Fast start by Spruce Mountain sets tone as Camden Hills football falls
ROCKPORT — The Camden Hills varsity football team hoped its Saturday, Sept. 21 home contest against Spruce Mountain would signal the start of a redemptive effort based on last week's showing versus Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall Dale.
Instead, an opening three-play drive by the visiting Phoenix sent additional signals to head football coach Jeremy Marks, his staff, and Windjammer players that there is much work to do as they head into a showdown with Mountain Valley on Friday, Sept. 27 in Rumford.
With Spruce Mountain shutting out the host Windjammers 34-0, Camden Hills (1-2) has been scoreless in its last two games since its opening game victory against Old Town.
"We are a not a very good football team right now," stated Marks. "We have a lot of work to do. Hopefully the boys will buckle down and focus in on getting better."
The 'Jammers showed an ability to move the ball throughout the game.
Camden Hills running back Hunter Norton, a sophomore, lead the team on the ground (16 carries, 64 yards) and had a red zone touchdown that would have breathed life into the team making the score 18-6 if not for offsetting penalties that set the ball on the Phoenix nine yard line on second down.
The 'Jammers best shot was thwarted at that point and the team would not reach inside the 20 until the last series of the game when sophomore quarterback Ryan Clifford connected with junior wide receiver Ben Craft on a 42 yard pass play with the running play clock winding down.
A pass by Clifford on a fake field goal attempt was intercepted inside the five yard line and ended the game as time expired.
Clifford completed six passes for 70 yards on the day.
Procedural penalties remain a concern for the Windjammers.
"Part of that is making too many mistakes by way of getting penalties in crucial times," said Marks. "If we don't correct our errors and bottom line play better its going to be a very long and frustrating season."
Following the game at Mountain Valley, Camden Hills will have an unscheduled bye week. Camden Hills had been slated to play Dirigo, but Dirigo has cancelled the remainder of its varsity football season.
Marks can relate to such a decision having joined the Camden Hills coaching staff under the late Archie Stalcup in 2016, the season following an ill-fated 2015 for the football Windjammers.
It is important to note that in spite of the two recent setbacks, the community as a whole sees Camden Hills football on the upswing.
Marks noted the program as a whole has made some progress, but as evidenced by the last two weeks of play the 'Jammers are far from what and where they want to be.
Marks, however, is grateful for the strong support the community has shown to him and his staff since he assumed the reigns as the program’s head coach.
"I do want to take minute and extend our deepest gratitude to those in the community that continue to support the team and the growth of the program,” he said. “It is extremely appreciated and we hope to turn things around soon."
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