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Bulldogs rout Keenan; await first round foe

Posted: October 29, 2018 1:29 p.m.
Updated: October 30, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Jack Crayne/

BRYCE JEFFCOAT PASSED for three touchdowns in Camden’s 57-8 romp over Keenan on Thursday.

Less than two minutes into the second quarter, the game officials signaled for the clock operator at Zemp Stadium to keep the game clock running. 

That, basically, is all you need to know about Camden’s 57-8 drubbing of visiting Keenan in Thursday’s regular season finale. The game was moved up one night, as were many others in the state, to get ahead of Friday’s day-long rains.

The victory snapped a two-game skid for the Bulldogs (7-3) which ended Region 4-AAA play with a 2-2 record. Camden had to wait until Monday night to find out who it would face in the first round of the AAA Upper State playoffs on Friday, Nov. 9. The Dogs will travel to meet the loser of last night’s Pendleton versus Seneca game which was for the Region 1 championship.

In what amounted to a glorified scrimmage on Senior Night, the hosts scored their 57 points on just 25 snaps in which they amassed 299 yards against a Raiders’ squad which allowed 56 or more points for the fifth straight game.

“It was important, coming off the two overtime losses that we had in region play,” said second-year Camden head coach Brian Rimpf as to Thursday’s win. “We needed to play a good game and, we needed a win going into the playoffs. We were able to do that.”

Even though the game was moved up one night, Rimpf said the Bulldogs treated the Thursday contest as if it were a Friday while trying to make things special for 26 seniors who were being honored prior to their final regular season home game.

“Our guys played really well. We had a number of contributors on Senior Night. It was special for those guys, who were playing their final regular season game at Zemp, to go out like that,” he said. “It was a great effort from our team and a good job by our coaching staff. It was a good win for us.”

And it was an easy victory, at that, as the hosts scored on a blocked punt return and had five scoring drives of three plays or less.

Camden needed just three plays to march 68 yards on its first offensive possession which was capped by quarterback Bryce Jeffcoat zipping a pass along the line of scrimmage to Shymeik Corbett, who made the catch and went 57 yards for the touchdown with 7:23 showing on the first quarter clock. On the PAT try, Jeffcoat, the holder for the kick, sent a shovel pass to senior nose tackle Darrion Allen, who scored on the two-point conversion for a quick 8-0 lead.

After snuffing out a fake punt from Keenan, the Dogs went back to work on offense for the second time from the Raiders’ 47. On first and 10 from the 25, on the fifth play of the series, Jeffcoat found a wide-open Corbett on a post route for a touchdown. Bennett Caldwell tacked on the kick and with 1:01 left in the first quarter, the Dogs’ lead grew to 15-0.

Camden’s special teams accounted for the third touchdown. In the opening seconds of the second quarter, Tyler Maxwell broke through to block a Keenan punt which was scooped up by Jalen Johnson, who went 19 yards for the score and the 22-0 lead as the officials decided to play with a running clock.

With the clock only stopping after touchdowns, it made for a challenge for the Camden coaching staff to try and get playing time for all their players. Still, all those who were dressed out saw their way onto the field.

“We were able to get everybody that we dressed out into the game,” Rimpf said of a rapidly moving game. “It was the right thing to do to have a running clock. We were still able to work on things that we needed to work on.”

Camden cornerback Rasheed Sutton set up the fourth Camden touchdown when he intercepted a pass at the KHS 26 and returned it to the five. Following an offsides call against the visitors, Deldrik Jones went over from two yards out and with 9:51 left in the first half, the Dogs opened a 29-0 lead.

The hosts carried a 36-0 advantage into intermission, scoring on a two-play, 21-yard series in the closing three minutes of the second stanza with sophomore backup quarterback Jaffari Pearson finding Landon Goodwin with a 25-yard scoring strike.

Camden needed just two snaps to travel 58 yards after receiving the second half kick. On second and four from his own 48, Jeffcoat connected with Goodwin for a 52-yard touchdown and a 43-0 lead.

When Allen was put in to kickoff following the score, his kick bounced off a KHS player and was recovered by Jyheem Macklin at the Raiders’ 26. On the first play from that spot, Pearson went up top for freshman Anthony Lyles, who went up and over his defender to come up with the catch in the top right corner of the end zone as the lead ballooned to 50-0.

“For the young guys,” Rimpf said of players such as Pearson and Lyles, who played most of the season on junior varsity and will be among a handful of players staying on varsity throughout the postseason, “it’s about getting that Friday night atmosphere experience with our varsity team. They have played some good teams throughout the year on jayvee but Friday night is different. Hopefully, this will rub off on those guys.”

The Dogs added a 24-yard Corbett scoring run to make it 57-0 before the Raiders averted the shutout with a one-yard run late in the contest.

“We played well. Keenan had some good players and did some good things during the game. Our players just played really well … I just wished we would have played that well a couple games before this,” Rimpf said. 

Having moved the game to a Thursday, it allowed Camden 15 days between games. Rimpf said the extended break between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs is not the worst scenario for his team.

“We’ve known about this bye week for awhile,” he said of having an additional week added to the regular season to allow schools affected by Hurricane Florence to make up games lost from last month due to the storm. 

“I think it will serve us well to specifically work on the things we want to work on for a couple days. We’ll start getting some playoff preparation in this week. I think the break is good because we need to have some guys heal up. We’ve played about six or seven games in a row so, it’s good to change up the schedule, especially with the distractions of this week. It’s good to have a bye week and use it to the fullest.”

Bulldog Bites: Camden ran 16 plays in the first half and just nine in the second 24 minutes of play … With his three touchdowns --- one rushing and two receiving ---, Corbett has scored 16 touchdowns and 96 points --- both teams-highs --- this season … Corbett led Camden with 25 yards rushing on two carries … Goodwin had three catches for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Corbett had two catches for 82 yards and a pair of trips into the end zone. Lyles had two grabs on the night for 31 yards and a score … Jeffcoat was 6-for-7 passing for 156 yards and three touchdowns while Pearson was 3-for-4 for 49 yards with a pair of touchdown tosses … Caldwell came into the game averaging 36 yards per punt this season. That figure increased to 37 yards per punt with a season and career-best 58-yarder against Keenan … Sophomore safety Joseph Byrnes, again, led the Camden defensive charge with nine tackles including six solos from the 46 plays run by the Raiders. In his last three games, Byrnes has been in on 30 stops … CHS junior defensive end John Copley had seven tackles, with two sacks, on Thursday while Macklin also registered seven tackles in the win.


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