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Warriors blocking time off

October 18, 1998

By MARK KELLER / Staff Writer

WILLIAMSPORT - It's no secret how a big special teams play will impact the squad that pulled it off.

There's the emotional high of delivering in a clutch situation, the momentum shift it brings and, in many cases, the good field position.

Unfortunately for the Wil-liamsport Wildcats Saturday, they felt the impact from the other side.

Boonsboro's Robert Courtney blocked a punt in Williamsport territory, and the Warriors took advantage of the short field to score a quick touchdown on their way to a 17-14 win over the Wildcats.

The blocked punt gave the Warriors (6-1, 5-1 Monocacy Valley Athletic League) the ball at the Williamsport 27-yard line. It took Boonsboro just five plays to reach the end zone, with Chris Dankmeyer diving in from the 1 for a 17-7 lead.

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"It's such a big lift when you make a play like that," Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders said of the blocked punt. "Then we jammed it right in there, which was something we weren't able to do before then."

Just three minutes before Courtney's play, the Wildcats appeared to have turned the momentum in their favor. Following a Kevin Hurlbrink touchdown run that put Boonsboro ahead 10-0, Caleb Moses returned the kickoff to the Williamsport 47.

The Wildcats (4-3, 3-3) had little success running the football Saturday, carrying 34 times for 39 yards. But for one drive, they found enough. After an incomplete pass, quarterback Ryan Grabill fumbled the second-down snap, but picked it up on one bounce and scampered 22 yards for a first down.

Four plays later, Greg King got a block from Les Martin and swept to the left side for a 14-yard touchdown run.

The Warriors went three-and-out on their next possession, and Williamsport had excellent field position after Brooks Everline's punt. But Williamsport also went three-and-out, and Adam Tournay didn't get his punt off.

"We got a little down after that. We figured to kick it out and play defense, get the ball back and make our drive," said Williamsport coach Eric Michael. "They made the big play they needed to make."

The Wildcats fought back after Dankmeyer's score, getting a 43-yard touchdown pass from Grabill to Clint Crowell to pull within 17-14 with 4 minutes, 34 seconds to play. Williamsport's Josh Swartz recovered the ensuing onside kick and the Wildcats drove to the Boonsboro 20. But a sack of Grabill and two incomplete passes pushed Williamsport back to the 29, and Matt Bowman's 47-yard field goal attempt fell just short.

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