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Tigers Sports

Tigers at Camden

Posted Monday, November 13, 2006 by Dave Jordan, Brunswick News, Special to the Courier

The Bradwell Tigers could not pull off the upset Friday night against Camden County, so now they must travel over three hours north on Saturday to open the state playoffs.

Camden County (10-0, 7-0) controlled the Region 3-AAAAA championship game's tempo, out-gaining the Tigers (5-5, 5-2) 327 yards to 106 yards, in the 28-0 win.

The Wildcat defense stopped Preston Frasier's 100-yard rushing game streak at four, limiting the senior to 76 yards on 21 carries. With the win, Camden Co. gets to open the playoffs next week at home against Redan (5-5).

Meanwhile, the Tigers travel to Hallford Stadium - formerly known as Dekalb Memorial Stadium - in Clarkston to play the M.L. King Lions (8-1).

"We faced a team that was pretty dang good. They aren't second (in the state) for a reason," Bradwell coach Jim Walsh Jr. said. "We struggled a little offensively. Defensively, I thought we did good. We did some good things but it just was not our night. We made a lot of mental mistakes. I looked at the film most of (Saturday) morning and there were a lot of mental errors."

Camden's defense never let the Tigers develop a good rhythm. They limited the Tigers to 6 first downs, forced the Tigers to punt eight times, recovered two fumbles and never allowed them in Wildcat territory after halftime.

Bradwell's deepest penetration actually came on the last play of the first half when defensive back Lemoria Lewis returned an interception down to the Wildcats' 10-yard line.

"We played a good football team. Camden is huge," he said. "We didn't think they were as big as they were. We got out there and their defense was bigger than what was written down on paper. They were big - bigger than Coffee. We're not a big football team. We were outmatched physically and they have speed that is comparable to Griffin. We had our hands full."

The Wildcats scored a touchdown in each quarter.

Camden's senior running backs Darien Scott, Mario Roberts and Dewitt Holzendorf rushed for a combined 252 yards and three touchdowns in their last regular season game.

Scott scored with 5:46 left in the first quarter on a 12-yard run and again in the third quarter on a nice 6-yard cutback run. Roberts buffaloed his way to a score late in the third quarter from 31 yards out - breaking tackle after tackle along the way. Sophomore Greg Baker scored the Wildcats' fourth and final touchdown on a 10-yard run with 4:21 left to play.

In addition to being out-matched physically, the Tigers made too many mental mistakes in the loss.

"The kids didn't quit but they made some mental mistakes and playing in a big game, you can't do that," Walsh said. "Now, it's time for the postseason and I feel confident. The kids got after it pretty good and I can't fault effort. It was one of those off nights mentally and I think because we were trying to do too much, instead of sitting back and executing.

Nevertheless, Walsh is upbeat about the playoffs and told his players to keep their heads up.

"I told the kids after the game that this is done and gone," he said. "We're in the postseason and now we're breathing a new life. We have to settle down and get the job done and I think they're going to do it. The kids have done a lot of great things and they're not going to back down. That's the great thing about this group."

Even Camden County coach Jeff Herron saw a lot of improvement in the Tigers.

Walsh said that Herron and his staff had reviewed a lot of the Tigers games before Friday night and that they had improved.

"The great thing after the game is their coach and a majority of their coaches came by and conveyed to myself and other coaches the progress our kids made," Walsh said. "Every game they watched, they saw a vast improvement on our football team."

Sports Editor Jimmy Currier contributed to this article

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