MILTON, Ga. – The Cambridge Bears scored the biggest victory in the football program’s brief history, rallying in the fourth quarter to defeat Pope 41-32 Sept. 27.
It was the first home game of the season for Cambridge (1-3), which won once last season against a weak North Springs team.
Although Pope is only 1-4, the Greyhounds made the playoffs each of the last three seasons, going 23-7 in the regular season since 2010, including a 9-1 mark in 2011.
The Bears jumped out to a 12-0 lead before Pope scored four straight touchdowns to go ahead 26-12. Cambridge closed within 26-22 at the half, and the teams swapped touchdowns in the third period before the Bears scored twice in the fourth quarter.
Cambridge quarterback Brian Moore completed 29 of 46 passes 310 yards and two touchdowns, and added 105 yards rushing, scoring on a sneak for the game’s final points.
“This was a huge win for us,” Cambridge coach Craig Bennett said. Pope defeated the Bears 49-7 last year, but had struggled defensively prior to the Cambridge game.
“We knew we matched up well with them,” Bennett said, with the Bears moving the football effectively while the Greyhounds turned the ball over six times, twice on special teams plays.
The Bears jumped out to an early lead on two field goals by Clayton Hammer and a 17-yard touchdown pass from Moore to Christian Johnston. A.J. Campbell scored on a short run and Hammer kicked a third field goal to pull the Bears within four points at the half.
A Moore-to-John Hurst pass put the Bears on top in the third period before the Greyhounds again regained the lead. Cambridge capitalized on two of the six Pope turnovers to score the go-ahead and clinching touchdowns, with J.D. White and Moore scoring on short runs. Hurst, Johnston and Kyle McDougall all had big receptions for the Bears, with Hurst catching 10 passes for 166 yards.
Nathan Kish keyed the Bears’ defense, with Johnston and Zeke Gormley both intercepting passes.
Despite trailing by as many as 14 points, Bennett said the Bears “never got down.”
He credited what he described as “an awesome atmosphere” on the part of the Cambridge fans with helping keep his team fired up.
The Bears opened their Region 7-AAAAA sub-region schedule Friday night at Northview and play Friday night at Creekview.