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South gets Beall rung in 1A semis

South gets Beall rung in 1A semis

November 25, 2002|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

FROSTBURG, Md. - Any football fan who has ever watched the Sunday highlight shows knows all about the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

It harkens back to the days when football was not played in climate-controlled domes, when games were played no matter the field conditions or the weather.

Friday night, the South Hagerstown Rebels got a taste of what it's like to play on the frozen tundra. Unfortunately for them, they were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Beall's Green Bay Packers.

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In blizzard conditions at times, the Mountaineers overcame an early big play by the Rebels, then grinded out nearly 400 yards rushing to earn them a 34-12 win over South at Mountaineer Field in the Class 1A semifinals.

Beall (9-2) will play in the state final at Ravens Stadium next weekend against Bohemia Manor, which beat North East-Cecil 19-8 in the other semifinal Friday night.

The field at Beall was, to put it mildly, a mess. Rains this week made any recovery from last week's quarterfinal game against Elkton nearly impossible.

Add in persistent snow showers and winds which gusted as high as 30 miles per hour and it made for a game unlike any this South team had played in this or any other recent year.

"It makes you really appreciate what the Packers did all those years," said South coach Greg Kellick. "The snow you can deal with. You can run, you can throw, you can play a good ballgame in the snow. The wind changes everything."

The wind took away any possibility of the Rebels (8-4) throwing the football, at least after a couple early tries. Quarterback David Miner made one attempt at a sideline pattern in the second quarter that ended up flying almost 10 yards out of bounds.

Taking away the pass allowed Beall to commit more of its defenders against the run and effectively shut down South.

"We came out fired up and ready to go, but obviously they did, too," said South senior Mike Moyseenko. "They just took it to us in every aspect of the game."

Still, South held a 6-0 lead throughout the first quarter, thanks to a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown by Miner just 2 minutes, 18 seconds into the game.

The South defense held the Mountaineers offense in check for their first two possessions, but Kellick knew that might not last for long.

"We saw it on the film that their line really comes off the ball well," Kellick said. "That's where the game was won."

The Mountaineers took advantage of good field position late in the first quarter and turned it into a 2-yard touchdown run by Cody Miller on the first play of the second quarter. South blocked the point after to keep the game tied at 6-6.

A sign that things might not be going the Rebels' way came on Beall's next possession. On third-and-7 in Mountaineer territory, David Winner took a pitch to the left side and was hit while turning upfield. The ball popped loose and flew about 10 yards forward, where it was recovered by another Beall player.

South may not have gotten a break the rest of the way. Beall drove inside the South 30 on that drive, eventually scoring when quarterback Eric Parker kept the ball on an option play and went in from 27 yards out.

The Rebels went three-and-out on their next drive and Beall answered on the first play of their next possession with a 67-yard touchdown run by Winner as the Mountaineers went into halftime with an 18-6 lead.

"We couldn't throw becausee of the wind, but they came up and took everything away from us. You have to give them credit on that."

A fiery speech at halftime and constant prodding from teammates couldn't get the Rebels back in the game. South failed time and again to put together any prolonged offensive drive as the Rebels clinged to that 12-point deficit in the third quarter.

But one play - an 82-yard touchdown run by Mahlon Harper - sealed the Rebels' fate and the prodding on the sideline sometimes got ugly.

"That's how we've gotten each other fired up all year," South senior Mike Campbell said. "We just try to get people pumped up. It didn't work today. They didn't take to it as well."

South did add a 15-yard touchdown run by Allen Daniels early in the fourth quarter, but a 52-yard run on Beall's next possession set up Miller's 2-yard run and a two-point conversion for the final margin.

"I think we're a very good team," Kellick said. "I'm a little disappointed the kids fell apart on the sideline, but sometimes when you want something so bad, you lose focus a little bit.

"But there's no question Beall was the better team out here tonight. They did everything they needed to do to win."




Beall 34, South Hagerstown 12

S. Hagerstown 6 0 0 6 - 12

Beall 0 18 8 8 - 34

SH - David Miner 71 punt return (kick failed)

B - Cody Miller 2 run (kick blocked)

B - Eric Parker 27 run (run failed)

B - David Winner 67 run (pass failed)

B - Mahlon Parker 82 run (Miller run)

SH - Allen Daniels 15 run (run failed)

B - Miller 2 run (Parker run)

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