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Fast start enough for Cougars

October 11, 2003|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

THURMONT, Md. - At this point in the high school football season, Boonsboro will settle for any kind of victory it can get - even one of the moral variety.

That will have to suffice again this week for the winless Warriors, as Catoctin made a first-quarter lead stand up Friday in its 20-6 Monocacy Valley Athletic League Antietam Conference win.

Despite the lopsided score, the Cougars were outplayed in the final 36 minutes, but took advantage of outstanding field position to claim a 20-0 lead at the end of the first period.

"We created some short-field situations for them, and they took advantage of it," Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders said.

The Warriors defense certainly didn't help itself in the first quarter, giving up a total of 126 rushing yards as Joe Rakoski scored on runs of 8 and 12 yards. Dave Burrier added a 6-yard TD run.

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Anders said he suspected his team might get off to a slow start.

"We didn't look real good in warmups," Anders said. "I've been doing this a long time, and I just thought we weren't sure we could play with (Catoctin). I told them that if this is all they had in warmups, they might as well pack it in."

While the Warriors played better in the final three periods, they still shot themselves in the foot offensively. A nine-play march in the second quarter bogged down at the Catoctin 35 when quarterback Zach Shoemaker was sacked on two successive plays for 12 yards in losses. A 16-play, third-quarter drive fizzled at the Cougars' 26 when Boonsboro (0-6, 0-3) put itself in a fourth-and-11 situation. The Warriors' first possession of the fourth period ended with a Josh Fogle interception on the Catoctin 39.

Meanwhile, the Cougars (5-1, 3-0) couldn't get anything going to match their offensive output of the first quarter, picking up just 104 yards of total offense in the final three periods.

"They were beating us to the punch," Catoctin coach Doug Williams said. "Their defensive line outplayed our offensive line. They got movement, and we didn't. They were fighters. It's a good thing we scored 20 points in the first quarter."

Boonsboro finally got on the scoreboard with 38 seconds remaining on a nine-play march. James Barnes ran it in from the 1.

"At this point, we're looking for improvement," Anders said. "We're looking for the kids to compete, to see if they can get better. Based on that, we saw some good stuff tonight. I hope (the players) see that if they bring their 'A' game, they can scratch out a win."

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