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High School Football | Camden can't keep up with Northside late | w/video

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Camden's Justin Noon (with ball) during the football game against Northside, Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at Camden County High School.

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BY DAVID GOUGH
Sports Writer

Friday, September 6, 2019

CAMDEN — The Camden Bruins were off to a solid start on the scoreboard in Wednesday night’s home football game against Pinetown's Northside High School, but it didn’t last as long as they’d have liked.

Northside pulled away in the second half to win the game 35-14 and remain unbeaten early in the season.

Camden had difficulty stopping the Panthers’ running game from start to finish in a game moved up two days due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian.

“As far as stopping the run consistently, we’re not there yet,” Camden head coach Josh Sophia said. “So we have some things to work on.”

The Panthers’ running game was highlighted by Zakkai Wilson’s 15 carries for more than 150 rushing yards as he broke off plays of more than 10 yards more often than not.

Wilson scored three of the five touchdowns for the Panthers (3-0) as James Gorham rushed for the other two.

Camden (0-2) trailed by just six points at the end of the third quarter, but a Gorham 19-yard score and Wilson five-yard touchdown in the fourth created breathing room for Northside.

Despite the lack of stopping the run for the Bruins, their ability to create turnovers in the game kept the deficit from getting too high, too quickly.

Camden recovered two fumbles and picked off one pass from Panthers quarterback Carter Boyd in the first half to stay within reach.

Northside’s first turnover came on its first drive of the game after a very productive series gave the Panthers first-and-goal at the seven-yard line.

On the ensuing play, Northside’s Omari Crandell ran to the right side and was eventually stripped of the ball by Camden linebacker Jaden Richardson.

Richardson took the ball without going down and sprinted more than 90 yards down the Camden sideline to give the Bruins an early 7-0 lead.

The senior made another big play in the second half when he pounced on a fumbled hand off in the third quarter after the Panthers had already taken a 20-7 advantage.

That play allowed JaQuan Cordy to run 16 yards inside the five-yard line and Justin Noon to fight his way past the goal line to make it 20-14 at the time and end 20 unanswered points by Northside.

“(Richardson’s) a difference maker,” Sophia said. “I don’t think he’s quite in football shape yet, but when he gets there he’s going to be a big help for us on both sides of the ball.”

Richardson also had a fourth-down sack late in the first half, Jackson Nobles recovered a fumble and Cordy intercepted a pass to keep Camden within 14-7 at halftime.

Offensively, outside the two-play, 20-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter, things didn’t click a whole lot for the Bruins.

Their only first down in the first half came from the courtesy of a roughing the passer call in the second quarter.

Junior quarterback Sam Guill completed just one of six passes in the first 24 minutes with the lone completion going backwards for negative-one yard.

The second half started off promising offensively with Noon running for 20 yards on the Bruins’ first play of the third quarter and Guill completing a pass to Isaiah Hill for 10 yards and a first down two plays later.

But Camden followed the completion with two fumbled snaps and giving up a sack in the next three plays.

Cordy earned a first down with a 15-yard run on their next drive, but another sack and fumbled snap ruined any momentum.

Sophia noted that the center-to-quarterback exchange is something that needs to be addressed and mentioned that the offensive line is talented, but they missed too many assignments against Northside.

The Bruins will try to earn their first win in more than two years when they travel to Pasquotank next Friday.

“We’re competing and we’re getting closer,” Sophia said. “That’s a good football team that we played (tonight).”

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