By MARK TRIBLE
South Jersey Glory Days Football Writer
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP — Moments after the final whistle and handshake line, the Navy blue-covered throng of victors rolled together to the end zone, then back across the 20-yard line.
First one, then two of the mass showed off their gymnastics. High in the air, they did flips and landed them. Covered in pads, sweat and smiles, their teammates whooped and hollered down as the celebration continued.
The 2022 Timber Creek football team — toothy off the field and together as one on it — looks not even a little bit like the last two editions.
Those clubs each won three games. This one is unbeaten as it took its fourth win on Friday night at home against previously undefeated Rancocas Valley, 28-15.
Team, the theme of the night for the triumphant Chargers in the TurnersvilleJeep.com Game of the Week.
“I feel like that’s what held us back in previous years,” tailback Nasir Reason-Dallas, who ran for a touchdown, said. “We had a lot of selfish individuals on the team.
“This year, it’s not about that at all. Everybody is in this together. I just think it’s us. It’s us wanting it so bad.”
The Chargers (4-0) marched down the field on their first possession and got in the end zone on a pitch that got speedster Zyheem Coleman-Frazier to the outside.
Coleman-Frazier struck again early in the second frame when the Red Devils (3-1) opted to boot him the ball.
“I don’t know why people keep kicking the ball to him,” coach Brian Wright said. “I mean, I hope they do.”
Around the left side Coleman-Frazier went, a quick tiptoe near the chalk and then, afterburners.
Sixty-five yards in total to make it 14-0.
“I caught it and ran to the left, down the sideline using my speed,” Coleman-Frazier said. “My teammate was blocking for me, so I got to the inside and went to the end zone.”
That block showed a glimpse of the togetherness Wright’s team embodies this campaign. Even way down field, someone made sure to spring Coleman-Frazier just enough for the trip to pay dirt.
“It’s a bond that we have together, and we gel so good together,” Coleman-Frazier said. “It’s a brotherhood, something that we haven’t had in a couple years. That feeling is unmatched.”
Coleman-Frazier and Reason-Dallas have been stellar in Creek’s strong start. They were again on Friday. But, the defensive line can’t get lost in any shuffle. The unit made Rancocas Valley one-dimensional from the start.
The Red Devils’ run game never came into the equation.
“We play fast and physical,” junior 6-foot-3, 215-pound end Brahim Wynn said. “It makes it easier on our DBs, it makes it easier on our linebackers, because we’re just getting up there so fast every time.”
In a West Jersey Football League Memorial Division clash of undefeated programs, the Chargers took advantage of a brightly lit stage.
“We feel like a lot of people in South Jersey don’t respect us,” Reason-Dallas said. “They see what this team did 10 years ago, five years ago.
“We’re building a new culture over here. We love those guys that came before us, but we felt like we really needed to prove ourselves tonight and I feel like we did that for sure.”
Wright had big shoes to fill as he took the gig after Rob Hinson left for Rutgers. Hinson, now Camden’s head coach, built a powerhouse program here. It wasn’t easy for Wright at the start of his tenure.
There were those issues with chemistry in the locker room. However, this bunch of kids — whom Wright affectionately calls “blue collar” — has no such problems.
“Each day, we’ve gotten better,” Wright said. “I have some stories from the last couple years where it was a struggle down there.
“And I get it. It’s a different voice. It’s a different program. Some people — or a lot of people — have issues with change. These kids have embraced it. A lot of them, they only know me. I was confident wherever this thing goes, but I knew once we got our guys to fully buy in, we would be okay.”
This year, and again on Friday night, they are better than okay.
You can tell by the zero in the loss column.
Or by the flips. The grins. The cheers.
Mark Trible is a special high school football writer for South Jersey Glory Days. You can follow him on Twitter @MTrible. Also, catch his high school football show (The South Jersey Football Frenzy Show) every Wednesday at 7 p.m. and his “Hat’s Off” Podcast every Sunday at 9 a.m. at facebook.com/sjglorydays.