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Football Lookahead: Dragons Welcome ’Dogs on Senior Night

October 24, 2012
By JOSH STROPE , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

A season that began with high expectations ends Friday night for Cameron at Dragons Stadium.

The Dragons will play host to Bridgeport in what will be the final game for 11 seniors.

''We want the seniors to win,'' Cameron coach Jim Rogers said. ''Senior Night at Cameron is a tradition. We are going to practice as hard as we can.

''We've seen the game film (on Bridgeport) and we have a game plan.''

In what is the 100th season of playing football at Cameron, there was much optimism around the program that this would be the year the Dragons would return to the playoffs since 2003.

That didn't happen as tough losses to Clay-Battelle and St. John the previous two weeks sealed their fate.

At 4-5, Rogers and his squad are looking to finish with a .500 record.

''I don't know how to explain it,'' Rogers said. ''(Against St. John) we went back and forth, fumbled four times, had stupid penalties. Two interceptions really killed us.

''We really played some good ball in the first half against a tough schedule. Against Clay-Battelle, we thought we played our best game but we dropped two touchdowns and had two called back.

''We are trying to get to .500 and we know we have to work our butts off to get there. Bridgeport is a big, physical team.''

Like Cameron, Bridgeport will be playing in its final game this season. The Bulldogs are 2-7, having lost seven straight. Coach Rudy Vavrock's club was beaten 49-13 by undefeated Shadyside last week.

Bridgeport doesn't have many seniors to say goodbye to - Colin Cooper, Dallas Fields, and Michael Jaworski are the only ones - but the Bulldogs want to send them out winners.

''The last game is always one where you want to get a win,'' Vavrock said. ''Those three kids have helped build a pretty good program through the years. We also want to get a win to hopefully carry this into next season.

''We know it won't easy. Cameron has a big tall quarterback (Logan Routt), some good running backs and they play good defense. Their tackles and guards are pretty good size and they are probably bigger than us. We obviously have to stop the running game and be able to defend the lines.''

Fields leads the Bulldogs in rushing with 856 yards and seven touchdowns.

Dillon Blake, Hunter Chambers, Seth Earnhart, Ivan Hall, Jordan Hart, Levi Knight, Austin Martin, Austin Pyles, Justin Richards, Devin Starcher, and Mark Walker will wearing the blue Cameron jerseys for the final time.

Walker is the team's leading receiver, catching 39 passes for 636 yards and three touchdowns this season. Starcher is the Dragons' second-leading rusher, running for 500 yards (55.5 per game) and seven scores.

Blake has 6.5 sacks to lead the defense, while Chambers has four. Hall has five interceptions, one less than Walker.

''Bridgeport is big up front and our guards and tackles must play well,'' Rogers said. ''The Fields kid is the real deal. He plays safety but he moves everywhere.

''It's going to depend on how we start. The game is 48 minutes and two halves so we have to see how it plays out.''

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