CAMERON - With only 10 regular-season games in high school football, if you are entertaining any thoughts of sniffing the playoffs down the road, you can't let any get away.
And winning at least one of your first two games is a key component to that.
That is something that both Cameron and Valley will have in mind Friday night when interim coach Jim West takes his Lumberjacks on the road once again to battle Jim Rogers' Dragons.
It doesn’t get any easier for senior running back Devin Starcher and the Cameron Dragons. This week another rival, this time Valley, is set to invade.
Photo by Art Limann
Both teams are coming off losses and could use a big victory as a springboard to future success. Cameron stayed close to Bishop Donahue for a half before dropping a 41-26 verdict while Valley was blanked 49-0 last Saturday night at Weirton Madonna.
''We had a bunch of things happen at Madonna, but it is all things that can be corrected,'' West said.
For the Wetzel County squad, it will once again be without the services of longtime coach Tom West, who is still recovering from surgery. Once again taking charge will be his son, and assistant coach, Jim.
The biggest difference between the squads' respective performances last week was that the Dragons had little problems moving the football, racking up 315 total yards, while the Jacks finished with 122, while allowing a whopping 434.
''I was really impressed with our kids. We came out with a fire and really got after it,'' Rogers said. ''But we didn't always help our new quarterback, dropping a couple of touchdown passes and missing some extra points.''
Cameron will be more balanced than the Blue Dons, with 6-foot-8 sophomore quarterback Logan Routt able to put the ball in the air, throwing for 197 yards, two touchdowns and three picks a week ago, or run the ball.
''Logan is going to be a good one,'' Rogers said. ''He is just a sophomore and we like him a lot.''
Hunter Yoders picked up 60 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns on 11 carries last week while sophomore Clayton Ward added 50 on seven tries. Mark Walker hauled in six passes for 67 yards while Shane Williams had three for 79 and a score and Ivan Hall a pair of grabs for 35 yards and a touchdown.
''The Yoders kid is a good, shifty runner that we will need to contain,'' West added. ''They are a pretty good team and we were impressed with them last week.
''It seems like they run a lot of shotgun with that big quarterback and he does a good job hitting those quick passes and getting rid of the football and we will need to focus on stopping that.''
The Dragons did allow 202 yards on the ground to the Bishops a week ago, something that has to be a concern with Valley bringing 305-pound senior fullback Spencer Mason to town.
Mason was one of the lone bright spots for the Lumberjacks at Madonna, rushing for 96 yards on 23 carries, and finishing with all but seven of Valley's yards on the ground.
''This is another typical Valley High football team,'' Rogers said. ''They have big kids on both sides of the line and a big fullback who just brings it at you. It has been the same thing for many years for them."
Junior quarterback Triston Kocher had little luck through the air, hitting just 2 of 10 tries for 19 yards, but he and the Jacks did take care of the football with no turnovers and were flagged just five times for 25 yards.
''Last Saturday was the first time Spencer (Mason) ran the football and we weren't real sure how well it might go, but it worked great,'' West said. ''He hit the holes good and the line was surging, but we still need to find a way to get other kids involved.''