Cameron Runs Like The Wynn In Notre Dame Victory

Talented Junior Gains 283 Yards, Scores Four TDs In 39-15 Win Over CCS

Saturday, October 21, 2017 - by John Hunt
Notre Dame's Cameron Wynn beats a defender Friday night in the Irish's big win over CCS.
Notre Dame's Cameron Wynn beats a defender Friday night in the Irish's big win over CCS.
- photo by Greg Davick

The Notre Dame football team is on a roll right now.

Maybe we should be a little bit more specific and say that Cameron Wynn is on a roll right now.

After opening the season with a 42-21 loss to Baylor at Finley Stadium, the Fighting Irish have bounced right back to win eight games in a row, including Friday night’s 39-15 victory over Chattanooga Christian at Jim Eberle Field to clinch the Division II, Class AA East Region title.

The Irish are off next week before hosting a playoff game on Nov. 3.

What started out as a track meet in the first half where the two teams combined for 481 yards rushing turned into something more resembling a hard-nosed football game in the second as the Fighting Irish defense clamped down to limit the Chargers to 20 yards rushing on 17 attempts and one first down.

The Chargers also made things interesting with a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter to only trail by 21-15 at one point, but the Irish pulled away with one more TD before intermission and another in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.

Wynn was the man of the hour for the Fighting Irish as he put on a show in the first half.

He only touched the football nine times, but he made the Chargers pay as he gained 267 yards and scored four touchdowns on runs of 3, 79, 52 and 81 yards.

He finished the game with 283 yards on a dozen trips as his playing time was quite limited in the second half.

Meanwhile, the Chargers’ Mondo Ellison tried his best to keep pace in the first half as he picked up 169 yards on 15 carries, scoring both CCS touchdowns in the second quarter on runs of 31 and 60 yards.  He finished the evening with 194 yards on 24 attempts.

CCS coach Mark Mariakis never smiles following a loss, but he was more than happy with the way his kids competed after a less-than-pleasing effort in last week’s loss to Knoxville Webb.

“That is what I like to call relentless effort,” he told his team following the game.

“This was a totally different team than the one I saw last week.  I’m never happy with a loss, but I’m thrilled with our effort.  Tonight was a tough game, but we played at a different level from earlier games.  And now if we can win next week against Knoxville Grace, we can host a playoff game and we’ve never done that before,” he told his kids.

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant knows that his team has a high-powered offense with a multitude of players who can score on any given play.  The Irish scored their first two touchdowns in the first quarter without attempting a single pass, so why did his team start throwing in the second quarter?

“We knew that we needed to improve on some things in our passing game, so we needed the kids to run their routes tonight.  We had some things to fix in that area, but we have the fortune of being able to strike in a lot of different ways,” he said afterward.

Wynn lines up in the Wildcat package a lot on offense where he takes a direct snap, but those kinds of plays can take a toll on a player physically and that’s why Fant used a host of different running backs.

However, none were better than Wynn.

“Cameron is a special athlete, but I thought he was running angry tonight.  We’ve been urging him to hit it a little harder lately, but he’s really been attacking going downhill these past two weeks,” Fant praised his junior.

“Other than the two turnovers and way too many penalties, those were about the only two things I didn’t like,” the personable Irish coach concluded.

Wynn had the first three carries for the Irish after the Chargers punted to start the game and he picked up 22, 4 and 16 yards on those efforts.  Jeffery Watkins Jr. then gained 14 yards on two carries to give Notre Dame first-and-goal from the 3 where Wynn danced into the end zone on the next play.

Quarterback Landon Allen scored Notre Dame’s second TD with 3:36 left in the first quarter on a keeper from the 9 and the difference was 14-0 following Hunter Hill’s second PAT.

Things were looking really easy for Notre Dame at that point and really hard for CCS as the Chargers punted on their first three possessions.

That’s when Ellison started finding some holes.

Following a short Notre Dame punt that took a reverse bounce and ended up being negative four yards, Ellison gained a yard on the first play and 22 on the second before racing 31 yards for his team’s first touchdown with 7:33 left in the half.  His conversion run made it 14-8.

Wynn scored two more in the next five minutes while Ellison countered with one, but it was an 81-yarder by the Irish speedster with 48.4 seconds left before halftime that gave Notre Dame a little breathing room with a 33-15 lead at the break.

Notre Dame’s defense stood tall in the second half as the Chargers simply couldn’t get their offense in gear and never really threatened to score again.

Notre Dame finished the game with 494 total yards while CCS countered with 188.

The Irish had 444 yards rushing on 35 carries while completing five passes for 50 yards.

While Wynn was the leading rusher for the Irish, Trea Johnson followed with 61 yards on five trips that included a 53-yard touchdown run on an inside reverse midway through the third quarter that turned out to be the only score for either team in the final 24 minutes.

Watkins had 30 yards on five carries while Akil Sledge had 21 yards on four trips in addition to 26 yards on one pass reception in the first half.

The Chargers didn’t have any turnover while the Irish lost two fumbles.  Christian Fallins and Roderick Young had recoveries for the Chargers.

Dallas Brown was a heavy hitter on defense for Notre Dame while big Sam Stovall blocked a punt late in the first half, but Notre Dame turned the ball over on the next play when Fallins got the recovery that led to Ellison’s second TD of 60 yards with 2:49 before halftime that drew the Chargers within 21-15.

Stovall also partially blocked another CCS punt in the second half.

Notre Dame finished the game with 17 first downs while the Chargers were limited to just seven.

CHATTANOOGA CHRISTIAN   0  15  0  0  --  15

NOTRE DAME  14  19  6  0  --  39

ND – Cameron Wynn 3 run (Hunter Hill kick), 7:01 left in first;

ND – Landon Allen 9 run (Hill kick), 3:36 left in first;

CCS – Mondo Ellison 31 run (Ellison run), 7:33 left in second;

ND – Wynn 79 run (kick failed), 6:47 left in second;

CCS – Ellison 60 run (Ian Gaines kick), 2:49 left in second;

ND – Wynn 52 run (run failed), 2:34 left in second;

ND – Wynn 81 run (kick failed), 0:48.4 left in second;

ND – Trea Johnson 53 run (kick failed), 7:32 left in third.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)


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