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Rebels fake out Lions

October 07, 2002|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

WALKERSVILLE, Md. - South Hagerstown tried almost everything to get its running game going in the first half, with no luck.

So, in the second half, the Rebels used a somewhat less conventional approach. They faked it.

Josh Bussard picked up seven yards and a first down on a fake punt midway through the third period that resuscitated South's comatose rushing attack and sparked a 27-12 victory in a critical Monocacy Valley Athletic League game Friday night.

The win sets up another critical contest for South next week, hosting the MVAL's other unbeaten team, Francis Scott Key.

"It was not a called play," Rebels coach Greg Kellick said. "We work on it in practice, we just tell (Bussard) 'if it's there, take it.'"

The play, which started on the Rebels 31, kept alive a drive that resulted in a Mike Campbell, 12-yard touchdown run, giving South a 14-6 advantage. But more important was the effect it had on the Rebels offense.

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Prior to that play, South (4-1, 4-0) had managed just 56 yards on the ground, but finished with 237 yards rushing.

"Our passing game, we thought, was there," said Kellick. "But they were putting a big rush on us, and (quarterback) David (Miner) didn't have a chance to see what we were seeing from the sideline."

Despite entering the second half trailing, 7-6, the Lions had outplayed the Rebels in virtually every aspect, piling up 94 yards rushing and another 65 in the air. But Walkersville seemed adept at shooting itself in the foot with turnovers, drive-killing penalties, and a missed 21-yard field goal.

South, however, appeared to be more physical, punishing Walkersville receivers after virtually every reception. One of those hits was on Brandon Geppert - a free safety on the defensive side of the ball - who did not return to the game. A personal foul was called against South on the play.

"(Their hittting) affected us tremendously," said Lions coach Hal Grau, "we lost our free safety. I think he'll be back next week, but he's a key player on our defense."

It was the first of two Lions turnovers that set up South's first score. Antoine Crawford coughed up the ball on the game's first play from scrimmage, and Josh Durboraw recovered at the Walkersville 37. After David Miner found Ben Mertz on a 35-yard pass play, Campbell rammed in from the two for the 7-0 lead.

Meikos Parker pulled the Lions (2-3, 2-2) to within one, rushing for 56 yards in an 82-yard march before scoring from one yard out on the second play of the second period. Travis Hubbard's PAT attempt sailed wide right.

Hubbard's 21-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the quarter also sailed wide right.

If there was any doubt that South's offense was clicking after Campbell's second score, Jamal Smith put those doubts to rest with a 78-yard TD run on a sweep around the right side. But Walkersville responded with an 80-yard march, sparked by Crawford's 52-yard score on a sweep to the right.

Miner finished the scoring with a 10-yard run late in the final period.

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