St. Joe Benton tops Cameron

By Chris Bils The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: October 10, 2014 - 11:43 PM

For every great turnaround of a program, there has to be a team that wants it more than the teams that came before them, a group that throws records out the window and deems losing unacceptable.

After beating Cameron for his team’s second win in a row for the first time since Weeks 2 and 3 of 2011, Benton coach Matt Tabor believes he has found that group.


“We have some of the most loyal, hardworking guys and their hard work has paid off,” he said. “I think this is the class that is going to set the stage for really good teams.”

The Cardinals (3-5, 2-4 Midland Empire Conference) jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the Dragons (0-7, 0-5) and stayed on the gas pedal in the second half to pick up their first victory on homecoming in four years.

“They’ve given (Tabor) time to try to build a program, and he’s done a good job,” Cameron coach Jeff White said. “He’s building it in the right way. He’s surrounding himself with other good coaches and they’re getting it done.”

After forcing Cameron into a turnover on downs on the first possession of the game, Benton drove 55 yards for the opening score.

Senior quarterback Dominic Hill converted long third downs on passes of 29 and 9 yards to sophomore wide receiver Devon Burton, and a 1-yard touchdown run by senior Tanner Dredge made it 7-0 seven minutes into the game.

After another defensive stop, Hill found junior wide receiver Tobin Sisk wide open for a 61-yard touchdown on the first play of the Cardinals’ second drive to make it 14-0.

The Dragons answered with a 1-yard run by sophomore quarterback Caleb Shanks to cut the lead in half, but a 47-yard scoring strike from Hill to Burton made it 20-7 at halftime.

Hill finished 9 of 18 in the first half for 230 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions — he finished 11-21/253/2/2 — with 7 of those passes going to Burton for 151 yards.

Despite the aerial assault, Tabor decided to keep the ball on the ground in the second half after a dismal 9 carries for 8 yards in the opening 24 minutes.

Hill scored twice on the ground in the third quarter, rumbling in from 23 yards on the opening drive and then punching in from 1 yard at the 5:40 mark. The Cardinals faked a point-after try, junior holder C.J. Reynolds rolling out for a pass to senior Bryson Waitkoss to make the score 35-7.

Cameron made it 35-14 on the first play of the final period when Shanks ran in from 4 yards out, his second score of the day.