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Hubs top 'Cats in gridiron

October 06, 2000

Hubs top 'Cats in gridiron



By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent


Joshua Houser likely expected to see some action on special teams, and maybe get in on a few defensive plays if the game was decided early.

Like any player, though, Houser has probably dreamed - in only the deepest of sleeps - of leading his team to victory.

That dream became a reality Friday night for the Hubs' senior, who was inserted at quarterback in an emergency situation, and controlled the ball well enough to save a 14-9 Monocacy Valley Athletic League victory over rival Williamsport.

After North Hagerstown's starting quarterback, Tanner Cross (along with Williamsport's Ryan McDonald), was ejected from the game in the second period - and with the second string signal-caller still unable to play due to an injury - Hubs coach Glenn Cross went with Travis Yeates, who left in an ambulance after injuring his ankle.

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"I was really nervous," said Houser, who at 5-7, 159 pounds, is among the smallest players on the team. "I've never even practiced a play (at quarterback). I had everything going through my mind at once. But I was confident because I had a great line to go behind. I just followed them all the way."

Not only was North forced the piece its offense together, the loss of Cross and Yeates created a void in the defensive secondary. And while the Wildcats managed a touchdown to pull within a touchdown of winning the game, that final score proved impossible.

"The thing that happened in this ball game should not happen in high school football and it's got to be stopped,'' said an obviously upset Hubs coach Glenn Cross. "There has to be a better reason for things to happen on a football field. We have to find people who know more about the game. It happened between two friends who were just kidding around with each other, and now they have to sit out a game. Someone has to get a hold of that and stop it."

Williamsport coach Eric Michael was more upset about his club's inability to take advantage of the situation.

"It was just missed opportunities," said Michael. "I can think of a number of times we had guys open and had holes to run through, and we just didn't do it. We made more mistakes than they did."

The Wildcats had a first down on their own 46, and drove to North's 35 before a dropped pass and an excellent defensive play by Reggie Dawson gave the Hubs a first down with more than two minutes remaining.

Preferring not to risk a hand-off, Houser kept the ball for three straight plays, gaining nine yards, before a fourth-down quarterback sneak iced the win for North.

"Our defense played a great game," said Glenn Cross, celebrating his 50th birthday. "The front seven played a super game. They did everything that was asked of them. The kids really showed a lot of character tonight."

After McDonald capped the Wildcats' opening drive with a 29-yard field goal, North (3-2, 3-1) responded with an 11-play, 59-yard drive with Zach Stowell rushing it in from the seven for a 7-3 lead.

Williamsport (2-3, 2-2) was forced to punt after three plays, and the Hubs made it 14-3 on a Yeates-to-Dawson halfback pass.

North 14, Williamsport 9


Williamsport3006-9

North14000-14

W-Ryan McDonald 29 FG

N-Zach Stowell 7 run (Travis Yeates kick)

N-Reggie Dawson 25 pass from Yeates (Yeates kick)

W-Danny Rand 5 run (pass failed)

WillNorth

First downs1311

Rushes-yards35-13443-147

Comp-pass-int9-19-33-7-0

Passing yards12544

Total offense259191

Punts-avg1-294-26.5

Penalties-yards4-273-22

Fumbles-lost2-06-3

Records - North Hagerstown 3-2 (3-1); Williamsport 2-3 (2-2).

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