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Dogs look to snap skid against HHS

Posted: August 29, 2018 2:02 p.m.
Updated: August 31, 2018 1:00 a.m.
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JASON HARRIS ... CHS center

This from the “Oh, how times have changed” department.

It used to be that Hartsville would line up, condense the field, run the belly play on offense and try and ram the football down the throat of the defense. Not anymore.

When the Red Foxes come calling on Camden tonight at Zemp Stadium, they will trot out a spread offense and get the ball to their playmakers one of which may not be senior Tiyon Evans who, reportedly, is nursing an injury and did not play in last week’s 31-12 win over South Florence. In three games with Camden, Evans has scored 11 touchdowns --- nine rushing --- and has gained 585 yards on the ground. In last year’s game, he scored each of the five times he touched the ball.

Even if Evans, who was moved to quarterback this season, misses his second straight game, the Red Foxes have enough weapons on both sides of the football to be more than just a tad dangerous said Camden head coach Brian Rimpf.

“It’s not the same ol’ Hartsville, well, actually on defense it’s the same old’ Hartsville,” said the second-year CHS head coach. “This will probably be the best defense that we’ll face all year. They have Division I talent all over the place. They return almost every one of their starters from last year.

“They have good players in key positions. Their linebacking corps is good and they have, easily, one of the best defensive lines if not the best defensive lineman (end Demonte Capehart) we’re going to see this season.”

Capehart, a 6-4, 270-pound junior and Clemson commitment, anchors a defensive unit which includes junior linebackers Justin Abraham (6-1, 230) and Kevon Haigler (6-1, 215). That unit will make things tough on a Camden offense which is averaging scoring better than 42 points through two games. 

What CHS needs to improve on is penalties as the Dogs have been flagged 27 times for 230 yards already this season with many coming on offense.

“One thing that we’re going to continue to work on is the penalties that stop our drives,” Rimpf said. “It’s hard to overcome a 10-yard holding penalty and we had a few called on the edges last week from the receiver position where everybody can see them; the people in the stands can see them and the officials can certainly see them. 

“That’s something we have to clean up. We can’t be putting ourselves in bad situations.”

Offensively, sophomore HHS tailback Dariyan Pendergrass scored two touchdowns last week in Evans’ absence as the state’s top-ranked 4A entry jumped to a 24-0 lead. While Evans is on the mend, Deetric Miller has stepped in behind center.

“Hartsville, traditionally, has been a Wing-T team,” Rimpf said. “Now they’re in the shotgun with spread formations and a lot of motion. It looks different … a lot different. It looks similar to the stuff we do.”

This will be the third straight week Camden has faced a rival. And for third consecutive Friday, Rimpf has preached that it is not about the opponent but rather making sure the Bulldogs are where they need to be.

“We’re treating this like we have the last couple weeks,” he said, “we’re not talking about the opponent. We took the approach that we’re going to worry about ourselves and what we can do to get better. From here on out, we’re not going to worry about what the history has been with all the teams we play. We want to be the best we can be that week.”

Camden will look to snap a nine-year skid against the Red Foxes tonight in what should be another emotional contest for the Dogs. Games like these are those which coaches do not have to worry about providing motivation to their teams. Rimpf said, with 27 seniors who are hungry for wins, his group is self-motivated.

“We have guys who I don’t think we’ll have to motivate this whole year,” he said. “We have a lot of experience and a lot of senior leadership. This week, we won’t have any problem getting emotionally ready for the game. For these first three weeks of the season, it’s exciting to be a Camden Bulldog and play football on Friday nights.”

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