CAMERON - It certainly was not what John Durdines wanted, but at the end of the day, the Bishop Donahue coach will always take a 'W.'
The No. 5-ranked Bishops overcame five turnovers, nearly 130 penalty yards and an early four-point deficit to defeat upset-minded Cameron, 42-18, to lay claim to the Marshall County Commissioner's Cup.
''Give Cameron a lot of credit,'' Durdines said. ''They came out and they played their butts off. We knew it was going to be a dogfight coming up here. We saw them scrimmage against West Greene and they played really well against them.''
Photo by Alex Kozlowski/Bishop Donahue’s Brett Moore (10) attempts to gain yards while Cameron’s defense is right behind.
The Dragons (0-1) came out swinging and matched the Bishops (1-0) blow for blow as they complied 174 yards and three touchdowns on their first five possessions to take an 18-14 lead early in the second quarter.
That's when the Bishops, particularly their offensive and defensive lines, put the clamps down on Cameron.
''We were tried of hearing (the line say) they were being held,'' Durdines said. ''We told them you can just rip out of that. They just had to penetrate like we have been doing in practice. They did well in the second half.''
On the Dragons' last seven drives, the Bishops held them to 32 yards of total offense, 22 of which came on a Clayton Ward rush to the outside early in the third quarter.
''I thought we played right with them early,'' first-year Cameron coach Scott Holt said. ''When the time came in the second half, we just couldn't get the ball back when we needed it. We got banged up pretty good. We were pretty far down in the depth chart as far as putting players on the field trying to stop them.
''When we had the ball we couldn't keep it and when they had the ball it seemed like minutes were coming off the clock. We couldn't keep the momentum.''
Leading 26-18 at the start of the second half, the Donahue offense methodically moved the ball downfield, but on a third-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Ward forced a fumble and Chris Gouldsberry jumped on the lose ball.
Trey Miller returned the favor three plays later as he picked off a Logan Routt pass to set the Bishops up at the 50.
It took Donahue scatback Brett Moore one play to find the endzone as he ran through and around the Dragons defense to give the Bishops a 34-18 advantage.
''It was a sloppy game,'' Durdines noted. ''I'm thankful to come out of here with a victory, especially the way we played with the turnovers and penalties.''
Donahue finished with 581 yards of total offense, 332 of which came from the arm and legs of senior quarterback Jesse Padlow.
Moore ended with 127 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and also caught an 18-yard TD grab from Padlow.
Coleton Berletch was on the receiving end of Padlow's other touchdown pass and ended with 58 receiving yards, while Trey Miller had three receptions for 79 yards.
Power backs Matt Vucelik and Alex Riedel combined for 99 yards and a score and helped Bishop run down the clock late in the game.
''You have to give the line credit,'' Durdines said. ''They were giving them a crease. That's all they really needed. They're hard to square up and get down.''
Ward led the Dragons with 88 yards and a score and ripped off a few impressive runs.
''We tried to give Clayton some plays that would give him a chance to succeed,'' Holt said. ''He's a talented kid. If he gets an open spot in the next nine weeks, we hope he can turn what was a 20-yard gain into a 60-yard gain.''