Javon Campbell led King George in rushing and caught only seven passes all last season as the Foxes finished with a 1–9 record.
First-year King George head coach Vern Lunsford was still learning his players then and they were in the process of learning his offense. So far this season, it looks like both learn a lot from that tough campaign.
One of the things he learned was that Campbell is an asset to the Foxes in whatever aspect his coaches can get him on the field.
Friday night, the running back’s versatility shined brightly as he caught two of junior quarterback Charles Mutter’s three touchdown passes and broke loose for a game-changing 79-yard kickoff return for a score as King George captured a 34-21 win at Stafford.
Campbell was humble after the game, thanking his lineman, Mutter and the rest of his team for helping make his vital contribution happen.
“I can do passing sometimes, but all of my passing is from Charles. He’s a great QB and knows how to throw the ball and put it on point,” he said.
Lunsford said the game plan for Campbell against the Indians worked just as the Foxes had hoped coming into their second straight game against a Class 5 opponent.
“You could see tonight that he catches the ball well and he runs extremely hard,” Lunsford said.” “He can play some defense and special teams too. He’s a jack of all trades.”
The biggest of Campbell’s contributions was in the return game.
After Stafford scored touchdowns late in the second quarter and midway through the third to tie the game, 21-21, the junior burst through a wall of blockers to return the ensuing kickoff 79 yards putting the Foxes back on top.
“That was much needed. We work special teams really hard this week,” Lunsford said. “We knew we left some on the field last week and they stepped up and executed the game plan there.”
The Indians got off to a great start less than 30 seconds into the fourth quarter as they tried to mount another game-tying drive.
Devin Lardge broke off a 42-yard run, but on the following play Stafford quarterback Jack Koetter fumbled on a botched handoff and the Foxes’ Darrian Hodsden recovered, killing any potential momentum.
Two series later, King George closed out the scoring with a clock-eating five-minute drive capped off with a 1-yard scoring run by Mutter.
“Our O-line is a senior-led group. All five returning starters. They grinded it out. They wanted that. They were asking for runs,” Lunsford said. “They wanted to pound it out and did a great job just running that clock down as much as possible.”
For the Indians, it was a second difficult outcome that left head coach Mo Hampton wanting more from his team.
“We just didn’t play physical the first half and that’s really what it comes down to. It’s a physical game and we didn’t play physical. It was actually very disappointing,” the fourth-year coach expressed. ”The second half we were playing a lot better and then we had the bad coverage and the bad kick that really kind of turned the tide and sealed it for them.”
KG—Javon Campbell 20-yard pass from Charles Mutter (Ryan Kuberick kick)
St—Devin Lardge 65-yard run (Blake Childress kick)
KG—Chris Cox 18-yard pass from Charles Mutter (Ryan Kuberick kick)
KG—Javon Campbell 86-yard pass from Charles Mutter (Ryan Kuberick kick)
St—Hayden Mesimer 14-yard pass from Jack Koetter (Blake Childress kick)
St—Jordan Williams 17-yard pass from Jack Koetter (Blake Childress kick)
KG—Javon Campbell 79-yard kickoff return (Ryan Kuberick kick)
KG—Charles Mutter 1-yard run (kick failed).
RUSHING: King George—Javon Campbell 17-71; Charles Mutter 8-16, TD; Gabe Aley 12-68; Tyler Thompson 1-0; Team 1-(-1). Stafford—Devin Lardge 6-112, TD; Kiori Edward 6-1; Jack Koetter 9-47.
PASSING: King George—Charles Mutter 13-19-1, 285, 3TD. Stafford—Jack Koetter 9-19-0, 129, 2TD.
RECEIVING: King George—Aidan Parr 1-1; Kyle Reviello 3-20; Chris Cox 4-88, TD; Gabe Aley 1-13; Javon Campbell 3-136, 2TD. Stafford—Jordan Williams 1-17, TD; Hayden Mesimer 3-17, TD; Joseph Short 5-95.