CHEYENNE – It took two drives and 4 minutes, 8 seconds for Cheyenne East to take control over Campbell County on Friday night.
The fourth-ranked Thunderbirds trailed the Camels 21-14 going into the fourth quarter, but rallied to score 13 points and force two turnovers in the final 12 minutes en route to a 27-21 win at Okie Blanchard Stadium.
“The first week we came out super hot and ran out of energy and since then, the coaches have talked to us and we’ve tried to stay on an even level throughout the game so we can come together as a team,” East senior Cade Pugh said. “Pretty much it’s all about staying together as a unit on both sides of the ball.”
Junior quarterback Gavin Goff found pay dirt for the first score of the contest with a 10-yard run following a fake fly sweep with 1:25 to play in the opening quarter.
Both offenses failed to gain any traction until 7:30 left in the second frame. Campbell County still had yet to convert a first down when quarterback Aiden Dorr avoided a sack and scrambled out to the left, taking it for the score from 35 yards out to tie the game 7-7.
After Pugh put East up with a two-yard rush, Campbell County knotted the score again. Dorr launched a pass downfield, it was tipped by East cornerback Drew Jackson and caught by Brady Tompkins for the 44-yard touchdown with 1:06 left in the half.
The momentum carried into the third quarter as the Camels (1-2) marched down the field and took a 21-14 advantage on an Ian Carter touchdown run from the one-yard line on the first possession of the third quarter.
East (2-1) struggled offensively after that until the they got the ball with 10:03 to play in the fourth. It turned five plays into 77 yards, which was capped by a 11-yard touchdown run from Pugh.
“Coach was making good calls and we kind of figured it out at the end,” said Pugh, who finished with 122 rushing yards. “And our line started making blocks and it opened up the holes and we could just play.”
Dorr fumbled on the following possession and East didn’t hesitate to take the 27-21 advantage, scoring in 50 seconds on a seven-yard rush from Goff.
“It’s just nice to see (the run game) come to fruition in the end there, but we have to do it consistently,” East coach Chad Goff said. “If we can do it in 13 plays, why not do it the whole game? That’s the lesson these guys need to learn is just be consistent with it.”
Dorr dropped back to pass on the following possession and was hit, allowing Pugh to grab an interception and East to run out the clock.
Campbell County’s Ian Carter rushed for 81 yards as East struggled to contain the Camels’ run game at times. But when the East defense needed to make plays and the offense needed to score, it came together.
“You have to give credit to Campbell County those kids showed up and played a great game and executed things well,” Goff said. “It made our kids have to reach inside and dig deep and figure it out and do it together. And I thought that was the pretty cool thing about tonight, is they did it together.”
EAST 27, CAMPBELL COUNTY 21
Campbell County……. 0 14 7 0 – 21
Cheyenne East………. 7 7 0 13 – 27
SCORING SUMMARY First quarter
CE: Goff 10 run (LaRue kick) 1:25
CC: Dorr 35 run (Wofford kick) 7:30
CE: Pugh 2 run (LaRue kick) 4:18
CC: Tompkins 44 pass from Dorr (Wofford kick) 1:06
CC: Carter 1 run (Wofford kick) 6:27
CE: Pugh 11 run (LaRue kick) 8:15
CE: Goff 7 run (PAT no good) 5:55
Individual statistics Rushing
Campbell County: Dorr 16-79, Carter 21-81, Miller 4-12. Cheyenne East: Pugh 21-122, Jackson 1-0, Schlabs 4-20, Goff 14-67
Campbell County: Dorr 3-10-2 70. Cheyenne East: Goff 17-23-2 161.
Campbell County: Walter 1-21, Miller 1-5, Tompkins 1-44. Cheyenne East: Jackson 2-32, Pugh 3-35, Schlabs 8-44, Culver 1-32, Hayes 2-14, Pafford 1-4.