Cambridge Springs fends off Eisenhower
Written by: Brian Hagberg on Monday, October 1st, 2018
LANDER, Pa. – It’s not often a team can be held to under 100 total yards of offense and still come away with a win.
Eisenhower and Cambridge Springs came into Friday’s contest at Eisenhower with identical 1-4 records and plenty of questions about whether those records accurately reflected the team’s true talent.
It’s hard to say whether any of those questions were answered when all was said and done on the Pasture of Pain, but the Blue Devils somehow managed to walk away with a 14-6 Region 2 win over the Knights.
Cambridge (2-4 overall, 2-1 Region 2) got the win despite gaining only 50 total yards of offense.
“Defensively, we played really, really well,” Eisenhower coach Jim Penley said. “They had one drive (they scored on) and even that was due to a turnover.”
It was clear from the start mistakes were going to be a key factor in the outcome as the teams traded penalties on the opening drive.
The Blue Devils, who hadn’t scored since their Week 2 win over Saegertown, got on the board early. After an Eisenhower (1-5, 1-2) three-and-out, Ethan Chambers punted to Tye Varndell. Varndell fielded the ball at the 35, made a move to the right sideline and was off to the races. Alex Wheeler tacked on the extra point to give Cambridge a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Neither team was able to get much going through the rest of the half. The Blue Devils recovered a fumble in Knights territory and drove to the 27. Trenton Wheeler tried to hit Jared Taylor on a post pattern at the goal line, but Nate Holt stepped in front for an interception.
Garrett Head fumbled on the next play and the Blue Devils took over at the Eisenhower 26 with just over four minutes to go in the half. Taylor punched it in from seven yards out, and Alex Wheeler nailed the PAT to give the Blue Devils a 14-0 lead at halftime.
“We didn’t do ourselves any favors,” Penley said. “Cambridge Springs was the preseason pick to win the region. They have talent and ability. They’re a good team.
“Look at the averages (yards per play),” he continued. “We’re just killing ourselves. It’s little mistakes, and that’s on me. I’ve got to get them to where they don’t make those mistakes.”
Eisenhower put together a solid drive to start the second half, but a penalty on fourth down forced the Knights to punt.
“I think they were just pressing too hard to make plays,” Penley said. “They want to win so bad. They started pressing and it leads to mistakes.”
The Knights put everything together after forcing a three-and-out. They took over near midfield and had a 7-play drive capped off by a Chambers plunge from the 2. Jake Venman went wide left on the extra point attempt to make it 14-6 with just under three minutes to play in the third.
On the next Eisenhower possession, the Knights drove all the way down to the Blue Devils 5, but couldn’t punch it in. The next two drives ended with turnovers on downs and Cambridge Springs was able to run out the clock for the win.
Chambers had another solid night on the ground, gaining 107 yards on 20 carries.
“Ethan’s a horse,” Penley said. “There’s no frills. He just plays hard.”
Penley knows his team’s record doesn’t necessarily reflect their ability, but the Knights have struggled to put games away.
“We’ve played really well,” he said. “We just need to get everything right at the same time.”
The Knights will try to do just that when they welcome Reynolds to the Pasture of Pain next week.
– – –
Score by quarters
Cambridge Springs 7 7 0 0 – 14
Eisenhower 0 0 6 0 – 6
C-Tye Varndell 65 punt return (Alex Wheeler kick), 6:38
C-Jared Taylor 7 run (Wheeler kick), 1:02
E-Ethan Chambers 2 run (Jake Venman kick missed), 2:58
Team stats C E
Total plays 40 54
First downs 5 11
Rushes-yards 34-32 38-122
Comp-att-int 1-6-1 6-16-0
Passing yards 18 62
Total yards 50 184
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-2
Penalties-yards 3-20 6-30
– – –
Rushing: Cambridge Springs-Jared Taylor 9-32 TD, Chase Schultz 12-17, Trenton Wheeler 13-(-17). Eisenhower-Ethan Chambers 20-107 TD, Garrett Head 14-36, Nate Holt 1-(-4), Owen Trumbull 3-(-17).
Passing: Cambridge Springs-Wheeler 1-6, 18 yards INT. Eisenhower-Trumbull 6-16, 62 yards.
Receiving: Cambridge Springs-Tye Varndell 1-18. Eisenhower-Holt 2-31, Chambers 2-27, Tim Willis 1-7, Zane Alexander 1-(-3)
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