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Indians blanked

August 30, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro football team is taking the "Darwinian" approach this season.

Some evolution on the field is about the only thing Indians coach Darwin Seiler can hope for at this point, following his team's 50-0 loss to Mid-Penn non-division foe Middletown (Pa.) in the teams' season openers Friday night at Rip Engle Stadium.

The Blue Raiders outgained the Indians 418-0 in total offense, spoiling Seiler's return to the Waynesboro sideline.

Seiler coached the Indians from 1988-96. Waynesboro hasn't had a winning season since '92 and hasn't won more than two games in a season since '96.

"In all honesty, this is a process," Seiler said. "There's no magic - no magic from me and no magic from the kids. This was step one.

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"Are we frustrated with how we did? Yes. Has this devastated us? No. We'll be better next week and the week after and the week after."

They have plenty to work on.

Middletown seemingly moved the ball at will, relentlessly pounding the ball up the middle. Distributing the ball to eight carriers, the Blue Raiders finished with 349 yards on 38 rushes.

"We got pushed around inside and they took advantage of it," Seiler said. "That's a good football team. They're pretty stinking big."

Middletown starting quarterback Chris Bradford scored on runs of 2 and 1 yards - the first putting the Blue Raiders up 6-0 with 2:50 left in the first quarter and the second giving them a 23-0 lead with 6:24 left in the first half.

Nick Klinepeter also rushed for a pair of first-half touchdowns, hitting paydirt from 5 yards out early in the second quarter and rounding out the opening-half scoring with a 42-yard run to make it 29-0.

Meanwhile, most of the Indians' momentum - aside from Cody Aughinbaugh's 12-yard run for a first down on the game's opening drive - came from preventing the mercy-rule clock from ticking - for at least a few minutes of play.

Up 29-0, Middletown fumbled the ball away at the Waynesboro 1-yard line twice - with 34 seconds left in the first half and then with 5:35 remaining in the third.

But Tom Strawbridge's fumble recovery in the end zone less than a minute later put the Blue Raiders up, 36-0, and the clock never stopped.

Neither did Middletown. Backup QB Jon Bailes - who was 6 of 8 for all 69 of the Blue Raiders' passing yards - hit Nate McClucas for a 10-yard TD pass early in the fourth, and, with 4:17 left in the game, Terrance Noon rounded out the scoring with a 65-yard run on his only carry of the game.

The Indians were held to -26 yards of offense in the first half and 26 in the second. They fumbled eight times, turning it over three times. Starting QB Earl Hewitt was 0 of 3 passing with no interceptions, while backup QB Eric Kelley led the team in rushing with 18 yards on five carries, all in the second half. Michael McKenzie finished with 17 yards on 11 carries.

"When you turn the ball over," Seiler said, "bad things are going to happen. ... We have to improve in all facets of the game."

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