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Dogs get past Hawks, 14-7

Posted: August 15, 2015 12:17 p.m.
Updated: August 17, 2015 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I photo/

CAMDEN TAILBACK DELDRIK JONES prepares to celebrate with his teammates following the freshman’s 23-yard scoring run against Westwood.

For many a year, an omen of bad luck for the Camden football team has been winning its game in the Camden Shrine Club Jamboree.

Bulldogs head coach Jimmy Neal is hoping this team can break the curse.

In a contest in which both sides had plenty of their leading weapons never seeing the playing field, the Bulldogs jumped to a 14-0 lead in what was a 14-7 win over Westwood in Friday’s night’s finale of the four-game card.

The evening’s hosts scored on each of their first two offensive possessions in a two-quarter contest in which many new faces saw their first action under the lights at Zemp Stadium. Giving his players a chance to play in a game situation and coming out of the contest healthy were Neal’s two biggest goals. The final score was not a major concern.

“No injuries, that was good,” he said of what he wanted to get out of this night. “Everybody got on the field and got to play.

“Offensively, we did some things we were proud of and I thought that our defense played pretty well. We saw some guys out there who we thought were going to play better than they did and we saw some guys who played real well who we didn’t know would do as well as we they did. The (game) tape will tell us a whole lot more.”

Devin Beckley, who made one start under center last season before suffering an injury to his right hand, led the Dogs to both scores. The 6-foot-3, 193-pound junior quarterback clicked on five of his seven pass attempts for 54 yards while running for another nine in his two series of work. Freshman tailback Deldrik Jones paced the CHS ground game as he went for 38 yards on six carries including a nifty 23-yard scoring run to make it a 14-0 lead.

“I think Deldrik is going to be a good player for us,” Neal said of the 5-foot-8, 160-pounder. “It was good to get him the ball and he made some nice cuts. The offensive line came off the ball pretty well, too.”

Having played a tough set of scrimmages with another jamboree pairing with Irmo on tap Saturday, Westwood head coach Rodney Summers gave his starters the night off. The Redhawk backups struggled for the most part and lost nine yards on three snaps to open the contest as Camden took over from the WHS 43 following a 24-yard punt.

Avery Barnes got things going for the Dogs, taking a pitch from Beckley on the speed sweep and turning it into a gain of 12 yards on the first snap. After a five-yard Barrett Coleman carry for a first down to the 20, Jones went for seven yards on his first attempt. Five snaps later, sophomore Lance McRay did the honors by going in from the one on a third and goal with 5:25 left in the first quarter. Will Warnock followed by kicking the first of his two successful PAT tries.

A second three-and-out followed by a punt had the Dogs setting up shop at their own 34. After finding Barnes for eight yards on a pass, Beckley called his own number on the read option and went for 10 yards to the WHS 46 on third and inches.

After a sack, the Dogs faced a third and 20. This time, Beckley flipped a tunnel screen to Barnes who went for 23 yards to the WHS 41. Beckley would later go for a nine-yard run setting up a second and one from the 23. On the ensuing play, Jones took the handoff from Beckley, zipped around left tackle made a pretty move in the open field and sprinted into the end zone for the 14-0 lead with 10:55 left in the contest.

That would be the end of the evening for Beckley who gave Neal exactly what the 18th year CHS boss what he wanted to see.

“Devin was sharp and he had some good protection. We were able to do some good stuff,” Neal said.

With Camden clearing its bench, the Redhawks made their first trip into Bulldog territory only to have four straight incomplete passes from Walyn Napper give the ball back to Camden.

Westwood averted the shutout with a 10-play 69-yard scoring drive aided by a facemask penalty against Camden after a sack on the first play. Devon Preston capped the march with a two-yard run with 1:39 left in a contest which effectively ended with the guests having 12 men on the field while Camden was preparing to punt with 52 seconds remaining.

While his players were all smiles after the win, Neal said there is still plenty of work to be done before Friday’s home opener with Lugoff-Elgin.

“Pad level, moving our feet … those are the things we still have to do. We still have to work on the fundamentals,” said the CHS head coach. “We have to get better with those things. We also have to know where to get lined up and to get to the football in a hurry.”


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