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Hubs roll to 8-0

October 25, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

UNION BRIDGE, Md. - Francis Scott Key did the worst possible thing on Friday.

The Eagles forced North Hagerstown to turn to "Plan B."

The Eagles stopped North's tailbacks, and in turn, got their tails kicked. The Hubs switched strategies and began to highlight fullback Derrick Keith, who scored touchdowns on consecutive offensive plays to lead North to a 26-6 victory.

"They took our tailbacks out of the game plan," North coach Dan Cunningham said. "We had to resort to our fullback trap series and stepped up."

The bruising runs by Keith helped break open a game which was more of a defensive struggle than the score indicated. Bryan Slater scored on a 49-yard run in the first half and Keith closed North's scoring with runs of 50 and 52 yards as the Hubs upped their record to 8-0.

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"Our defense was in place, but we had some breakdowns," FSK coach John Baugher said. "North Hagerstown is a heck of a team, but we didn't play very well. They dived the ball and powered it. They have some hard-running running backs."

North's big plays and FSK turnovers spelled the difference in what was a hard-hitting game defensively.

The Hubs finished with 217 yards rushing, but 151 of it came on the three touchdown plays.

Meanwhile, the Eagles had five fumbles and an interception, leading to three turnovers. North choked off the Eagles offense, limiting it to 105 yards with 32 of their 49 plays going for three yards or less.

In fact, the Eagles' only score came off a blocked punt that David Roop returned five yards for a third-quarter touchdown, to cut the deficit to 19-6.

North baited the "trap" and caught FSK in it.

"We stress playing for field position and to take advantage of turnovers," Cunningham said. "We stress getting the momentum over to our side."

It didn't look it was going to work that way in the beginning when quarterback Ryan Rau was picked off on the first play of the game. But the Eagles drove to the 2 and fumbled on two plays inside of the 10, losing the second to end what could have been a early momentum gain.

Slater was used sparingly, but put the Hubs on top with 4:30 remaining in the half. The tailback took the handoff on a dive to the left, squirted out of the pack and broke a tackle in the first nine yards on the way to his 49-yard score.

FSK's Layton Hersh fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, setting up the Hubs on the 20, which resulted in a three-play scoring drive, finished with a 15-yard Rau-to-Phillip Johns TD pass. It gave North two scores in 56 seconds and a 13-0 halftime lead.

Then it was time for Keith's grunt work to pay dividends.

On North's first play from scrimmage in the second half, the senior ran a dive to the right with no defender between himself and the goal line after he burst through the line.

"The lines blocked great," Keith said. "It was a simple dive, but when I got through the line the hole was ... I don't know ... big. I saw the opening and I just said, "Touchdown."

"Our short trapping game has been good," Cunningham said. "(Linemen) Mitch Wolters and Steve Schutte have been trapping good and it allows Danny Fox to go out and get the linebacker."

After FSK scored off the blocked kick, Keith put the game away, this time with a dive up the middle, which he shed a blocker and rambled for the final 50-yard score to end FSK's hopes to steal the momentum.

Keith finished with 115 yards - including the 102 on the two TD runs - on 11 carries while Slater had 72 yards. FSK's Josh Rutter finished with 91 yards rushing, but the Eagles only managed 70 yards as a team.

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