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Urbana blanks North Hagerstown

September 05, 1998|By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

Glenn Cross knows the mystery that is the game of football can sometimes be summed up in one tried and true expression.

Things are not always as they seem.

How true those words were for the Hubs Friday night as they opened the 1998 football season against Urbana. In a most improbable and frustrating first half, the Hubs found themselves statistically outplaying the Hawks as they ran a whopping 40 offensive plays to only 15 for Urbana. Hub running back Seth Staley cracked the tough Hawk defensive front for 51 of his game high 107 yards and North's defense created some early excitement as it stonewalled Urbana's running game on a fourth down-and-inches. So ... the result of these efforts?

Urbana 38, Hubs 0.

"It is very frustrating, but not disheartening." Cross said of the effort of his young team. "Hopefully, we will learn from our mistakes, pick up the pieces and go."

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Urbana's offense was sharp at times as quarterback Zach Mills rifled touchdown passes to Greg Hill and Brian Klem in the first quarter spotting the Hawks to a lightning quick 21-0 lead, but it was mistakes by the Hubs offense that set up both passing touchdowns and the electrifying 70-yard interception return by linebacker Tommy Milburn. Greg Hill added another score on a 46-yard punt return and when the dust had cleared, Urbana had yet to sustain a drive of more than three plays. Offensively, the Hawks failed to outrush Staley.

"I really want to compliment our defense." Cross said. "They played hard and stuck some people. Down the road, we will be a good unit."

Cross alternated quarterbacks Ryan Romberger and Tanner Cross as the offense attempted time and again to get on track, however the Urbana front five were a dominant force. With two 290-pounders plugging the inside, the Hubs found it a tough road gaining ground anywhere between the tackles in the second half.

"We will have to improve there if we want to compete." Cross said of his line that allowed six sacks, four in the second half. " We will emphasize improvement in that area."

Though Coach Dave Carruthers played his second team sparingly in the second half, he allowed his defensive front to play together throughout the game in an effort to help the unit gell. The Hawks boasted 18 seniors, but have several juniors playing on defense.

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