In a knock-down, drag out game befitting a state championship contest between two unbeaten squads, Cambridge delivered the knockout punch on a two-point conversion in the second overtime to claim the 22-21 victory over Maple Grove and with it the New York state Class D title.
After the Indians Maurice Seymore bulled his way into the end zone from 8-yards out in the second overtime period Cambridge trailed 21-20. A point after and the game continues but the Indians pushed all the chips to the center of the table going for two, and when Zack Rowland’s conversion pass found Shawn Lemieux in the back of the end zone Cambridge owned the crown, capping a perfect 13-0 campaign in spectacular fashion.
Cambridge scored the first points of the afternoon midway through the first period on a Ryan McLenithan 1-yard run giving the Indians the 6-0 lead.
Just seconds into the second quarter Maple Grove finished a nine play, 66 yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown carry by Nick Fabrizio and with the point after jumped in front at 7-6.
The Indians answered quickly on their next series when Rowland found Jonas Butz with a short flat pass and Butz did the rest taking it in from 60 yards out and with the two point conversion Cambridge held the 14-7 advantage.
With 4:47 remaining in the half it was Fabrizio again, this time from two yards out and with the successful point after Maple Grove had tied things at 14-14 heading to intermission.
After the break the defensive units of both squads took center stage shutting down the opposition through quarters three and four as well as the first overtime.
In the second overtime Maple Grove grabbed the lead on Fabrizio’s third touchdown of the game, this one a 2-yard plunge, and trailing 21-14 the stage was set for the Cambridge offense, and things didn’t start well.
Maple Grove stuffed back to back runs by Cambridge and on third down Rowland fired incomplete setting up a fourth and 10 and a must-make for the Indians.
On the pivotal play Rowland found Brenden Holcomb who went up and wrestled the ball away from a Maple Grove defender, coming down at the 8-yardline and on the next play Seymore powered in for the six.
On the play call, that will forever be remembered in Cambridge, the Indians doubled down on a play action pass that had been successful earlier in the game, and it was straight cash.
Congratulations to Coach Luke, his staff, the players, and all of Cambridge who celebrate the second state title in the Indian’s rich history, and will speak with reverence of the 2016 championship game for as long as football is played in Cambridge.