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FOOTBALL LOOKAHEAD: Cameron Needs Victory for Shot at Playoffs

October 10, 2012
By NICK BEDWAY , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Seeking a berth in the West Virginia Class A playoffs for the first time since the 2003 season, everything could be on the line for the Cameron when it visits Blacksville on Friday night to play undefeated Clay-Battelle (7-0).

''This is the game we've been looking forward to playing the last couple of weeks. It's the one we need to have a shot at the playoffs."

Those were the words voiced by Coach Jim Rogers as he prepares the 4-3 record Dragons for the showdown battle against the powerful Cee Bees.

Cameron is on a two-game winning streak, however, both those victories came against undermanned rivals Paden City and Hundred. On the positive side, the back-to-back blowouts provided Rogers and his coaching staff the opportunity to work on correcting many of the errors that plagued the Dragons earlier in the fall.

''We worked on a lot of different things the last two weeks. It also gave us a chance to get healthy and give a lot of our backup kids some playing time," Rogers said. ''We are confident, certainly not cocky, going into this game that we can play with them. We'll have to execute very well both offensively and defensively, keep the football in our hands and move it."

While Cameron appears to have the offensive weapons to put points on the board, it still may be very difficult moving the football against the huge Clay-Battelle line. Up front, the Cee Bees have a couple of huge tackles in seniors Austin Peterson (6-foot-6, 280) and Tyler Menas (6-1. 300) that help clog up opponents attempt to run inside.

Slowing down the hosts' attack also will present a major test for a Dragons defense that has surrendered 40 points or more to three opponents. Clay-Battelle has racked up 40 points or more five times, including 75 against Hundred, 65 in the Paden City game and 50 against Valley.

Senior Shayne Hinkle (5-9, 160), Clay-Battelle's top running back, averages just over 13 yards per carry with 1,003 yards on 77 attempts. He's scored 14 touchdowns. The quarterback is junior Tristan Haught (6-2, 170), who has had success throwing the football off play action. Haught is completing 58 percent of his passes (46 of 79, 992 yards, 14 touchdowns while having five passes picked off.

Senior senior split end Nathan Tolley(5-8, 140) has proven to be a deep threat catching the football and he also excels on defense and with the special teams. His 24 receptions have provided 446 yards and three TDs.

In last week's 49-6 thumping of Van, Tolley returned both an interception and a kickoff for touchdowns. In the Valley game following a safety, Tolley brought back the free kick 59 yards for another score.

Rogers insists this will be a typical Cameron vs. Clay-Battelle battle.

''Last year it was a 6-0 game (the Cee Bees winning) in the mud at our place,'' he said. ''Defensively, we're telling our kids you have to stay home and play your position. They run the 'ISO' (isolation) and the trap series very well. We have to be careful that we don't start biting on those things and get caught off guard.''

Cameron's offense, as usual, will rely heavily on the passing of 6-8 sophomore Logan Routt along with the ground work provided by Hunter Yoders and Devin Starcher.

In the 52-14 victory against Hundred, Routt passed for 142 yards and two touchdowns, elevating his season totals to 74 completions for 1,330 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Both Yoders and Starcher topped the century mark in rushing against the Hornets. Overall, Yoders leads the Dragons with 514 yards and eight touchdowns. Mark Walker continues to sparkle as a receiver with 30 catches, 550 yards and three TDs.

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