The Cambridge Bears faced the Centennial Knights at Cambridge High School last Friday, September 22nd. Cambridge played the role of the underdog. Apparently, no one told the Bears they were supposed to lose.
After a tough start, the Bears found themselves in a 10-0 hole at the end of the first quarter. The Cambridge defense then started rallying to the football. The Bear defense caused turnovers on consecutive possessions inside the Centennial 40-yard line. The offense converted both of these opportunities into touchdowns to give the Bears a 14-10 lead. The second touchdown included a spectacular 30-yard touchdown catch by Ridge Polk in double coverage. This came on a fourth down. A touchdown for each team before the half put the score at 21-17 heading into the locker room.
The Bear defense continued to shine in the third quarter, forcing a third turnover. However, a blown coverage allowed a long pass 65-yard pass for the Knights. The next play saw a 3-yard touchdown run to give Centennial the 24-21 lead. Centennial started to settle into the game nicely, and good play on both sides of the ball kept the Knights ahead for a 34-21 victory.
Bennett had high praise for the team's performance saying, "we reduced some of our mistakes and our kids played really hard, like they normally do. I was really proud of our boys, I thought they handled themselves well".
The Bears used more of a dynamic approach on offense, changing formations to get more touches for skill players. This produced results. The Bears limited themselves to one turnover and put up 231 total yards with key running back Matt McCree still on the sideline. Senior wide receiver Evan Kuykendall stood out on the stat sheet with 8 receptions for 94 yards as well as 21 yards rushing. "The stats were good, but his leadership and fight that he provided really stood out," said Bennett.
The Cambridge defense provided major sparks for the Bears with three turnovers on the evening. The defense flew around, but a few mental mistakes allowed for breakout plays by Centennial to give the Knights 278 yards through the air. Senior linebacker Will Covington finished at the top of the tackle list for the Bears with 10 on the night.
There is a steep learning curve for some of the younger players. "Football has always been about blocking and tackling, but the speed changes and complexity of the game changes," said Bennett. "Experience is something you can't coach, so these things are coming to them much easier now than a few weeks ago".
The Bears will travel to Johns Creek next week for a very difficult matchup. The Gladiators are coming off three straight region victories. Johns Creek features a tremendous duo at wide receiver and quarterback and will provide a balanced attack on offense that is difficult to defend.
Cambridge has their work cut out for them, but we know the Bears will play their hearts out. The game will take place this Friday, September 29th at Johns Creek.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
article by Jack Sadighian