By Jasmine Williams
Coming into last Friday night’s game at UTM, the Camden Lions and Westview Chargers were in very similar standings, both 2-2 for the season. The difference was, the Chargers were on a two-game winning streak and were keen to keep the momentum going, leading to a 49-6 defeat of the Lions.
The Lions had won the last game against McEwen the week before, where head coach Matt McConnell had been ejected, making defensive coordinator Nick Ibarra the acting head coach for the Lions. Camden also came into the game against a mature team with many of the Lions’ starters being injured and Camden relying heavily on younger players.
At the start of the game, Westview received the ball and took a few plays to get into a rhythm on the field. A 28-yard pass caught by Westview’s Hayden Smith was brought down quickly by Camden’s Alex Starfire. The Chargers slowly made their way down the field for their first touchdown of the night.
Jalen Boggs returned the following kickoff to Camden’s 40, but after the tackle, had to be helped off the field. The Lions fumbled on the next play, which was recovered by Westview to put the Chargers 29 yards from the goal. Penalties and rushes brought the Chargers to the two-yard line. They scored on the next down to bring the score to 12-0 after missing the two-point conversion.
On the next possession, Camden saw a big run by Gage Lee who rushed for 17 yards. Lee and quarterback Will Dobson both worked hard for the first down, but the Chargers’ older defense turned the ball over to Westview on the Lions’ 10-yard line.
Despite the big 90-yard stretch to the end zone, the Westview quarterback made successful passes down the field, ultimately connecting for a 29-yard run for the touchdown. Westview made good on its second attempt at the two-point conversion, ending the first quarter 20-0.
Camden started the second quarter with possession of the ball but had to punt due to a turnover. The Chargers took over and ran a total of 99 yards for the touchdown, followed by another two-point conversion, increasing their lead to 28-0.
The Camden Lions faced a tough Westview defense throughout the game, which seemed to grow harder to break through with each Westview score. This made gaining yards difficult for the young players. A turnover resulted in another touchdown for Westview, and by the end of the first half, Westview lead 49-0.
At the start of the third quarter, a strong pass by Dobson landed with Bradley Chandler who ran for over 50 yards. A Westview penalty brought the Lions to within 16 yards of the goal, but tackles by Westview behind the line returned possession to the Chargers.
Led by Lee and Ethan Redlund, the Lions’ defense made the Chargers punt the ball away, and Camden gained possession with 35 to goal. The Lions started with a pass to Nathan Redman for an eight-yard gain to the 27-yard line. The ball was fumbled but recovered by Lee, who scored the Lions’ first and only touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The Lions’ score was the final for the game as the Lions were unsuccessful in breaking the Chargers’ defense again. This loss puts Camden 2-3 for the season so far and 0-2 for the region.
On Friday, Sept. 23, Camden will be on the road again at Riverside with the game to start at 7 p.m.