WEEK 8 PREVIEWS: Camdenton and Glendale bring high-flying passing attacks to conference showdown
One thing is absolutely certain about Friday night’s Ozark Conference battle between Camdenton and Glendale- the football will spend a lot of time in the air.
That is because the Lakers (3-4, 3-4 OC) and Falcons (4-3, 4-3 OC) run a similar style of offense that prioritizes the passing game and the secondaries of both defenses will need to be in fairly good shape when kickoff gets underway in this clash from Bob Shore Stadium at 7 p.m.
“It should be a super exciting brand of football on Friday night. It will be entertaining, for sure,” Camdenton coach Jeff Shore said of the upcoming battle with the Falcons after a 52-38 loss to Lebanon last week. “They’ve got their quarterback back. He had a broken thumb from the first game of the season so he is back now, which has really helped them out. I feel like our offense is playing pretty good right now so hopefully we can find a way to stop them and they can’t stop us.”
As is the objective any given Friday night, but easier said than done.
Glendale is coming off a 20-17 win over Kickapoo and the Falcons are currently averaging 319.4 passing yards, 65.6 rushing yards and 385 total yards of offense per game while scoring 31.6 points per outing.
Sophomore quarterback Wyatt Andrews had been filing in for injured sophomore Cole Fuerbacher and Andrews has completed 115 of his 191 passes for 1,155 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. Fuerbacher has appeared in just two games, but in those contests he went 50-88 for 646 yards, seven scores and three interceptions so it seems the Falcons have two solid options for whoever gets the nod against the “Purple Haze” defense.
Junior wideout Derek Horton has been the team’s top option at receiver with 61 receptions for 670 yards and four touchdowns and the Falcons still have a pair of returning 1,000-yard receivers at their disposal, too. Returning All-Conference senior Jack Clinkenbeard is at 42 receptions for 449 yards and seven touchdowns and junior Chris Floyd Jr. has hauled in 38 receptions for 520 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, junior Carter Herrel provides depth with 21 catches for 212 yards and three touchdowns and senior Trey Moldenhaurer has 14 catches of his own for 161 yards and a score.
“Coach (Tim) McDuffey, our secondary coach, has worked really hard on some different defensive alignments so hopefully we’ll get those instituted and be able to give them a more different look,” Shore stated. “I think it should hopefully give them some problems. He has really worked hard on it and hopefully that will show on Friday night.”
And if there was any question of Glendale’s commitment to the passing attack, a total of 336 passes have been attempted in seven games compared to 128 rushes. Andrews has 49 of those carries for 193 yards (3.9 yards per carry), Clinkenbeard has 17 rushes for 96 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and a score, Horton has rushed 14 times for 79 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and a touchdown and Floyd Jr. has a knack for finding the end zone with just 12 carries that have gone for 47 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and six touchdowns.
So, It seems there is plenty for Camdenton’s defense to account for and contend with Friday night. The Lakers are currently allowing 150.7 rushing yards, 134.4 passing yards and 285.1 total yards of offense per contest with opponents scoring 22.4 points per game.
If Glendale is going to be dropping back to pass, some sacks may help this unit out and the team has 11 total on the season with seniors Parker Wormek and Kaiden Davis leading the way with two each. The Lakers also average 4.7 tackles for a loss per game and in the secondary, Camdenton has logged five interceptions so far this season with sophomore Jaden Parkman logging two of them.
As far as preventing sacks goes, Camdenton’s “Hogs” up front on the offensive line may be busy trying to protect their own quarterbacks. That is because the Falcons have a pass rusher in junior Cooper Roy who has already logged 18 of them in seven games. Senior Traven Mathis (six sacks), junior Connor McTague (five sacks) and freshman Kellon Windstorm (four sacks) also have a knack for getting to the quarterback and the team has 38 sacks overall, averaging 5.4 per game, while allowing 32.9 points per contest.
That defense will be facing a Camdenton team currently putting up an average of 270.7 passing yards, 113.9 rushing yards and 384.6 total yards of offense per contest while scoring 22 points per outing.
Senior quarterback Jacob Wormsley is 121-180 for 1,388 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and six interceptions and sophomore Bear Shore has completed 61 of his 82 passes for 462 yards, three touchdowns and four picks as the Lakers continue to split some time at quarterback.
Returning senior All-State receiver Cooper Ezard continues to be the team’s top target at wide receiver with 71 receptions for 875 yards and nine touchdowns, but there are other options in this passing attack as well. Senior Jadin Faulconer has logged 41 receptions for 259 yards and a pair of scores, sophomore Kam Durnin has caught five passes for 171 yards, senior Eli Griffin has 26 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown, senior Phillip Kurle has 16 catches for 166 yards and a pair of touchdowns, sophomore Javari Stewart has added 15 catches for 106 yards and senior Logan Harmon is at 12 catches for 97 yards while 16 different Lakers have logged at least one catch.
On the ground, Faulconer remains the top rusher with 76 carries for 424 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and one touchdown. Wormsley has rushed 51 times for 242 yards (4.7 yards per carry) and three touchdowns and Shore has 34 carries for 45 yards (1.5 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. Griffin is one who has made the most of his opportunities with 13 rushes for 40 yards (3.1 yards per carry) and four touchdowns.
A chess match is what may be in store Friday night on the gridiron and it is time to see who gets the upper hand.
Camdenton won last season’s battle at Glendale, 50-42.
Faulconer presented a nice option in the ground attack last week against Lebanon with 16 carries for 78 yards in a pass-heavy offense and Ezard has stayed reliable throughout the year with 15 catches for 147 yards and touchdown last week alone. That is now five times in seven games that the senior has gone over 100 receiving yards.
Horton has led the cause for Glendale’s passing attack and a pair of returning 1,000-yard receivers in Clinkenbeard and Floyd Jr. are likely always a threat. Meanwhile, the Lakers will need to keep their quarterbacks upright with pass rushers like Roy coming for them each play.