MEADVILLE, Pa. – For the first time in 27 years, the Cambridge Springs Blue Devils are District 10 champions.
Brandon Hoover accounted for a pair of touchdowns in a back-and-forth second half as the Blue Devils topped Lakeview, 32-29 for the 1A crown, their third in program history and first since 1996 (the other came in 1988).
See the highlights:
“It’s amazing,” Hoover said during the Cole Orthodontic Associates postgame interview. “I don’t even know what to say. It’s just the greatest feeling ever. We had this goal coming into the season, all summer…it just feels great.”
See Hoover’s full interview:
Trailing 16-14 at halftime, Lakeview (9-3) took the lead, 22-16 on Mitchell Tingley’s 6-yard touchdown run, his third of four on the night (he also added the 2-point conversion). That came on the heels of a Danick Hinkson interception.
After that, it was a whole lot of Hoover making big plays to help stake Cambridge Springs (12-1) to a 32-22 lead.
Hoover’s 51-yard pass to Daniel Brown set him up to be on the receiving end of a 13-yard scoring strike from Josh Gorton that, coupled with Brett Kania’s 2-point conversion, made it 24-22 Cambridge Springs.
On the ensuing possession, Josh Gorton recovered a fumble for the Blue Devils, which eventually led to Morgan Applebee’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Hoover with 11:12 to play that made it 32-22 after the 2-point conversion.
“Brandon Hoover, a sophomore, look at what he did in this game stepping up like that,” said Cambridge Springs coach Nate Liberty. “We used everybody. We’ve been doing it all season using everybody. It’s not a one-man band and that’s what I love. Everyone had to step up at the right time and they did.”
On the next Lakeview possession, it was Hoover intercepting a long pass to the end zone from Leyton Zacherl.
“I think our game plan was definitely on point,” Kania said. “We wanted to stop their run game and be mindful of their pass game and I think we executed.”
See Kania and Tristen Mazzadra’s full interview:
Lakeview showed no quit, however, recovering a fumble with just over six minutes to play at the Cambridge Springs 22, which led to Tingley’s fourth touchdown of the game, a 3-yarder that made it 32-29 with 3:27 to play.
“My hats off to Mitchell Tingley, the kid is a stud and never stopped,” Liberty said.
Lakeview still had a timeout remaining, but the Blue Devils went to Kania to move the stick and ultimately run out the clock.
“We fought at the end,” Liberty said. “We put it in the hands of Brett Kania. He got us those first downs at the end of the game. No one even knows he had a sore leg all week, but he was ready to rock and roll.”
For all the fireworks in the second half, the first half was more methodical.
Lakeview took the opening drive of the game and marched 68 yards in 18 plays, chewing up 10:49 off the clock and capping it off with Tingley’s 3-yard touchdown run.
Cambridge Springs scored on both of its first half possessions (they got the ball back with 11 seconds left on their third possession and took a knee to end the half), starting with Preston Gorton’s 32-yard touchdown run that, coupled with the 2-point conversion, gave the Blue Devils an 8-7 lead.
After getting a stop, the Blue Devils struck again courtesy of a 1-yard touchdown run from Kania. The 2-point conversion again was good, and the lead stretched to 16-7 with 2:40 to go in the half.
Lakeview answered quickly, however, driving 57 yards in just over two minutes, with Tingley’s touchdown run, a 4-yarder, making it 16-14 with 17 seconds left in the half.
Tingley finished with 168 yards on 31 carries for a Lakeview team that won the Region 1 title this season.
“As a football coach, you’re more than a football coach, you’re teaching values,” said Lakeview coach Bill Hickman. “Coming from the military, those values mean everything. I take just as much pride in that as I do winning the region. It’s about building character and values, and we’ve accomplished that.”
Up next for Cambridge Springs is a date with District 9 champion Redbank Valley in the PIAA quarterfinals next week.
“You can never get over this feeling,” Mazzadra said.
CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS 32, LAKEVIEW 29
Score By Quarters
Cambridge Springs 0 16 8 8 – 32
Lakeview 7 7 8 7 – 29
L – Mitchell Tingley 3 run (Tingley PAT), 1:11
C – Preston Gorton 32 run (Brett Kania to Tristen Mazzadra 2-point conversion), 10:31
C – Kania 1 run (Kania 2-point conversion run), 2:40
L – Tingley 4 run (Tingley PAT), :17
L – Tingley 6 run (Tingley 2-point conversion run), 5:44
C – Brandon Hoover 14 pass from Josh Gorton (Mazzadra 2-point conversion run), 1:11
C – Hoover 15 pass from Morgan Applebee (Kania 2-point conversion run), 11:12
L – Tingley 3 run (Tingley PAT), 3:27
Cambridge Springs – Preston Gorton 8-69, Brett Kania 12-46, Brandon Hoover 2-35, Morgan Applebee 8-34, Josh Gorton 6-19, Tristen Mazzadra 1-3, Team 1-2. Lakeview – Mitchell Tingley 31-168, Aiden Osborne 7-23, Danick Hinkson 2-16, Leyton Zacherl 7-13.
Cambridge Springs – Brandon Hoover 1-of-1, 51 yards; Morgan Applebee 2-of-4, 32 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. Lakeview – Leyton Zacherl 3-6, 47 yards, 1 INT
Cambridge Springs – Daniel Brown 1-51, Brandon Hoover 2-25. Lakeview – Blake Skiles 2-32, Mitchell Tingley 1-15
Cambridge Springs – Brandon Hoover. Lakeview – Danick Hinkson