After losing to Madonna in the Kickoff Classic at Wintersville in its opening game, Beallsville's road warriors will be looking for their third consecutive victory away from the friendly confines Friday night when Coach Paul Kanzigg's Blue Devils travel into the hills of Marshall County to take on Cameron.
However, Coach Jim Rogers' Dragons are coming off a tough 24-18 setback to Clarksburg Notre Dame and will be looking to even its record at 2-2. Beallsville is coming off a 36-14 victory at Paden City after winning at Strasburg the previous week.
While Cameron fell to the Fighting Irish, the Dragons had opportunities, something they are going to have to take advantage of in the future if they are going to be successful. The Dragons twice had chances to take a lead in the fourth quarter only to come up just short.
"Friday night was like, 'here we go again,'" Rogers said. "There were a couple of situations in the second quarter we they hit seam passes that we weren't prepared for, and we didn't do a very good job of tackling on. But our kids worked their butts off the whole game and I am very proud of that fact.
"We fought hard and had opportunities at the end, but it just wasn't good enough. The offense came up a couple of inches short of a key first down and that was it. But I can tell you these kids have shown so much improvement from that Bishop Donahue game (season opener) to now."
Rogers' offense did an outstanding job moving the football, gaining more than 400 yards and had an early 12-3 lead in the second quarter but could not capitalize when they needed to. Junior quarterback Logan Routt had one of his better nights, throwing for 222 yards and two scores while rushing for 62 more.
Hunter Yoders led the rushing attack with 69 yards, while the Dragons racked up 168 overall on the ground and two scores, while Zach Hall caught seven passes for 162 yards and both touchdowns from Routt.
The Cameron defense will have to step up its game after allowing nearly 400 yards to Notre Dame. That included 185 on the ground to junior sensation Santino Cava.
"From what I have seen, Cameron is a good, balanced team," Kanzigg said. "They have a tall quarterback with a nice arm who moves around the pocket very well, and we are going to have to find a way to contain him. They also have a speedy running back and a lot of size on the line. This has all the makings of a very competitive game."
Beallsville led the Wildcats just 20-8 heading for the fourth and pulling away.
Kanzigg's crew did a nice job spreading the ball around and finished with 170 rushing yards and another 120 through the air.
Bruce Sefert led the way on the ground with 76 yards and two trips to the end zone, while quarterback Chase Mercer was true on 9 of 13 passes for 120 more and a score. Mikey Palmer had six grabs for 78 and a touchdown.
"This is the same old Beallsville team that it has been for years," Rogers said. "Even though Dave (Caldwell) isn't there anymore, Paul was with him for years. It's the same tough kids, and although there aren't as many of them, Paul has done a real nice job winning with what he has.
"They play a pressure defense and they run the football very well, so we know what is in front of us."
Even though the season is only three games deep, Friday night's contest turns into a big one for both teams as far as possible playoff positioning goes. While Cameron needs to get back to the .500 mark and has Madonna in a couple of weeks, Beallsville still has road games at Shadyside and Bishop Donahue looming.
"The Madonna game is one of those games that you just want to put behind you as much as you can and move forward," Kanzigg added. "I think we have done a good job regrouping and I have been impressed with our play the last couple of weeks. We beat a quality Strasburg team and a Paden City team that is going to win some games if it can turn its confidence level around."