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Lamby, Clarke power WarEagles past Cambridge-Salem

Lamby, Clarke power WarEagles past Cambridge-Salem

From the Prep Roundup: All of Saturday's high school sports stories, photos and game reports series
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Football: Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne vs. Cambridge-Salem

Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne quarterback Cole Clarke (9) hands the ball off to running back Matthew Johnson during a high school football game against Cambridge-Salem at Stillwater High School on Saturday.

As a seventh-grader, Brendan Lamby was one of the smallest kids on the Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne modified football team.

He even gave up the sport for a few years.

But in this pandemic-shortened season, he’s back — as a 5-foot-10, 155-pound junior speedster — and opponents probably wish his friends didn’t coax him back to the gridiron.

“Friends around me, like Brody McCabe, brought me back,” Lamby said by phone Saturday, after scoring three touchdowns in LG/H-L’s 27-14 Class D North victory over Cambridge-Salem. “I’ve always played backyard stuff, it’s always been fun.”

Lamby and quarterback Cole Clarke made Stillwater’s artificial turf field their personal sandlot as the WarEagles improved to 4-0 this spring — despite playing with just 20 healthy players.

The Indians (0-2), meanwhile, were playing for the first time since March 20 after a coronavirus pause within the Cambridge athletic program.

Clarke connected with Lamby on scoring passes of 41 and 30 yards — the latter four seconds before halftime for a 27-8 lead over Cambridge-Salem — and Lamby also scored on a 40-yard run to power LG/H-L. Clarke, a senior, rushed for 81 yards and completed 11 of 17 passes for 150 yards, five to Lamby for 98 yards.

“(Lamby) played amazing,” said Clarke, who also scored from a yard out. “He’s one of those guys who’s so fast, you can’t guard him, you can’t really do anything about him. He’s just a playmaker.”

Clarke now has 14 touchdown passes in four games, six to Lamby, helping to fuel the WarEagles’ turnaround under first-year coach Zac Kozersky.

“Brendan I coached at the modified level — he didn’t start for me, he was real small back in those days,” Kozersky said. “We got him out to play football this year and he’s been putting in work for as long as we’ve been allowed to do it, with Cole, with Brody (McCabe). A lot of these guys have been doing a lot of skill work in the offseason.”

“I worked a lot in the offseason with my trainer and with our guys just throwing it around, having workouts three times a week in the summer,” Clarke said. “I just got more confident and I know I can trust the guys I’m throwing to. It feels good to just sit back there and let it rip sometimes.”

Kozersky noted Clarke’s much-improved throwing mechanics, footwork and mental grasp of the position.

“His mechanics have improved tenfold, his reading of defenses has improved tenfold — that’s a huge thing,” Kozersky said.

“He’s a great quarterback, and the combination of the routes and schemes help us — it makes it easier for receivers to score touchdowns,” Lamby said.

Defensively, LG/H-L held the Indians to 133 total yards. C-S got short touchdown runs from Eli Danio and Jacob Ruggles, but struggled to move the ball against a pass rush spearheaded by Andrew Jeckel.

“We only had two practices before this game,” Indians head coach Doug Luke said. “We were suspended for 2 1/2 weeks, our whole team was quarantined until Wednesday, our conditioning is nonexistent. I’m not making any excuses, they were the better team. Lake George out-quicked us and they dominated us up front.”

The win over the Indians was especially satisfying for the WarEagles. Cambridge had beaten Lake George or LG/H-L 10 straight times, often badly, since last losing to the then-Warriors in the 1998 Section II final.

“It’s big for these kids,” Kozersky said. “Even if it’s not the same Cambridge team, it’s still a well-coached team that has developed their players from second grade all the way up through, and a three-time state championship-winning coach on the sideline. And they all knew that coming in.”

“I just couldn’t be any more proud of the guys, they’re some of the hardest-working guys I’ve played with,” Clarke said. “It feels really good to beat a program like that.”

Green Tech scored touchdowns in the second and fourth quarters on the way to a football victory over Hudson Falls on Saturday.

Follow Pete Tobey on Twitter @PTobeyPSVarsity.

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reporter

Covering high school and minor-league sports in Section II since 1989. SUNY Plattsburgh grad. Colleen's lesser half. Three amazing young people call me Dad. Fan of Philadelphia Eagles, New York Rangers and Mets, and Syracuse Orange.

Related to this story

Cole Clarke passed for three touchdowns and ran for another to lead Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne to a 28-6 victory over Warrensburg on Saturday night.

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