Class D football state championship preview; Cambridge vs Maple Grove

Cambridge celebrates their 2016 state championship. Photo: Robert Zayes/NYSPHSAA

Well, here we are. It’s state championship weekend for high school football. The first game Friday at the Carrier Dome, the Class D final, is a rematch of last year’s game, Cambridge vs Maple Grove, representing Section 6. Here’s the rundown of the two teams.

 

About Cambridge:

In this same matchup last year in the same game, the Indians came out with a double overtime win, 22-21. They are coming off of a 56-8 beatdown of Millbrook in the state semifinal game, and their extremely strong offense led by quarterback Zack Rowland has shown that they are one of the best in the state. They also have a fantastic running game, led by Colton Dean, who had four rushing touchdowns in their sectional final win over Greenwich and had two more touchdowns against Millbrook. Tommy English is another strong runner for the Indians, and he totaled two more touchdowns in the same game last week. All in all, the total offense is great, and have scored at least 40 points in each of their last seven games. The defense has also shown superiority, but they do have a tendency to give up points at times. If the defense holds up and the offense does what it has done all year, Cambridge has a great shot at winning their second straight Class D title.

 

About Maple Grove:

Maple Grove had to hold on to grab their second straight state final appearance, beating Tioga 32-27. They have not blown teams out in the playoffs similar to the way Cambridge has, but has shown that they have been the better team in each game en route to this championship game. Runningback Nick Fabrizio was a key part of the semifinal win for the Red Dragons, rushing for three touchdowns, including the game-winner with just under six minutes to go. Junior quarterback/defensive back Easton Tanner is a threat on both sides of the football, being a strong starting quarterback in addition to picking off a pass from Tioga in the state semifinal game last week. Also the defense has only given up 171 points all year while scoring 411, the showing of a possible state champion all year. However, with how consistent the Cambridge offensive attack has been all year, it may be an uphill battle to ward off the defending-state champions.

 

Game information:

When: Friday, November 24, 12 p.m.

Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse

TV: Spectrum News Albany

Live stream: myspectrumsports.com

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