Depleted Dragons fall to Spoofhounds 27-7
Despite missing more than half of their starters due to a mandatory COVID-19 quarantine, the Cameron Dragons held their own in a 27-7 loss to Maryville last Friday.
Although missing starting quarterback Ty Campbell, running back Dom Hurst, guard Caleb Rick, receiver Ian Riley, cornerback Tanner Riley and more, the Dragons showed a dramatic turnaround from the team that took a 62-0 loss in 2019 and briefly took the lead in the first quarter before giving up 27 unanswered points in the loss.
“We had a situation tonight where we had guys in places they’ve never played. We had to move so many people around and do different things,” Cameron coach Jeff Wallace said. “[They] had no business doing what they did out here tonight. I am so proud of what they accomplished. There are so many things they did tonight that they shouldn’t be physically ready to do against other teams, but they did.”
Following two consecutive stops by the Cameron defense, a 59-yard run on a jet sweep by receiver Ty Speer set up Cameron at the Maryville goal line. Speer capped off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown, but that was Cameron’s only score of the night in an unexpectedly close game.
“We had a lot of guys thrust into positions that they hadn’t worked a lot at, and maybe they were on the field before they were ready to be there but we had no choice,” Wallace said. “I couldn’t be happier with the way they played. We will go back, work on technique and get better at it. I have no qualms with how anybody played tonight in the secondary. I have zero problems with what I saw tonight. I can’t tell you how excited I am to go in and watch film.”
With Cameron’s offense struggling at times with key skill players out, the defense filled the void with timely turnovers, including an interception and strip fumble by senior safety Kacy Kellerstrass, kept Cameron in contention.
“We came into this week preaching we needed to be physical right off the bat. We had some issues with that, but tonight we came out, we were physical and showed we were ready to play and not have our heads down throughout the game,” Kellerstrass said. “It says a lot about our character, our physicality. We always preach it’s the next man up. You have to know your plays. We had a few hiccups, but we did good all around. There is definitely a future. I love having the young players step up when they needed to. They showed they were ready to play.”
Although the offense struggled with Maryville holding them to 159 yards, the defense shined in the losing effort with a few underclassmen stepping up when their team needed them. Sophomore safety Brycen Bennett, who made his first career interception last Friday, was one of those players.
“I was on the sideline with my scouting report. I knew everything, but as soon as I stepped out there my mind went blank,” Bennett said. “[Senior safety Patrick Greer] was telling me what to do and I listened to what the coaches said. I was in the right place at the right time. We have big things coming in the future. As long as we play as a team we should win.”