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South dumps Dunbar, 42-0

November 18, 2002|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

BALTIMORE - South Hagerstown wasn't going to let a little bit of rain spoil its first parade into the Maryland state football tournament Saturday.

The Rebels weren't going to let Dunbar stand in their way either.

Showing no signs of jitters or intimidation, South took advantage of three first-quarter turnovers by the Poets and had four touchdowns on the board in just over eight minutes as the Rebels rolled to a 42-0 rout in the Class 1A quarterfinals at Polytechnic High School.

It was a result that not even the most optimistic Rebels fan could have predicted - a team making its first playoff appearance beating a two-time state champion and this year's No. 2 seed by the mercy rule.

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"One of the last things we told them was that we don't expect to score 39 points like we did last week (against North Hagerstown)," said South coach Greg Kellick. "But we didn't expect them to score a lot either. We thought if we played our brand of football, it would be a close ballgame.

"When it clicks, it clicks ... and it did today."

The win earns South (8-3) a trip to Frostburg for a semifinal game Friday night against Beall, which beat Elkton 33-6 on Saturday.

Jamel Smith scored South's first four touchdowns and finished with 132 rushing yards on just seven carries as the Rebels racked up 260 yards on the ground despite a 25-30 yard strip of mud that ran down the middle of the field from one goal line to the other.

"We didn't think the field was going to be a problem. We'd played in mud and practiced in mud," Smith said. "Our coaches made sure we were all ready for the game."

Dunbar, on the other hand, never did get into the flow of the game. The Poets (8-3) had just one first down and 1 yard of offense in the first half. Their eight first-half possessions ended with five turnovers, one punt, one failed fake punt and halftime.

"It's hard to say much of anything after this," said Dunbar coach Ben Eaton. "We can't use the field as an excuse because both teams had to play on it."

Dunbar won the coin toss but deferred, giving the Rebels the ball first. They capitalized with a seven-play, 65-yard drive that ended on a David Miner-to-Smith 31-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-7. Smith added the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

The Poets didn't get much of a chance to answer. Ernest Brown fumbled on the second play of the ensuing Dunbar drive and South's Josh Bussard recovered. Two plays later, Smith scampered through the middle on a draw play for a 12-yard TD run and a 14-0 South lead.

The nightmare was just beginning for the Poets.

Quarterback Byron Selby was intercepted by Miner on the second play of Dunbar's next drive. Two plays later, Smith slipped out of two tackles on a sweep for a 48-yard TD.

Another Dunbar fumble led to Smith's fourth score, a 36-yard draw play that put South ahead, 28-0.

"Jamel found a couple of nice holes and that was really a shot of adrenaline to everyone," Kellick said. "We did what we intended to do with the short passing game and the isolation plays."

A fumble and an interception in the second quarter led to a pair of 8-yard touchdown runs by South fullback Mike Campbell, who finished with 81 yards on 13 carries.

It wasn't as if the Rebels didn't make mistakes. South fumbled six times in the game, losing three. The difference was the Poets were never able to move the ball on South's starting defense.

"I was really impressed with South Hagerstown," Eaton said. "They have a big line and excellent skill players. This was their day."




South Hagerstown 42, Dunbar 0

S. Hagerstown 28 14 0 0 - 42

Dunbar 0 0 0 0 - 0

SH - Jamel Smith 31 pass from David Miner (Smith run)

SH - Smith 12 run (run failed)

SH - Smith 48 run (run failed)

SH - Smith 36 run (Miner run)

SH - Mike Campbell 8 run (Philip Powell kick)

SH - Campbell run (Powell kick)

SH Dun

First downs 16 7

Rushes-yards 34-260 37-52

Passing yards 77 0

Comp-Att-Int 3-8-0 0-5-2

Total offense 42-337 42-52

Punts-avg. 0-0 1-26.0

Penalties-yards 2-20 4-27

Fumbles-lost 6-3 8-4

Records: South Hagerstown 8-3; Dunbar 8-3.

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