curve. We’re going to get better week by week. It’s a great experience for my players because they get to see a quality program this early on."
Cinnaminson coach Mario Patrizi praised Collingswood for being a good, physical team year in and year out. The Pirates will travel to New Egypt on September 9.
“Collingswood is a good team and Mike (McKeown) does a great job over there," Patrizi said. "I thought we played pretty well and pretty clean for the first game, but we can only keep getting better”.