4 Questions with Cambridge head coach Craig Bennett

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Today’s interviewee is Cambridge coach Craig Bennett, whose team defeated Johns Creek 48-47 in overtime last week and moved into sole possession of first place in Region 7-6A with a 6-0 overall and 4-0 region mark. Bennett started the Cambridge program in 2012. He aims to lead the Bears to their first region championship this season.

Craig Bennett, Cambridge head coach

1. What did that victory mean to your team? “Every win is a good win. I think this one meant a lot more simply because we preach over and over again about responding. How we respond when good things happen and how we respond when bad things happen. To be down 17 points heading into the fourth, and to be down 10 points with 1:50 left, our kids never wavered. They never got down and were always thinking about the next play. Our kids have always played hard and played until the end, and this verifies that for so many of our players.”

2. What were some of the key plays/moments in the game for those who didn’t witness it? “The kickoff return [Ian Chafin’s 68-yarder] after they went up 10 was huge. We score and get the onside kick, which was another big moment, and drive down to attempt a field goal at 44 yards to tie the game [Connor Noone made it] after missing a 49-yarder in which they had a penalty. And, last but not least, the blocked extra point [by Brooks Morley] had to be one of the biggest moments of the game.”

3. Cambridge is 6-0 for the first time. What’s different about this team? “Honestly, it is just a three-, four-year build in which these kids decided to stay and ‘go together.’ We had some issue on our team and several kids quit or moved to other schools. These kids bought in and stayed in a time when it wasn’t popular and took pride in doing things the right way. We came off of a second-round playoff game last season and had several rising ninth-graders leave for what they thought were better opportunities, and we just stayed the course with our team. That is a credit to these young men and women on our team.” [Bennett’s daughter, McCall, is the team’s place-kicker, and another girl is a long snapper on a sub-varsity team.]

4. You’re playing at Riverwood this week. What do you and your staff need to do to refocus the team with another good team on the horizon? “Riverwood is a very good football team, and we will have to play extremely well. I know that it is cliché, but our kids have done a tremendous job of not looking ahead and staying locked in on the task at hand. And we constantly remind them about this.”

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