Class 6A blog: Cambridge, Kennesaw Mountain inch toward first region titles

Cambridge quarterback Zach Harris (15) throws the ball during a GHSA high school football game between Cambridge High School and Johns Creek High School in Johns Creek, Ga. on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Photo/Jenn Finch)
Cambridge quarterback Zach Harris (15) throws the ball during a GHSA high school football game between Cambridge High School and Johns Creek High School in Johns Creek, Ga. on Friday, October 15, 2021. (Photo/Jenn Finch)

Credit: Jenn Finch

Credit: Jenn Finch

Kennesaw Mountain (opened in 2000) and Cambridge (opened in 2012) have never won a region championship in football, but both programs are in position to grab those first titles after clearing big hurdles Friday in Week 9 of the regular season.

Cambridge moved into sole possession of first place in Region 7-6A with a 48-47 overtime victory over Johns Creek in a battle of the region’s remaining unbeaten teams. Cambridge trailed by 17 points heading into the fourth quarter and by 10 with less than two minutes remaining in regulation but pulled out the victory.

Zach Harris scored on a 5-yard run in overtime to give the Bears a 48-41 lead, and Brooks Morley secured the victory by blocking Johns Creek’s extra point following its overtime touchdown.

“Every win is a good win,” Cambridge coach Craig Bennett told GHSF Daily this week. “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.”

Cambridge is 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the region, a game ahead of Johns Creek and Riverwood, which hosts the Bears this week. If Cambridge wins, it would need just one more victory in its remaining two games, against Chattahoochee and River Ridge, to clinch the title.

In Region 6-6A, Kennesaw Mountain had cruised out to a school-best 6-0 record before a stunning loss to South Cobb in Week 8 knocked the Mustangs out of first place behind Pope. The Mustangs responded well, beating Pope last week 21-17 and handing the Greyhounds their first region loss.

Kennesaw Mountain trailed 17-7 at halftime, but quarterback Cayman Prangley ran for one touchdown and threw for another in the third quarter, and the Mustangs held on. Prangley also threw a touchdown pass in the first half.

Kennesaw Mountain, Pope and Allatoona have one region loss each with three weeks remaining in the regular season. However, the Mustangs hold the tiebreakers, having beaten both teams, and can claim their first region championship with victories in their two remaining games, against Wheeler and Osborne.

“Our goal here has been to host a playoff game, and you only host a playoff game if you’re the 1 or the 2 seed,” Kennesaw Mountain coach Caleb Carmean said after the game. “We want to be that 1 seed and we want to host a playoff game, but if you don’t finish out these last two weeks, none of that matters. This can’t be the highest point of our year.”

Elsewhere in Class 6A, Lee County and Northside-Warner Robins won their Region 1 openers last week and will face off Friday in Leesburg in a game that likely will decide the region title. Lee County, the four-time defending champion, beat Houston County 29-9, and Northside defeated Valdosta 13-10.

The biggest Class 6A victory of the week not involving first-place teams belonged to Effingham County, which defeated Glynn Academy 20-14 in a Region 2 game. Glynn won four of the previous five region titles but currently is tied with Richmond Hill for fourth place. Effingham County is tied for second with Statesboro, a game and a half behind Brunswick, which appears destined to win the region title.

The Rebels, in their first season under former Roswell and Buford coach John Ford, are 4-2 overall and 2-1 in region play. They were a combined 5-15 the past two seasons, missing the playoffs each year.

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