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Blazers' home debut spoiled by Westmar

September 11, 2004|by JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

CLEAR SPRING - On Friday night, the Clear Spring Blazers played their first home football game since 1917.

But the night did not produce many good memories for the Blazers, who lost four fumbles and had three passes intercepted as Westmar took advantage of the seven turnovers to beat Clear Spring, 40-14.

Blazers coach John Wilson tried to look at the bright side of things.

"We had fun tonight for a while," Wilson said. "This town waited 87 years for a home game and the kids were pretty excited. We held them with our defense during the first quarter. We had a real good defensive first quarter."

Junior linebacker J.T. Davis made three fumble recoveries for Westmar (1-1) in the first half, which set the tone for the game.

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Davis' final recovery led to the first of four touchdown runs by sophomore back Justin Keller, who gained 136 yards on 32 carries.

Keller notched a 17-yard TD run along the right sideline with 6:49 remaining in the second quarter to put Westmar on the scoreboard.

Keller added an 8-yard TD to the right side with 23 seconds left in the half to give the Wildcats a 12-0 halftime lead.

"Justin is only a 15-year-old," Westmar coach Shawn Swisher said. "If he can continue to get bigger and stronger, by the time he's a senior, it ought to be pretty scary."

Alex Metz's 95-yard interception return with 8:18 left in the third quarter, combined with Keller's two-point conversion run, extended Westmar's lead to 20-0.

Clear Spring (0-2) got on the scoreboard just more than a minute later when Tyler Braithwaite threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Derek Dyer.

Keller scored on a 5-yard run and a conversion run with 1:45 remaining in the third to increase the Wildcats' advantage to 28-6.

The Blazers scored for the final time with 9:29 left in the fourth quarter when Braithwaite fired a 70-yard touchdown pass to Donnie Lapole. Lapole ran in the conversion.

Keller had a 3-yard touchdown run with three minutes left and quarterback Russell Miller added a 43-yard TD scramble with 1:42 remaining.

"We have a very young team," Swisher said. "If we are going to have a decent season this year, our young guys are going to have to step up and mature quickly. Tonight, we did that."

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