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Falcons add to Dogs’ woes by handing CHS 31-10 loss

Posted: October 15, 2011 2:27 p.m.
Updated: October 17, 2011 5:00 a.m.

DARLINGTON – Now, the math gets so easy, even a caveman can do it.

With two games left in the regular season, Camden must win both to have a chance to make the AAA state playoffs, or else, the uniforms will be packed away in two weeks.

The Bulldogs put their post-season hopes on the endangered list Friday night as host Darlington scored all 21 second half points to break a 10-10 tie and cruise to a 31-10 victory at the Falcons Nest.

The loss was the third in as many Region 6-AAA starts for the now 2-6 visitors. Darlington won for the first time in three league outings and for the second time this season while its 31 points was the high-water mark of the season for a team which had only scored 63 points in its first seven games.

As he walked off behind his team following the loss, CHS head coach Jimmy Neal said the Bulldogs can only take care of what it in their control over the next two weeks --- starting with Thursday’s home final with Lakewood --- and then, let the chips fall where they may.

"I don’t know what the (playoff) scenario for us is, right now, but we hope that we can go out and win two and see what happens," he said.

One week after having rushed for a two yards in a loss to Hartsville, the Bulldogs were held to a dozen yards on 30 carries against a Falcon defense which averages yielding nearly 25 points per game. Starting tailback Jo Jo Brevard tried to play on an injured quad and had just 15 yards on seven carries with 19 of those coming in the second half when he was forced back into action due to the ineffectiveness of those who tried to fill his shoes.

"We’re down to a jayvee guy that we brought up," Neal said of the depth problems at tailback. "We have wide receivers at tailback. Bless their hearts, they did what they could, but just made mistakes. That’s part of it."

Two of the DHS touchdowns were supplied by its defense with the first coming on Camden’s third play of the game when a CHS receiver could not hang on to a Denzel Martin pass. The ball was pulled out of the air by Rod Flynn, who took the pick in for the game’s first score at the 7:19 mark of the first quarter.

The Bulldogs went right back to the air on first down from their own 26 as Martin found Cedric Cook on a hitch route which the speedy junior caught near the 35. Cook then broke free of a tackler, who had him by the shirt, and bolted toward the middle of the field and then, down the CHS sideline before being dragged down at the one following a 73-yard catch and run. Two plays later, linebacker Fidel Wise leaped over the pile to knot things at 7-7 following Jake Ansley’s PAT kick with 6:19 left in the opening stanza.

It looked as if this one would be like the last time the Dogs invaded the Falcons Nest in 2009 when CHS won in a 45-29 shootout after the hosts used a 32-yard Nick Shumacher field goal to take a 10-7 advantage with 2:06 showing on the first quarter clock.

After the interception, Martin completed his next five passes and eight of his next 10 on a night in which the sophomore found the mark on half of his 30 attempts for a career-best --- and, a CHS season-high --- 213 yards in the air. Martin was making his second consecutive start with an injured Josh Council watching in street clothes.

Neal said the passing attack was to have been a big part of his team’s offensive game plan. When the running game was stopped, it became even larger. "They were giving us some stuff and we really felt good about Denzel throwing the ball," he said.

After moving into DHS territory but having to punt, the CHS offense got the ball back at its own 33 following a Shumacher punt with 6:39 remaining in the half.

Martin gave the Dogs a first down with an eight-yard scamper on third and seven. One snap later, he hooked up with Cook for a gain of 33 to the Falcons’ 23. Things bogged down there as Ansley was called on to attempt a 44-yard field goal, which he drilled through the uprights, knotting things at 10 with 4:17 to play before the break.

Another defensive stop by the CHS defense, with Wise batting down a Darvia Dubose third and nine pass, gave the guests the ball at their own36 with 1:56 left in the half. Martin found Cook and Dontrell Miller with a pair of 14-yard passes. Martin then zipped three straight throws to Miller for a combined 20 yards with the third setting the ball at the DHS 13 with 15 seconds left. A six-yard sack left CHS facing a third and 13 from the 19 as Ansley was called on to try a 36-yard field goal. A high snap threw off the timing as Ansley missed just his second attempt in 11 tries as the two sides headed into the intermission still tied at 10.

