RANDOLPH — Big plays on both sides of the football proved to be the difference in Randolph’s 34-22 non-conference win over visiting Cambridge Friday night.
The Rockets (4-0) had a 78-yard scoring pass and returned both an interception and fumble for touchdowns handing the Blue Jays (2-2) their second loss in three weeks.
Cambridge took a 22-21 lead with 8 minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the final quarter when senior Ezra Stein drilled a 27-yard field goal. But the Rockets scored twice in the final minute to overcome the deficit.
With 1:01 to play Brayden Haffele scored on a 4-yard quarterback keeper to give the Rockets a 27-22 advantage, before Ben Schmucki picked up a fumble near midfield and raced 48 yards untouched for the clincher.
The first half of the was a defensive battle as the two non-league opponents played to a 6-6 tie; Haffele scored from 3 yards out in the first quarter, while Stein crossed the goal line on a keeper of his own in the second quarter.
The lead changed hands five times in the second half. Cambridge got touchdown runs from seniors Trey Colts (25 yards) and Jacob Moody (23 yards), but Randolph came up with two momentous plays — a 25-yard interception return by Traiton Lininger anda 78-yard Jordan Tietz-to-Matt Dykstra pass — to take a 21-19 lead after three quarters.
Colts (19 carries, 83 yards) and Stein (12-76) led the Blue Jays’ 193-yard ground attack, while Stein completed 8-of-14 passes for 78 yards.
Junior defensive lineman Tucker Tesdal paced the Cambridge defense with eight tackles, while Stein and junior linebacker Austin Hughes made seven stops each. Hughes and junior linebacker Sully Schlieckau both intercepted passes.
RANDOLPH 34, CAMBRIDGE 22
Cambridge 0 6 13 3 — 22
Randolph 6 0 15 13 — 34
R — Haffele 3 run (run failed).
C — Stein 1 run (pass failed).
C — Colts 25 run (Stein kick).
R — Lininger 25 interception return (Paul pass from Haffele).
C — Moody 23 run (pass failed).
R — Dykstra 78 pass from Tietz (Alva kick).
C — FG, Stein, 27.
R — Haffele 4 run (pass failed).
R — Schumucki 48 fumble recovery (Alva kick).
First Downs — C 14, R 16. Rushing (att-yds) — C 36-193, R 37-200. Passing yards — C 82, R 192. Passes (comp-att-int) — C 8-14-1, R 6-11-2. Fumbles-lost — C 3-1, R 3-1. Penalties — C 4-32, R 6-50.
Rushing — C Colts 19-83; R Paul 12-88. Passing — C Stein 8-14-1, 78; R Haffele 6-12-2, 117. Receiving — C Colts 2-26; R: Dykstra 2-92.