Camden County’s football team looks to finish perfect against its out of region opponents tonight as they make the long trek to take on Colleton High in Walterboro, S.C.
The Wildcats defeated Glynn Academy last week in a 51-17 blowout over the Red Terrors. Despite a close one against Richmond Hill, Camden’s found a way to remain undefeated.
This week to prepare for a tough road game, Camden’s coach Bob Sphire said they took it back to the basics and focused on some key fundamentals.
“Well, we drilled down a lot more and put a lot of emphasis on our special teams play this week. We’ve been good since I’ve been here, that’s been a big emphasis, but we seem to be struggling right now in the punt return game,” Sphire said. “We’re still looking for the right combination of returners matching up with our block people. Beyond that, we got back to the blocking, tackling, even stage of tempo with snap count procedures, and different things like that can give you the edge on different downs. It doesn’t let your opponent time up the pass rush, different things like that.”
One of the ways Camden’s coaching staff teaches its players is by showing them on film how those fundamentals roll over to the game.
“We’re always big on pointing out to them where the drill work carries over to the field,” Sphire said. “There have been some things that we can point out to the receivers, quarterbacks, other positions, for example if you look at this play and the way you executed it and you were successful because look at how you did this. That’s exactly how we teach you that drill during the week. That’s been the mantra, show them as coaches what they’ve been doing that’s carrying over to the game and continue emphasizing it.”
Like a majority of their games, the Wildcats will attempt to run over the opposing defense. Camden’s running back duo, Jamie Felix and Daryl Williams have both dominated on the field.
“The beautiful thing is we don’t have to change the offense in any way when one or the other goes in,” Sphire said. “I thought that was really significant the other night. Jamie was a little bit dinged up, and so really, Daryl was more of the focal point against Glynn Academy. He rushed for over 100 yards and made a lot of good physical runs. Then I look at the reps that Jamie got, and that’s probably the best game he’s ever had blocking when we ran some of our fly sweeps, and in blitz pickup, he was golden. Jamie’s always gotten a lot of publicity off his success as a ball carrier, but he had his best game as a blocker. Daryl probably had his best game as a runner. They’re both becoming complete backs.”
Camden added a third back last week to the rotation with Caleb Keaton. Sphire said he isn’t like the other two, but more like a shifty scatback. He’s played mostly at the slot wideout position, but because Keaton’s a senior, Sphire wanted to allow him to make some plays as a multi-position player.
“He had a great game and had a couple of explosive play. He had been more exclusively a slot receiver. But, he’s a different type of runner, he’s more of a scatback more of a shifty kind of guy. That was good to see him do that. You never know if one of the guys is going to get banged up, so it was really good to have that third guy in Caleb Keaton play at that position and do well.
“Caleb being a senior, you always want to give those guys opportunities to make plays as seniors, but also he’s one of our leaders on the practice field,” Sphire said. “So he understands the offense well, so it’s no issue for him to move around and be able to be a multiple position guy, which is cool.”
Colleton is currently 2-3 on the year and has some confidence after last week’s 38-6 win. Sphire said that this team has some skilled athletes with great speed that can hurt Camden’s defense if given a chance.
“That quarterback is very elusive and they’re running spread. So if you break down in your rush lanes, he will pull it down and hurt you. They have some designed quarterback runs in their game, so you worry about that,” Sphire said. “I’m not so worried about them as much as I am the fact that it’s getting ready to get real for the next two weeks. So you got Colquitt County and Lowndes back to back. I’m more worried about us staying in the moment and living in the now than anything.”
This game could give Camden a tuneup before the big shown down against Colquitt County next week since both schools run a spread offense and a 3-4 base defense.
Camden’s looking to stay perfect in 2019, but we all know road trips, especially long ones, can be tricky. Sphire said they have a plan and have already warned the team about keeping their composure and staying disciplined because they will likely not have many calls go their way.
“So you have to talk to them about keeping their composure, being discipline and letting me take care of any issues that may come up,” Sphire said. “We talk to them about extra effort. If you expect to get that holding call on the road out of state, you may not. I don’t want to be negative about officiating because I respect all those guys. But going on the road like this and expecting any breaks, you got to make your own breaks. I think there is a lot of value in that too.”