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Dogs cruise past Griffins, 56-13

Sets up a showdown in Chester

Posted: October 8, 2018 4:14 p.m.
Updated: October 9, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I

CAMDEN’S JAVARIS HOLLIDAY GOES through the Fairfield Central defense for a three-yard touchdown run in the second quarter of Camden’s 56-13 homecoming victory at Zemp Stadium.

Playing with a stacked deck in the backfield, Camden has been able to spread the wealth, not to mention the carries, this season.

Friday night, in a 56-13 blowout of visiting Fairfield Central on homecoming, the fifth-ranked Bulldogs had four different ballcarriers find their way into the end zone led by three first half scores from Shymeik Corbett as they won their Region 4-AAA opener while improving to 6-1 on the season.

An already deep ground game had another weapon return to the rotation as senior fullback Nathan Gallman was back in the fold after having missed the past four games with an injury. The ground game accounted for 261 yards rushing on 34 carries in a contest in which most of the second half was played with a running clock due to the lopsided score.

“We’ve been doing that all year,” second-year CHS head coach Brian Rimpf said as to his team’s spreading the offense around. “This was our seventh game and we had three or four guys score touchdowns for us tonight; that’s kind of the way it has been.

“Our offensive coordinator, Daniel Sisk, does a great job of calling plays. We have a lot of weapons. It’s a great problem to have with one ball and trying to get it to all those guys.”

Not to be left out in the cold was a CHS passing game directed by quarterback Bryce Jeffcoat. The senior completed 10 of his 12 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns as the Dogs rolled up 419 yards in offense on 46 snaps.

The win was the fourth straight for the Bulldogs who have their biggest game of the season coming up on Friday when they travel to meet unbeaten Chester in a Region 4-AAA showdown between two teams which should be both ranked in the top five in the AAA poll which comes out Wednesday.

Camden did nothing to hurt its place in the rankings as it used a 28-point second quarter to carry a 35-13 lead into the locker room at halftime while handing the Griffins their first conference loss in their last 35 outings dating back to 2011.

The hosts scored the game’s first touchdown on their second offensive series as a 17-yard Davea’ Cauthen punt return to the FC 45 had an additional 15 yards tacked onto it by a Griffins’ penalty. Three plays later, Corbett scored for the first time as he took a handoff and bounced outside to his right and went untouched for a 20-yard scoring run. Bennett Caldwell then tacked on the first of his eight successful PAT kicks and with 4:06 left in the first quarter, the Dogs were off and running with a 7-0 lead.

The Bulldog defense helped set up the second score as that unit stopped FC quarterback Stephon Gadsden at the line of scrimmage on fourth and two at the Camden 48.

On the first play of the second quarter, Gallman returned to activity by bulling for 17 yards to the FC seven. On third and goal from the three, 6-foot-3, 280-pound Javaris Holliday took the direct snap from center and the defensive end ran over tacklers on his way to the end zone for the third time this season as the lead grew to 14-0 with 10:32 showing on the second quarter clock.

Camden’s defense set up the third score as the offense had a short --- 34 yards --- field to work with after Rasheed Sutton picked off a Gadsden pass at the Griffins’ 34. Two snaps after Jeffcoat turned a broken play into a 26-yard gain, Corbett went over left tackle for the eight-yard scoring run as the lead mushroomed to 21-0 with 8:01 to play before the break.

The Griffins dented the scoreboard on the ensuing possession, traveling 78 yards in four plays with final 19 of those coming on a pretty Gadsden to J.R. Edmonds pass on a fade pattern to the top left corner of the end zone to make its 21-6 with 6:43 to go in the second stanza.

The guests used the same pass pattern and the same personnel to score with 25 ticks left in the first half to cut the deficit to 35-13.

That one pass play was something which Rimpf said his defense needs to clean up in practice.

“We felt like we could stop their run,” Rimpf said of an FC offense which managed 110 yards on 29 carries for the game. “They had one big run but most of their yards were passing. Our cornerback coach (Earl Chaptman) is a little disappointed in those jump ball passes that we lost. We’re going to work on that in practice (this) week.

“Holding them to just 13 points and keeping them out of the red zone for most of the game was a good job by our defense.”

After the first fade pass for a score and before the second, Camden would get a pair of touchdowns. The first came on a one-play, 66-yard drive when Corbett took a jet sweep pass from Jeffcoat and dashed left and untouched for his third score of the night and team-best 10th of the season with 6:29 to play before halftime.

