CAMERON - It has been a while since Cameron has beaten Madonna, but that doesn't mean that the Blue Dons are taking the Dragons lightly, not this year anyway. The Blue Dons travel to Cameron for a 7:30 p.m. start Friday.
"They sort of mirror us in a lot of ways," said Madonna (2-1) coach, Doug Taylor. "They have scored a lot of points despite losing two games and they have come back from big halftime deficits in both of their wins. Like Fort Frye last week, we have to take care of business because they can score a lot of points."
The tough Madonna defense was able to contain the Fort Frye Cadets last week allowing just one touchdown. The Cadets had averaged about 40 points a game prior to that. Cameron is averaging more than 29 points a game.
"We take a lot of pride in our defense," Taylor said "We spend a lot of time working on defense. Our offense gets a lot of publicity, but we work hard on defense and even our special teams contribute greatly to our offensive production."
Taylor pointed out that Cameron veteran coach, Jim Rogers, has a lot of weapons in his arsenal this year starting with sophomore quarterback, Logan Routt (6-8, 180).
"They probably pass the ball 60 percent of the time and that tall quarterback is one of the reasons why," Taylor added. "We have to pressure him because with that height it gives him a huge advantage at finding receivers especially if he has a lot of time back there."
The Dragons have a capable receiver in senior Mark Walker, who was second team Class A All-State last year.
Taylor pointed out that junior Hunter Yoders is a very good running back. The 165-pounder led the Dragons in rushing last year as a sophomore.
"They didn't lose very many seniors from a team that went 5-5 last year," said Taylor. "So they are experienced.
Taylor pointed out that Cameron was behind Valley at halftime and came back to win by 37-20. The Blue Dons routed Valley 49-0 in the season opener. Last week, the Dragons were behind 27-6 to Beallsville at halftime and roared back for a 42-40 victory.
Cameron has lost to Bishop Donahue in the season opener by 41-26 and to Clarksburg Notre Dame by 22-14.
Taylor said Cameron matches up well with Madonna in speed and size. He said they run from the spread offense and run the football with a counter up the middle to keep defenses honest.
"Defensively, we'll have to have a solid game from our front guys," Taylor said of his keys to victory. "We'll have to mix up coverages in the secondary and pressure the quarterback.
"Offensively, we have to take care of the football and we did a lot better at that last week with just one turnover against Fort Frye. We have to improve our run blocking. We ran for over 200 yards last week, but looking at the films we saw a lot of blocking mistakes.
"Finally, we have to create matchups that favor us. We have to find mismatches and take advantage of them."
Taylor said junior Nick Ossman and sophomore Caleb Baire, neither of whom played against Fort Frye because of injuries, are practicing this week and should be ready to play against Cameron. Ossman, a starting running back and defensive back, has a nagging shoulder injury and Taylor said he plans to use him in spots.