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Knights swamp Wildcats

September 30, 2002|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

MIDDLETOWN, Md. - Coming off of two performances considered subpar for Middletown football, the Knights used Williamsport to rediscover themselves.

Josh Keeney needed only 11 carries to produce 149 yards and four touchdowns, while No. 2 Middletown struck early, often and quickly against an overmatched Wildcats squad for a 45-0 victory Friday night in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League.

"We were real surprised against (Francis Scott) Key and didn't play well," Knights coach Tim Ambrose said of the 31-20 loss two weeks ago. "It was us, it wasn't them. ... We've been doing some things that are not characteristic of what we do."

But Middletown (3-1, 2-1) played like the typical powerhouse team that has terrorized the MVAL, holding Williamsport (0-4, 0-3) to 31 total yards on 39 plays. The Wildcats' only first down came late in the first half on a Middletown penalty.

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The Knights took advantage of field position for five touchdowns in the first half, with an average starting point of the Williamsport 40 for their six possessions.

Tyler Lushbaugh found David Haertel wide open on a play-action pass for a 30-yard touchdown with 9:21 left in the first quarter, capping a two-play, 32-yard drive.

Keeney followed by running left for a 38-yard touchdown with 3:41 left in the quarter to cap a two-play, 39-yard drive, before Lushbaugh found Chris Lineham for a 3-yard TD pass with 34 seconds left in the quarter to finish a three-play, 48-yard drive.

Keeney scored on a 5-yard run with 7:34 left in the first half, and John Boyle's 35-yard run around the left side with 4:17 to play in the half finished a two-play, 44-yard drive as Middletown went into halftime up, 32-0.

"Last week, we had a real problem finishing stuff," Ambrose said of the 24-6 victory against Catoctin. "We worked hard this week trying to block better and finish series."

Keeney scored on runs of 12 and 18 yards in the second half, which was played in a torrential downpour as the field conditions deteriorated severely.

The Knights fumbled the ball six times in the second half - losing three of them - which kept the score from getting completely out of hand and gave the Knights something to work on heading into next week's game against Brunswick.

"What we did with the football in the second half was atrocious," Ambrose said. "If somebody wants to say it was the rain, I don't care. It rains. We didn't protect the ball at all. It was horrible. ... As you can tell, you hit a nerve."

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