Zeps End Cameron’s Win Streak
SARAHSVILLE — The saying goes, ‘All good things must come to an end.’ For Cameron, a 13-game winning streak during the regular season was snapped at the hands of Shenandoah.
Boone Jones threw for three touchdowns and Hunter Graham returned an interception 76 yards to the house for the Zeps as they remained undefeated and handed the Dragons their first loss during the regular season since 2015, 28-12 on Friday night.
“The mistakes really hurt us,” Cameron (3-1) coach Scott Holt said. “When you make mistakes against a high-caliber team like them, you pay for every single one of them. But I just told our kids, by the time we learned what we needed to do last year was Week 11 and we were putting the pads away.
“Now, we know what we have to do and know how to move on. How we move on is come back on Monday just like we win. We play Paden City next week and it’s Homecoming. We’ve got a lot to play for and for all the challenges we had to overcome against that caliber of a team … I’m not pleased with a loss, but I’ll take our effort any day.”
Shenandoah came out swinging on its opening possession and marched down the field 60 yards in 10 plays, ending in Jones connecting with Graham from 15 yards out. A Cameron offsides penalty on third-and-6 gave the Zeps a little momentum and they took advantage.
After a three-and-out by Cameron, its defense came to life with an interception on the Zeps’ 25. Two plays later, however, Shenandoah picked off a Colby Brown pass in the end zone. Brown went 6 of 18 for 130 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Both scoring tosses were to Robert Miliken from 48 and 38 yards, respectively.
Shenandoah (5-0) coach Jesse Wells had a stern eye on the Dragons’ passing attack and his defense, for the most part, got the job done.
“I was happy with the way our defense played outside of those two plays, (touchdown passes),” Wells said. “Honestly, both of those plays we were in position to make the plays. They have good players, too. When they have 6-2, 6-3 receivers, and we’re guarding them with 5-9 corners, they made a play. Kudos to them.”
With 1:39 left in the opening quarter Brown and Miliken connected for the first time to put the score at 8-6.
Midway through the second quarter, the Dragons looked to be back in business. After forcing a turnover on downs, the offense drove down the field. Shenandoah, however, did not break. Graham picked off Brown and went the other way 76 yards to make the score 16-6 after a successful 2-point conversion.
“Hunter is a great player,” Wells said. “He’s actually been a little sick this week. He had a great game. The pick-6 was huge, obviously, and the fade to him was another big play.”
Jones threw two touchdowns in the second half, the fade to Graham and a 10-yarder to Kendal Sherman in the fourth quarter to put the score at 28-6 with 9:36 left in the game.
The Dragons made one final attempt with a comeback. Miliken and Brown connected for a score with 5:53 left to make it 28-12.
With a little more than four minutes left, the Zeps faced a third-and-18. Jones, with his athletic ability and juke moves, was able to compile 19 to all but put the game away.
Nick Miller led the ground attack for the Zeps with 160 yards. He was held to 68 in the first half as the Dragons did a decent job of containing him.
“When you look at the actual final score, we were able to contain their offense,” Holt said. “A few times we thought we would be in good shape if we had them in third-and-long and they got out of a few third-and-longs. These are things we work on. We don’t have to play a playoff game on Monday. Hopefully we get to that point where we are playing a playoff game, but again, we know what we need to work on now and we’re a better team because of (Friday). Our record is worse, but our team is better.”
Miliken had 86 receiving yards for the Dragons while Trey Scott hauled in three receptions for 42 yards. And while the 13-game win streak has ended, there’s now a new beginning for the Dragons.
“The great thing about that is, when you look back at the kids who were a part of it, it’s not like the glory days where they’re gone and married with children,” Holt said. “They’re still in our locker room. Those kids are still here and we’re gonna try to start another one. We have six regular-seasons games left and we’re gonna try to be on a six-game winning streak by the time the playoffs start.”
Shenandoah 28, Cameron 12
Cameron 6 0 0 6 — 12
Shenandoah 8 8 6 6 — 28
S — Graham 15 pass from Jones (Miller run), 7:45
C — Miliken 48 pass from Brown (pass failed), 1:39
S — Graham 76 interception return (Jones pass to McPeek), 6:26
S — Sherman 10 pass from Jones (run failed), 5:45
S — Graham 34 pass from Jones (pass failed), 9:36
C — Miliken 38 pass from Brown (pass failed), 5:53
Rushing: Cameron 25-28 (Brown 12-27, A. Ritchea 5-26, Wingrove 4-11, Team 4-(-36)). Shenandoah 36-222 (Miller 26-160, Sherman 3-8, 9-54).
Passing: Cameron 6-18-130-2td-2x (all by Brown). Shenandoah 10-21-116-3td (all by Jones).
Receivng: Cameron 6-130-2td (Miliken 2-86-2td, Tre. Scott 3-42, Mickey 1-2). Shenandoah 10-116-3td (Graham 7-81-2td, Cha. Chicwak 2-24, Sherman 1-10-td).
First Downs: Cameron 10, Shenandoah 17.
Penalties: Cameron 2-20, Shenandoah 5-37.
Fumbles: Cameron 1-0, Shenandoah 5-2.