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Knights hit 7-0

October 17, 1998

By MARK KELLER / Staff Writer

SMITHSBURG - Strange things can happen on the football field, and Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff knows it.

That's the message he tried to get across to his team in the week leading up to the Leopards' Friday night game against No. 1 Middletown.

"I told them Monday that this looks like a no-win situation," Orndorff said. "But if you picked up the paper (last) Saturday, you saw Jefferson, one of the lowest-ranked teams in the area, take Musselman, one of the best, to double overtime.

"That's a matter of heart, and I just asked them to give me that, to give me their best shot."

The Leopards (2-5. 1-5) weren't able to take the Knights to double overtime - they weren't even able to get on the scoreboard. But following Middletown's 28-0 Monocacy Valley Athletic League win, Orndorff could not have been more proud of his team.

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"They just played their hearts out against the best team in the area. I'm real happy for the kids," Orndorff said. "But they have 50 guys out there. We have 23. We knew they were going to wear us down. Year in and year out, they're the team to beat."

Friday, however, the Knights (7-0, 6-0) came out flat. They had excellent field position after a short Smithsburg punt and moved the ball inside the 10. But Smithsburg held on third-and-1 from the 6-yard line, Travis Tritch missed a 25-yard field goal, and the Knights were held scoreless in the first quarter.

On its next drive, Middletown struck quickly. The Knights went 56 yards in just six plays, capped by a Lee Guy 17-yard touchdown run. Matt Kunka added an 8-yard score later in the quarter for a 14-0 halftime lead. Guy finished with 101 yards on 13 carries. Kunka had 14 carries for 88 yards.

"We left (them) in there a lot tonight," Middletown coach Tim Ambrose said. "We wanted to get them into a rhythm with each other before the end of the season."

Kunka scored from the 1 on the last play of the third quarter, and Nathan Rushing had a 3-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth to complete the scoring.

"I think the kids have ideas what they're coming up against, and they tend to play to the level of their competition," Ambrose said. "But you're dealing with 16- and 17-year-old kids, and you'll have that.

"But (Smithsburg's) offense didn't give up. They've got an upbeat attitude," Ambrose added.

"Last year, you got on top of that team and they quit. There's a considerable difference in the player's attitudes. Buddy has them going in the right direction."

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