Pile-up — The Westview Charger defense held the Camden Lions in check for most of the night before falling 13-10 in non-district action. Photo by Joey Guest
It was a defensive battle Friday night between two good teams coached by two great friends in Camden. In the end, Kevin Ward’s Camden Lions claimed a 13-10 victory over his mentor — Don Coady — and the Westview Chargers to remain undefeated.
“Kevin has done a tremendous job,” Coady said. “He’s one of my best friends, and I have a lot of respect for what he’s done here. It always hurts to lose, but I’m glad to see Kevin’s team doing well and him having a lot of success over here.”
“We just beat a good football team,” Ward said. “I’m here because of what he has done for me. The success we’ve been able to have here, I owe a lot to Don and what he taught me in the 11 years I was with him. I’ve been gone long enough from there to know that it’s not about Don vs. me and that kind of stuff, and it never will be. Don and I are great friends.”
It was a struggle for either offense as both defenses executed solid schemes to limit their opponents. Camden was held to 214 yards of total offense. Westview was only slightly better with 235.
“We knew that yards would be hard to come by against them, and they were,” Coady said.
Only one offensive play in the entire game went for more than 20 yards, but it was a momentum turner when Trae White broke loose for a 54-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to give the host Lions a 13-3 lead.
“They had a great defensive game plan for us,” Ward said. “Their front five got after us, and we couldn’t get anything going until we finally broke that long run. They gave us multiple opportunities to get some more scores, but we couldn’t do anything with them because of the great defense they played.”
The Chargers responded to the late TD as quarterback Tanner Spencer took to the air, completing passes of 18 yards to Will Thompson and 8 yards to Collins Alexander before connecting with Seth Waterfield for a 19-yard gain on fourth-and-11.
Four plays later, Abraham Haddad scored on an 18-yard jaunt to paydirt to trim Westview’s deficit to 13-10 with 5:03 remaining.
But as stingy as the Charger defense had been all night, they couldn’t get the Lions off the field in the final five minutes. Quarterback Derek Easley’s third-and-12 run gained a first down by just a few inches, and then an unsportsmanlike penalty on Westview in the final two minutes sealed the Chargers’ fate.
The two teams could very well see each other again come playoff time, just as they did last year when Camden won the regular season match-up 27-12 and ended Westview’s season with a 20-17 victory in the second round of the state playoffs.
“Don and them are going to be there when it counts. It wouldn’t surprise me to see us play again like we did last year, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them beat us next time. I think we’re so evenly matched, but we just got fortunate there in the end and were able to run the clock out,” Ward said.
Westview’s defense actually got off to a slow start as Camden marched 70 yards on its first possession of the game before Tevin Evans recovered a fumble at the Charger 5-yard line to end the threat.
After an exchange of punts, Westview took over at its 21, and that’s when the Lions’ defense began to flex its muscles. After watching tape of Spencer’s 206-yard passing performance against Milan, Ward’s secondary used multiple coverages to confuse the Charger QB.
It paid off on the second play of the second quarter when Kyle Blackburn intercepted a Spencer pass and raced 30 yards for a touchdown to put the hosts up 6-0. The PAT kick failed.
Evans returned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards and was headed to paydirt before a slip dropped him at the Charger 45. Westview reached the Lions’ red zone before Spencer’s second interception, this time by White, ended the threat at the Camden 18.
Neither team mounted another serious challenge, and Camden took a 6-0 advantage to the lockers at halftime.
That score remained through the third quarter as each defense continued to hold tight.
Landon Prather got Westview’s first points with a 32-yard field goal at 10:33 of the fourth quarter to cut the Charger deficit to 6-3, but a little more than two minutes later, White exploded for his 54-yard TD run, and the Lions held on for the victory to improve to 4-0.
Westview, which was 0-4 at this point of the season last year before starting a 7-game win streak, is 2-2 and will be looking to begin another winning trend when it hosts district foe Dyersburg at 7:30, Friday night. Camden hosts Stewart County.
• Editor’s note: Joey Guest is an associate editor for Pressbox1.com. He can be reached at 731-332-1164 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Westview 0 0 0 10 — 10
Camden 0 6 0 7 — 13
CHS — Kyle Blackburn 30-yard interception return, (kick failed), 11:38.
WHS — Landon Prather 32-yard FG, 10:33.
CHS — Trae White 54-yard run, (Tanner Hudson kick), 8:22.
WHS — Abraham Haddad 18-yard run, (Prather kick), 5:03.
______________________________ WHS CHS
First Downs 13 11
Rushes-yards 37-171 38-180
Passing yards 64 34
Comp-Att-Int 6-13-2 3-6-1
Punts 2-45 3-46.7
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 6-55 3-30
Rushing — Westview, Abraham Haddad 8-70, Quan Williams 16-50, Collins Alexander 3-23, Wyatt Zarecor 2-18, Desmond Johnson 1-9, Tanner Spencer 5-5, Tevin Evans 1-3, Team 1-(-7); Camden, Trae White 7-79, Devon White 12-54, Kendrick Hudson 6-26, Derek Easley 10-20, Tyler Plant 1-2, Team 2-(-1).
Passing — Westview, Spencer 6-13-2 — 64; Camden, Easley 3-6-1 — 34.
Receiving — Westview, Will Thompson 3-32, Seth Waterfield 1-19, Alexander 2-13; Camden, Blake Riley 2-27, Hudson 1-7.
Records — Westview (District 13-2A), Camden 1-0 (1-0 District 11-2A).
Next Game — Westview will welcome the Dyersburg Trojans to Graham Stadium, while Camden will host Stewart County. Both games will begin at 7:30 on Friday night.