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Blazers squeeze past Rebels

October 23, 2002|by JACK HILL III

The Clear Spring Blazers were forced to shuffle through some frustration on Tuesday night.

Maybe it was because the Blazers were presented with five cards - enough for a poker hand - while trying to do their bidding. Four of the five cards came during the first half of the game.

And if that wasn't enough, Clear Spring was forced to battle through a tight match with South Hagerstown. And despite the setbacks, the Blazers avoided the upset by squeezing by the Rebels with a 1-0 decision in a Washington County high school boys soccer game at School Stadium.

For 50 minutes, it was tactical warfare in a scoreless battle between Clear Spring (6-7-1) and South Hagerstown (0-12).

Clear Spring made its statement when junior midfielder Drew Holler notched the game's only goal in the 51st minute with a burst through the middle on an assist by junior midfielder Zeb Jacobs.

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"I got a lot of chances early on," Holler said. "I finally got that one that won the game for us. I got the ball through the middle. I went one-on-one with the goalie and I put it through on the right corner."

The Blazers completed their regular season, while the Rebels have a makeup game on Saturday at Allegany.

Tuesday night's game was a tuneup for their first-round playoff game, which will pit the teams meeting in a 6 p.m. rematch Monday at School Stadium in the Class 1A West opener.

"We tried to push forward with this game, because we knew that we would play them again here on Monday in the playoffs," Holler said. "We wanted to get off to a good start. Both teams played well tonight and we came out on top. We pretty much controlled possession for the whole game."

Clear Spring senior goalkeeper Josh Barnhart made 10 saves to record the shutout.

"We played pretty good defense tonight," Barnhart said. "Emens Rho got through us a few times tonight. But he is an excellent player, so that is expected. I think that we're starting to play together and that is good, because we have got the playoffs coming up soon. I think that we can make it as far as we want to, if we keep our heads in it and play up to our potential."

The Rebels outshot the Blazers, 20-16.

"Without a doubt, this was our best performance of the season," South Hagerstown coach Jim Mills said. "I think that we did everything but put the ball in the back of the net."

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