Cameron, Clay-Battelle Eyeing Playoff Berths
CAMERON — A pair of teams still fighting to solidify their West Virginia Class A playoff rankings will hook up Friday night as No. 11 Clay-Battelle travels into the hills of Marshall County to take on No. 9 Cameron at Dragon Stadium.
The crazy thing is, that while neither team has guaranteed themselves anything as of yet, the winner of this contest could take a huge step forward toward a possible postseason date at home.
Coach Scott Holt’s Dragons (5-1) are coming off a 58-0 blanking of Conotton Valley and has won two in a row following their only setback at Shenandoah. Cameron has put up 266 points on the season while allowing just 72, most of those by their reserves.
“We are actually still worried about getting into the playoffs,” Holt admitted. “But this is a big one this week and could go a long way towards making that happen if we can get a win.
“It’s also big in the OVAC standings and for a possible home game. It’s one of those games that if you win you can point at as being a big factor, but if you lose you look back and think about what could have been.”
Meanwhile, Ryan Wilson’s Cee-Bees (5-1) found themselves trailing Paden City after a quarter last week before rolling off the final 32 points to get a victory. Clay-Battelle comes in having scored 231 points so far this season and allowing 98.
“Coming into the season, lack of experience was a big thing for us, but I really think if you look at the film from Game 1 to last week, you will see a lot of improvement,” Wilson said. “Even our seniors have gained experience.
“But there is no question that there is still plenty of room for improvement, even though we have played very well in our five wins. I know this is a big game, but last week was a big game for us and next week will be also.
“Another loss at any team could be very harmful, so each one is as big as the last one and the next one.”
Cameron is led by standout senior quarterback Colby Brown, who is closing in on the 1,000-yard passing plateau for the season. Brown has completed 43 of 75 tries for 963 yards, 17 touchdowns and three interceptions on the campaign.
Andrew Ritchea is the team’s leading rusher with 447 yards and five scores, while Brown and Wyatt Wingrove each had a rushing touchdown last week. Travis Mickey leads the receiving corps, coming off a three catch for 112 yards and two touchdowns night. Robert Milliken and Trey Scott, who had four interceptions and returned two for scores a week ago, are also big in the passing game.
“Cameron is a good football team that is always very well-coached,” Wilson said. “They have athletes all over the place and they are the whole package. There is a lot of experience, size on the line and tall, quick kids at receiver.
“Their defense sometimes makes you wonder if there are 12 or 13 kids out there because they move so fast, and they also tackle very well.”
Clay-Battelle has a big-time playmaker of their own in senior running back Travis Dillie, who has rushed for 807 yards and nine touchdowns on the year. Dillie ran for 206 yards and a pair of scores last week against the Wildcats.
Classmate Logan Forquer adds depth with 371 yards and five scores. Forquer also had two receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown last week. Sophomore Seth Casino threw for 122 yards and a score last week while Gunner Brummage is a nice target in the passing game.
“They are real similar in size and geography as us, and they have had some nice success in recent years,” Holt said. “And they like to go out and mix it up just like we do.
“Clay-Battelle runs the perimeter very well and they put a lot of kids in the box and put pressure on your defense. They are a good team and one that we are certainly worried about.”
Cameron has won the last two games in the series, including last year’s 48-19 victory over the Cee-Bees. Clay-Battelle had won the previous nine before the Dragons’ current two-game streak.