Camdenton cruises by Kickapoo

It was all Camdenton from the start.

The Lakers welcomed Kickapoo to the “Jaws of Death” Friday night for an Ozark Conference clash and Class 4A Camdenton had no trouble sending the Class 6A Chiefs home with a 35-7 defeat. It was Camdenton’s first win over Kickapoo since 2012.

After Kickapoo came up empty on its first offensive drive, the Laker offense moved the chains early, but faced a 4th-and-2 from the Kickapoo 23-yard line. It turned out to be a minor obstacle though as senior fullback Seth Harris put together a punishing run that saw Harris carry Chiefs defenders to the 9-yard line. Then the Lakers implemented some trickery as Harris found senior wide receiver Jackson Ezard on a 9-yard halfback pass for his second touchdown pass of the season to make it 7-0 early in the first quarter.

Once again, the Kickapoo offense came up empty on its next series and Camdenton would answer with another touchdown drive. This time, senior fullback Todd Simpson carried the ball across the goal line for a 1-yard score untouched to put the Lakers up 14-0 by the end of the first quarter.

Kickapoo did not stay quiet for much longer though. After a fumbled punt return from Harris, the Chiefs cut the deficit in half with a 21-yard touchdown pass. However, the Laker offense continued to roll as a 35-yard run from Ezard was followed up by a 2-yard touchdown run from Simpson to make it 20-7 before halftime.

With the “Hogs” among the offensive line clearing the way up front in the trenches, it did not take the Camdenton offense long to find the end zone again as senior wide receiver Jake Hill took a handoff 26 yards to the house and Harris punched in a 2-point conversion to extend the lead to 28-7 near the end of the third quarter. The final score of the night came through the air. After another punishing run from Ezard that went 41 yards, senior quarterback Isaiah Lumley hit Hill in stride for a 26-yard touchdown pass to create the final margin.

By the end of the night, Camdenton totaled 392 rushing yards on 56 carries (7 yards per carry) as Ezard hit the century mark with a team-leading 100 yards while Harris put up 55, Hill totaled 49 and Simpson recorded 40. Lumley finished the night completing five of his eight pass attempts for 35 yards with Hill and Ezard combining for 43 of the team’s 44 total passing yards.

The “Purple Haze” defense turned in a solid performance, allowing just 149 total yards of offense on the night. Harris led the charge with four tackles, an interception and two forced fumbles and the Lakers recorded four total tackles for a loss with senior defensive lineman Connor Whitney and sophomore defensive lineman Mason Kinney recording sacks.

Camdenton improves to 3-1 on the year and the Lakers will hit the road Friday night for another conference clash at Parkview. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Eldon falls to Blair Oaks in battle of state-ranked teams

Undefeated Eldon visited undefeated Blair Oaks in a battle for the top of the Tri-County Conference Friday night.

One team’s unbeaten streak would come to an end and unfortunately for the visitors, that team would be Eldon as the Class 3 No. 7 Mustangs fell 32-12 to the Class 3 No. 2 Falcons.

The night started out as a defensive battle between two sides that can put up points in a hurry. Eldon came into the contest averaging 43 points per game while the Falcons were putting up 38 points respectively. Blair Oaks, who started freshman quarterback Cade Stockman after starter Nolan Hair went down against Versailles last week, struck first early in the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown pass to go up 6-0. However, after a few stalled drives for both sides, the Mustangs answered back and tied it early in the second quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run from junior running back Isaiah Parsons.

Then, a couple of big plays shifted the momentum back to the Falcons and the home team did not give it up the rest of the way. Stockman found receiver Marcus Edler for a 71-yard touchdown pass with five seconds remaining in the half to make it 12-6 at the break. Later in the third quarter, Stockman went deep again as he found receiver Ethan Luebbering for a school record 97-yard touchdown pass to put the Falcons up 18-6 after the third quarter.

Eldon senior running back Isaiah Merida punched in a 1-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to six early in the fourth quarter, but that was the final punch the Mustangs delivered the rest of the night as Braydan Pritchett added a 9-yard touchdown run and Riley Lentz took a 41-yard run to the house.

Eldon’s relentless rushing attack, which had been averaging 395 yards per game, was held to just 150 yards Friday night by the Falcon defense. The Mustangs also looked to generate some offense through the air, but junior quarterback Dawson Brandt was only able to connect on two of his 10 pass attempts.

Meanwhile, Blair Oaks finished with 241 yards through the air and another 136 yards on the ground. The big plays were simply just tough to overcome for a Mustang defense that recorded six tackles for a loss and an interception from Merida. Brandt paced Eldon with nine total tackles, senior linebacker Cole Walker added seven and both Merida and sophomore linebacker Logan Hall put up five tackles each.

Eldon (3-1) will look to quickly rebound when California comes to town Friday night for a conference clash at 7 p.m.

Versailles defense stands tall in road win at California

The Versailles defense stood its ground Friday night at California.

After giving up a touchdown to the Pintos on California’s first offensive drive, the Tiger defense did not give up a single point the rest of the night in a 13-6 Tri-County Conference win.

Things got off to a shaky start for Versailles as California recorded an interception on the opening offensive series and made the Tigers soon pay on a 36-yard touchdown run to go up 6-0. However, Versailles shook it off, buckled in and answered with two touchdown drives in the second quarter to regain the lead for good. California appeared to have another touchdown and a chance to tie it near the end of the third quarter, but it was waived off due to being an illegal forward pass.

There was no doubt for the Versailles offense though. The Tigers marched down the field and senior running back Taylor Dobbins punched in touchdown runs of one yard and two yards as he finished the night with 124 of the team’s 171 rushing yards to pace the ground attack. After the early errant throw, Versailles sophomore quarterback Coby Williams found his groove completing nine of his 14 passes for 88 yards. Dobbins also paced Versailles through the air with one reception for 27 yards, senior wideout Kooper Wilson hauled in three receptions for 19 yards and both senior tight end Jonathon Geier and senior wide receiver Wyatt Espinosa finished with 17 yards.

Defensively, the Tigers allowed just 199 total yards of offense to the Pintos as California rushed for 166 yards and threw for another 33 yards. Versailles junior linebacker Michael Trotter had a nose for the ball with 12 total tackles while sophomore linebacker Gage Tessier and Williams both finished with seven.

Versailles improves to 2-2 with the win and up next for the Tigers is a trip to Warsaw for a conference battle Friday night at 7 p.m.