Cameron Dragons Stand Tall Vs. Clay-Battelle Cee-Bees
Cameron keeps playoff hopes alive with 36-21 win
CAMERON — Cameron entered Friday’s game against Clay-Battelle backed against a wall.
If the Dragons want any shot at making the playoffs, they have to win out. And after the first 20 minutes at Dragon Stadium, it looked like those hopes were going to be dashed.
Clay-Battelle ran through and around Cameron, punished it on the offensive line and using the running of Sean Hays to take a 13-point lead with four minutes left in the half.
But the young Dragons showed their resiliency. Cameron scored twice before halftime, the second score a 44-yard pass from Jessop Broughton to Isaac Ball, to enter the locker room with a three-point lead and never trailed the remainder of the way in a 36-21 victory.
“We had a real slow start and I thought Clay-Battelle came out with a great game plan, ran it down our throat and scored,” Cameron coach Tim Brown said. “The boys adjusted, the coaches made some good adjustments defensively to slow them down and then we got rolling.
“Our offensive coordinator saw some things we could take advantage of, passing to the back out of the backfield, threw some deep balls and scored real quick. Getting the lead before half was huge. Momentum is always huge. They had it at the beginning and we took it back.
“Our kids really had to gut up. I was really proud of our young team for doing what it takes to win. I think this is the first time that offensively, defensively, special teams that we gelled and got the job done.”
Clay-Battelle (4-3) looked to be in firm control. The Cee-Bees used a 19-play, 10-minute drive in the first half — all running plays — to keep Cameron’s offense off the field and eat up clock.
Cameron (5-3) needed an answer in the worst way and got it in the form a four-play drive that saw Broughton loft a pass over a Cee-Bees defender and find Noah Neely for a 14-yard score.
Cameron forced a three-and-out, with Brown calling timeouts to preserve time. The Dragons got the ball back at the 27 with exactly a minute before halftime.
Two completions and a roughing the passer penalty moved the ball to the Cee-Bees 44 where Broughton went deep as Ball got behind the defense and hauled in the pass to give Cameron its first lead at 16-14.
“Jessop has been making really good decisions lately and Ike has been catching just about everything thrown to him,” Brown said. “We just thought that if we can block — and our offensive job probably did their best job (Friday) — we can get this ball down there. We were very confident and obviously they were. They listed to Coach (Matt) Burge, ran the plays quickly and got in the end zone.”
The momentum carried into the second half as the Dragons scored on their opening possession as Broughton hooked up with Payton Neely for a 14-yard score.
“We lost,” Clay-Battelle coach Ryan Wilson said. “My kids played hard, but we lost. The (two scores before half) put us behind and that changed the game. We were doing what we wanted to do and they hit big plays. Our kids played hard, they battled hard. Cameron changed up their defense and shut us down.”
Even when Cameron made a mistake — a fumble deep in its territory that turned into a 7-yard touchdown run from Carson Shriver — the Dragons showed what they were made of.
Broughton, who completed 11 of 13 for 188 yards and touchdowns to four different receivers, hooked up with Garrett Scott in the fourth quarter to put Cameron up 30-21.
On the ensuing Clay-Battelle possession, Ball intercepted a pass and Cameron ran five minutes off the clock, resulting in a Noah Neely 4-yard scoring jaunt to seal a victory and keep the Dragons’ playoff hopes alive.
Noah Neely rushed for a career-high 194 yards and a touchdown.
“We were ready for one look and they gave us another look right off the bat,” Brown said. “It took us a while to make our adjustments and get that straightened out. They drove it down our throats and I was real proud of the kids for not letting that get in their heads and just coming back harder.”
Hays paced the Cee-Bees with 146 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 29 carries.
Cameron 36, Clay-Battelle 21
Clay-Battelle 7 6 8 0 — 21
Cameron 0 16 8 12 — 36
Cl — Hays 13 run (Carrico kick), 9:55
Cl — Hays 6 run (kick failed), 4:08
Ca — N.Neely 15 pass from Broughton (Scott pass from Broughton), 2:30
Ca — Ball 44 pass from Broughton (Broughton run), :14
Ca — P.Neely 14 pass from Broughton (N.Neely run), 6:16
Cl — Shriver 7 run (D’Eletto pass from Hays), 4:35
Ca — Scott 17 pass from Broughton (pass failed), 6:17
Ca — N.Neely 4 run (pass failed), 1:27
Rushing: Clay-Battelle 40-218-3td (Hays 29-146-2td, Shriver 8-69-td, Skavinsky 1-3, Carrico 1-2, Casino 1-(-2)); Cameron 33-204-td (N.Neely 30-195-td, Broughton 3-9)
Passing: Clay-Battelle 1-9-26-x (Carrico 1-8-26-x, Casino 0-1); Cameron 11-13-188-4td (all by Broughton)
Receiving: Clay-Battelle 1-26 (Skavinksy 1-26); Cameron 11-188-4td (Ball 2-75-td, N.Neely 5-67-td, Scott 3-32-td, P.Neely 1-14-td).
First Downs: Clay-Battelle 11, Cameron 19.
Penalties: Clay-Battelle 5-50, Cameron 5-25.
Fumbles-Lost: Clay-Battelle 0-0, Cameron 4-2.