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Hubs roll to sixth win

October 11, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

BRUNSWICK, Md. - North Hagerstown's mission to make people believe in them continued with a major boost from its defense Friday as the Hubs spoiled Brunswick's Homecoming with a 20-0 MVAL win.

The Hubs allowed 186 total yards and their defensive backs did an excellent job in coverage as Brunswick quarterback Dan Strakonsky was held to 5 of 20 passing for 38 yards.

North stretched its winning streak to six games with a matchup against Catoctin looming at School Stadium next week.

Quielan Gantt, Rigoberto Valentin, John Kline, Leon Finley and Alonzo Shaul were some of the defensive leaders for the Hubs, who also held fleet-footed Dexter Henderson to 50 yards on 13 carries.

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"This was a very tough, extremely tough game," North coach Danny Cunningham said. "Brunswick was a solid team. They came to play and they played solid on defense."

Brunswick coach Kevin Lynott was pointed in his view of the offensive performance of his team, which was stopped four times inside the red zone.

"We had the opportunities," he said. "We are a smash-mouth type of offense and when that gets shut down you go to the pass. They did a great job of defending"

Through the first period and into the second, North spent most of the time on the field defensively as the Railroaders (2-4, 1-1) ran 21 plays to just eight for the Hubs.

Both Brunswick possessions ended inside the North 30, the second of which shifted momentum to the Hubs when Finley crushed Alex Papanicolas for no gain on fourth-and-inches.

The Hubs (6-0, 3-0) managed to get the fire burning offensively with a 7-play, 80-yard drive in which all three of North's main running threats had significant gains - 22 yards by fullback Derrick Keith, a 13-yard run by Bryan Slater and a side-stepping 30-yard gain by Valentin to get to the Brunswick seven.

Following a penalty, Slater ran twice, the second from eight yards out for a 7-0 lead with 7:45 to play.

Late in the half, North took possession after a defensive stop at its own 31 with 1:12 left and while most thought the Hubs would be satisfied with a 7-0 halftime lead, a clock-manipulated drive quickly covered 69 yards in four plays.

Following a timeout, QB Ryan Rau stepped back with Keith drifting to the left on a fullback screen pass and the pair connected for a 46-yard TD as the clock expired.

"It's great to have a fullback like Derrick that has the mental capacity of a tailback," Cunningham said. "We have some plays on the back burner like that one for Derrick."

North threatened midway through the final period on a drive that reached the Brunswick 24, but a 41-yard field goal effort by Brent Toms couldn't get off due to a bad snap.

Holding Brunswick on downs, the Hubs put the final icing on the victory when Slater ran 36 yards on a sweep to set up a four-yard TD by Valentin with 49 seconds remaining.

The Hubs' offense generated 307 yards offensively, 261 on the ground. Slater powered his way for 113 yards on 20 carries, Keith had 90 yards on 15 carries and Valentin added 53 on nine carries.

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