In football, all young men have a chance of success. In football, the more talented player is not always the best player. In football, with the correct attitude and work ethic, any young man can compete. In football, leaders are born and confidence is built. In football, attitudes can be adjusted and low self-esteem can be lifted. In football, all young men get a chance at success.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


By Dan Clasgens | Managing Editor

Three weeks ago the Campbell County Camels were on the road to nowhere, sitting at 0-5 as play began inside Class 6A, District 6. Three wins later they find themselves as district champs, a title that they last held 31 years ago.

Campbell County (3-5, 3-0) scored all of its points and the half and got a monster effort from junior quarterback Tyler Durham and its offensive line to upset the Ryle Raiders 27-20 on Senior Night in Union.

“We went back to the basics during our bye week and our kids are just obsessed with proving people wrong,” Campbell County’s first-year head coach Steven Lickert said.

Since the Camels week off they’ve knocked off Simon Kenton, Dixie Heights and now Ryle. That moves them 3-0 inside the district. Ryle and Dixie both tied for second at 2-1 in the district and Campbell County owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over both, securing them the district title and a No. 1 playoff seed.

The night didn’t start out very triumphantly for the Camels. Ryle (5-3, 2-1) jumped out to a 13-0 first-quarter lead on pair of touchdown runs by junior quarterback Nathan Davis.

Neither team could dent the scoreboard during the second quarter of play as they combined to commit six turnovers in what proved to be a sloppy first half.

The second half would prove to be a different story. Campbell County set the tone by putting together a scoring that drive that drained over eight minutes of the clock and ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Durham.

After forcing Ryle to a three-and-out the Camels would put another six points on the board as Durham broke through the line for a 36-yard score, however they would have the extra point blocked keeping the score knotted at 13-13 as the third quarter came to an end.

The game would stay tied long as Ryan Hill gave Ryle the lead back with a 7-yard rushing touchdown less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

After connecting with Jake Zabonick on a 36-yard pass, Durham wrapped up an 80-yard drive by taking it the end zone for the third time on a 1-yard run.

"He’s a kid that can score at any moment in time,” Lickert said of Durham. “When you have a kid like that touches the ball first on every play you’re in pretty good shape.”

The Camels’ defense forced another three-and-out led by senior Tom Harmon, who finished with 2.5 sacks and wreaked havoc all night long for the Raiders’ offensive line.

It took Campbell County just over two minutes to another score. Senior James Popp scored the decisive touchdown on a 16-yard run with 3:04 left in the game.

Ryle threatened and drove the length of the field and got into the red zone in the game’s final minute, but came up just short. Davis lost track of downs and spiked the ball to stop the clock as the Raiders were out of timeouts, but it was fourth down.

The mistake gave Campbell County the ball back with nothing more to do than take a knee.

Durham finished the night with 260 yards on 45 carries. He has tallied 560 yards and seven touchdowns on 111 carries during the team’s three-game winning streak.

With the district title secure the Camels must now stay focused as the playoffs near.

"We can’t be happy with just winning we have to make sure that every week that is the same thing,” Lickert claimed. “We are going to have to go play every down.”

District action wraps up as Campbell County travels to Boone County while Ryle travels to Dixie Heights.


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