This weekend football state quarterfinals will be played with a pair of Wasaren schools putting on the pads. The Cambridge Indians in Class D and the Witches of Greenwich in Class C are one of eight football teams left standing in their respective classifications. On Friday night the Witches travel to Massena to take on the Blue Devils of Ogdensburg Free Academy, while Cambridge meets the Sentinels of Ticonderoga on Saturday in Schuylerville.
Both local squads have enjoyed excellent fall seasons as have all the schools still playing in mid-November, but the journeys taken by Greenwich and Cambridge to reach regional play have been quite different.
The Indians had little trouble in rolling over teams each and every week this football year. They’ve out scored the opposition 546-53 with their closest contest coming in week six, a 34-6 decision over Warrensburg. In their two sectional games Cambridge put 48 and 68 points on the board in victories over Warrensburg and Whitehall. Twelve different players have scored touchdowns this year for the Indians who have put the majority of their opponents to sleep by halftime.
Greenwich, while enjoying some one sided affairs as well, has also been tested this year. The Witches absorbed two regular season defeats to Hoosic Valley and Class B Schuylerville, and drew the #6 seed in the sectional tournament. Greenwich posted wins over Watervliet 35-7, Hoosic Valley 36-22 and Mechanicville 27-7 in sectional play dominating Watervliet but earning tough, grind it out “W’s” over the Indians and Red Raiders.
While both Greenwich and Cambridge are quality football teams the difference in their seasons has much to do with the quality of opponents they faced.
Cambridge in Class D met very little resistance while Greenwich dealt with a loaded Class C and stepped up in week seven to take on a very good Class B Schuylerville squad. Take nothing away from Cambridge as the skilled and deep Indian roster could only do one thing, play whoever lined up across from them.
So it seems heading into the weekend that the Witches are the more battle tested of the two and that reminds me of the famous line from former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. When asked about his opponents plan to beat him in their upcoming bout Tyson responded, “Everybody’s got a plan until they get hit in the mouth.”
Greenwich has been hit in the mouth this year and has responded well. As for Cambridge, they just might be the class D football version of Tyson.
Divergent paths leading to the same place, a state football quarterfinal. Here’s hoping for two more legs in each teams journey, ending at the ultimate football destination, the big dome in Syracuse.