Camden-Frontier’s explosive offense could only put together one scoring drive Friday night — a 1-yard one that took three plays at that — and five turnovers plagued a Redskins squad that saw its playoffs hopes all but hit the wall in a 28-6 loss to Battle Creek St. Phil.
Down 14-0 in the second quarter it appeared the Redskins (3-4 overall) might have got the break they desperately needed. Senior Kurtis Tyler tipped a St. Phil (5-2) pass to himself for an interception and returned the ball over 70 yards, and three plays later Jake Jividen found the end zone on a 1-yard run, pulling C-F within one score.
But after poor kick coverage put the Tigers at the C-F 40-yard line, it took just three plays and 30 seconds for them to strike back and make the score 22-6 with 1:54 left in the half.
Camden-Frontier head coach Scott Campbell was somber and searching for answers at the conclusion of a hard-to-swallow, cold, muddy evening.
“I’m trying to keep us up man. We’ve still got a winning season to go for, because we have a forfeit with Burr Oak, and then Bellevue — so it’s not over yet,” he said. “Last game I definitely thought we should’ve won and we screwed it up, and tonight we just never really got on top of things. We were kind of flat to start the game and when we finally got it going, it was just a little late.”
By the time C-F got jump-started St. Phil was already into a nice rhythm on the ground, thanks to the speed of Conor Reilly, Charles Roberson, whose feet seemed to always be churning forward, and fullback Brenden Barlow who popped a 37-yard TD run up the gut in the first quarter.
Campbell said his team’s attitude was questionable at the beginning of the game, in part because of the miserable weather that was sure to affect its wide-open offense and when they just started to get things together it would fall apart once more.
“Early we were just real flat, but we did some things we just couldn’t string them together,” he said. “We didn’t adjust quick enough. We came out in the second half and we adjusted and stopped them for the most part, except when they busted that last one which we had like four guys hit him on.”
Tyler had several exceptional throws on the run and hooked up with his favorite target Brady Nusbaum on a couple of first-down plays, but his two interceptions were part of five second half turnovers that kept stalling out the Redskin drives.
On the night C-F had six fumbles, three of which they lost — but a bright spot was the play of freshman back William Ogle.
With Jividen banged up and nursing a back injury he sustained in last week’s loss to North Adams-Jerome Ogle carried the load and had several big first down runs and fought for tough yardage on other occasions.
Campbell said he was very pleased with his youngsters’ effort, but the fourth loss of the year on the seniors’ final home game is a tough pill to swallow.
“It’s real tough because I know we’re better than the outcome has been the last couple of weeks — it’s tough to see the seniors like this,” he said.