An errant snap to punter Jacob McManus resulted in a loss of 24 yards as CHS took over at the FC 25 with 4:18 left in the half. Junior tailback Mikah Davis took care of the final 13 yards on the three-play series as he went over from four on second and inches from that spot to up the ante to 28 points as the Dogs padded their lead to 35-7 before FC closed the first half scoring on the eight-yard Gadsden to Edmonds scoring hookup.

Corbett, who at times has not received an abundance of first half touches, had four carries and three catches in an opening half in which he turned into 107 total yards and three touchdowns.

“He gets a touch and he scores with it,” Rimpf said with a smile as to Corbett’s production rate. “It’s tough to get him another one real quick. He’s our big-play guy and he’s doing well. We just have so many guys that we’re trying to get the ball to and we’re doing a good job with that.”

Trying to pick up momentum gained by scoring late in the first half and kicking off from the Bulldogs’ 45 midfield after Camden was penalized 15 yards on the final snap of the first half, the Griffins tried an onside kick which went out of bounds before going the necessary 10 yards as the Dogs opened the second half with the ball at their own 49.

A 15-yard facemask penalty on a four-yard Corbett carry set the ball at the FC 25. Willis Lane broke loose for a gain of 15 to the 10 only for a holding call to set the ball at the 31. Davis did the honors from there as he went through a large hole created by left tackle Josh Barnes and sped into the end zone for the 31-yard scoring run as the lead increased to 42-13 with 10:12 left in the third as the game officials signaled for a running clock.

A devastating hit on the ensuing kickoff resulted in a fumble which was recovered by Camden’s John Copley at the Griffins’ 31. After a 25-yard Jeffcoat to Corbett pass, Lane did the honors from six yards out for the 49-13 lead with 9:34 left in the third.

Another fourth down hold by the Camden defense gave the ball back to the offense at the FC 20 with 5:30 left in the third quarter. The seven-play, 80-yard drive culminated with Landon Goodwin taking a jet sweep pass/handoff from Jeffcoat and breaking left and into the end zone with the game’s final score with came with 80 ticks left in the third quarter clock.

Camden answered several questions in the win, including how would this team react following an emotional 31-28 win over West Florence, which was ranked ninth in 5A entering the contest, along with the distractions which come along with homecoming. Rimpf said a good week of practice allayed any concerns which he and his staff may have had coming into the contest.

“This was a region game and we had goals coming into the season and being region champion is one of them. You can’t accomplish being region champion in the first six games,” he said. 

“Our kids were focused this week. It was hot this week in practice and it was hot last week for the (West Florence) game. We tried to take care of them and cut some stuff out of practice to keep them as fresh as we could. This was a hot, humid night and our guys were as good in the fourth quarter as they were in the first quarter. We’re really happy with how we were, physically, tonight.”

Having snapped a six-game skid against Fairfield Central, the Dogs move on to an even bigger challenge this Friday when they travel to meet a Chester squad which improved to 2-0 in conference play following Friday’s 54-6 dismantling of Keenan.

“Chester was the last region team to beat us,” Rimpf said of the Cyclones’ leaving Zemp Stadium with a 35-14 win last season. “We have a little something to redeem against them.

“They’re undefeated and we’re 6-1. It’s at their place so, we have that extra obstacle to overcome. These guys will be excited … it will be a good game for us.”

Bulldog Bites: The 56 points were the most Camden has scored in a game since posting 61 in a 77-61 loss to Chapman in the first round of the 2016 AAA playoffs. It was the most points which the Dogs scored in a win since putting up 55 in a 55-23 victory over Indian Land in 2016 …  In a well-balance offensive attack, Camden senior fullback Deldrik Jones led all ballcarriers with 78 yards on five carries. Davis was next with 62 yards on two carries with a pair of touchdown runs … Jeffcoat completed his last five passes of the night in a game in which his favorite target was Corbett, who had four catches for 100 yards. With his 37 yards on the ground, the senior tailback had 137 total yards on the night … Holliday, who is inserted at quarterback in Camden’s goal line rhino package, has now scored three touchdowns on four carries … Caldwell, who is now 33 for 35 on PAT kicks, also had a season-long 51-yard punt in the first quarter on Friday … Camden senior linebacker Blake Dalton led the defense with 11 tackles --- 10 solos --- to give him a team-high 50 stops on the season. Senior lineman Chase McKoy was next with 10 tackles, with three behind the line of scrimmage and a caused fumble … CHS hurt itself in the first half with penalties and getting flagged six times for 83 yards. 

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