Camels JV uses late surge to defeat Bishop McGuinness

Atkins quarterback roles out for pass against Bishop McGuinness last week. The Camels won the game 14-8.

Camels JV uses late surge to defeat Bishop McGuinness
September 26
01:10 2019

Lady Luck was smiling on the Atkins Camels JV football team last Thursday. The Camels used some late game magic to beat the Villains 14-8.

With only one game under their belt, the Camels were eager to strap on their helmets to play Bishop. Penalties and missed opportunities really hurt both teams, especially the Camels, as they negated some big plays that could have turned into scoring opportunities early on.

“The main thing I told the guys was ‘let’s not beat ourselves, make Bishop beat us,’” said Camels head coach David Hamlin. “The things we have been doing in practice are the same things we have to learn to do in the game. I think sometimes we get a little excited and things get a little erratic, but to be a bunch of young kids, I am proud of them.

“I knew that if we could get it going, we would be all right. I knew we had the speed to get around and we have a good set of athletes on JV, the biggest thing is some of our kids have never played football before. To see where these guys have come from is amazing.”

I doubt Hamlin had that same sense of joy in the first half of the game. The unforced errors committed by the Camels were the main reason the teams went into the half at 0-0. 

The beginning of the second half looked to be a carbon copy of the first. Camels’ running back Ezekiel Thompson broke a long run on a screen pass, but it was called back because of a penalty. Later on in the quarter, the Camels further hurt themselves by fumbling the ball inside their own five-yard line, which was recovered and ran in for the first score of the game, giving Bishop an 8-0 lead.  

With scoring at a premium, the eight-point lead the Villains held going into the final quarter looked to be all they needed, especially with the great effort their defense displayed all evening. With 5:33 left in the game, Atkins quarterback Jacob Gianopulos flung a jump ball towards the end zone and it was hauled in by Thompson over a host of defenders.  

“Thompson is one of those kids that has the potential to be really good as the years come along,” Hamlin said. “He is a good student. He is a good young man that is respectable and coachable. He just went and caught it and if it wasn’t for penalties, he would have had about 200 yards from scrimmage.”

With the score tied at eight, both teams knew that the next score would more than likely seal the victory. Deep in their own territory, with less than four minutes on the clock, Bishop McGuinness fumbled and it was quickly recovered by the Camels at the Villains 14-yard line. Two plays later, Thompson scored his second touchdown of the night.  After a failed 2-point conversion, the score was 14-8.

The Camels defense stood tall for the final three minutes, forcing the Villains to turn over on downs to effectively end the game. For coach Hamlin, this is the game where he feels his team came closer together as a unit.

“They have bought into the program, they have bought into what we are doing and they know that they are young, but they are not using that as an excuse,” Hamlin went on to say. “The thing that I see is that 95% of them really want to get better and it shows.”

Bishop McGuinness came into the game with slim numbers with most of their players having to play both ways. Head coach Pat Bowen knew this would be a tough game against a solid opponent like Atkins.

“I kind of figured it would be a tight game like that towards the end of the game and it was like whoever made the least amount of mistakes would win and they made less mistakes than us and hats off to them,” said Bowen. “We don’t have a bunch of guys that are super fast or super strong, they just have gotten better and better. I am the offensive coach and I just put them in a bad position.”

Bowen was pleased with the play of his defense and his starting running back Van Jones, in his first game action of the year.

Hamlin said this win will give his team the confidence they will need heading into play against conference opponents.  

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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