KINGSLAND, Ga. – Frank Garis was hoping Oakleaf’s early-season schedule would help his team get accustomed to another level of speed.
The Knights ran into a Camden County team Friday night that plays in an entirely different gear. Not only were the host Wildcats quick on the field, but they were very quick to get on the scoreboard in the News4Jax Game of the Week.
Camden County’s opening 12-play scoring drive was not a precursor of things to come. After that, the Wildcats dashed off scoring possessions of 1, 6, 1 and 4 plays — highlighted by touchdown runs of 65 and 53 yards by Deonte’ Cole — while scoring the contest’s first 36 points on the way to a 50-6 romp in a cross-border tilt at Chris Gilman Stadium.
Oakleaf (2-2), which entered the week ninth in the News4Jax Super 10, hasn’t shied away from strong early competition, beating Miami Carol City and losing close to Columbia.
But this was different.
“We hoped to be able to play a game at a different speed,” Garis said. “But they are playing insanely fast, and we hope to play at that level. Hopefully, playing a team like that will up our urgency and up our efforts. And, the guys we play going forward, hopefully we can play at a level faster than them because of the opponents we’ve played so far.”
Camden County (4-1) could beat teams inside or outside. While Jamie Felix and K.K. Albertie caused problems, combing for 81 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries, Cole was a major headache for the Knights on the outside, rushing 11 times for 196 yards and three scores.
“Our offense, it’s not easy to install,” said Wildcats coach Jeff Herron, in his first season of his second stint with Camden County. “It’s our fifth game, and we’ve improved each game. They’ve got good players on defense, and we didn’t really expect that.”
Herron likes how the backs complement one another. Albertie for the power. Cole for the speed. Felix for both. With those three helping the Wildcats roll up 294 first-half rushing yards, Camden County scored on its first five possessions, a run that was snapped only when the team took possession with 15 seconds left in the first half.
After the initial 12-play drive, the Wildcats’ speed revealed itself. Zach Andreu took a punt back 56 yards and Felix scored on a 13-yard run on the following play.
Albertie closed out a six-play drive with a score. Then Cole took over.
He took the first snap of the next series and veered to the right, down the sideline for a 65-yard score. After the team gained 27 yards on a 3rd-and-30 on its next possession, Cole took the fourth-down toss and went left for 53 yards and a touchdown.
For good measure, Jayshawn Bacon, who is a reserve behind Cole, dashed off a 67-yard touchdown run to close the contest’s scoring.
“We wanted to start off strong,” said Cole, who added a three-yard scoring run to his long dashes. “Play fast, but then spread the field out and get outside.”
While Camden County had long and varied drives, the drive chart for Oakleaf (2-2) revealed the Knights’ frustration, opening with an 11-play drive that didn’t quite make it to midfield. After that, it was a nightmare: Three-and-out, downs, three-and-out, downs and an interception until a Drew Ammon-to-Taylor Bradshaw touchdown pass right before the half.
Oakleaf entered the game averaging 287 rushing yards a game but had mustered only 32 by the half. The Knights finished with 111 yards on the ground, but with 59 of those coming from freshman back Carlos Witherup in the final quarter.
“We committed too many penalties or there were too many penalty flags thrown from that standpoint,” Garis said. “We just continually killed momentum with foolish mistakes and foolish penalties or running wrong routes or lining up wrong on defense. We have to clear up those issues now.”
Camden County 50, Oakleaf 6
Oakleaf 0 6 0 0 — 6
Camden Co. 15 21 7 7 — 50
CC – Jamie Felix 8 run (Adonis Coyle kick)
CC – Felix 13 run (Semaj Parker pass from Coyle)
CC – K.K. Albertie 5 run (Coyle kick)
CC – Deonte’ Cole 65 run (Ian Pederson pass from Zach Andreu)
CC – Cole 53 run (kick blocked)
O – Taylor Bradshaw 22 pass from Drew Ammon (kick failed)
O – Cole 3 run (Coyle kick)
CC – Jayshawn Bacon 67 run (Gabe Kaison kick)
Category: O — C
First downs: 23 — 17
Rushes-yards: 31-111 — 35-425
Passing: 197 — 21
Comp-Att-Int: 22-39-1 — 2-4-0
Fumbles-lost: 0-0 — 2-1
Penalties-Yards: 12-95 — 7-67
RUSHING — O: Carlos Witherup 9-59, Donald Hampton 12-33, Isaiah Shevchook 6-18, Ammon 4-1. C: Cole 11-196, Bacon 3-77, Albertie 6-45, Felix 6-36, Brayden Ritz 3-31, Jaden Dailey 1-27, Willie Blackwell 2-8, Gray Loden 2-7, Team 1-(-2).
PASSING — O: Ammon 20-36-1-184, Tyson McMillon 2-3-0-13. C: Loden 2-4-0-21.
RECEIVING — O: Bradshaw 8-88, ArMon Cooper 3-35, Rae Murray 5-32, Jamaal Gibbons 3-25, Devaeon Boykin 2-13, Shevchook 1-4. C: Brandon Sullivan 1-15, Jacob Preston 1-6.