Lebanon, Mo. – Just two weeks ago, the Camdenton Lakers gathered around head coach Jeff Shore as he officially welcomed the newest members of the Lakers to the team. After transferring to Camdenton, quarterback Bo Dean and running back Josh Martin were treated to a christening of purple Powerade after their first official game as Lakers, and were received by their teammates with cheers.
Two weeks later, those same two players proved to be the difference in Camdenton's annual battle for Highway 5 supremacy, as the Lakers made the trip to Lebanon to take on their rival, the Yellowjackets.
Last season, the Lebanon squad had beaten the Lakers in the third game of the season at Bob Shore Stadium, laying claim to the shiny, brand new Highway 5 traveling trophy with a 46-21 win.
Camdenton reclaimed the trophy, however, with the district championship and a 42-21 win on Lebanon's turf.
This season, with a number of the standouts from the 2012 season gone, it was anybody's guess who would emerge the winner between these two rivals, who both entered the game with an unblemished 2-0 record.
By the end of the first quarter, Lebanon looked to have the upper hand.
Lebanon's offense scored on their first two possessions to take a 14-0 lead with scores from senior Dylan Bradshaw, one on a one-yard run and the other on a tipped ball in the corner of the end zone against double coverage.
Camdenton responded with a nice run from Josh Martin and a touchdown from Matt Endsley, but missed the extra point.
Lebanon tacked on a field goal before halftime to take a 17-6 lead.
Camdenton would come out in the second half with a slow and steady dose of running, working their way to recapture the lead. Midway through the third quarter, Josh Martin would take a trap play on third-and-3 for a 63 yard touchdown run, changing the momentum of the game entirely.
It was Martin's first touchdown as a Laker, and he would finish the night with 106 yards on just six carries.
After converting the two-point conversion, the Purple Haze came on strong against the Lebanon offense, forcing two punts before Dean would lead the Lakers on a 12-play drive for 72 yards, capped off with a second touchdown from Matt Endsley from three yards out.
The Yellowjackets looked to retaliate, and as they pushed their way down field, they managed to drive to the 23 yard line of the Lakers, but after an intentional grounding penalty, they were pushed back out of field goal range, and three plays, later, Martin would put the pressure on sophomore QB Luke Winfrey, and Endsley would pick off the pass attempt.
Camdenton would run out the clock before rushing off the field after their win to return to Bob Shore Stadium to celebrate their 20-17 win.
Page 2 of 2 - "They played lights out from the start," Coach Jeff Shore said. "We could do some things better, sure, but we managed to hold on and stick together, and plugged away for a win. It feels great."
Lebanon running back Elza Evans finished with 92 yards on 19 carries, while Luke Burris finished with 55 yards on four carries, along with Martin's 106 yards. Carlock led the Lakers with seven catches for 116 yards receiving, while on defense he led the team in tackles with eight solos. Shayne Cook managed the only Laker sack for the night, while Lebanon's defense was led by defensive end Johnny Malone, who plagued the Lakers offense, finishing with 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
"Bo did a nice job of making smart plays," Shore said. The Lakers' quarterback had a nice night, as Dean connected on his first eight passes in the game and completed 13-of-15 passes for 180 yards, while his Lebanon counterpart, Winfrey, finished 15-for-26 with 166 yards and an interception.
Camdenton's next match will be another tough one, as they host the Kickapoo Chiefs at home on Friday, who is also still undefeated. Lebanon's next match will be at Glendale next week.