CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- The Cambridge Central School football team has been fighting all year to get back to the Section II Class D football semifinals and a potential rematch with Salem.
And the Whitehall football team was not about to stop them.
The Indians came out and hung 40 points on the Railroaders in the first half before rolling along to a 48-18 win on Saturday afternoon.
"Everyone thinks [the next game] is exactly what you want, and it's probably true," Cambridge coach Doug Luke said.
But before the Indians could get there, they had to dispatch the Railroaders.
Caleb Rowland (20 carries, 159 yards) made sure of that, rushing for four touchdowns, including three in the first half, to help pace the Indians.
"We came out like the coaches always wanted us to," quarterback Ethan English said. "We got a couple scores on them quick, and it made it easier for the rest of the game."
The Indians came out and scored on the opening possession, and the team wouldn't look back as it rattled off four-straight scores after that to open up a 40-0 lead.
"The first half, I have no complaints," Luke said. "We gave up a couple plays that hurt us, but overall we played about as good as we can."
Junior Chris Warnke (14 carries, 128 yards) opened the scoring with a 10-yard run, then English (5-for-10, 92 yards, one rushing TD) carried it in from three yards out on the next drive to make it 16-0.
On the third series, Rowland scored his first of the day on a 13-yard run, then the junior would add a run of four and a run of seven yards to round out the first-half scoring.
"We worked together, the first half was good," English said. "The line did a great job on both sides of the ball and the backs ran hard."
The Railroaders would get on the board on the next series.
David Tome was just able to get his field goal kick from 25 yards to go over the upright, making it 40-3 going into the half.
In the first half, the Indians, spearheaded by the lineplay of Nate Winchester, Josh Haskill, and Kiel Kyer, held the Railroaders to just 49 yards of offense, with only 12 yards rushing. Running back Daryl Hillman was held to just 17 yards on nine carries.
"We knew how tough they were, and how physical," Whitehall coach Justin Culligan said. "They did a really good job beating us up to the line. With their three men, they were bigger than we were."
In the second half, Cambridge would force a punt on Whitehall's first possession, then Rowland rushed six times for 44 yards and cap off a nine-play drive with a four-yard run to make it 48-3.
Whitehall would score its first touchdown on the next series, with Hillman scoring on a 2-yard touchdown after Justin Hoagland(11-for-22, 169 yards) hit Tyler Thomas (6 catches, 122 yards) for a 45-yard catch to bring the Railroaders down to the Cambridge 2-yard line, making it 48-10 with 2:02 left in the third quarter.
"We let up 18 points, but those are all fixable mistakes," Warnke said. "We can learn from them and build off of it."
Whitehall would score a second touchdown with just under four left in the fourth. Hoagland again connected with Thomas, this time on a 20-yard touchdown catch.
With the win, Cambridge now turns its sights to Salem, and a rematch of a 27-26 loss a season ago.
"Last year was brutal to take, but I think we are all excited for it," Rowland said. "We have to keep it in the back of our minds that we did lose to them last year, and we have to remember that feeling so it won't happen again."
The game will be on Saturday, at Schuylerville at 1 p.m.