Dragons blank Knights 42-0
The Cameron Dragons remain undefeated with their two-game scoreless streak intact after demolishing the Southeast Kansas City Knights 42-0 Friday night.
After a few early offensive hiccups, Cameron settled in by the third possession and cruised to 42-0 victory while the defense held Southeast Kansas City to under 100 yards rushing and passing to pick up their second win of the season.
“We had to diagnose what it was and get ourselves right with our play-sheet. In that first series, we were calling things for a defense they weren’t in,” Cameron coach Jeff Wallace said. “That’s my fault more than anything else. I have to get my act together before the second series. We did not start this second game with the passion and intensity which we did last week and what we’re known for … We talked about it at halftime and lesson learned.”
One factor for the sluggish start may have been COVID-19 regulations throwing Cameron out of routine. Instead of dressing in a locker room, regulations forced Cameron to travel an hour fully padded, jump off the bus, stretch and kickoff the game. By the third series, Cameron seemed acclimated with senior quarterback Ty Campbell picking up 25 of his 155 all-purpose yards and the first of his four touchdowns for the Dragons first score.
“We just had to get pumped up. We just started slow,” said Cameron receiver Ty Speer, who shined on offense and defense with three catches for 27 yards and a touchdown as well as an interception and two tackles at linebacker. “… That was kind of weird. We started off slow because we never had anything like this happen before, but we picked it up in the second half.”
Cameron took its lead to 14-0 after cornerback Ian Riley recovered a fumble, returning it 65 yards to paydirt. As Cameron’s offense worked to find its footing, the stout defensive line under the new 3-4 scheme allowed Cameron’s linebackers easy access to Southeast Kansas City athletic backfield. Linebacker Cam Hedgpeth, who tallied 14 tackles, combined with fellow crewmen Javier Marones and Kaydan Brown combining for 21 tackles, eight behind the line of scrimmage and four sacks.
“It was just energy. Our sidelines really picked it up. We didn’t have any fans in the stands,” Marones said. “They brought the intensity and it just gave us the energy to go. Each game gets a little bit harder as we go. We just have to get faster.”
One through line that seemed to define Friday night’s game was Cameron’s ability to finish each play. Junior running back Dom Hurst, who picked up his second consecutive 100-yard performance, learned that all too well after netting the bulk of his yardage on an 82-yard carry by keeping his feat churning when his opponents thought they stopped him in the backfield.
“I just kept going. I think I was down. I didn’t hear the whistle. I got back up and started running again,” said Hurst, who average more than 10 yards per carry for 102 yards and a touchdown. “… Everybody else was getting yards and doing great. We really lit the scoreboard up tonight.”
With a head full of steam created by two blowout victories, the Dragons will face their first true challenge next Friday against the undefeated St. Pius X Warriors. Although taking place at Dave Goodwin Field, Friday night’s game may evoke a sense of déjà vu. Last season, Cameron fell short of winning the battle of the unbeaten with after a controversial no-call on a pass interference in the end zone gave the Warriors the ball to end the game. Hurst said his team understands the challenge ahead, but feels it will be a much different game this time around.
“It was a close game, but I’m not too worried about it this year,” Hurst said. “I’m going to bring it next week. It’s going to be a hard week of practice, but I’m coming.”