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Cambridge stymies Martins Ferry, 23-0

Photo/KRISTIN MAZGAJ MARTINS FERRY’S Baron Lucey looks for somewhere to go with the ball as Cambridge defenders, Jake Valentine (7) and Caleb Durham (64) swarm him during Friday’s game at the Dave Bruney Football Complex. The Bobcats rolled to a 23-0 victory.

MARTINS FERRY — Cambridge was tough in the trenches on both sides of the ball as the Bobcats racked up a 272-27 advantage on the ground enroute to a convincing 23-0 win over the Purple Riders with typical Friday night football weather on the turf at the Dave Bruney Football Complex in Martins Ferry.

One week after picking up their first win of the season with a dominant performance over visiting Weir, Coach Chas Yoder’s banged-up Purple Riders struggled through four quarters before falling to 1-5 on the season. The Riders are back at it on Friday traveling to Wintersville to square off with Indian Creek.

Bobcat coach Ray Leek and his charges brought a 3-2 record into Martins Ferry just one week after suffering a tough loss to Bellaire and with the win improved to 4-2. Cambridge returns home on Friday and will host St. Thomas Aquinas.

“Our O-line completely controlled the line of scrimmage and that’s what you need to do to win games,” Coach Leek said after the win. “We played very well upfront and that was a key for us.”

“Defensively, it was the same thing,” he added. “Our D-line just controlled the line of scrimmage and our linebackers and defensive backs came up big as well. We were able to shut them down offensively.”

“(Caden) Kenworthy ran very hard tonight. He was not going to be denied. He was ready for this game and he provided a lot for our offense. Those two passes were big for us as well.”

After a first quarter that saw more defenders in the backfields than offensive players, finished scoreless. Not without highlights, Martins Ferry stalled Cambridge drive with a pair of key stops, one by Peyton Hores and another by Zak Dobson. The Bobcats was led by the bruising defensive plays of Caden Kenworthy.

Late on the second frame, the Bobcats gained possession on their own 24 following a Rider punt. Before the quarter ended, Cambridge moved the ball to the 43 on four plays. In the second, it was the big play that eventually put the visitors on the board. Kenworthy picked up a big first down on a 15 yard run and on as fourth down play, Caden Moore found a wide open Xander Caldwell on a 38-yard pass to the 11. Two plays later, Kenworthy bulled in from the five with 8:48 on the board. Lucas Parsons kicked his first of two first half PATs.

Despite a Hores blocked punt at the 5:59 mark, the Bobcats were able to capitalize off another Ferry punt. Rushes of 10, 10, 18 and three by Kenworthy set up a 29-yard scoring pass from Moore to Devin Ogle with 1:32 remaining.

A break in the half saw Allarah Jones crowned the 2021 Purple Rider Homecoming Queen.

Starting the second half, the Bobcats got a quick break as the Riders fumbled the opening kickoff after a good return. Cambridge took control at the Ferry 49 and just put the ball in Kenworthy’s hands.

With big runs of 15, 11 and nine among his eight carries in the drive that covered 48 yards, the bruising tailback scored his second touchdown of the game at the 7:56 mark of the third session. The PAT was wide, but the Bobcats held a 20-0 lead. Kenworthy was unstoppable in the drive and all night as he carried the ball 30 times for 186 yards.

Goddard’s tip of a Bobcat pass near the endzone later in the third put a damper on another Cambridge and forced a punt. After the Riders ensuing drive flamed out early in the fourth, Ferry turned the ball over on downs at the 42.

Six plays after regaining possession, Cambridge pushed the ball as close at the Rider 10 before calling on Lucas to boot a 27-yard field goal to close the scoring.

“We just had some guys that needed to step up,” Yoder said after the tough loss and referring to a long list of injuries that derailed the Riders. “But I don’t think we played well on either side of the ball.”

“We couldn’t do much on offense and defensively, we just gave them too much on the ground,” he added. “They ran the ball effectively and had two big pass plays. That’s all we really gave up in the first half was those two big plays and in the second half we just gave up too much on the ground.”

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