Lakers resilient offense not enough in 52-38 defeat to Lebanon

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader

When the Yellowjackets come to town, it’s a special moment for Camdenton Lakers fans. Even with COVID restrictions holding back Bob Shore Stadium from packing should-to-shoulder, the energy of the long-standing rivalry was felt throughout the night. The Lakers would end up facing a tough loss to the Yellowjackets by the end, but the young Camdenton team fought hard to the end.

Lebanon opened the game with the ball after Camdenton deferred to the second half and made the most of it with a touchdown on their opening drive by freshman Antonio Rogers. Unfortunately for Camdenton, Lebanon would lead the match from this point forward. On the first play of Camdenton’s following drive, the Lakers would cough up the ball on a fumble after a completed catch and turn the ball back over to Lebanon. Yellowjacket quarterback Peyton Mitchell would take the ball in on his own and put the team up 14-0 early.

Before the end of the first quarter of play, Camdenton would finally put together a complete drive and would find the endzone on a rush by Camdenton senior quarterback Jacob Wormsley, who would use his feet much of the night.

Lebanon would waste no time entering the second quarter, as freshman running back Nathan Bartel would close out a quick drive for another score. Camdenton would attempt to cut down the growing deficit on their following drive, but once more the Lakers would fumble a completed pass and hand the ball over. The Yellowjackets would turn this turnover into points quickly on a big play by senior Isaac Ledbetter, who sprinted the ball from midfield to the endzone to give Lebanon their biggest lead so far at 28-7.

The determination of the Lakers was felt on their following drive, as the team continued to play hard with gritty runs and hard-fought yards. Senior Eli Griffin would aid the team’s quest to fight back with a big touchdown reception from Wormsley to cut the Lebanon lead to 14 points. Lebanon would quickly return the effort with a long drive and a touchdown rush by Bartel once more.

Before halftime, the Lakers attempted to make a long drive of their own to get another trip the endzone and walk into the locker room with a two-possession deficit to work with. However, the team couldn’t find the endzone with their limited clock and ended up settling for a field goal, making the score 34-17 at the half.

The Lakers received the second-half kickoff and tried to make a quick score to get back into the game. This would fail, as the team would turn over the ball on downs near the red zone. Lebanon would take the opportunity to score for themselves on a touchdown run by Rogers.

Following this drive, Camdenton was faced with a turning point of either slowing down and giving up or continuing to push forward. On what may have been the gutsiest play of the night, Wormsley would put his team on his back and make a spectacular diving play into the endzone for a touchdown. The Lakers would enter quarter-four down 40-25.

Though the effort was consistent, Camdenton continued to have issues stopping Lebanon even in the final quarter, as the rushing attack continued and Lebanon would find paydirt once more on another touchdown by Ledbetter. Wormsley exited the game in the final quarter with a shoulder injury, giving sophomore Bear Shore an opportunity for some reps. He would be the most of this time in the game with a touchdown right away to senior Philip Kurle.

Lebanon’s final score of the night would come next on another rush by Rogers as the back-and-forth scoring efforts continued by both teams. Camdenton would make the final touchdown of the game, as Shore would find another endzone target in senior Cooper Ezard. The Yellowjackets would take the ball back and run the clock to end the game, with a final score of 52-38.

Camdenton’s offense would have a great night despite the loss, with Wormsley getting it done with 15 rushing attempts for 72 yards and two touchdowns and 15 completed passes for 185 yards and a passing touchdown. Shore completed 7 passes for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Ezard was a big presence in the passing game, with 16 caught for 147 yards and a touchdown. Senior Jadin Faulconer would also add to the rushing attack with 78 yards on 16 carries. (More stats coming soon)

Coach Jeff Shore shared a positive outlook on the team’s performance after the game, saying that while they had a rough night defensively, there were still many positives to pick out of the performance overall. He said that he thought Lebanon played a nearly perfect game to capture the victory and was proud of Wormsley for his gritty play throughout the night. He felt the heavy rushing attack by Lebanon was effective and tired out the defense while also working to keep the offense off the field.

“That’s been the battle against them for four or five years, and fortunately we’ve been able to win that battle most of the time,” Shore said. “Tonight, we didn’t win the time of possession.”

Camdenton will play Glendale at home next week and hope to move to 4-4 on the season.