KINGSLAND -- Defenses ruled Friday night in Camden County.
Defenses dominated and offenses stumbled, and neither Lowndes nor Camden County could muster a single offensive point. It took a defensive touchdown by Camden's Ryan Garza to prevent a scoreless tie, and give Camden a 7-0 victory.
"I thought we played hard. We just didn't come out on top," Lowndes head coach Randy McPherson said. "Camden County's got a good football team. That one turnover killed us, but that's part of the game."
Defensive coordinator Randy Hill's unit did its job, limiting the state's No. 2 team to just 135 yards of total offense. It was also the first time Camden's offense has gone scoreless since Jeff Herron became the Wildcats' head coach in 2000.
"I thought we played a great game on defense," McPherson said. "I hated to lose, because the kids played hard."
Camden's defense was even better, limiting Lowndes to 86 yards of offense, including just 40 yards on the ground, usually Lowndes' strength.
"At times, they (stopped us)," McPherson said. "Camden's got a good defense. We've still got a lot of work to do. We'll get back to work Monday."
Lowndes alternated quarterbacks Friday night. Doug Belk started his third straight game, but rotated with junior Bryan Sermons.
Sermons, seeing his first action since being injured in the Southwest DeKalb game the first week of September, played nearly all of the second half. Sermons has the stronger arm and more experience in the passing game than Belk, whose strength is the option.
"Both quarterbacks had good weeks of practice," McPherson said. "
Belk completed 2-of-5 passes for 20 yards, while Sermons connected on 4-of-8 passes for 11 yards. Matt Harper also completed a 15-yard pass on a fake punt.
Senior Jake Walker did not play, still recovering from a concussion.
Both teams reached into their proverbial bag of tricks early Friday night, well aware that one big play could very well make the difference.
Camden County tried two on its first possession. First, Camden punter Emmanuel Bacon, who's also the quarterback, ran 15 yards on a fake punt, into Lowndes territory. Then with the ball at the LHS 28, the Wildcats tried a halfback option. The receiver got behind the Viking secondary, but Darlron Spead's pass was well over his head. Camden also fair-caught a punt late in the first half, which allowed them to try a 54-yard free kick field goal, which kicker Anthony Pages missed.
On Lowndes' ensuing possession, they pulled a fake punt of their own, with Matt Harper finding Michael Moore for 15 yards. Unfortunately for the Vikings, that still wasn't enough for the first down.
McPherson also tried to catch the Wildcats off guard early, attempting passes on their first two plays, the first one going for 16 yards from Belk to Freeman Stephens.
React to this story:
- Man arrested after shots fired into cars, apartment
- SGMC preps for insurance change
- Game On: Gamers wait hours for latest consoles
- Moody airman killed in crash
- Valdosta man charged in school burglary
- Valdosta police officers bitten, kicked while making arrest
- GBI: Nashville shooting victim's fatal wound self-inflicted
- Berrien County: Man shot during encounter with police dies
- Wild Adventures offers Black Friday soda
- Man arrested on drug, weapons charges