Camden County hosts its first home game of the 2019 season as the Wildcats welcome Richmond Hill today.
Coach Bob Sphire said his guys were excited to be back on the practice field this week after Hurricane Dorian put a damper on things last week which resulted in Locust Grove forfeiting the game against Camden.
“It was a good week of practice and good to get back out there,” Sphire said. “We had a little bit of a heat advisory on Monday that we had to take into account, but other than that it was a good week. We’re excited to get in front of our home crowd after starting the season out three weeks on the road.”
Camden played its scrimmage at Ware County and then started the season out in Atlanta against West Forsyth. The following week, the team traveled to Mercer University in Macon to play a neutral site game against Wren High from South Carolina.
The Wildcats currently sit 3-0 and have dominated its opponents. Camden’s offense is averaging 49.5 points a game while the defense gave up six points in week one and 44 the following week.
Richmond Hill could prove to be a challenge for Camden on both sides of the ball. Sphire said they like to use two quarterbacks, one that runs more of a spread type offense while in and the other runs an option style.
Assignment football has been the message in practice this week especially, the defense as they will have to contain Richmond Hill from as many explosive plays as possible.
“Option football creates assignment football,” Sphire said. “So we have to make sure we’re ready for that. It’s hard to simulate with your scout team the various things that an option team will do. We’ve had to create practices all week to prepare for both styles of offense.”
The two quarterbacks that Camden has to get ready for are Tyler Coleman and Isaiah Allen. Richmond Hill has had only one game this fall against Grovetown, which the Wildcats won 44-0.
In that game, Coleman completed 3-of-7 passes for 64 yards and one touchdown. As for Allen, he’s completed 6-of-8 for 120 yards and two scores. Allen also toted the rock twice for 15 yards.
Richmond Hill also has Jalen Rouse who had 15 carries for 134 yards and one score while averaging 8.9 yards a carry. Four wideouts got targeted at least once in the Wildcats game against Grovetown. All of them had a pass caught for a minimum of 20 yards.
Camden’s defense will have to make sure it sticks to its assignments as that’s key when defending an option team. Sphire said that his defensive staff might have to make adjustments throughout the early part of tonight’s game so that they can adjust to whatever Richmond Hill chooses to throw at them.
The Wildcats offense will have to be wary of Richmond Hills defense as well. Sphire said that this defense is probably the most aggressive they’ve seen all year and that they’ll test the offense.
“Defensively, they steadily send pressure by sending five or six guys almost every time,” Sphire said. “They’re going to blitz us. So we will have to worry and make sure we’re on top of the pass protection. This defensive line is the most aggressive defensive front we will likely face.”
Leading the way on defense for the Wildcats is Nathan Vickers and Shaquan Brooks. These two combined for 11 tackles, two tackles for a loss and two quarterback hurries. Last season Vickers finished 43 tackles, five sacks, five quarterback hurries, and two fumble recoveries. Brooks had 52 total tackles, two sacks, and six quarterback hurries as well.
Camden’s senior quarterback Logan Watson’s faced this team before and was successful as he completed 9-of-20 for 114 yards and one touchdown in the 33-6 win last year.
So far this season, Watson’s 26-of-33 for 397 yards, seven touchdowns, one interception and holds a 144.8 quarterback rating.
Sphire said that this week Watson would have a game plan to handle this aggressive defense and said that he would know where the balls are going before its snapped every play.
Camden’s got a stable of backs that can help Watson out as well with sophomore Jamie Felix leading the way. He has 39 carries for 240 yards and two touchdowns on the year. Felix averages 6.2 yards a carry and 120 yards a game.
Daryl Williams is the other running back that the Wildcats have in their stable. He has 26 carries for 133 yards, two touchdowns, and averages 5.1 yards a touch.
Camden’s got some playmakers that Richmond Hill’s secondary will have to keep an eye out for because, with the way the Wildcats play defense, Watson’s throws will have to get his passes off quickly.
His top two go-to wideouts are Chamar Roberts, and Shawn Hardy as the combine for 12 catches 277 yards and four scores. Watson trusts these two guys. Look for both of them to be utilized tonight.
“Playing at home takes care of itself,” Sphire said. “If you have a team that isn’t motivated to play at home, then that means you may not have the best team. That won’t be a problem with this group, and they’re all excited to get out there and play.”