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Hampton's 4 TDs helps Dogs to 48-20 win

Posted: September 28, 2013 2:39 p.m.
Updated: September 30, 2013 5:00 a.m.

SUMTER --- So much for that post-rivalry letdown.
Slicing and dicing the Lakewood defense up to the tune of 411 rushing yards, Camden left J. Frank Baker Stadium with a 48-20 win on Friday in a non-region finale which was not nearly as close as the final score would appear.
On a night in which senior tailback Brandon Hampton rushed for a personal-best 169 yards on 15 carries with four touchdowns, the Bulldogs (4-1) scored once on defense while head coach Jimmy Neal started to clear his bench beginning late in the third quarter.
One week after their emotional 35-7 win over Lugoff-Elgin, the Dogs took care of this one early, rolling to a 34-7 halftime lead. From there, they could set their sights on Friday’s Region 4-AAA opener at defending conference champion A.C. Flora.
“If you had watched us in pre-game, you would have thought that we weren’t ready for anything,” Neal said of his team’s emotional state coming into this contest.
It took all of one play for the sense of excitement to be generated by the guests as wide out Alexx Cooke came around the end on a speed sweep, took the handoff from quarterback Denzel Martin and sailed off down the sidelines in front of the Gator bench and into the end zone on a 57-yard run which came on the first snap of the night. Jordan Woody’s PAT kick would then put the guests on top, 7-0.
An injury to starting quarterback Roderick Charles forced LHS to insert starting running back Terry Singleton at quarterback as the hosts (2-3) were forced to go to the wildcat set. Camden did not learn of Charles’ injury until Thursday, leaving little, if any, time for the defense to get a grasp on what it would see Friday.
“It was pretty obvious that they were limited,” Neal said of the Gators’ offense. “After we heard about (the injury to Charles) on Thursday, we thought they would go to a lot of the wildcat stuff. Again, you could see it hurt them some offensively.”
With Singleton calling the shots and moving 6-foot-4 defensive end Andrew White into the backfield, the Gators answered Camden’s quick strike by driving deep into enemy territory on their first possession. The Bulldog defense came up big stuffing D’Onte Washington on two straight carries on third and fourth and one from the eight.
“That happens a lot on first drives when you get in there with game speed and have to get used to what they’re doing,” Neal said of his defense trying to get a feel for the new Gator scheme.
As well as things went on the visitors’ first snap, it went as poorly on its second as a botched handoff on first down was recovered by the Gators at the CHS four. On third and goal from the one, Washington took a direct snap from center and plunged in for the score. The PAT kick evened things at 7-7 and with 5:15 left in the opening stanza, this was a ballgame.
Unfazed, the Camden offense went back to work from its own 39. Getting a pass interference call on third and 15 from the 34, the Dogs used an 18-yard run by Kendrice Slater and then an eight-yard Martin-to-Cooke pass to the 13. After going for runs of three and nine yards, Hampton capped the march by going over for the one for a 14-7 lead with 2:26 showing on the first quarter clock.
The entire complexion of this game would change a little more than two minutes later when Singleton’s backwards pass/lateral was broken up by CHS linebacker Omar Mingo. With the ball sitting on the field and with no call being made by the officials, Neal and his defensive line coach, Ryan Roberts, were screaming for one of their players to grab the loose ball. After a few seconds of confusion, Jordan Sumpter picked up the ball at the LHS 38 and breezed into the end zone to give the Dogs a 20-7 lead, not to mention a ton of momentum, with 19.6 ticks left in the first quarter clock.
“We got all the momentum after that play,” Neal later said. “The official didn’t blow the whistle so we were yelling to our guys, ‘Get the ball. Get the ball.’”
Things steadily got worse for the Gators who started the ensuing possession from their own four. On second and goal from the five, on the first play of the second quarter, Singleton was buried in the end zone for a sack and a safety.
Camden set up shop at the LHS 41 following the free kick. On third and three from the 34, Hampton went up the gut and into the end zone for a 28-7 advantage. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder was not through, yet.
The Dogs got the ball back at their own 43 following an LHS three and out. Hampton went for a 39-yard jaunt to the 18 on the first snap before capping the four-play march with a eight-yard run, dragging a Gator defender with him past the goal line on his third scoring run which made it 34-7 with 7:20 left before intermission.
