POTSDAM — They drove through snow on the way north and got rained on once they arrived.
Cambridge-Salem would have been fine with all that if not for the gloomy ending of Friday’s game at Potsdam High School. Ogdensburg Free Academy rode a pair of first-half touchdowns to a 16-6 victory over the Indians in a Class C state quarterfinal football game.
It was the end of the road for a Cambridge-based program that has won the past two state Class D titles, came into the game unbeaten and was ranked No. 1 in the state. The Indians had won 18 straight games before Friday, but this was Class C, and OFA was a different kind of opponent for Cambridge-Salem.
“They just outmuscled us,” coach Doug Luke said. “Any time we threatened they made the big play, (and) we made the mistake.”
Cambridge-Salem was in a hole right from the start. The Indians had to punt after their first possession and OFA came down the field on a 58-yard drive, scoring on Stephen Morley’s 3-yard run. The Blue Devils tacked on the two-point conversion, and that ended up being important down the stretch.
The Indians always seemed one stride away from the big break they could never get. They fumbled on their next possession, punted on the next and then failed on a field goal attempt after getting the ball inside the 10 yard line.
Ogdensburg then scored on a long pass play and tacked on other two-point conversion, leaving Cambridge-Salem down by 16 at halftime.
“We were driving down the field, fumbled on a quick pitch, things kinda went downhill,” Luke said. “Their confidence rises, ours drops. A game of momentum. They got it early, and any time we started to do something correctly, we made a mistake or they made a big play.”
The Indians finally broke a big play in the fourth quarter, with Tommy English scoring on a 41-yard run. But the conversion failed, and the Indians were two scores away from the lead with 5:49 left on the clock.
“They beats us on the line of scrimmage,” Luke said. “They didn’t make the big mistakes. We needed something to happen good to us to get back in the game. (If) we scored the two points on the extra point, maybe something happens.”
Luke said the Indians got to Potsdam late because of snowstorms in the mountains, but that it didn’t hurt their preparation. They had trouble with OFA’s size, something a team is less likely to deal with at the Class D level.
Cambridge-Salem was going after a state three-peat that would have been quite unusual, jumping up a class. Instead they’ll have to settle for yet another strong season capped off by a Section II title.
“Going into the season, nobody expected us to be here other than us,” Luke said. “Our senior group was great. They’re all a little disappointed now, but some day they’ll look back and say that was actually a good season.”
Class C State Quarterfinal
Cambridge-Salem (10-1) 0 0 0 6 — 6
Ogdensburg (10-1) 8 8 0 0 — 16
OFA — Stephen Morley 3 run (Jackson Troiano pass from MeSean Johnson), 6:25
OFA — Jackson Troiano 55 pass from MeSean Johnson (Hayden Ives pass from MeSean Johnson). 1:37
C-S — Tommy English 41 run (run failed), 5:49
RUSHING — Cambridge-Salem: Tyler Linendoll 14-57; Tommy English 13-95, 1TD; Calvin Schneider 1-3; Kaedin Ogilvie 5-66; Gabe Sgambettera 7-32. Ogdensburg: Wyatt Kirbe 17-107; Stephan Morley 15-54, 1TD; MeSean Johnson 10-15; Tristian Lovely 1-7; Hayden Ives 3-13.
PASSING — Cambridge-Salem: Calvin Schneider 2-10-0, 17 yards, 1TD. Ogdensburg: MeSean Johnson 3-7-0, 80 yards.
RECEIVING — Cambridge-Salem: Tommy English 1-6; Soyer Mattson 1-11. Ogdensburg: Wyatt Kirby 1-17; Jackson Troiano 1-55, 1TD, Hayden Ives 1-8.