By Russ Green-Sports Editor
A season that began on a hot night with a thrilling win at O’Hara, ended in the cold at Cameron Wednesday night for the Richmond Spartans. The Spartans could not take advantage of four Dragon fumbles in a 17-7 loss in the Class 3, District 8 semifinals.
Cameron, now 8-3, travels to meet top-ranked and unbeaten Maryville Monday night in the finals.
Richmond ends the season with a 7-4 record, despite featuring a fairly untested roster with several first-time starters. Spartan coach Rob Bowers was proud of how his team grew throughout the season.
“As young and inexperienced as we were, I knew we would be going through some growing pains,” he said. “I’m proud as heck of them. They did a great job and got better all year long, and that’s about all you can ask of them.”
The Richmond offense could not get going against Cameron. The Spartans could manage just 134 yards on the ground, while quarterback Quinton Maxwell accounted for 97 of those yards on 18 carries. Maxwell also completed 11 of 21 passes for another 66 yards with 2 interceptions. He was sacked twice and forced to scramble on numerous occasions. A scramble resulted in the only RHS touchdown of the night in the final period.
Bowers said his offensive line struggled handling the Cameron defensive front.
“We didn’t have time to throw it, or run it,” he said. “They just made it tough for us. I was proud as heck of our kids – they played hard and gave everything they had. Tonight, we just weren’t good enough to do what we needed to do.”
Cameron ate up 330 rushing yards on the ground on 44 carries. Joe Pratt led the Dragons with 152 yards on 18 carries. Quarterback Dakota Calhoon completed just one of his 3 pass attempts, but that covered 51 yards to Kody Peterson. Calhoon also picked up 87 more yards on the ground on 9 carries.
The Dragons made a statement on their opening possession of the night as they marched 74 yards on 9 plays. Marshall Colson, who ended the night with 56 yards on 10 carries, capped the drive with an 8-yard run with 7:30 remaining in the opening period. Andrew Carr booted the first of his two extra points to give Cameron the lead it would not surrender.