By Kyle Higley
Oswego outlasted Camden (1-6) and gave their fans, who watched them in the cold and rain, a victory on senior day. The Buccaneers were able to ride their star senior running back Damian Williams to a 28-14 win at Joseph Wilbur field.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think it was huge to get a win on senior night. This was our seventh straight win in a row at home (in regular season games) and it was a really important thing for the seniors to keep going,Ã¢â‚¬Â said David Gryczka, Oswego head coach.
Williams amassed more than 275 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Camden countered with the passing attack of quarterback Joe OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Rourke and wide receiver Jake Clark; as they hooked up for three plays of 40 yards or more, including an 84-yard touchdown. Williams would prove to be too much as he complied touchdown runs of 8, 23, 85, and 91 yards.
Camden began the game with an unsuccessful squib kick that gave the Buccaneers excellent field position on their own 40-yard line. Two fourth-down conversions kept Oswego’s opening drive alive. With 6:23 remaining in the opening quarter Williams took a hand-off from inside the tackles and exploded 23-yards for the first score of the game. After a failed conversion attempt Oswego led 6-0.
Camden started its opening drive on the 16-yard line. Wide receiver Tyler Laplante took a reverse out to CamdenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 45 yard-line. From there, Camden continued to move the ball smoothly down the field as their spread offense seemed to keep the Bucs off balance. The drive culminated in 6 yard touchdown run by Kevin Davis with 1:29 left in the first quarter. After successfully converting a 36 yard PAT, due to a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, Camden led 7-6.
When the Buccaneers took over after the Camden touchdown penalties immediately began to back them up. A holding penalty, followed by an off sides infraction left Oswego with a first and 25 on their own 15-yard line. After an incomplete pass on first down, Williams negated the penalties and then some as he took a sweep 85 yards for his second touchdown of the day. Following another failed conversion Oswego led 12-7 as the first quarter came to a close.
Penalties would also hurt Camden. An intentional grounding penalty in the second quarter forced a punt from deep in Blue Devil territory. Oswego blocked the punt for a safety with 11:07 remaining in the second quarter. This made up for OswegoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s two failed conversions and put them ahead 14-7. During the rest of the first half neither team was able to mount a drive and headed to the locker rooms with the Buccaneers leading 14-7.
In the third quarter Williams picked right up where he left off as he scampered for a 91-yard touchdown with 9:37 left in the third quarter, and when the point after failed the Buccaneers had climbed out to a 20-7 lead.
However, before the quarter ended Camden struck back as OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Rourke found his favorite target, Jake Clark, on a 3rd and 3 from inside his own 20, resulting in a 84-yard pass play. This play put Camden right back in the game, trailing 20-14 with 2:44 to go in the third quarter.
When quarterback Joe OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Rourke got the ball back early in the 3rd quarter he picked right back up where he left off. OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Rourke connected on three straight pass completions including a 40 yarder to Alex Van Pelt , and quickly moved his team down to the Buccaneers 38-yard line. Then with 9:12 left to play OswegoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ryan Jock came up with a huge play for the Buccaneer defense as he intercepted a OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Rourkepass, and ran out of bounds at his own 25-yard line.
With the ball back and the clock on their side Oswego continued to do what it had done all night — hand the ball off to Damian Williams.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are primarily a run first team, but I thought we did a good job of showing them we could throw a little bit tonight. I think it kept them off balance and really opened up things for our running game,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Gryczka.
Williams and the Bucs did just what they needed to do as their last drive took seven plus minutes off the clock, and ended with Williams finding his way into the end zone with an 8-yard touchdown run. This score put Oswego up 28-14 and the game away as only two and a half minutes remained. As the final seconds clicked off players rushed the field and even surprised a coach with a Gatorade bath. At that moment everyone in the crowd could tell what this victory meant to the seniors on their day.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The real key to this victory was senior leadership, we had a lot of seniors that really stepped up and we even moved some guys around and they did a great job with it,Ã¢â‚¬Â Said Gryczka.