On a rainy night in Lansingburgh the Indians of Cambridge-Salem took control early then weathered a Chatham comeback before closing things out, clinching the Section II Class C championship with a 41-27 decision over the Panthers.
The combination of a talented offensive line and a pair of explosive, senior running backs in Tyler Linendoll and Tommy English have paid dividends all season and on this Friday night things were no different. The O-line opened gaping holes and the senior tandem took advantage with Linendoll running for 242 yards with three touchdowns and English adding 153 yards with two scores.
The Indians put together two sustained scoring drives in the first period with Linendoll finishing the first on a one-yard touchdown run and English the second from four yards out and a 14-0 lead with 1:43 left in the first.
The Indians added on, with a four play drive in the second period highlighted by Linendoll who broke off runs of 46 and 42 yards in the series, the latter for six points and with the Austin Hackman point after C-S held a 21-0 advantage.
Chatham answered with their first points in the contest at the 4:27 mark, when Triston Schermerhorn ran it in from 7-yards out trimming the Indians lead to 21-7 as the teams went to the break.
Midway through the third it was Schermerhorn again this time scoring on a one-yard plunge and with 4:37 remaining in the third it was a one score game at 21-14.
But C-S responded with a pair of touchdowns before the end of the third, on just four offensive plays, putting the Panthers to sleep.
With 3:38 left in the period junior quarterback Calvin Schneider found Soyer Matteson running free for a 45 yard touchdown strike and less than two minutes later in was Linendoll cashing the check on a 44 yard scamper and a 34-14 Indian lead.
In the final period a pair of Chatham touchdowns sandwiched a 7-yard TD run by English to close out the scoring as Cambridge-Salem received the hardware for their third straight sectional championship.
Next up for the Indians, who with the win improve to 10-0, is a state quarterfinal with Ogdensburg Free Academy at a northern next weekend.
Different class with the same result for the Indians who moved from Class D to the C’s this year and while the step up in classification has provided some challenges, Cambridge-Salem with their undefeated mark and a wealth of post season experience seem quite comfortable in yet another extended fall run for the Indians.