BURLINGTON TWP.-- When Burlington Township needed a play in a key situation, it received it.
The Falcons advanced to the South Jersey Group 3 final behind a strong defensive performance that led to a 21-18 win over Timber Creek.
On a night in which the Falcons offense wasn’t firing on all cylinders, their defense held firm for the majority of the contest.
“They’re fantastic,” Burlington Township quarterback Danny Grozozski said. “This defensive unit is something truly special. I don’t think they get enough credit they deserve.”
It all started with a stop on Timber Creek’s opening drive that ended in a missed field-goal attempt.
Terron Ware intercepted a pass on Timber Creek’s second drive and Jalyn Blackwell followed that up with a pick of his own that resulted in a mad dash to the turnover going on the Township sideline.
“If you don’t score, you don’t win,” Burlington Township defensive back Omar Rogers said. “That’s our mindset. We just kept holding them and gave the offense back the ball.”
The third turnover forced by the Township defense set up Grozozski’s first touchdown pass of the night to Justin Johnson.
It took until the third quarter for the Falcons to create more separation, as Rodney Vines finished off a six-play drive with a three-yard touchdown run.
Grozozski found Johnson once again in the fourth quarter to open up a 15-point advantage on a 27-yard touchdown pass.
“We’re a versatile team,” Grozozski said. “We can run the ball, We can pass the ball. You never know what’s going to be the thing that’s working in a specific game. The pass worked today and we made plays when they were called.”
Timber Creek rallied for a pair of late touchdowns, but stops on a pair of conversions allowed Township to breathe easier.
With time ticking down, Grozozski used a push from his entire offense to secure a first down and a championship matchup at home against Woodrow Wilson.
“It means everything,” Grozozski said. “These guys deserve it. They put the work in during the offseason. Just to play here in our home stadium is special and we’re going to make the most of it.”