MILTON, GA – On a beautiful night, the Bears defeated Dunwoody 16-14 in a defensive battle on Friday, September 7th. A 33-yard field goal by JT Tinddale with 8:38 remaining in the game proved to be the difference.
"We knew where we needed to get on the field for him," said Craig Bennett. "He did a great job executing."
Tinddale made the kick despite being blocked on the extra point after the Bears' opening score.
Dunwoody scored with 1:31 remaining to bring the score to 16-14, but the drive proved to be too little too late.
The Bear defense put up the best performance of the season. Dunwoody only managed 185 total yards and only a single rushing yard on the evening.
"The defensive line was really disruptive all night," said Bennett. "Zach Frazier and Daniel Graham had great games and Kasra Bojnordi stepped in at times." The three defensive linemen combined for six tackles including three tackles for loss. Bojnordi committed to play football for Elon University in July and often holds down positions on both sides of the football.
The Bear defense spread around tackles with 16 players recording at least one tackle. Junior Josh Bodunrin led the team with 5 tackles.
The Cambridge defense held the Wildcats in the first quarter off of a Stratton Tripp fumble in Bear territory. Tripp hit senior Jake McIlvain on a 56-yard touchdown earlier in the quarter. McIlvain exploded onto the scene with four catches for 84 yards and the score after no catches in the first two games.
After a fumble by Stratton Tripp in the second quarter, the Wildcats got the ball on the Cambridge 11-yard line. The next play, TJ Mowery blew past a blocker to bring down the ball carrier for a seven-yard loss. On third down, Dunwoody's intended seam route tipped off the hands of the receiver. Luke Kramer stepped in to snag the interception and keep the Wildcats scoreless. However, a 59-yard touchdown pass gave the Wildcats a 7-6 halftime lead.
"We were a little upset with our production at half," said Bennett. "We knew if we could correct some mistakes and make plays offensively, we would be ok."
In the Bears' opening drive of the second half, Tripp took a quarterback draw down the right sideline for 45 yards. The Bears scored later in the drive off of a 3-yard run by Tripp to make the score 13-7. After struggling last week, Tripp contributed both touchdowns and did not throw an interception. The sophomore threw for 114 yards with one passing and one rushing touchdown. "He is constantly learning and studying the game," said Bennett. "He knows when he makes a mistake and wants to get better." Tripp received help from Phillip Michael Collins. The sophomore running back posted 154 rushing yards on only 25 carries. Collins showed an impressive display of power and speed to constantly pick up yards after contact.
The Bears look to build on the improved offensive production in the coming weeks. The offense finished with 314 total yards and 200 rushing yards.
Cambridge will face a Centennial team coming off of a 35-28 win against Pope. "They have a really good QB, but they do a really good job at running the football as well," said Bennett. "We have to control the ball on offense and not give up the big plays on defense." Bennett wants the team to work on blocking schemes and corrections to assignments this week in practice. The team hopes to get back star receiver Ridge Polk, but the Army commit shows no practice appearances up to this point in the week.
article by Jack Sadighian