CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It hasn’t been the start to the season that Section II football fans have come to expect out of the Cambridge/Salem program. But the reigning Class D champs have an opportunity for a season-altering win Friday night when they battle Stillwater in our 1st & 10 “Game of the Week.”
Following a 14th sectional title under head coach Doug Luke last year, Cambridge/Salem has gotten out to an uncharacteristically slow start at 1-2. Now it’s preparing for a Stillwater team that moved back down from Class C to D ahead of the season, and has won its’ first three games by an average of 22 points an outing.
Last Saturday, Cambridge/Salem took care of Chatham for its’ first win of the year in a rematch of last season’s Super Bowl. That victory gave new life to the group after dropping the first two games of the season, but they know the challenge this Stillwater team presents.
“With Jaxon Mueller and Lukas Lilac in the backfield, they have a pretty good one-two combo goin’ for ’em,” said senior running back and safety Brice Burr. “Coach (Ian) Godfrey knows what he’s doing over there in Stillwater, and we’re gonna have our hands full Friday night. Two winning programs, a lot of great kids – what else could you (ask for)? It’s gonna be a good game.”
Cambridge/Salem has had no trouble getting production in the run game thus far. The team is averaging 225 yards per game on the ground. But that’s not that area Luke is most concerned with heading into this matchup.
“Everybody talks about the running game, and you gotta be able to run, (but) I really believe we have to be able to throw the ball,” said Luke. “If we can throw the ball, that opens things up, and then the running game will get better. We have a quarterback capable of doing it. They (Stillwater) have guys that can defend the pass, but we’re gonna try to throw the ball, and if we can do that, then I think we have a chance.”
Saturday’s win over the Panthers gave the team a major confidence boost, according to Burr. He, along with senior middle linebacker and right tackle Deacon Schneider, believe Friday’s matchup could be a defining moment in their season.
“Right now, we feel like after coming off our win against Chatham that we need to turn things around, kinda forget about the earlier two games; focus on the game right now,” said Schneider. “Clear minds, clear plate…we’re ready to turn it around. We know the goal – we have the goal in our heads: stay level-headed, know what we have to do and execute our jobs.”
Kickoff Friday night in Stillwater is slated for 7:00. We’ll have highlights and reactions from that game to lead off a massive 1st & 10 spread.
Be sure to tune into 1st & 10 on FOX at 10:00 and ABC at 11:00.