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DuVal knocks South off cylinders

September 05, 2002|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

South Hagerstown football coach Greg Kellick knew that it was too good to be true.

"We went through practice (Tuesday) and things were clicking on all cylinders," Kellick said. "I found myself wishing we would do something wrong, 'cause otherwise I knew it was all going to go wrong tonight."

Kellick was right. It did all go wrong for the No. 7 Rebels as the DuVal Tigers went into School Stadium on Wednesday and ran away with a 27-6 win over the Rebels in the season opener for both teams.

If the Rebels' engine was purring in Tuesday's practice, it just wouldn't turn over against the Tigers. South (0-1) managed just 66 yards total offense and six first downs - two of which came via penalties.

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"They just kept coming at us. Their speed was very evident," Kellick said. "We knew that they were going to be a quick team. We saw them scrimmage Bowie (the defending Maryland 4A champion) and Bowie couldn't run against them."

And neither could South. Six different running backs carried the ball for the Rebels, but none was able to do much, gaining only 54 yards.

The DuVal offense wasn't overpowering, putting up just 190 total yards. But 13 South penalties totaling 125 yards helped sustain two Tigers scoring drives and poor special teams play led to excellent field position all night for the visitors.

"We've got a lot of repairs to make, a lot of fixing to do," Kellick said. "To the credit of our defense, we stopped them on the 5 one time. But when you have two scoring drives totaling nine yards ..."

The Tigers took a 14-0 lead on short TD runs by Pierre Jones and Richard Thomas. The Rebels cut the deficit to 14-6 in the third when David Miner scrambled on a fourth-and-goal play and found Antoine Cooper all alone in the end zone for a 6-yard TD pass.

The Tigers answered right back. After a long kickoff return put the ball at the South 48, DuVal took just seven plays to reach the goal line again, with Thomas scoring on a 3-yard run for a 21-6 lead early in the fourth quarter.

After a short punt gave DuVal excellent field position, the Tigers took eight plays to go 41 yards, capped by a Jeffrey Alexander to Jones 11-yard scoring pass.

The Rebels have nine days to prepare for their opening game in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League at home against Smithsburg next Friday.

"We'll let them heal up Thursday, but then we'll bang on them Friday," Kellick said.

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