With just two games left in the season, the Camdenton Lakers faced the Joplin Eagles at home on Friday night. Coach Shore and company had one goal: win.
In a stunning display of offensive prowess, the Lakers pounded the Eagles in a 45-10 victory, with the rushing duo of Justin Bernabe and Murphy Ward combining for 246 yards and four touchdowns on the night.
“That was the best ball game we have played in awhile,” Bernabe said. Bernabe had a huge run in the third quarter, where managed to break through for 72 yards before being brought down from behind.
After the defense forced a punt on the opening drive, the Lakers came out strong, with Murphy Ward breaking off an 85 yard run on the first play to score.
“I remember thinking that Voorhees always goes to the opposite side,” Ward said. “And I’m supposed to cut it up to the left, so I decided that I was going to do it. After I got through, I heard Chase yelling “Go!”, and I just ran, praying no one would catch me.”
At half-time, the Lakers led 21-10, thanks to two Ward touchdowns and a Bernabe run from 3 yards out. Coach Shore and his team have had some trouble finishing games in the second half this season, so while in the locker room, Shore told his troops to keep the adrenaline going, to finish strong.
“We’ve come out a little flat after halftime in previous games,” Shore said. “ So we just tried to get some adrenaline going, and that huge pass from Cory (Simpson) to Ryan (Elliot) was just what we needed.”
The Lakers went out in the second half with one thought in mind: to send a message.
Scoring 24 unanswered points did just that.
The Lakers’ defense made a point of allowing no points in the second half, while the offense showed that they are a threat on both the ground and in the air.
‘We’re rolling now,” senior Chase Nugent said. “This is when we start to peak, and this is the best time to do it. We’re sending out a message right now: We’re coming.”
Coach Shore was pleased with his team’s effort, and feels good about going in to playoffs.
After playing a tough Joplin team and dominating them on both sides of the ball, he probably should.
“The boys came out and played with a lot of emotion, and played great, especially on senior night,” Shore said. “I think we’re playing our best football now, and that’s what you want to be doing.”
The Lakers stand at 5-3, and now travel to Glendale for their last regular season game on Friday, Oct. 19.