WEEK 5 PREVIEWS: Camdenton pursuing milestone 500th program win in battle against Bolivar
It could be a special night at Camdenton.
The Lakers (2-2) will host Ozark Conference newcomer Bolivar at Bob Shore Stadium Friday night and should they find a way to win, the traditional fireworks will not just be celebrating any win but the 500th win in program history.
No pressure, though. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Head Coach Jeff Shore said he believes the Lakers could be the fastest to reach that milestone out of any program in the state of Missouri. Other teams have already surpassed that number, the coach noted, but they have been around longer than a Camdenton program that currently has five state championships and 28 district championships. Beating Bolivar (3-1) to do it, a team that went unbeaten last season before falling in the district championship to eventual state champion Webb City, will be easier said than done.
“They are very good,” Shore said of the Liberators as his team looks to bounce back from a 28-6 loss at undefeated West Plains last week. “They are probably the biggest high school offensive line I have ever seen. We have to be able to get the ball out of their hands. They held Glendale, who is a good offense, to 20 points last week so very tough game ahead.”
Bolivar started on a three-game win streak to start the season knocking off Rolla (2-2), Parkview (0-3) and Lebanon (2-2) before dropping its first game at Glendale (2-2) by a final score of 20-15 last week. In fact, it was the first regular season loss for Bolivar since October 12, 2018.
The Liberators are currently averaging 23.3 points per game and giving up 10.5 and have allowed just one score or less in three of their four games.
A trio of turnovers did not help the cause for Bolivar last week as the team trailed 20-0 midway through the third quarter before starting to stage a comeback. And they almost pulled it off before running out of time.
Bolivar gave up 347 passing yards and three touchdown passes against Glendale and let one receiver rack up 165 receiving yards on nine catches while another receiver had 10 catches for 87 yards. If Camdenton can find some rhythm through the air in its “Purple Tide” offense, it may be the best way to attack this Liberator defense.
It was tough sledding for Camdenton last week at West Plains as the Lakers accumulated just 177 total yards of offense overall, including just 11 total rushing yards, but the team still has some playmakers.
Camdenton is continuing to split some time between a pair of quarterbacks in senior Jacob Wormsley who is currently 51-79 for 602 passing yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions while sophomore Bear Shore is 40-62 for 286 yards and two picks. The top target in the passing game continues to be returning senior All-State receiver Cooper Ezard who is at 33 receptions for 460 yards and five touchdowns while senior Jadin Faulconer has totaled 22 catches for 110 yards, senior Philip Kurle is at seven catches for 75 yards and senior Eli Griffin has nine catches for 67 yards.
Faulconer, who showed his versatility with 11 catches for 49 yards last week alone, remains the team’s top rusher with 260 yards and a touchdown on the season, averaging 5.8 yards per rush. Wormsley has added 76 rushing yards (4.2 yards per carry) and Shore has totaled 65 yards (2.7 yards per carry).
Meanwhile, Coach Shore’s scouting report on the Bolivar offensive line may be spot on after the Lakers allowed 182 rushing yards to the Zizzers last week. The “Purple Haze” defense may be in for a battle in the trenches as Bolivar’s Darrin Fugitt led the team with 165 rushing yards last week while quarterback Bo Banner rushed for 75 yards and almost put up 100 passing yards through the air.
Camdenton has the opportunity to show the newcomers the grind of the Ozark Conference and start the Liberators on a losing streak while celebrating a significant milestone in the program’s history. Time will soon tell if the Lakers are up for it.
None yet. This is the first time Camdenton and Bolivar will face each other on the gridiron.
It was a tough night all around for Camdenton in the game at West Plains last week, but Faulconer showed a spark with his consistency in the receiving game. His ability to move the chains in the running and passing game may be key for the Lakers down the stretch.
Camdenton will have to penetrate Bolivar’ offensive line to keep the Liberators off the scoreboard. Fugitt and Banner seem to be two of the team’s biggest threats.