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North pounds 'Cats

Hubs parlay six Wilcats turnovers into a shutout victory.

Hubs parlay six Wilcats turnovers into a shutout victory.

October 07, 2002|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

North Hagerstown coach Danny Cunningham said his Hubs could easily be a 4-1 football team this season.

They acted like one Friday night, facing Monocacy Valley Athletic League foe Williamsport in front of their homecoming crowd at School Stadium. The Hubs forced six Wildcats turnovers and capitalized with big play after big play, improving to 1-4 (1-3) with a 40-0 victory.

"We have a really good team. We're a lot better than everyone thinks we are," said North quarterback Quielan Gantt, who was 4 of 6 passing for 116 yards with three touchdowns. "We should turn this season around now."

His favorite target agreed.

"This will start our winning streak," said Hubs tight end David Bennett, who made a pair of touchdown receptions and returned an interception 71 yards for another score. "There's no more losing at North High. It will be all up from here."

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It was sure to be up for one of the teams Friday, as both entered winless on the season.

However, Williamsport (0-5, 0-4) never got off the ground, fumbling away its first three possessions in its own territory.

North capitalized immediately on the first takeaway, as Gantt found Bennett open downfield for a 25-yard TD strike less than two minutes into the game. After missing a 35-yard field goal and then getting stopped at the Wildcats 1 on the next two golden opportunities, the Hubs wasted no chances in the second quarter.

North tailback Rigoberto Valentin bumped up the lead to 13-0 a minute into the period, breaking loose up the middle for a 37-yard TD run. Three minutes later, Gantt shot a short screen pass to fullback Derrick Keith, who rumbled his way to a 55-yard score. On the Hubs' next possession, Gantt went back to Bennett in the air for a 30-yard strike and 27-0 halftime lead.

"Quilan's a heck of a quarterback. He throws some sweet passes," said Bennett. "And Rigo's got moves like I've never seen before."

Bennett put the game out of reach with the big interception return midway through the third quarter. And Hubs tailback Bobby Waugh, who rushed for a game-high 77 yards on 11 carries, capped it with a 40-yard TD run as time expired in the third.

"It started to come together tonight," said Cunningham, whose squad nearly quadrupled Williamsport in total offense, 280-75. "We've been through some tough games this year. We've lost just about every way there is to lose, but the kids turned it around tonight."

Meanwhile, it's back to the drawing the board for the Wildcats, who were missing four starters due to injuries.

"Not that it's an excuse, but injuries have killed us," said Williamsport coach Eric Michael. "But North came to play. They made the plays. Turnovers and big plays - that was the name of the game."

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