The Shawnee football team’s run through last year’s South Jersey Group IV tournament was unexpected, surprising and ultimately memorable as the sixth-seeded Renegades stormed to the title.
This year’s championship will be memorable as well, but for a different reason. The 2014 Renegades will be remembered for their dominance.
Running behind an offensive line that dominated much of the game, senior running back Jake Parola finished with 159 yards and three touchdowns as Shawnee beat top-seeded Timber Creek 28–7 on Sunday at Rowan University in a rematch of last year’s Group IV title game.
A season ago, Shawnee defeated Timber Creek, 33–22, to win the championship. The Chargers hadn’t lost since. For much of the season, it looked like this year’s game would be a matchup of 11–0 teams, but Shawnee fell to rival Lenape on Thanksgiving Day, 10–7. Any lingering effects of Shawnee’s loss to Lenape were non-existent in Sunday’s championship game. The Renegades forced three Charger turnovers, including one on their own one-yard line, which led to a Shawnee touchdown. Timber Creek ran just one red zone play all game, ending in an interception, before driving deep into Renegade territory in the final two minutes with the game already decided. Junior quarterback Mike Welsh was 9-of-21 for 156 yards passing for Shawnee. The wire-to-wire victory illustrated a theme for Shawnee this postseason as the team outscored its opponents 112–37 over the course of its three playoff games. The Group IV title marked the program’s sixth sectional crown in school history.