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Bridgeport falls to Cameron in finale

MARTINS FERRY — Cameron concluded its regular season with a 33-22 victory over Bridgeport Saturday night at the chill-filled Dave Bruney Football Complex. Now the Dragons (7-3) will await their West Virginia SSAC Class A playoff fate.

Senior Jessop Broughton passed for 232 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 15 of 20 accuracy and Noah Neely ran for 88 yards and two more scores to pace the visitors.

“We are in,” Cameron first-year head coach Tim Brown said. “We’re just not sure where. Probably somewhere between 9th and 14th. We thought, possibly, we could move to No. 8 but Moorefield beat Pendleton County, so they will move ahead of us. That’s alright. we’re just glad to be in the playoffs with a young bunch.

“These kids have really come a long way this year,” Brown praised. “I just hope they continue to get better over these next two weeks and get ready for the playoffs.”

Cameron will have next week off before the postseason begins in two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs (1-9) put forth perhaps their best effort of the season as they piled up 274 yards of total offense. However, ill-timed turnovers were their undoing.

“This was no doubt our best game of the season, but we picked terrible times to have turnovers,” Bridgeport head coach Fred Ray said. “I really care about these seniors and this team. This is a special group only being my second year here.

“This is a tough one to swallow,” Ray admitted. “We played well. These kids never quit. They are tough character kids who fought for four quarters. We’ve seen that pattern over the past few weeks, so I’m proud of this bunch.”

Neely sandwiched TD runs of 14 and 11 yards around a 25-yard Bridgeport touchdown pass from Colin Jackson to Skylar Hatten as the visitors led 13-6 after one quarter.

Bridgeport took the lead when Cayden Williams powered in from a yard out. Jackson found Mason Aberts for the two points and a 14-13 lead.

After holding the Bulldogs on downs, the Dragons marched 66 yards on nine plays to take a 19-14 halftime lead. Broughton found Garrett Scott alone in the middle of the end zone and Scott, despite laying on the turf, was able to secure the ball for a 6-yard scoring toss.

Bridgeport went back on top on its first possession of the third quarter. On 1st-and-10 from the Cameron 43, Jackson lofted the ball down the near sidelines where the speedy Izaac Jozwiak ran under it and away from a defender. The pass for two points was intercepted.

Cameron went 45 yards on five plays to take the lead back, and for good. Broughton found Isaac Ball down the middle of the field from 25 yards out as the Dragons led 25-20. Broughton then found Neely in the left flat for the two-point conversion and a 27-20 margin.

Broughton’s diving interception, one of four in the second half by the Dragons, set the West Virginians up at the Bridgeport 16. It only took two plays, both scrambles by the quarterback, to reach the end zone for a 33-20 reading.

“We got the job done. It was kind of ugly. We were a little off today,” Brown advised. “I don’t know whether it was because we played on Saturday night instead of Friday. “The guys got it together and made enough good plays. They kept talking to each other and communicating. Our youth is getting better. The young kids are starting to learn and communicate better.

“It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t the way we wanted it to happen, but Bridgeport kept fighting and did a good job. That made our job that more difficult tonight,” Brown added.

Bridgeport was awarded a safety when Cameron’s punter stepped out of the end zone late in the fourth quarter rather than risk a block.

Jackson finished with 173 yards passing, but threw four picks. Jozwiak caught eight passes for 103 yards. Joe Bugaj ran 12 times for 101 yards.

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