In what will surely go down as an all-time classic for the Lakers, Camdenton found a way to fight through adversity and an evenly matched opponent at home to secure a 37-34 win in what may be one of the most significant games of the year.

In what will surely go down as an all-time classic for the Lakers, Camdenton found a way to fight through adversity and an evenly matched opponent at home to secure a 37-34 win in what may be one of the most significant games of the year.

The game opened with a quick drive by West Plains, moving the ball efficiently to score first and put up an early 7-0 lead just four minutes in. However, in what would become a pattern throughout the remainder of the first half, Camdenton would strike back quickly with pass from Senior Quarterback Paxtron Delaurent to Senior wide receiver Talon Randazzo, tying it up 7-7.

Just when the Lakers though they had evened things up, the Zizzers would respond with a kickoff return by Senior Brayden Lidgard, who would be a big problem for Camdenton the whole night. Again, just as the game felt as if it was settling down, the Lakers would be the next in line to make a big play, as Delaurent would pass to Senior Jase Nicklas for a huge 75-yard touchdown. The first quarter would finally end after another West Plains rushing touchdown, making it 21-14.

The second quarter would see a number of great defensive stops by the Lakers, including a goalline fumble recovery and a number of fourth down stops. The Lakers would keep the Zizzers from scoring in the second quarter, but would find the endzone again themselves after a touchdown pass from Delaurent to Junior Cooper Ezard. The extra point would be missed, making it 21-20 going into halftime.

For the first time in the match, the Lakers would take the lead right out of halftime with a pass to junior Jadin Faulconer for a touchdown. The attempt to get up seven would come short with a failed 2 point conversion, making the score 26-21.

After another big turnover on downs by the Camdenton defense, it looked as though the Lakers would have a chance to get up by two scores with a strong drive. However, the Lakers would be stunned when a Delaurent pass to Collin Thomas would be dropped and then picked off by Lidgard for a pick six, putting West Plains up 28-26 heading out of the third quarter. .

Once again, the Zizzers would find a way to feed the ball to Lidgard and secure another touchdown right out the gates of the fourth quarter, making the score 34-26 early in quarter fourth after missing a crucial extra point try that would have put West Plains ahead of the Lakers by two scores.

The remainder of the quarter would be a chess match between the two teams, trading turnovers on downs and seeing little success from each offense. With 2:25 on the clock, the Lakers would make their final drive down the field in need of a touchdown and a 2 point conversion to send the game into overtime. With 0:12 left, Delaurent would take it in himself for the touchdown and succeed in the 2 pt conversion, tying the game and sending it into overtime.

With overtime upon the two teams, Camdenton elected to defend the opening try by the Zizzers to score from the 25-yard line (same rules as college). The Lakers defense would hold strong, allowing no points from West Plains, opening an opportunity to secure the win. After a number of pass and rush attempts, the Lakers would be set up at the 6-yard line with a field goal try to win it. In a redemption story for the ages, Senior kicker Luke Galbreath would nail the field goal and send the Lakers off with a huge win.

Delaurent would end the night going 31/48 with 365 yards and 4 touchdowns. He would also have 32 rushing yards and a touchdown. Nicklas was Delautnets biggest target of the night, catching 8 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown. Ezard, Randazzo and Faulconer would each end the night with a passing touchdown as well.

Defensive coach Nick Bruck said he was proud of his team and the adjustments they made throughout the contest to constantly stay in pace with West Plains’ high firing offense. He says that the game felt like the momentum was shifting the whole game and ended on a good note. Knowing how the season ended last year, Bruck says he couldn’t watch the final kick of the game.

“ Our season ended last year on a kick and I couldn’t watch this one,” Bruck said. “I’m just so proud of our guys for battling and battling.”

Coach Jeff Shore confirmed that this was the first overtime game he had ever coached in, though it made little difference to the team’s gameplan. He says he was extremely proud of the crowd’s commitment to the game and felt that they made a lasting impact on the final score. He says the team feels blessed to have such a great community surrounding them and believes this will be a game he will never forgets.

“It was just a great night,” Shore said. “I felt like we couldn’t get anything easy tonight. We couldn’t catch a break on the flags, we couldn’t get an easy turnover, nothing came easy. Everything went wrong that could go wrong for us and to still come out on top says a lot about our team.”

The Lakers will travel next week to Springfield to play Central High School, hoping to improve their season to 4-0.