Beallsville slayed by Cameron
How did veteran Cameron High coach Jim Rogers explain his Dragons’ incredible rally from 21 down to spoil Homecoming ceremonies at Beallsville, Friday night?
“This (win) feels good best one we’ve had in a while,” noted Rogers, whose hustling Dragons exploded for 36 second half points to stun a disbelieving turnout at Blue Devil Stadium, 42-40.
What other way could Rogers comprehend how his club pulled this one out of the proverbial hat?
The Marshall County crew was on the short end at 40-20 entering the fourth quarter, but 6’8 quarterback Logan Routt, whom Rogers called “a work in progress,” directed the Dragons on a 71-yard TD drive to pull within 40-28. Devin Starcher hauled in the 12-yard score, while Routt threw to Mark Walker on the PAT with 9:34 left.
“Once we scored early in the fourth, we really picked it up on both sides of the ball,” added Rogers, of his 2-2 record Dragons.
The Blue Devils’ ensuing drive stalled on downs at the visitors’ 22, and at that point, first-year coach Paul Kanzigg’s injury-riddled club was on its heels the rest of the way.
Routt, who threw for 306 yards on 18-of-31, connected with junior Shane Williams for 47, and later, sophomore Clayton Ward for an 11-yard TD.
When Williams caught the bonus pass at 3:57 for a 40-36 difference, the bounces went the Dragons’ way as two onside kicks in the next 90 seconds went to the West Virginians.
Austin Pyles recovered a high bounce off a kickoff to set up the game-winning drive from the Beallsville 39.
A Routt-to-Williams toss worked for 21 yards to the five, and Routt capped a six-play march with a keeper untouched around his left end for a 42-40 lead at 2:26.
The ensuing kick squibbed over the front wall of the Blue Devils’ return team and the unintentional onside kick was alertly pounced on by Williams near the Cameron sideline.
A 3-and-out led to a punt which rolled to a stop at the hosts’ 11, but senior Jordan Hart sealed the deal with an interception in the waning ticks.
“We can’t give up 36 points in the second half,” said Kanzigg, who takes his club on the road, Friday, at Frontier. “After halftime, we resorted to tackling the way we’d did in our three previous games.”
“The kids who played in place of the injured players did well, but overall, we didn’t do the job.”
One of the stalwarts was Gage Steele, who had 11 catches for 245 yards and three scores, while sophomore Mikey Palmer had six catches for 52 yards and a TD, and took a 48-yard interception to pay dirt.
Steele opened the scoring on the second play of the game with a 61-yard catch-and-run from QB Teryn Jarrett, who threw for 370 yards and four TDs in a valiant effort. Mason Campbell’s PAT made it 7-0
A Jarrett-to-Steele connection covering 16 yards at 6:40 made it 14-0 following Campbell’s perfect PAT boot
Hart’s fumble cover at his 14 after a long completion by Big Blue set up Cameron’s initial score near the end of the first. Walker took Routt’s pass 83 yards to the one-yard line, where Hunter Yoders’ touchdown run made it 14-6.
Big Blue returned a 56-yard TD drive for a 21-6 lead at 7:00 capped by Jarrett’s one-yard bootleg run.
Mikey Palmer’s 48-yard INT runback 52 ticks later made it 27-6 as the sophomore corner broke two tackles inside the 15.
A Routt-to-Hart eight-yard aerial put the finishing touches on a 12-play, 73-yard Dragon series to open the third panel, as the margin was 27-14.
Senior Ivan Hall’s interception and 39-yard runback set up Starcher’s short TD run to shave the margin to 27-20 at 4:42.
Steele’s 29-yard TD grab made it 33-20, and Palmer upped it to 40-20 with a five-yard paydirt reception before the fourth quarter fireworks.
Devin Lippencott and Chase Mercer added INTs for Big Blue, while Aaron West had a fumble cover for the Dragons, who host Weirton Madonna, Friday.
Stalwart lineman Kyle Groves debuted for Big Blue, returning from injury, while Robert Valentine and Dalton Secrest had solid efforts for the hosts.