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New-look Panthers defeat MSD

October 16, 1998|By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - The saga of Sam Hess and the Hancock Panthers continued Thursday night. And although the story line was written a little differently, the ending was the same.

Hess, who shattered the Maryland state rushing record last Friday, burrowed through a determined Maryland School for the Deaf defense for 150 yards on 26 carries as the Panthers used a new-look second half to defeat the Orioles, 33-6.

"We were taught early by MSD that there are two halves to every football game and you have to show up in both halves," Hancock coach Steve Campbell said. "I think we came out overconfident early on and they were going to show us we needed to be ready."

Orioles coach John Coleman seemed to have the perfect game plan in place as he mixed the slashing runs of tailback Khoa Tep with the passing of Franco Korplos to eat away at the first-half clock. And although Hess rambled 35 yards for a touchdown the first time he touched the ball, he only managed seven carries for 13 yards the rest of the first half.

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In fact, the Panthers (3-4) only ran 13 more plays during a span in which the Orioles sandwiched two drives of over 13 plays around the Hancock score and closed to within 7-6.

Defensively, MSD (0-6) crowded nine people in the box and slowed the Panthers to a paltry 56 yards on the ground in the first half. But a new look was about to surprise MSD.

"We went in and made a few adjustments," Campbell said. "The line knew they had to do a better job, and we decided to open up the running game a little by utilizing Paul Norris."

Norris, Hess's 240-pound backfield mate, pounded the middle of the line in the second half. Norris rushed 13 times for 81 yards and scored three touchdowns.

"We talked at halftime and knew we were a better team," Norris said.

"Paul and our offensive line really opened things up in the second half," Campbell said. "When our kids decided to play, they did a nice job."

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