Two programs that have never met will square off this weekend, and for one side, a region championship will be on the line.
Cambridge will travel to River Ridge on Saturday to close the regular season. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m., following a rescheduling due to COVID-19 concerns.
River Ridge (8-0, 5-0 Region 7AAAAAA) is in the midst of the best season in program history and, with a win, would lock up its first region championship and an undefeated regular season. Even with a loss, a Creekview win over Johns Creek would also result in the Knights taking the region title.
With a multitude of playoff scenarios, Cambridge (5-4, 4-2) needs a win to guarantee itself a playoff spot.
“There are people crunching the numbers, but, at this point, I’m focused on going out Saturday and playing our best football,” River Ridge coach Mike Collins said. “It’s our senior night, and we really just want to focus on sending those seniors out the right way.”
River Rdige faced an unexpected bye last week when its game against Johns Creek was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. The matchup would have likely served as a de facto region championship, but the cancellation also served as a stark reminder of how fragile the season remains.
“I think this last week was a situation that brought us back to reality,” Collins said. “For us, we’re back to being thankful we can even play.”
River Ridge defeated Sequoyah 35-9 two weeks ago and put up 453 yards of offense in the process. Carson Lathem finished 13-for-17 passing for 169 yards, while Jackson Head finished with a team-high six receptions for 87 yards. Amehre Morrison continued his impressive season, finishing with 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The Knights’ defense has surrendered 16 points per game and has played well as a unit all season. Scotty Rutherford, Brian Bradley and Connor Gross are all in the top 10 on the Cherokee County tackle list.
Cambridge is coming off a 40-21 win over Chattahoochee and could be playing its best football of the season.
After starting the season 1-3, the Bears have won four of their last five games by an average score of 33-18. Running back Phillip-Michael Collins is the main cog in the offense and is coming off a four-touchdown, 162-yard performance against Chattahoochee. Slowing him down will be a priority for the Knights, but the Bears also have options in the passing game.
“It’s a good game for us to play going into the playoffs because they’re a really good team,” Collins said. “We’re really just trying to focus on controlling the things we can control. The goal is to be the best you can be all year right now. I thought we finished the Sequoyah game playing very good football, but that was two weeks ago. We’ll see where we stand after Saturday afternoon.”