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Bulldogs overcome mistakes for 28-16 win

Posted: September 10, 2018 3:13 p.m.
Updated: September 11, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I

CAMDEN’S SHYMEIK CORBETT SETS sail on this 40-yard touchdown run in the Bulldogs’ victory over Fort Mill on Friday.

FORT MILL -- Break out the brooms and dust pans. This one left a lot of cleaning up to be done.

In a sloppy game which, at times, bordered on the bizarre, Camden left Bob Jones Stadium with a 28-16 win over host Fort Mill Friday night.

The visiting Bulldogs turned the ball over a season-worst four times in winning for the third time in four outings. The two sides combined for 23 penalties for  nearly 200 yards on a night in which the officials took a recovered fumble from Camden due to an inadvertent whistle in the first half. Late in the game, the Yellow Jackets scored the final touchdown on sixth down after the officials lost track of the downs after FM had a first down at the Camden nine. All this came after the Dogs attempted onside kicks on both of their first two kickoffs only to have FM come up with the first before the second did not travel the necessary 10 yards. 

On a strange and humid evening, Camden head coach Brian Rimpf was just happy for his to have survived the upset bid from the now 0-4 hosts.

“It’s good,” said the second-year Bulldog boss. “Our guys expected to win and we ended up winning. It was sloppy and we weren’t as crisp as we wanted to be. We’re going to face another 5A team (this) week in West Florence, who is undefeated. We are going to have to play better than this if we want to get a win on homecoming. We’ll go back to work and, hopefully, get that done.”

Camden unleashed a 1-2 tailback combination in Shymeik Corbett and Willis Lane on the Jackets. Corbett, a senior, went for 176 yards on 12 carries including a 40-yard touchdown run in the first half. Lane, a sophomore, put the game out of reach with a 71-yard scoring run in the final six minutes of the contest giving the Dogs a 28-10 advantage. Lane finished with 136 yards on 10 carries.

Lane’s scoring jaunt came after FM punter Kyle Romenick had his punt roll to the Camden four with the guests holding a tenuous 21-10 lead with 7:09 left in the game.

On first down, Corbett broke off an 18-yard run. Two plays later, on second and three from the 29, Lane took the handoff from Bryce Jeffcoat on the counter, went outside of right tackle and cut upfield in front of the CHS sidelines and sailed into the end zone to finally give the Bulldogs breathing room to make it a three-touchdown game with 5:46 left to play.

“Willis a made a great individual effort play. He outran the whole defense down the sideline,” Rimpf said of Lane’s career-long carry. “That was a 96-yard drive. It was a great job by our offense.”

The Dogs opened the game trying to catch the Jackets napping on the opening kickoff with Bennett Caldwell’s onside kick being recovered by FM’s Reese Key at his own 46. From there, the hosts traveled to the Camden 23 where the drive fizzled after two Dylan Helms incompletions and a three-yard Sebastian Lach carry on third and 10. That brought out Ben Rich, whose 37-yard field goal try split the uprights for a 3-0 lead with 8:09 showing on the first quarter clock.

Camden wasted little time in grabbing the lead for keeps by marching 74 yards on eight plays for its first touchdown. A 14-yard Jeffcoat to Corbett pass on the first play got the drive going.  On fourth and two from the 48, fullback Deldrik Jones went through the middle of the FM defense for 11 yards and a first down at the Jackets’ 41. Three snaps later, on third and nine from the 40, Corbett went off right tackle and untouched into the end zone for the touchdown. Caldwell followed by tacking on the first of his four PAT kicks as CHS led, 7-3 with 5:02 remaining in the first quarter.

For the second straight time, CHS went for the onside kick. This time, it rolled eight yards as FM took control of the football at the Camden 48.

“We thought we had it. That’s why we did it,” Rimpf said of the onside kicks. “We thought we had a little advantage. What we were trying to do didn’t work out and, after the second one, we abandoned it.”

Camden’s defense, which allowed just 77 first half yards, came up with a turnover on fourth and one from the 24 as linebacker Brock Dalton broke through to force a Lach fumble which was recovered by Tyler Maxwell, who returned the loose ball to the 42. A 55-yard Corbett run on first down gave the Dogs a first and goal from the FM 10. On second and goal from the five, Justin Crimm jumped a slant pattern pass in the end zone to thwart the drive on the first Camden turnover of the game.

Again, the Dogs’ defense held as Romenick’s 54-yard punt rolled dead at the Camden 25.

A 26-yard third down Corbett carry to the CHS 46 was brought back 15 yards to the 30 due to a personal foul penalty. With a new set of downs to work with, the Dogs used a 13-yard Jeffcoat to Davea’ Cauthen pass for a first down at the 49. On third and five from the FM 35, on the 10th play of the series, Jeffcoat found Cauthen, again, for a gain of seven. An fourth and 10 from the 28, Jeffcoat was unable to find an open receiver. Looking to his right, the senior saw nothing but FieldTurf and opportunity which he took advantage of by sprinting untouched into the end zone to give Camden a 14-3 lead with 4:52 left before intermission.

Jeffcoat’s scoring run came out of necessity as the Jackets blanketed his receivers.