By the end of the second quarter, which saw LHS drive to the CHS 11 before safety Nelson Semple picked off a Singleton pass at the one, Hampton had already rushed for 100 yards on nine carries. Slater, who would go for 81 yards rushing before the end of the night, had 26 in the opening 24 minutes.
Neal said he was not sure that his team could have as much success in running the football as it did. But he said the Bulldog backs had plenty of help.
“Coach (Emet) Reyes (the CHS offensive line coach) did. I wasn’t so sure,” Neal said with a laugh when asked if he thought the Dogs could run the ball against the Gators. “(Lakewood) is pretty good on defense.
“I think one thing, in Lakewood’s defense, is that they tried to find a way to generate some offense and it hurt them on defense because they were playing guys both ways. But our offensive line is not bad. Those guys do a pretty good job up there. They blocked some people and, while our backs ran hard, those linemen have been blocking well for us.”
Playing with a 27-point cushion, Camden broke slowly from the gates in the second half, including having a punt blocked on its opening series as the Gators took over at the CHS 10, but managed six yards in four plays before giving the ball back on downs after Mingo batted down a fourth and four pass from the four.
From there, the Dogs went on their longest scoring march of the season, traveling 96 yards in 11 plays. A 45-yard Hampton run to midfield on third down got them out of a hole. Slater followed by bulling his way for 19 yards on the next play. On third and six from the 15, Martin kept on the option and went for a gain of five. On fourth and one from the 10, Hampton got the call and went through the heart of the Gator defense for his fourth touchdown of the night which, following a Woody kick, gave the Dogs a 41-7 lead with 3:24 to play in the third.
It took LHS just 14 seconds to cut the deficit as Tyshawn Johnson fielded Semple’s line drive kick at his own 20, broke to his left and down the home sidelines and into the end zone on an 80-yard return for a touchdown.
The Dogs came right back, going 70 yards on five snaps for their final score. A 19-yard Slater carry to the LHS 35 set up a 33-yard touchdown dash by George Randolph, who went around left end on a speed sweep with 1:05 to go in the third.
Lakewood would do a bit of window-dressing, scoring on a 44-yard Singleton-to-Johnson pass on fourth and 19 with a little more than six minutes to play in the game.
Camden, which has been mainly in the one-back set since returning to the spread offense, employed a split back look for a good portion of Friday’s game with Hampton and Slater forming a two-headed monster which combined for 250 yards on 25 combined carries.
Neal credited his offensive coaches for coming up with a solid game plan, built heavily on the ground game.
“That was kind of the plan,” Neal said of the two-back set. “Coach (Daniel) Sisk, Coach Reyes, Coach (Ron) McKie and Coach (Andrew) Drake kind of liked that in going against what they were doing to us. It worked really well for us.”
Plenty worked well for the Dogs on this night as the backups, who saw limited action a week earlier, got more than their share in this night. Senior tailback Jaiy’Lin Mials made the most of his opportunity, running for 52 yards on seven carries including a 48-yard jaunt on his first call.
“It was great for those guys to play and to get extended playing time,” said a smiling Neal as he headed toward the team buses. “They got some playing time last week, but they got a lot more tonight, starting in the third quarter.
“It was just a good win all around; offense, defense, kicking game … the works.”

Bulldog Bites: The 48 points were the most Camden scored in a win since a 46-35 victory over L-E last season. The point total was the highest since the Dogs put up 51 points against A.C. Flora in a losing effort a season ago … Penalties, an area which was addressed by Neal and his staff during the week, were actually at a season-low for the Dogs who were called for eight infractions for 63 yards … Senior right guard Jacob Kersey was helped off the field with an injury to his left knee late in the third quarter. The injury will be evaluated this week … Martin attempted just seven passes, completing three for 29 of Camden’s 440 yards in offense … Lakewood rushed for 86 yards on 37 carries while Singleton passed for 133 yards. Of the Gators’ 219 yards in offense, 127 of those came after the break and a majority of those yards came against the Camden reserves.

 

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