Staff Writer

OCEAN CITY — Some of Spider-Man’s powers include superhuman strength, agility, stamina, durability, coordination and balance.

Cedar Creek quarterback Billy Smith likes to think he has some of these attributes. Maybe that’s why he was called “Spider-Man” during his youth football days in Pleasantville.

Smith, who was even sporting Spider-Man custom cleats, showed all kinds of agility, coordination and durability on Sunday afternoon at the Battle at the Beach at Carey Stadium, as he threw for 226 yards and four touchdowns to lead his Pirates to a dominating 42-0 win over Matawan. He three three touchdowns passes — all to Darius Benjamin — in th the third quarter alone as Cedar Creek took a 6-0 halftime lead and turned it into a 35-0 blowout.

“I wanted to go score,” Smith said, referring to his frustration at only leading 6-0 at halftime. “I was getting tired of not scoring. At halftime I got my linemen together and said, ‘give me that time, I know we can throw the ball and we have some guys who can catch the ball.’ That what changed, halftime, I just told all my guys, and we started doing it with teamwork.”

“In the first half, we were trying to open things up with the run a little bit. We took some deep shots, but we knew going into the second half that if we just kept the pedal to the metal we could win this game. With our running game and the play-action, the posts and the deep balls were opening up. Our quarterback is talented enough to get the ball to me, and I was blessed enough to make the catches for him,” Benjamin said. “We made a couple of adjustments. We felt like, on the outside, our guys were better than their guys so we were willing to take some chances. We just converted them in the second half. It was all about staying composed. We got a touchdown early on, but we knew the game wasn’t over. We had a lot of bad plays in the first half, so we had to lock in for the second half and just come out and do what we had to do, play our brand of football and do what we do best.”

Darius Benjamin caught three second-half touchdowns in Cedar Creek’s 42-0 win over Matawan at the Battle at the Beach. (South Jersey Glory Days photo/Sully)

Cedar Creek’s offense sputtered throughout much of the first half but the Pirates were able to take the lead with 1:37 to go before halftime when Smith found senior wideout Alim Parks wide open over the middle for a 21-yard touchdown. Then, the Pirates got a huge special teams play from Chris McAfee as he took the second half’s opening kickoff back 86 yards. Smith found Shoron Britt for the two-point conversion and a 14-0 lead.

After forcing a Huskies punt on the next possession, the Pirates’ offense started to go into overdrive. Smith connected with Benjamin on a beautiful go route down the right sideline for a 25-yard scoring strike to make it 21-0.

“I was so happy. Those are the things we work on in practice all the time, that timing, getting the routes down. Even when I’m getting hit or the ball is underthrown — that one time, I got drilled but we got a touchdown, and that just shows the timing between me and (Darius). I’ve been playing with him since youth football,” Smith said. “We saw their safety coming down (into the box) so we knew we had to take some shots. Depending on which safety was coming down you just pick which route, and I was letting it go.”

Gyan King celebrates one of Cedar Creek’s three interceptions during the win over Matawan. (South Jersey Glory Days photo/Sully)

Two more scoring passes from Smith to Benjamin, for 59 and 40 yards, ballooned the lead to 35-0 and put the game out of reach. Justin Castillo added a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring. Sophomore Aamir Dunbar rushed 14 times for 101 yards as Cedar Creek racked up 156 rushing yards to go with Smith’s 226 passing yards. Defensively, Castillo led the way with 13 tackles while Shane Deman and Amon McLaughlin added eight each. Cedar Creek also had three interceptions, two by Gyan King and another from Jahmir Campfield.

The Pirates went just 4-7 last season, losing five of their last seven games, but Smith said there’s a different vibe this time around.

“This year, I’ve been with these guys since January, in the weight room every day, practicing — basically living together. Now, I feel like we’re very in tune. We want to win. We want to bring a state championship home. This is what we’ve been doing since we were kids and this is all we want,” he said. “Our confidence level is at 110 percent right now. We’ll take the victory today, but (Monday) we’re moving on. Offensively, we have to keep working on our motions and formations, stuff that we still need to lock in on. We’re going to lock in at practice and start working toward the next game.

Added Benjamin, “I feel like we’re going to have a great season. Last year, we had a lot of guys returning, but we weren’t as experienced. Coming out this year, our coaches have been working hard and we have a lot more experience. We also have a lot of talented young guys coming up.”

WHAT’S NEXT: Cedar Creek hosts Absegami on Friday at 7 p.m. in the first night game in school history.

Contact Dave O’Sullivan:; On Twitter @GDsullysays