HAMPDEN – This was anything but a patsy Hampden Academy had scheduled as a homecoming football opponent, but the final score sure made it seem that way.
The Broncos ground it out on the ground in the first half, scoring three touchdowns in an 8 1/2-minute span of the second quarter, and then drove 76 yards in two quick pass plays to start the second half to take a 33-0 lead en route to a 47-6 victory over Camden Hills Friday night.
Junior tailback Nick Stevens led the way with 134 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 carries.
Nobody expected it to be this easy for the 5-1 Broncos. It was just last week that the visiting 2-4 Windjammers came about a foot short on fourth down of handing Gardiner its first loss of the season.
But the Windjammers were without their field captain this week after senior quarterback Collin Downs left the Gardiner game with a concussion and was being held out Friday night as a precaution.
“We don’t know how long he’s out. He’d day-to-day at this point,” said father and head coach Linwood Downs. “It’s not a difference as far as our scheme. It comes down to execution and offensively we didn’t play well.
“It was bad all around in every phase of our game. I’ll take the blame for that because I’m the coach.”
The Broncos took the wind out of the ‘Jammers’ sails early, backing them deep in their own territory for the entire first half and then taking advantage of Camden mistakes. The ‘Jammers lost four fumbles and were intercepted once.
Three of Hampden’s touchdowns were set up by Camden turnovers.
“We had too many mistakes and you can’t even be competitive when you’re turning the ball over that much,” Downs said. “They got going early and we had poor field position most of the game, so it took a lot of effort just to get to midfield.”
The Broncos led just 7-0 after the first quarter, but drove 76 yards in three plays to start the second as Logan Steward capped the drive with a 42-yard touchdown catch all alone down the left (home) sideline
The ‘Jammers then drove 30 yards in eight plays, but fumbled and the Broncos took it back 49 yards in five plays to make it 20-0 with 5:08 left. Two minutes later, Hampden took over again, this time at the C-22 after pinning Camden deep and took it into the end zone in four plays.
The backbreaker came early in the third as the Broncos went 76 yards in two pass plays – the first a 31-yard completion from Jon Haws to Cody Miller into double coverage on the right sideline as Miller pushed away from one defender, and the second a 35-yard TD pass to Steward, who caught a pass over the middle that was deflected by a Camden linebacker.
Haws finished with 111 yards on 5-for-7 passing.
“We’ve been pretty dominant running this year, so we wanted to get some passing in to be a more well-balanced team,” Haws said. “We wanted to make a statement passing and our line pass-blocked as well as they have all year.”
Hampden’s line of Logan Lafayette, Tyler Oversmith, Joe Doyon, Richard Hoch and Simon Burditt kept Haws out of harm’s way and helped pave the way for 269 rushing yards.
“Our stretch blocking and the sweeps were working really well and our line was blocking up front really well. We did a great job of picking up their corners too,” Stevens said.
Stevens also led Hampden’s defensive effort along with John Doyon and Coplin Fickett.
Jacob Powers still managed to rush for 122 yards on 24 carries despite being a marked man by the Broncos’ defenders.
“We were able to keep a better eye on Number 20, who’s leading our league in yardage,” said Haws. “He got his yardage, but they were hard yards to get.”
Camden finished with 217 rushing yards and actually had more first downs (16 to 15) than Hampden, but turnovers (five to none by Hampden) killed the ‘Jammers.
Camden Hills (2-4)-0-0-6-0 — 6
Hampden (5-1)-7-19-14-7 — 47
HA – Stevens 6 run (Steward kick)
HA – Steward 42 pass from J. Haws (Steward kick)
HA – Doyon 2 run (kick blocked)
HA – Steward 15 run (kick failed)
HA – Steward 35 pass from J. Haws (Steward kick)
CH – Crans 1 run (kick failed)
HA – Stevens 9 run (Steward kick)
HA – Porter 5 run (Steward kick)