DELRAN-- First-year Delran head coach Garrett Lucas preaches a philosophy many coaches around the nation have.
“We focus on going 1-0 each week, We don’t care about our record. We don’t care who we’re playing or where it’s at. If we go 1-0 in the week, we always say at the end of the year, good things are going to happen,” Lucas said.
Even though the Bears are 6-0 for the first time since 2012, it’s hard not to at least be concerned with their standing in the new United Power Rankings.
After Friday’s win over Haddon Heights, the undefeated Bears are 13th in the Central Group 2 rankings, and based off that, their season wouldn’t be rewarded with a home playoff game.
Lucas, who came to the area from western Pennsylvania, was first focused on restoring the program itself, as the Bears struggled over the last few years.
“I’m a history teacher and from western PA. I’ve looked up the rich history of football here and that’s what we’re trying to restore, 6-0 is a heck of a start,” Lucas said.
The Bears’ current playoff state makes Friday’s trip to Northern Burlington even more important, as they look to earn points against a Group 4 team.
Delran is led by a strong junior class headlined by quarterback Dustin Desher and running back R.J. Moten.
Moten is fifth in the state in rushing yards with 980 after producing 175 yards on the ground against Haddon Heights.
“He’s our leader, but I can’t speak enough about how important he is on and off the field,” Lucas said. “I appreciate him being so vocal, but it’s also the plays that he makes, You can get the ball to him. It doesn’t matter if you’re throwing the ball one yard past (the line of scrimmage) or an 80-yard bomb.”
“He has that special capability that’s kind of rare to see in high school athletes,” Lucas said. “But at the end of the day, he is one of 11 and he can’t do it without those guys up front.”
Moten and his teammates were driven at the start of the year to reverse the course of the last two seasons in which the Bears went 6-14.
“Our big thing coming into this season was respect,” Moten said. “Not a lot of people respected us because of the last couple years. We just want the respect back and we want to put Delran back on the map.”
Delran has done more than that through six games, and the Bears have every intent on continuing their impressive season, one Moten saw coming a few years back.
“I had a feeling ever since eighth grade. Our junior year we were going to do something special. I feel like we’re going to do something special,” Moten said.