"I was pleased on both sides of the ball," said Delran coach Jim Donoghue, whose team last won the South Jersey crown in 1987. "The way we play it, each side helps the other. Offensively, we're able to sustain drives and keep the other team off the field, and when you put the other team in poor field position, it makes the defense's job easy. Both sides played well; the defense was outstanding."
Point Borough found out just how tough the Bears' defense was on the first series of the game. Despite the help from a penalty, it couldn't generate a first down and was forced to turn the ball over to the Bears.
"We felt they'd have trouble defending the throw," said Donoghue. "We felt thay'd have trouble with our speed if we could get outside quickly. If we could get a lead on them early, we could take them out of their style of play."
The Bears granted the coach his wish and they drove from the Point Borough 45 to the end zone in 12 plays - with Derrick Parker getting the final yard for the touchdown with 3 minutes, 40 seconds left in the initial quarter. The key plays came from quarterback John Sacca, who finished the day with nine completions in 17 attempts for 146 yards. Sacca found Jamie Moore over the middle for 21 yards and Darrell Parker on an 11-yard play to the 1.
"I felt real confident coming into the game," said Sacca. "After we saw the films, we thought we could throw on them. They play pretty deep, so we felt we could throw the underneath patterns."
While the defense had designs on keeping the Panthers bottled up, the offense saw a couple of opportunities go by the board. A drive died at the Point Borough 20-yard line, an interception at the Point Borough 4 stopped another and the clock halted another scoring chance, leaving the Bears with a 7-0 halftime advantage.
"We got the score on the opening drive, then we had a couple of missed opportunites, so I was concerned because that is the kind a game (Point Borough) plays," said Donoghue. "They like to keep the score close and wait for the mistakes. I felt the key was for us to take the second-half kickoff and do something with it."
The Bears did. Sacca hit Dennis Jordan for 11 yards, and Derrick Parker added runs of 18, 4 and 5 yards. Darrell Parker put the Panthers in a 13-0 hole when he scored on a 31-yard run.
"I saw the opening, darted left, broke a tackle and went in," said Darrell. "They were a big team and they hit harder than anyone we've played. It was tough to run. They were a good hitting team."
The Panthers found the Bears can hit just as hard, when Rob Clayton fumbled the kickoff and Delran's Tony Thompson recovered.
"Our defense is pretty good, and we take a lot of pride in it," said Moore, who added an interception. "Our coaches prepared us so well. We knew they weren't going to pass so we could key on one thing."
Behind the play of Moore and Marvin Bussie the Bears limited the grind-it- out offense of Point Borough to 14 yards rushing and 54 yards passing.
Darrell Parker made it 20-0 with 1:35 left in the third period on a 2-yard run. But, it was a fourth-down completion to Brian Gorman for 30 yards that
put the Bears in position to score.
"The bottom line was our speed and quickness," said Donoghue. "Darrell and Derrick had their usual day. John (Sacca) performed well in a tricky wind and Brian Gorman turned a few catches into big gains."
After a 22-yard field goal by Maerten, the Bears capped off the scoring when Moore tackled Dan Burns in the end zone for a safety.
"We ran a crossfire and knew we could get the safety," said Moore. ''Marvin (Bussie) almost had it on the play before, then I just beat them for the safety."