Third-quarter blitz by Camden County dooms East Coweta
By ANDY DIFFENDERFER
Special to The Newnan Times-Herald
KINGSLAND – Once Camden County got untracked in the third quarter Friday night in Kingsland, East Coweta couldn’t keep up.
In the second round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs, the Indians found themselves only with a 14-7 deficit midway through the third, but three unanswered Wildcat touchdowns spelled the season’s end for the visitors, who finished 5-7 with a 34-14 setback.
Kalvarez Bessent scored twice and intercepted a pass, and Antonio Wimbush returned a punt for a touchdown as the Wildcats advanced to the quarterfinals.
Workhorse East Coweta back Dee Godfrey ran for 119 hard-earned yards, a game-high, on 19 carries with a touchdown. Bryce Gemmel scored on a second-quarter keeper to cut the Camden lead in half, but the Indians couldn’t get any closer.
“We scored on the first play and we went out there and stuffed them a couple of series in a row and I think our kids relaxed,” Camden County head coach Jeff Herron told reporters. “The good news is we survived. We’re in the third round and we’re back on a normal routine next week so we won’t have any excuses.”
East Coweta’s offense was held to just 209 yards and couldn’t back up Godfrey’s effort with a sustainable passing attack, only completing 7 of 24 passes for 47 yards and an interception.
Green took Camden’s first snap 48 yards for a touchdown, and after two straight three-and-outs, the no-huddle Wildcats (11-1) went 87 yards in seven plays and 2:15, getting a 32-yard Green burst and a 25-yard Marcus Jordan bolt before Bessent’s eight-yard TD run early in the second period.
CCHS appeared primed to build on a 14-0 lead on its next possession, driving deep into East Coweta territory before a lost fumble ended the threat. Godfrey eluded defenders on a 45-yard gallop to the Camden 2, and after a facemask penalty, Gemmel called his own number from a yard away to end a quick four-play, 54-yard series.
After a first half in which they ran nine more plays than the ‘Cats, the Indians were limited to two three-and-outs in the third quarter as the hosts assumed full command.
Camden accepted the second-half kickoff and efficiently moved 80 plays in 13 snaps, capped by a Green seven-yard TD run. Quarterback Brice Ramsey completed a pair of passes to Christian Middelton and another to Wimbush on third-and-long in the 5:35 march, and Grant Gabriel knocked home the third of his four extra-point successes.
A little more than a minute later, Wimbush fielded a Spencer Smith punt, found a crease near midfield and was gone on a 67-yard TD return. Bessent added to the margin in the quarter’s final minute, collecting a Ramsey pass in stride for a 24-yard score.
The night’s final touchdown came on Godfrey’s fourth-down, 11-yard run with 25 seconds left in the game.
He had earlier carries of 31 and 14 yards in the 11-play, 85-yard drive.
SCORING SUMMARY – Camden County 34, East Coweta 14
East Coweta 0 7 0 7 – 14
Camden Co. 7 7 20 0 – 34
CC – J.J. Green 48 run (Grant Gabriel kick), 10:46
CC – Kalvarez Bessent 8 run (Gabriel kick), 9:45
EC – Bryce Gemmel 1 run (Spencer Smith kick), 4:28
CC – Green 7 run (Gabriel kick), 6:25
CC – Antonio Wimbush 67 punt return (kick failed), 5:13
CC – Bessent 24 pass from Brice Ramsey (Gabriel kick), :40
EC – Dee Godfrey 11 run (Smith kick), :25