Cameron defensive tackle Preston Benedict makes a sack during Friday's 69-14 loss.

Dragons fall to Savages 69-14

Full lineup expected to return for homecoming

SAVANNAH - With all but three offense starters out with either injury, illness or COVID-19 quarantine, the Cameron Dragons struggled with just over 200 yards total offense in a 69-14 blowout loss to Savannah.

Touchdowns by twin junior receivers Ty and Bryson Speer provided the Cameron’s only offensive highlights last Friday as the Dragons now look to quickly put the loss behind them before Friday’s Homecoming showdown against Midland Empire Conference foe Lafayette.

“We were without a lot of our guys and we were playing a very physical team in Savannah,” Cameron coach Jeff Wallace said. “I thought we played pretty well for a quarter and a half with our younger guys. We just got to a certain point where they were so physical and we had a bunch of younger guys in that weren’t ready to handle that yet. The barrage came and we just couldn’t stop it.”

The Dragons held their own early, closing a first-quarter 15-0 on a 58-yard run by Ty Speer on a jet sweep. Without numerous starters on defense including standout senior middle linebacker Cam Hedgpeth, who was out with a non-COVID-19 related illness, the Dragons gave up more than 400 yards on the ground. Cameron ended the second half on a 2-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Payton Lawson to Bryson Speer, the first career TD pass for Lawson, but a stingy Savage defense kept the Dragons out of the end zone through the remainder of regulation. 

“Those guys have gotten valuable reps they would not have gotten before,” Wallace said. “You always try to find something positive, if you can, in a situation this adverse.”

The Dragons will not let the sting of last Friday’s loss affect them for long with MEC foe Lafayette coming to Dave Goodwin Field for homecoming. The Fighting Irish come into Friday’s game 3-2 after pummeling Chillicothe 33-7 last Friday to put them at 2-1 in MEC play. In 2019, the Fighting Irish bested Cameron 35-21 but Coach Wallace said he has a few surprises for Lafayette, but will not say if any of Cameron’s nine missing starters, due to COVID-19 quarantine, will be ready in time.

“Let’s just say, we should get some guys back,” Wallace said. “It’s going to be nice to get some guys back. They’re going to be hungry and I know they really missed being away. Lafayette has some super athletic kids. They move well on the field and they have a good football sense. They are well coached and it’s going to be a challenge for whoever we got on the football field.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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