Luke Strickland – Clayton Daily News
RIVERDALE — As the game of football continues to evolve, it’s essential to have the ability to throw the ball downfield in order to be successful.
Finding able components to that pass-catching puzzle isn’t easy at the high school level. Many offenses still rely on heavy doses of running plays because dependable passing games are hard to come by.
That won’t be the case at Riverdale High School this season. With the returns of senior quarterback Joseph Cambridge and senior wide receiver Greg White, the Raiders should boast one of the top passing attacks in the county.
Both Cambridge and White stand out on their own merit. Cambridge totaled over 2,000 total yards and 21 touchdowns last season, while White caught 45 balls for more than 617 yards.
Yet together, Cambridge and White are much more formidable. The two have developed an outstanding working relationship, one that dates back to their middle school days.
“We’ve been working with each other since at least seventh grade,” said Cambridge. “Everything has pretty much stayed the same, we just go get work when we need to. We expect to be the big dogs this year, so we just work even harder.”
Both players remember meeting each other and were quick to mention the improvement each has seen since that time.
“We’ve known each other so we always come to the field to work and try to get better,” said White. “I always knew he was good from rec days and all that, but he’s gotten better and better and I’ve gotten better and better. The combination has gotten even better.”
Riverdale head coach Terry Herrod has had a front row seat for the development of the pass-catching duo and is excited about the possibilities in 2016.
“With Joseph, he has a greater command of the offense and a better understanding of what defenses are doing. He’s better and better at that,” said Herrod. “Greg is becoming a more dominant player. The biggest thing with him is getting him in shape. We do a lot of vertical stuff with him to get him in the best shape to keep running those routes.”
Cambridge has also sensed White’s development into a more physically imposing player. Riverdale’s signal-caller said he’s well aware of the damage his 6-foot-3 receiver can cause to opposing defenses.
“It’s always great for a quarterback to have a receiver that can bail you out if you underthrow a ball or overthrow a ball and that receiver that can dive and get it and go up on a DB,” said Cambridge. “It’s great to have one of those receivers.”
Despite the talents of Cambridge and White, the Raiders still haven’t qualified for the postseason during their tenure. Riverdale went 5-5 last year, but came up short in games against quality opponents.
With a move to Region 3-AAAAA — which boasts only one postseason from a year ago — Riverdale is hoping to end its three-year postseason absence. Cambridge and White will play critical roles if that’s to be the case, and neither are shying away from the increased expectations.
“Really, we just talk about winning. Winning region and we just want to be the best in the county,” said Cambridge. “We want to win a region championship and get a banner for our school.”
“We’re anxious to get the season going. We’re ready to show everybody what we can do this year,” added White.
Riverdale kicks off the 2016 season Aug. 19 against North Clayton.