Blue Devils capitalize on JB fumbles

September 04, 2004|by CURT HORNBECKER/Staff Correspondent

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Sometimes the simplest tasks are the most difficult to accomplish.

Holding on to the football, for instance, gave James Buchanan fits Friday night as four first-half fumbles - and five turnovers overall - led to a 44-16 setback to arch-rival Greencastle-Antrim in the season opener for each team.

By the time the first period came to its merciful end, the Rockets coughed up the ball three times, ran just eight offensive plays and trailed, 14-0.

"Anytime you turn the ball over five times, you're going to shoot yourself in the foot," said James Buchanan coach Kevin Gustafson.


And the Blue Devils really didn't need that much help, amassing 284 yards rushing on just 32 carries, led by Clint Castellar's 100 yards on 10 carries, including a pair of touchdowns. But it was the Blue Devils' offensive front that dominated the game.

"It all starts with the line," said Greencastle coach Chuck Tinninis. "The kids opened some nice holes, and when we got into the open we made some nice cuts."

While the Rockets managed to complete the second half free of turnovers, it made little difference as Greencastle scored three times while running just seven offensive plays.

A 9-yard punt by the Rockets gave the Blue Devils a first down on their own 49, before Castellar raced for 33 yards to set up his second TD of the game from 10 yards out. Blake Border's 43-yard pass to Eric Burkholder made it 37-0 on the first play of Greencastle's next possession. Tyreck Thrush scampered in from 50 yards out with 3:27 left in the game.

Meanwhile, the Rockets finally were able to get their offense in gear late in the game, marching 77 yards on 15 plays with Tyler Morris scoring from the 1. JB was rescued on the drive by a Greencastle personal foul on a fourth-and-11 pass that fell incomplete.

The Rockets managed to tack on another score in the waning moments, as Morris rolled down the right sideline 63 yards for the final score of the game.

After being held to just 23 rushing yards in the first half, James Buchanan racked up 140 yards in the second half.

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