[ Gavin Carrig | WOUB ]

Cambridge drops double overtime thriller at Columbus East

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Cambridge Bobcats were not supposed to be playing on Friday night. At least that is what their ranking in the Division 4 Region 15 playoffs said about them.

Yet the Bobcats came within grasp of victory on Friday, falling to the East Tigers 40-39.

The 11-seed Bobcats headed to Columbus to face off against the 3-seed East Tigers in a battle that on paper looked to be high scoring but was dominated by defense until the offenses took over.

East came out of the gates swinging as on the first play of the game they picked off GG Player of the Year watchlist member Caden Moore. They would go on to take a 14-0 lead after a Tre Lindsay touchdown pass and run.

Cambridge could have laid down and accepted that East was the better team, but Moore hit Davion Bahr on a quick curl that he took 50 yards and almost squeaked his way into the endzone. On the next play Moore punched in a two-yard score and the comeback was on.

After a Bobcat stop Moore and co. were back on offense and were cooking. Trey Scottsberry took in an 11-yard score that made the score 14-13. That score would hold until the fourth quarter.

The third quarter was dominated by both defensive lines. Getting pressures and sacks on both quarterbacks was a theme throughout the second half.

Early in the fourth quarter the Bobcats were driving and looking for the go-ahead score. Moore dropped back, looked to his third progression, threw, and was picked off by Taizaun Burns. Burns dominated on the offensive end a week ago and was brilliant on the defensive end on Friday.

This was yet again another point where Cambridge could have accepted defeat, but instead it just kept coming.

In the middle of the fourth quarter the Bobcats forced an East punt. Lindsay, who doubles as the Tigers punter, had the ball slip off his foot. Cambridge’s Chris Burgess picked up the ball and took it inside the redzone.

Just a couple of plays later Moore hit Xander Caldwell for a three-yard touchdown that was Moore’s only passing score of the night. After a made PAT, it was tied at 20 all.

On the first play of the Tiger’s next drive, there was some miscommunication in the backend of the Bobcats secondary that led to Burns being wide open 30 yards down field. Lindsay hit Burns and he did the rest. Taking it 65-yards to the house. 26-20 East. 

With four and a half minutes left, Caden Moore started a drive that would end his historic Cambridge career or give his team a shot to finish off the upset.

Moore would also have to do it without his main receiver, Davion Bahr, who was nursing a leg injury the majority of the second half.

With Cambridge facing a fourth and 11, East brought a blitz. Moore broke a tackle, stepped up in the pocket, and with a Tiger defender hanging onto his foot, he hit Devin Ogle who leaped and made a one-handed catch for a 12-yard gain and first down.

Later in the drive on a third down. Moore hit Caldwell down the left sideline as he barely got a foot in for the first down.

Then, with under a minute to go and all the previous plays being passing plays. Bobcat coach Raymond Leek looked at his play sheet and called a draw for Scottsberry who took it 11 yards to the house to tie the game 26-26.

Now it was up to the special team’s unit and kicker Lucas Parsons to seal the game with an extra point. The snap and hold were good, but Parson booted it just wide left. He was previously two for two on extra points.

The Tigers and Bobcats needed more than 48 minutes to decide who would have a birth in the regional semifinal.

In the first overtime Burns ran in a touchdown for East and Scottsberry ran in a touchdown for Cambridge. East’s two-point conversion was no good and the Cambridge extra point was no good. We flipped the field and did it again.

Moore, on the second play of the second overtime took it twenty yards to the house and a Parsons made extra point gave the Bobcats a seven-point lead.

East then was faced with a fourth and goal on the two-yard line. Lindsay took a quarterback sneak that was initially stuffed, but he took it to the outside and scored. East called a timeout, and it all came down to one two-point conversion.

Lindsay lined up in the shotgun with Burns to his left. Lindsay faked a handoff to Burns, stood in the pocket with the best protection he had seen all day and hit Burns who was uncovered on the right side of the end zone. 

The Tiger faithful went into a frenzy and the Bobcat crowd that made the hour and a half drive were left in silence. Both teams gave everything they had to try and advance their seasons but, in the end, it was the East Tigers who came out victorious 40-39 in an instant classic that won’t soon be forgotten.

The Bobcat seniors, including Caden Moore, walked off the field one final time.