“We talk about Bryce being a good athlete,” Rimpf said of the play. “He escaped from the pocket on a drop back pass. They rushed him and didn’t contain the outside and Bryce was able to get outside the pocket. His receivers were down the field and nobody was watching Bryce and he was able to go down the sideline. That was a big play. We need more of that from him.”

Camden nearly had one last scoring chance before the break when Maxwell recovered a muffed punt at the FM 39 with 90 ticks left in the first half clock. With the Bulldogs’ offense on the field, the officials met on the FM side of the field and following a discussion, deemed that one of them had, inadvertently, blown his whistle stopping the play after the ball got away from Cam Saunders. 

Fort Mill would then recover a muffed punt by Camden at the Bulldogs’ 14 with 9.6 seconds left in the half. On second and 16 from the 20, Dalton batted away a Helms pass in the right corner of the end zone. rather than try for the field goal and make it a one-touchdown game, Helms’ pass on the final play off the first half went incomplete as the Dogs’ dodged another bullet to carry a 14-3 lead into the locker room.

A three-and-out by the CHS offense opened the second half. The hosts answered following a 44-yard Caldwell punt by driving 83 yards on eight plays with the final 39 of those coming on a Helms to Saunders fly pattern pass for a touchdown to make it 14-10 with 7:53 left in the third quarter.

Rimpf said his team, which was lethargic answering the second half bell, may have gotten the jolt it needed from the Jackets closing the gap to four points with their third quarter score.

“We came out pretty flat after halftime; that was the first time we’ve done that all year which was a little disappointing,” he said. “When they got that long touchdown pass, it finally woke our guys up but we can’t let something like that happen in the future to wake us up.”

A lost CHS fumble turned the ball back to the Jacket offense at the Bulldogs’ 49 only for the Camden defense to get a three-and-out with the offense taking over from its own 14 after the punt.

One week after a 16-play scoring drive against Hartsville, Camden embarked on a 14-play touchdown march.

A 26-yard Jeffcoat to Corbett screen pass on third and seven was good for a first down to the Camden 43. Jeffcoat later spotted Landon Goodwin for a gain of 13 on third and seven from their own 46. An 11-yard Corbett run was good for a first down at the FM 27. Staying on the ground for the final nine plays after Jeffcoat completed all four of his passes to open the series, Camden faced a fourth and inches from the four. Inserting 6-foot-3, 280-pound Javaris Holliday at quarterback in the rhino set, the senior defensive end took the direct snap and went inside the one. He then did the honors by bulling in for the touchdown and the 21-10 lead 11 seconds into the fourth quarter.

In a series marked by five penalties after the kick, FM went from its own 19 to midfield only to be forced to call on the leg of Romenick on fourth and 26 from the 50. His 46-yard punt pinned Camden inside its five only for the Dogs to travel 96 yards on three snaps with Lane going the final 71. 

   The odd occurrences continued as FM moved from its 35 to the Camden 18. On first and 10 from there, the Dogs were flagged for pass interference in the end zone as the hosts were awarded a first and goal from the nine. 

Two incompletions and a five-yard run set up what should have been a fourth and goal from the four. Saunders was then stopped at the two on a play in which the officials mistakenly thought was second down, which is what the yard marker on the field read. An incompletion on fifth down led to a Helms to Saunders pass on sixth and goal from the two which trimmed the deficit to 28-16 with 97 seconds left in the game which ended with the Jackets having the ball at midfield after Camden lost a fumble at the FM 22 with 49 seconds to play.

Six downs, an inadvertent whistle which the players did not hear and a 15-yard penalty marched off for 20 yards notwithstanding, Rimpf was more concerned about his team’s mistakes rather than those which were out of his or, his team’s control.

“We ended up getting the win and we’ll take a win any day but, we have a lot to improve on,” he said. “We just weren’t clicking tonight. I don’t know if it was the long bus ride, the change in the weather (after the pre-game rain showers) but, we did not play our best football today. We’re going to have to do that in the future to beat good teams.

“We also had too many turnovers today. This was the most turnovers that we’ve had in a game this season and that cannot happen. We had four turnovers and our goal is zero. We fell way short of that goal. We have to do a better job of protecting the ball on offense and not putting our defense in bad situations.”

Bulldog Bites: In addition to career-best rushing nights from Corbett and Lane, Jeffcoat hit eight of his 11 pass attempts for 117 of Camden’s final 517-yard total in offense. Jeffcoat’s 28-yard scoring run was the longest of his career ... Corbett had three catches for 44 yards for Camden while Goodwin also had three grabs which went for 50 yards ... Helms went up top 38 times for the Jackets, completing 23 passes for 199 yards with two touchdowns. He was 14-for-19 for 150 yards and both touchdowns in the second half  ... Lach, who came into the game averaging nearly 160 yards rushing per game was held to 40 yards on 13 carries ... The Bulldog defense got to FM 16 times for gains of two yards or less on 63 snaps ... After having been flagged twice for five yards against Hartsville one week earlier, CHS accumulated a dozen penalties resulting in 105 yards in lost yardage while FM was called 11 infractions for 90 yards.


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