In the end it was a Loss.
But Overall it was a Great Season for The Cats!
are defeated by the
In the end, the self-inflicted wounds turned out to be the most damaging for the Wildcats.
Hampered by three turnovers and 11 penalties, Camden County bowed out of the Class AAAAAA playoffs Friday night, 34-21 to visiting Hillgrove, which used a third-and-long touchdown bomb to ignite a string of 27 unanswered points.
“Can't make mistakes like that and beat a quality football team,” said CCHS head coach Welton Coffey, whose team finished a region-championship year 10-2. “You have to take care of the football. You can't shoot yourself in the foot.”
For the 'Cats, Harrison Poole ran for 86 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, and Ryan Johnson for 80 more on eight attempts. Antonio Wimbush ran for a touchdown and Dalton Sikes hooked up with Kalvaraz Bessent on a long touchdown pass to open the scoring.
Elijah Ironside threw two touchdown passes and Richardre Bagley ran 27 times for 138 yards and a score for the Hawks. Justin Denton caught one of Ironside's TD aerials and returned a punt for a touchdown as part of a 20-0, five-minute stretch bridging the second and third quarters.
Camden seemed in control, 21-7, after Sikes and Bessent connected on a 40-yard TD, and Poole and Wimbush added TD runs of six and three yards in the first quarter.
However, momentum permanently switched to Hawks' sideline as Ironside, on a third-and-24, found an open Emmanual Beal behind the Wildcat secondary on a stunning 72-yard touchdown early in the second. A swerving Denton later took back a punt 82 yards for a TD, and following a Hillgrove interception, the lanky senior tiptoed inside the pylon on a 8-yard pass from Ironside just seconds before intermission.
The lead became 13 early in the third quarter as Sonny Harris, on a clever halfback option, found a lonesome Omar Black on a 17-yard TD.
The Wildcats didn't go quietly, driving 90 yards after a punt pinned them inches outside the goal line. The 22nd play of the possession, a fourth-and-5 run by Bessent, however, was stopped short with 3:44 left.
Coffey consoled many teary 'Cats after the disappointing loss, but vowed his team would be back for another run at a state championship.
“It's tough because they poured their heart and soul into this,” he said. “It means something. We'll lick our wounds and get back to work.”
Check out all the "Stats on the Cats" here.