By MIKE HUGHES
For The Intelligencer
BROOKSIDE - Cameron took advantage of its big-play offense and a first-half pass rush that resulted in six sacks of Bridgeport quarterback Bailey McGrath as the Dragons finished their season at 5-5 with a 55-35 triumph against the Bulldogs on Friday at Perkins Field in Brookside.
The visitors tallied eight touchdowns, six of which came from distances of 33 yards and greater. Four of those were from at least 50 yards out.
Junior Clayton Ward had the biggest night, rushing for 221 yards on 14 carries, with touchdown runs of 85 and 33 yards.
Ward added a 55-yard kickoff return in the third quarter after fielding the ball on the tail end of a scrum that was the result of one of Bridgeport's multiple onside kick attempts.
"We had a good feeling coming into this game," Cameron coach Jim Rogers said. "We had a great week of practice and just had a gut feeling. There was no pressure on us."
It took Cameron two plays to score after forcing Bridgeport to punt on its first possesion.
After a false start pushed the Dragons back to their 15, Ward broke a few tackles and took off down the sideline for six.
Quarterback Logan Routt plunged in from the 2 on Cameron's next possession and Hunter Yoders closed out the first-quarter scoring with a 40-yard jaunt to the end zone. After one quarter, Cameron led 22-0.
Bridgeport made three trips into Cameron territory early, only to come away empty handed. Two were ended by sacks and one stalled at the Dragons 10.
Facing a third-and-2, a false start pushed the ball back to the 15 and the ensuing shotgun snap sailed away from McGrath, resulting in a 13-yard loss.
"We kept making mistakes and we shot ourselves in the foot with that penalty," Bridgeport coach Rudy Vavrock said. "They were bringing a lot of pressure early."
Bridgeport finally got on the board in the second when McGrath ran in from 12 yards out and later hooked up with senior Colt Charlton on a 30-yard scoring strike.
But a Routt 50-yard touchdown run and a 33-yard run from Ward came directly after each Bridgeport score. At the half, the Dogs were down 35-12.
Dalton Wood returned a McGrath interception 53 yards for a touchdown in the fourth and Routt tacked on his third rushing touchdown, this time from 6 yards out, late in the fourth for the Dragons' final points.
"We've been waiting for Logan to have success running all season," Rogers said. "He made some good runs."
Bridgeport opted for some quicker passes in the second half in effort to stall Cameron's pass rush. It worked as McGrath routinely hooked up with Charlton, moving the chains while working the middle of the field.
Charlton finished with 173 yards on 11 receptions, including a 28-yard touchdown connection in the fourth quarter.
McGrath also connected with Carlos Kusic and rumbled in from 14 yards out in the fourth for the game's final score.
"We got down (early) and had to work our way back and that's been the story for us all year," Vavrock said as his team finished 2-8. "We gave up too many big plays and you just can't have that if you want to win a football game."
McGrath finished 14 of 29 for 178 yards and three touchdowns.
Yoders ran for 68 ayrds and caught three passes for 75.