After two losses in its first three games, Camdenton’s game plan against Kickapoo on Friday was to be more balanced.
Usually a run-oriented offense, the Lakers used the passing game to eat up yardage, extend drives and chew up time of possession in a 25-7 Ozark Conference victory on Jim Pearson Field at Pottenger Stadium.
“I think Kickapoo was really geared up to stop the run and they should have been, because we’ve been run-dominant over our first three games,” Camdenton coach Jeff Shore said. “That was the plan going in. I don’t know if it surprised them or not, but it sure seemed to work in our favor.”
The Lakers (2-2, 2-2) dominated time of possession in the first half, keeping the ball for 16:20 of the first 24 minutes and had the ball for over 30 minutes of the game.
“One of our game plans was to keep the ball in our hands and tonight we picked up some clutch fourth downs to continue drives,” Shore said.
“Mainly that was because we were able to run and throw and I think the balance really helped us dominate the ball.”
Camdenton racked up 231 yards on the ground and another 167 yards through the air.
Lakers’ senior Cory Simpson was 18-for-22 passing for 167 yards and a touchdown and senior running back Murphy Ward totaled 198 yards on 21 carries and had three touchdowns.
“We knew we could throw the ball on them,” Simpson said.
“Coach Shore told me at the beginning of the week that I was going to have a bigger workload and I took it and ran with it.
“We tried to get them thinking ‘run, run, run’ and then we threw the ball off of our running game over the top.”
Kickapoo (2-2, 2-2) had the ball inside Camdenton’s 15-yard line only three times in the entire game. The Chiefs had two turnovers and 75 yards of penalties.
“We’ve got to make some plays and be a little more attention to detail in what we do and we’re not good enough to overcome some of the penalties and mistakes like we had,” Kickapoo coach Joel Wells said.
“Not to take anything away from Camdenton, because they outplayed us and did a nice job, but we can’t continue to hurt ourselves.”
The Chiefs struggled in the early going offensively and only had the ball 7:40 of the entire first half because of Camdenton’s ball hogging.
“We only ran 17 plays on offense in the first half, but we had the ball in scoring position and got a holding penalty,” Kickapoo coach Joel Wells said.
“Then we get the ball back and ran the ball out to midfield, but we had another penalty that set us back.”
Ward’s first touchdown, a 2-yard run, capped a 15-play 63-yard drive that chewed up 6:11 of the first quarter.
On the Lakers’ next possession, Ward broke three tackles on the way to the end zone on a 54-yard run that started up the middle and then to the right pylon for a 13-0 lead with 7:08 left before halftime.
Kickapoo junior Anthony Cooper scored the Chiefs’ only touchdown of the game on a 14-yard quarterback keeper as the third quarter clock expired to make the score 19-7.