WEEK 9 PREVIEWS: Camdenton looking to close out regular season strong in road trip to Rolla
The district playoffs are just around the corner.
As high school football in the state of Missouri approaches the final week of the regular season, every team is looking for a boost of momentum and confidence heading into the playoffs and that is precisely what Camdenton can seize Friday night in an Ozark Conference road trip to Rolla.
The Lakers (4-4, 4-4 OC) can not only take a 2-game winning streak to district play, but also ensure another regular season wraps up with a winning record- something the program has been fairly accustomed to over the years. Camdenton has only had one losing season, a 3-7 finish in 2015, in the past decade and time will soon tell if the Bulldogs (3-3, 3-3 OC) can get in the way of that when this conference clash kicks off at 7 p.m.
Rolla put up a fight in a 48-41 loss at Lebanon (5-3) last week and Friday night’s game should be a change of pace for Camdenton after a 48-32 win over Glendale last week against a Falcons team that is dedicated to the passing game. Rolla favors the running game in its style of offense and will likely be seeking to control time of possession.
The Lakers like to pass the ball, like Glendale, but the program showed that the “Hogs” on the offensive line still know how to run block on a night where the Lakers controlled the tempo with 230 rushing yards against the Falcons in addition to the 300 yards that came through the air. That kind of balance can pay dividends, especially against a Rolla defense that Camdenton coach Jeff Shore calls “aggressive.”
And the coach’s description may be right on track as the Bulldogs have recorded seven interceptions in six games with sophomore Brock Lyle and senior Gus Gremp leading the way with two each. Rolla also averages seven tackles for a loss per game.
Camdenton is currently averaging 268 passing yards, 127.6 rushing yards and 395.6 total yards of offense per game that has led to the Lakers putting up 30 points per game and this side of the ball will be going against a Rolla defense currently allowing 31 points per contest.
Camdenton senior quarterback Jacob Wormsley is currently 139-204 in the passing game for 1,688 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions while sophomore Bear Shore remains 61-82 for 462 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions.
Returning All-State receiver Cooper Ezard officially became a 1,000-yard receiver for the second straight season after finishing with over 100 receiving yards in a game for the sixth time in eight contests last week. The senior wideout is certainly making his case for another All-State selection with 84 reception on the season for 1,029 yards and 11 touchdowns to lead Laker receivers. Senior Eli Griffin has logged 29 catches for 267 yards and two scores, senior Jadin Faulconer is at 41 receptions for 259 yards and two touchdowns and the Lakers have at least five receivers who have surpassed the century mark in receiving yards this year.
On the ground, Faulconer continue to be the leading rusher for Camdenton with 96 carries for 590 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. Wormsley has dashed for 260 yards and four scores on 56 attempts (4.6 yards per carry) and Griffin has logged 24 attempts for 83 yards (3.5 yards per carry) and five touchdowns.
Camdenton’s “Purple Haze” defense halted Glendale’s rushing attack last week, holding the Falcons to -7 rushing yards, and the Laker defensive front will need another night like that to keep Rolla off the scoreboard. Camdenton is currently allowing 167.1 passing yards, 131 rushing yards and a total of 298.1 yards of offense per outing while giving up 30.1 points per contest. This unit will be taking on a Bulldog offense that is averaging 207.8 rushing yards, 97.7 passing yards and 305.5 yards of offense per night with the team scoring 27.8 points per game.
“I feel like they are a good football team. Offensively, they are very dangerous,” Shore said of the next opponent. “Offensively, they are very dangerous and can run the football. They can also get in 5-wide and throw it. They are a lot to prepare for.”
Rolla has a trio of rushers who have surpassed the century mark so far this season in the six games the Bulldogs have played. Junior Hayden Fane leads the ground game with 93 carries for 553 yards (5.9 yards per carry) and three touchdowns, junior quarterback Adam Hounsom has rushed 52 times for 279 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns and senior Malachi Ray has logged 30 carries for 107 yards (3.6 yards per carry) and three scores of his own.
Through the air, Hounsom is 43-81 for 586 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions on the season. His top receiver is currently junior Gage Klossner who has caught 19 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown. Senior Ike Hunter is at 15 receptions for 254 yards, respectively as another top option for Hounsom.
Camdenton currently sits fifth in the district standings with 29.93 points and a win on Friday night may help the Lakers move up to get at least one more home game at Bob Shore Stadium in 2020 for the first round of districts next week. That alone, should provide plenty of incentive in this regular season finale.
Camdenton topped Rolla on home turf last season, 49-14.
The “Hogs” up front have to get some credit for clearing the way and allowing the team to put up 230 rushing yards when the offense primarily emphasizes the pass attack. Faulconer had a big night on the ground, Ezard had a big night through the air and Griffin put together a nice night of his own in both the running and passing game with 113 receiving yards, 43 rushing yards and two total touchdowns.
Fane is the leader of Rolla’s rushing attack and Hounsom can do some damage as well with the run or pass with receivers like Klossner and Hunter at his disposal.