As the Carey Panthers prepare for Friday's homecoming game against Rockland, Panther football coach Lane Kirkland would like nothing better than a repeat performance of the solid drubbing his team administered to the Camas Mushers last week.
When the final whistle blew at Carey's Derrick Parke Memorial Field on Friday, Sept. 8, the score was Carey High School 58, Camas High School 14. Carey running back Cody Baird put on a rushing clinic, scoring five touchdowns—one was a punt return—and racking up 262 rushing yards.
The victory over the typically tough Mushers puts the Panthers in the fast lane to win the Sawtooth Conference West title. But there's still a lot of season left. The Panthers are now 2-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play. They face their second conference test Friday night against Rockland, who beat the Murtaugh Blue Devils last week 24-13.
Kirkland is pleased with his team's performance, but said beating Rockland is no gimmee.
"They run a funky kind of offense," he said. "They run all kinds of different things, so we'll have to be keeping track of where the ball is."
Kirkland said he thinks his team has the advantage, being a larger team than Rockland.
"We'll just play solid Carey football and hope we get the job done," he said. "We're just playing really good football and hope to continue that throughout the season. We're off to a really good start."
Game time is 7 p.m. at Derrick Parke Memorial Field.
Last week's game was highlighted by the Baird's running abilities. He averaged more than 10 yards per carry on 25 rushing attempts. He added another 70 yards on a second quarter touchdown punt return, and another 52 on three pass interceptions.
Baird's longest touchdown from scrimmage was a 65-yard breakaway in the fourth quarter.
"He had some good blocks around the end on sweeps," Kirkland said. "Once he's got his feet up and moving on the open field, he's really dangerous."
Baird also led the team on defense, with 10 solo tackles and seven assists. He was followed closely by Brad Hunt, who accumulated eight solo tackles and five assists.
Hunt was the leading receiver, catching four balls for 91 yards. Two of those were for touchdowns in the second quarter. The first was for 29 yards and the second was for 23.
Quarterback D. J. Simpson threw the ball 21 times for 10 catches and 158 passing yards. He threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions. After a scoreless first quarter, Carey's high-powered offense kicked into gear in the second period and the Panthers led the Mushers at halftime 28-6. Camas threatened a comeback in the third period by scoring eight unanswered points and ending the quarter down 28-14.
But the fourth quarter was all Carey. Baird got three of his touchdowns that quarter, and Gonzalo Zarate added another on a 67-yard sprint from scrimmage.
The Panthers and the Mushers have a history of high scoring games. Last year Carey beat Camas in a 60-32 shootout.
Friday's defeat dropped Camas to 0-2.