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Keeney, DeMoss make Consensus All-State

December 24, 2002|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

For two years, Middletown's Bryan DeMoss has been clearing the way for star running back Josh Keeney. On Monday, both were rewarded for their efforts, being selected to the 2002 Maryland Consensus All-State Team.

Behind the blocking of DeMoss and the running of Keeney, the Knights went 11-2 and reached the Class 2A state final.

Keeney, an unknown talent before the 2001 season, rushed for 1,573 yards and 23 touchdowns that year. He followed it with an amazing 40 touchdowns and more than 2,300 yards rushing this season - tops in the state, and good enough to be The Herald-Mail Co-Offensive Player of the Year.

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"He just worked extremely hard in the offseason and ran indoor track last year trying to get faster and he did," Middletown coach Tim Ambrose said. "He's just been dedicated and worked unbeilevably hard this year to accomplish what he did with his teammates. He had a trememdous season, and I'm real proud of him."

Almost without fail, Keeney gave credit for his success throughout the season to his offensive line - anchored by DeMoss.

"He never, ever was concerned about what he did after a game," Ambrose said of Keeney. "Our offensive line the last two years has helped open holes for him, but once he got through the line, he did a lot of work himself by breaking tackles and then outrunning opponents.

"Josh made the best of it, but always respected his offensive line and always gave them credit for what he did game after game after game."

DeMoss - who received Small School All-State honorable mention in 2001 - has a full scholarship offer on the table from Richmond, but has not committed formally.

"It happened with about a week, a week-and-a-half after the season ended," Ambrose said. "Richmond saw him last year during his junior season, came up three weeks ago and offered him a full scholarship. He's going to keep looking around, but he's got that if he wants it. He's interested in it, but he's waiting to see what else materializes."

South Hagerstown, which made its first state playoff appearance and notched its first playoff victory, placed David Miner and Clayton Swisher on the Small School All-State second team.

Swisher, The Herald-Mail Co-Defensive Player of the Year, finished with 67 tackles (48 unassisted), four sacks and two fumble recoveries from his defensive line position despite being double-teamed most of the season. Miner anchored the secondary of the Rebels' defense, which gave up their fewest points 35 years.

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