Princeton fell behind to visiting Camden County early but responded in full force to come from behind for a 40-22 win in the second round of the state 1AA playoffs.
Up 7-6, the Bruins added to their lead late in the first quarter, first forcing a safety and then capitalizing on excellent field position for a short touchdown run from Jamar Cowell to take a 16-6 lead.
The Bulldogs proceeded to score 34 of the next 40 points in the contest as the No. 4 seed never got away from its bread-and-butter running game.
Johnny Frasier scored three times in the first half, on runs of 35, 50 and 2 yards, to help give Princeton its first lead of the game entering halftime at 20-16. He finished with 195 rushing yards.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Adrian Whack burst through the line for a 58-yard touchdown run.
“To be able to respond in the second quarter the way we did and then come out from halftime and, on the opening snap, Adrian Whack has that big touchdown run, it just showed the guys to trust in what we’re doing,” said Princeton coach Derrick Minor. “It’s going to be a grind. Every team from here on out will be tough.
“It’s not going to come easy, and nothing worth it is ever easy.”
The Bruins’ Brandon Underwood found Ashton Korzeniowski for a 16-yard touchdown reception to jump out on top early.
After going up 9-6 on a safety, Jamar Cowell’s 51-yard punt return put the Bruins at first and goal. Cowell ran the ball in two plays later for a 16-6 lead.
Camden County twice had the opportunity to add to its 10-point lead, but the Bulldogs’ defense forced a three-and-out and Cameron Jackson came up with a big interception to cut another Bruins drive short.
Having failed to land the knock-out punch, the visitors were placed in the unenviable position of trying to stop Frasier and couldn’t.
Complicating matters further for Camden County was Whack and his 102 yards on the ground.
“He’s given us that dual threat at the running back (position) and he’s given us a spark on defense,” Minor said. “It was a pretty good effort.”
The effort was there all night from the Princeton defense, which had to contend with Camden County’s one-two punch of Cowell and fullback Marcus Joyner.
Joyner ended the game with 80 yards and Cowell rushed for two scores and 55 yards, but the Bulldogs made the tandem work for every inch, using valuable time to do so.
Michael Wooten threw for 178 yards and one touchdown and rushed for another score for Princeton.