Martin was 13-of-19 for 190 of Camden’s 203 first half yards. The CHS defense limited the Falcons to 27 yards rushing and Dubose had another 59 in the air for 86 yards in the first 24 minutes. Those numbers all turned around in the second half.

The CHS defense came up big on consecutive third quarter series. First, after a disputed interception gave the hosts the ball at the CHS 19, the Falcons gained just 11 yards on five snaps before calling on Shumacher, whose 24-yard field goal try was blocked by CHS nose guard C.J. Martin with 5:13 left in the third.

Seconds later, a CHS fumble on second and 10 from its 23 was recovered by Darlington at the 21. Again, the CHS defense came up big with Shumacher’s 41-yard try falling short.

While the Bulldog defense was answering the call, their offense spun their second half wheels in being held to 12 yards on 25 second half snaps. Later, Neal said his team’s struggles had little to do with a DHS defense which made few, if any halftime adjustments.

"Naw, they were doing the same stuff on defense," Neal said. "We were in pretty good shape in all our stuff. We had a pretty good plan with what we were going to do. We had some good stuff on them, but we just couldn’t get it going.

"We couldn’t do anything on offense; we couldn’t keep our feet. Poor Denzel, you had to feel sorry for him. It was just a tough go of it out there for him."

With yards at a premium for both sides, the Falcon defense came up with the play of the night when linebacker Shaq Johnson picked off a pass at the CHS 30 and took it into the end zone with 73 ticks left in the third quarter clock. Zach Caulder would catch Shumacher’s PAT kick in the air as the score stayed at 16-10.

Needing some type of break, the CHS defense looked to have Darlington in a third and 12 situation from the CHS 48 following a seven-yard carry by Falcon freshman tailback Treyvon Thomas, who lost the ball at the end of the run. A CHS defender picked up the loose ball and after the officials called Thomas down, the Bulldog player spiked the ball in frustration and a 15-yard penalty, giving DHS a first and 10 from the 33.

After going on runs of four and 10 yards, backup tailback Brett McCall then went untouched through the Bulldog defense for a nine-yard, back-breaking score with 6:14 left in the game. Shumacher’s kick made it 23-10.

"I thought our defense played great. They were unbelievable," Neal said. "The touchdown that put them up by two scores was tough, though. We had them stopped and it was going to be third and 15 or 16 and we get a personal foul. That wasn’t very smart on our part."

After an incompletion on fourth and four from their own 26, the Dogs gave the hosts the ball back. A 13-yard Thomas carry was followed by another 13-yard scoring jaunt by McCall, which put this one away with 4:14 left in the game.

The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Thomas, gained 58 of his 97 rushing yards in a second half in which the Falcons had 145 of their 231 yards in offense. As a team, DHS had 34 carries for 140 yards.

Neal’s expression told the entire story following this setback. Now comes character check time for his troops.

"These guys have been great as far as working hard and trying to get better, since last January," he said of his team’s ability to rebound from three straight defeats. "I’ll battle for them; I love them. We’ll see what happens Monday. Right now, those are some hurting kids."

 

Bulldog Bites:

Ansley enjoyed a big punting night as he averaged 39 yards on four kicks with a career-long of 47 yards. His 43 points are more than double the next highest Bulldog scorer … After Brevard’s 15 yards rushing, Camden’s next best rusher was Wise, who had six yards on three carries … Cook was Martin’s favorite target as the junior caught four passes for 106 yards. Smith had four grabs for 49 yards … Martin has now passed for 315 yards in two starts under center. His 13-yard second half carry was the longest run of the night for CHS … The Bulldogs will hold Senior Night on Thursday against visiting Lakewood.

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