CAMANCHE — In terms of record, Friday night’s game meant little to the Camanche Indians, given that they could neither earn a trip to the playoffs nor notch a district victory. But that was hardly a concern to them.
Far more important to the Indians was what a win would mean to their senior players in the final game of their high school football careers. After everything the seniors had given, the Indians believed they deserved to taste success one last time, and they had no intentions of wasting that opportunity against Columbus Junction.
From the opening play on Friday night, the Indians made it clear just how much their seniors mean to them.
Senior Easton McDaniel took the opening kickoff back 60 yards for a touchdown to give Camanche a lead it would never lose, and junior Brady Beal added three touchdowns to keep the Indians in control. When all was said and done, the Indians had a hard-fought 35-26 victory over the Wildcats, and Camanche had every reason to smile as it ended its season on a positive note.
“I was really pleased with the team’s effort,” Camanche coach Steve Dougherty said. “I think we had a little more emotion on our side, because these kids love this senior class and know how hard they’ve worked for four years. The opportunity to send them off with a win was really important, and we noticed walking out onto the field that there was a little bounce in their steps. We could tell we were in for a good game tonight.”
Beal and the Indians’ offensive line were a large reason why Camanche (2-7) was able to stave off every comeback Columbus (1-8) made. From the beginning, the Indians decided to lean on Beal as their answer to Wildcats star running back Maurico Ramirez, and Beal answered at every opportunity.