Cameron Halts West Greene
Lucey strong in first start at QB
CAMERON — The most asked question leading up to Cameron’s season opener was how would head coach Scott Holt fill the shoes of three all-state players lost to graduation?
The Dragons delivered that answer Friday night as they pocketed a 22-14 victory over visiting West Greene at Dragon Stadium.
It was the first battle between the two neighboring state rivals since 2001 and the Dragons have held their Pennsylvania foe winless since 1996.
“It was a wild night,” Holt said. “You can tell these two teams are close to each other geographically. We were outsized but we showed a lot of heart and a lot of toughness.
“I think both sides had some growing pains and that showed, but there is a lot to be said for kids who have won. They continue to find ways to win and that’s what our kids were able to do.”
After two-time all-state quarterback Colby Brown, all-state linebacker Wyatt Wingrove and all-state cornerback Trey Scott picked up diplomas last year, Aidan Lucey stepped up into a huge role.
The senior, who played center just last year, took over the reigns at quarterback and completed 13 of his 20 passes for 177 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also forced a fumble and recovered another as West Greene was attempting a game-tying drive late in the game.
“A big part of his success are the kids he works with on a daily basis,” Holt said. “We have a backup quarterback right there with him in Jessop Broughton, who would have saw time at QB but had to go in at receiver because of an injury.
“Aidan is working with experienced receivers, too, so that calms things down because he knows exactly where they are going to be.”
Although Trin Scott did not find the end zone, he made his presence felt in a big way.
The defensive back snagged an interception on the opening drive of the game, which led to a Cameron touchdown. He also returned a punt 36 yards to the West Greene 4-yard line, also leading to a Dragons score.
“Trin has always been a great player,” Holt said. “But we have just had so many great players around him that maybe he doesn’t stand out quite so much until this year.
“It is his time to shine and I think he knows that. If people didn’t know it, they do now.”
Highly touted Pioneers running back Ben Jackson finished with 27 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns but had just one rush of more than 11 yards.
“Our defense has been a really strong point for a couple of years,” Holt said. “That’s continued to be the case. They were big.
“We knew if we got to the spot first, we would have a chance. Our kids continued to get to the spot first and I am proud of them for that.”
Scott’s opening-drive interception led to a 4-yard touchdown scamper by Cameron tailback Andrew Ritchea. The scoring drive consisted of a fourth-and-1 conversion by Lucey on the ground and a 29-yard pass from Lucey to Matthew Ritchea on third down. Lucey found Matthew Ritchea again for the two points.
West Greene answered the call on its next possession as Jackson finished a 62-yard drive with a 31-yard touchdown run as he broke a plethora of tackles on his way to cutting the margin to 8-6.
“He had a solid day for us,” West Greene coach Rodney Huffman said of his tailback. “He got a little injured late in the game but he played both sides of the ball most of the night.”
The Dragons looked to be going in for six once again on the ensuing possession but a fumble inside the 10 spoiled the threat.
After forcing the Pioneers to punt, Scott raced down the field for the 36-yard return, setting up a Lucey touchdown pass to Matthew Ritchea on the next play, giving Cameron a 16-6 halftime advantage.
Both teams came away empty-handed on their first possessions of the second half but Cameron eventually extended its lead when Lucey hit wide receiver Travis Mickey in stride for an 18-yard scoring connection with 5:28 left in the third for a 22-6 cushion.
Jackson garnered the final touchdown as he darted into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line with 2:22 left in the third. The 2-point conversion was successful, cutting the deficit to 22-14.
The Pioneers had one more chance with 1:46 left in the game. As quarterback Gavin Scott led a possible game-tying drive down the field, Lucey dove on a loose ball at the Cameron 9-yard line to clinch the season-opening victory for the Dragons.
“They beat us on the scoreboard and outplayed us,” Huffman said. “This was a good lesson for us going into conference play next week. This is a hard place to play. Cameron has been good the last two or three years and we are still on the rise.”
Colton Dobbs also garnered a fumble recovery in the win and Matthew Ritchea was the leading receiver with five catches for 70 yards.
Cameron 22, West Greene 14
West Greene 6 0 8 0 — 14
Cameron 8 8 6 0 — 22
C — A.Ritchea 4 run (M.Ritchea pass from Lucey), 3:56
W — Jackson 31 run (run failed), 1:15
C — M.Ritchea 4 pass from Lucey (M.Ritchea run), 8:15
C — Mickey 18 pass from Lucey (pass failed), 5:28
W — Jackson 2 run (Jackson run), 2:22
Rushing: West Greene 46-237-2td (Jackson 27-130-2td, Brudnock 7-28, Scott 6-12, Walker 9-67). Cameron 21-56-td (A.Ritchea 11-23-td, Lucey 6-10, M.Ritchea 4-23).
Passing: West Greene 5-11-68-x (all by Scott). Cameron 13-20-177-2td (all by Lucey).
Receiving: West Greene 5-68 (Brudnock 3-24, Litton 2-44). Cameron 13-177-2td (Mickey 3-39-td, M.Ritchea 5-70-td, T.Scott 4-56, A.Ritchea 1-10, Neely 1-(-2).
First Downs: West Greene 15, Cameron 13.
Penalties: West Greene 9-80, Cameron 9-70.
Fumbles-Lost: West Greene 2-2, Cameron 1-1.