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Freshman quarterback Lamar Best powers Willingboro to third sectional title since 2018

GLOUCESTER CITY (N.J.) - The Willingboro High School football team entered Friday in need of only one win to grab its third sectional title in five seasons (no playoffs in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic).

The Chimeras secured that title with a 20-7 win over Gloucester behind huge performances from Lamar Best and Khamaad Rice in the Central Jersey Group 2 final on Friday night.

Lamar Best (3) helped lead Willingboro to a sectional title with three touchdown passes in a 20-7 win over Gloucester on Friday, November 11, 2022. Kiersten Cowgill/D2 Sports Network

The contest remained scoreless for the opening quarter.

Willingboro struck first on a dart from Best to Jarelle Taylor from 16 yards out. The Chimeras' defense held strong throughout the remainder of the first half and Best delivered his second touchdown strike to Rice to create a 14-0 lead with only 13.1 seconds left in the opening half.

Best would find Rice again in the third quarter as Willingboro stormed out to a 20-0 advantage.

Gloucester narrowed the gap on a Jake Seibert touchdown pass to Jaden Garris on a 17-yard run-pass option, but the Chimeras' defense ultimately reigned superior.

Best, one of five Willingboro freshman starters in the sectional final, understood the assignment.

The freshman signal caller has been a part of the Chimeras' program since his elementary school days and knew it was his time to help continue the program's tradition of championship success.

Best completed 10 out of 15 passes for 169 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

"He's been working out with the team in the offseason since he was about eight or nine years old," Willingboro coach Stephen Everette said.

His maturity compared to most freshman quarterbacks at the high school level has stood out.

"He came in and knew our playbook, so the biggest thing was translating that into games," Everette said.

"My offensive line has been putting in the work all season," Best said. "They especially understand that everyone has to put in the work to be successful. Every game that we played this year has ended up testing us for the long run. We had a tough start, but here we are as sectional champions."

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