Leopards contain Belt, beat Indians

September 04, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The Smithsburg football team figured out the best way to cut off circulation to the Berkeley Springs offense.

The Leopards tightened the Indians' Belt.

Smithsburg's defense restricted the movement of Tony Belt, Berkeley Springs' multifaceted quarterback, while the Leopards caught the Indians with their pants down with 437 yards of offense Friday in a 39-6 rout in the season opener for each team.

Smithsburg (1-0) held Belt to minus-46 yards rushing and to only 5 of 21 passing for 84 yards. Belt was minus-31 rushing and 1-for-11 passing in the first half as the Leopards ran off to a 26-0 lead.


"We had to control the football," Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff said. "The longer we kept the ball out of (Belt's) hands, the happier I became. We presented that as a challenge to our linemen and our backs."

Smithsburg's offense met the challenge and buried it.

Tailback Justin Thompson ran 23 times for 199 yards and two touchdowns while Matt Feiser added 83 yards and two more scores. Smithsburg converted third downs at will, beating the Indians to the perimeter for big plays.

"If you would have told me the score was going to be this lopsided, I would have lost a lot of money," Orndorff said. "We tried to keep (Belt) in the pocket and keep the heat on him. We ran some late blitzes because we didn't want to let him get any early reads. He checks off well."

Berkeley Springs turned to its running game to try an loosen up the hold on Belt. It was good for yardage, but didn't accomplish the goal.

Freshman Cody Hess and Randy Waugh broke for a few big yardage plays, but Belt couldn't sustain the drives. Feiser set the tone for the game by sacking Belt on Berkeley Springs' first play.

"That's just their defense," Berkeley Springs coach Angelo Luvara said. "They didn't do anything on offense or defense we hadn't seen. We dropped too many passes. They didn't beat us as much as we beat ourselves."

Smithsburg jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter as quarterback Josh Daniels hit receiver Dustin Mitchell on a 40-yard scoring play to cap the opening drive. Thompson capped the Leopards' second possession - a two-play, 72-yard drive - with a 72-yard run around end.

Josh Talbert scored on the first play of the second quarter with a 20-yard run and Feiser got his first score on a 33-yard run for the 26-0 halftime lead.

"Once they scored twice, the kids got in the mode where they had to do everything perfectly," Luvara said.

Belt scored from the 2 in the third quarter to get Berkeley Springs on the scoreboard to cut the deficit to 26-6 after three quarters.

Smithsburg closed the scoring on Thompson's 37-yard and Feiser's 13-yard runs.

"Our defense played its heart out," Orndorff said. "We showed some diversity with our defensive package. We presented Mr. Belt some different schemes and I don't think he expected us to be so fast."

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