In an important region game, Cambridge hosted Pope on Friday, September 15th. The Bears came into the game with key injuries on both offense and defense. This quickly showed as Pope took the early lead in the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown. Pope never looked back, running away with a final score of 35-6.
The Bears offense came into the game missing key running back Matt McCree. To fill the role was sophomore #21 Mike Hudson. Hudson got 9 carries, but the Bears spread the ball to a committee of players. Despite a lack of yards on the ground, Hudson did extremely well for such a young player. Hudson won the Bear's offensive player of the week. With a struggling run game and lead for Pope, the Bears leaned on quarterback Hogan Dykes. Dykes played well, throwing for 193 yards, but two interceptions proved costly. Ridge Polk shined again. Polk recorded 8 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. "We are trying to get him as many touches as possible, he is very dynamic", said Bennett. Polk holds a top ten spot in receiving yards in the state of Georgia with 440 on the season. He also leads the state in kick return yards with 344 up to this point.
The Bears were forced to fill the roles of linebackers Tyler Wald and James Poinsette. Both of these senior leaders were sorely missed on defense as Pope racked up 327 yards on the ground. The Greyhounds broke two runs for 66 and 85 yards to make up almost half of this rushing total. "The challenge is to take what we did and improve on ourselves and get better", Bennett said. "We have had kids step up in a big way and even though they do not have a tremendous amount of experience, they have done a great job."
The young players gave everything they had against Pope. The Bears will hope to build off of this in practice this week. "Our kids are very resilient, so we don't worry too much about bouncing back. We really do focus on getting better every day, and I think our kids buy into that", said Bennett.
This inexperienced Cambridge roster looks to get their first win at home against a very talented Centennial team. Centennial features a strong passing game, and will bring in an athletic wildcat quarterback. As the injured players on the Bears lineup progress, the team hopes to pull off a big upset behind a home crowd.
The game will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on September 22nd at Cambridge Stadium.
article by Jack Sadighian