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Preparation not enough against No. 1 Knights

October 24, 1998|By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

MIDDLETOWN, Md. - The top-ranked Middletown football team didn't pull any punches. It didn't do anything Boonsboro didn't expect.

It simply relied on its stingy defense, waited for Boonsboro to make a mistake, and pounced when given the opportunity. It scored 29 second-quarter points to dismantle the No. 5 Warriors, 39-0, in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League game Friday night.

"The kids were prepared," said Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders. "This group was ready to play. This group came over here thinking they could win. But (the Knights) were better than us up front. They didn't trick us; they just beat us."

The Warriors' first mistake occurred late in the first period when Boonsboro punter Brooks Everline had a punt go off the side of his foot, giving Middletown (8-0, 7-0) possession on the Boonsboro 32. Three plays later, Ken Robey hauled in a Jared Ambrose pass along the right sideline, broke a tackle, and sprinted into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

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Boonsboro's punting woes gave the Knights excellent field position throughout the game, and the Middletown defense didn't allow the Warriors (6-2, 5-2) to get anything going offensively.

"We gave them a short field the first couple of drives," said Anders, "We don't want to do that against anybody, much less Middletown, and they made us pay. We ran out of field real quick."

Boonsboro finished with a meager 56 yards rushing and minus-six yards through the air. The Warriors' first completion was tipped by a Middletown lineman, and caught by Boonsboro guard Robert Courtney for a one-yard pick-up. The second came after a bad snap sailed over punter Phil Physioc's head. After Physioc retrieved the ball, he tossed it to quarterback Tyler Moser for a seven-yard loss.

Just three minutes after their first score, the Knights made it 15-0 on a Lee Guy five-yard run and a two-point conversion. Eighty-three seconds after that, it was 22-0 when Ambrose intercepted a Moser pass and sprinted 39 yards for the score.

Middletown's longest drive of the game was 68 yards, covered in just seven plays with Ambrose hooking up with Robey for the final 24 yards and a 29-0 advantage with 5:41 still left in the half.

Starting the next drive on their own 43, the Knights needed just five plays, with Lee covering the final 23 yards on foot for a 36-0 margin at the intermission.

Everline, who didn't practice all week due to illness, fared better defensively than he did with his punting, picking off two of Ambrose's passes, the second of which thwarted a scoring opportunity early in the second half.

The Warriors ran just one offensive play in Middletown territory all night.

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