Camdenton comes up just short in tough battle with West Plains

Victory was just out of reach for Camdenton Friday night.

The Lakers welcomed Ozark Conference foe West Plains to Bob Shore Stadium where the Zizzers escaped with a 25-24 win. Besides a 55-41 Laker win in week two of last season, West Plains has been a thorn in Camdenton’s side as the Zizzers have won three of the past four contests by a single point including 29-28 win in district playoff action last year.

West Plains put the first score of the game on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run to take a 6-0 lead with just under six minutes remaining in the first quarter. Both offenses stalled for the next few drives until Camdenton senior fullback Todd Simpson plowed his way through the line for a 1-yard touchdown run of his own early in the second quarter. Then the Lakers found the end zone again just before halftime as senior fullback Seth Harris dashed by Zizzer defenders for an 18-yard score to give the Lakers a 14-6 advantage at the break.

The momentum continued to stay with Camdenton coming out of the locker room.

West Plains looked to execute a jet sweep run early in the third quarter, but fumbled the exchange and Camdenton senior defensive end Grant Norton pounced on the loose ball for the Laker offense to set up shop at the Zizzer 22-yard line. The offense did not disappoint either as senior quarterback Isaiah Lumley found Simpson on a screen who punished would-be tacklers on a 2nd-and-20 play that went 35 yards to the house. Moments later after a West Plains drive came up empty, senior kicker Coleman Baker extended the Laker lead to 24-6 near the end of the third quarter with a 32-yarder through the uprights.

Unfortunately for Camdenton, that was the last time the Lakers would score and West Plains had no intention of going quietly into the night. The Zizzers began chopping into the deficit with a 1-yard touchdown run at the 7:08 mark. After an errant Lumley throw that was intercepted, the Zizzers followed it up with a quick 53-yard strike to make it 24-19 at 3:11 and took advantage of another interception with a 47-yard bomb to regain the lead with 1:48 remaining.

Despite the miscues, Lumley and the offense quickly marched right back down the field to the Zizzer 35-yard line before the Lakers were stopped on fourth down and West Pains ran the clock out.

Simpson led all Camdenton ball carriers with 77 yards and two touchdowns while Harris put up 57 yards and a score of his own. Lumley finished the night completing 11 of his 17 passes for 89 yards and senior wideout Jacob Hill paced the receiving corps with six receptions for 59 yards respectively.

The Lakers (1-1) will look to get back on track when they visit rival Lebanon (2-0) Friday night in the battle for the Highway 5 trophy at 7 p.m.

Strong second half leads Fulton to win over Versailles

After one half of play it was anyone’s game when Versailles welcomed Fulton to the gridiron Friday night.

The Tigers trailed just 20-15 at the break, but the Hornets soon found a groove in the second half offensively and went on to secure a 47-23 victory in week two.

Versailles struck first with a touchdown on its opening drive, but Fulton needed just five plays to tie it and quickly took a 14-7 advantage soon after. However, the Tigers came storming back and regained the lead at 15-14 with just over a minute remaining in the half. Unfortunately for Versailles, the Hornet offense did not skip a beat and regained the lead for good before halftime and remained consistent throughout the second half.

Versailles sophomore quarterback Coby Williams kept his team fighting with both his legs and his arm. Despite one errant interception, the sophomore gunslinger finished the night with a team-leading 57 rushing yards and two touchdowns while completing 12 of his 17 passes for 135 yards. On the ground, junior tailback Grant Hutchison added the other Tiger touchdown and finished with 26 rushing yards on six carries while senior wideout Kooper Wilson proved to be a reliable target for the second straight week as he hauled in a team-leading four receptions for 84 yards.

Just like the previous contest in the season opener with Knob Noster, the opponent’s rushing attack was a constant thorn in the side of the Versailles defense. This time, though, Versailles was unable to overcome it as Fulton rushed for 303 yards averaging 9.2 yards per carry. The Hornets also put up 107 yards through the air. As tough as the night was for the Versailles defense, there were some bright spots as the Tigers managed to record six tackles for a loss and junior defensive back Wyatt Espinosa recorded his first interception of the season.

Versailles (1-1) will look to get back on the right track with Blair Oaks coming into town Friday night at 7 p.m.