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Century 21: Rebels' bid at home falls short

September 11, 2004|by CURT HORNBECKER/Staff Correspondent

What a difference a week can make.

Just seven days after shutting out a Walkersville football team that was expected to contend for the MVAL Piedmont Conference championship, South Hagerstown all but rolled over and played dead Friday night in a 21-8 non-conference loss to Century.

In fact, the Rebels (1-1) were impressive enough against the Lions to cause Knights coach Matt Flanagan to lose a little sleep.

"I was very concerned," said Flanagan, "but I think it just made us focus that much more. We knew their backfield was fast, and their line was big. We just had to focus on what we knew we could do."

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Apparently, what the Knights knew they could do was confuse the young Rebels.

"We didn't expect them to blitz as much as they did in the beginning of the game, and they gave us some schemes we hadn't seen before," said South coach Greg Kellick. "They found areas they could hit and they just continued to hit them. But we're young and inexperienced. I'm not upset about that. We need to learn how to adjust."

Despite trailing 14-0 at the half, Kellick said his club still was within striking distance.

"I wasn't satisfied with the score, and I wasn't satisfied with the offense," said Kellick. "But I told them at the half that if we take away two big plays, it's a nothing-nothing ball game."

Those two big plays were crushing blows. A punt on South's first possession was called back on a 15-yard Rebels penalty, and the ensuing snap sailed over the head of the punter, giving Century a first down at the South 6. It took just one play for the Knights to claim a 7-0 lead.

Early in the second period, Century caught the Rebels defense napping on a 56-yard Dyron Johnson reverse that set up a Mike Letmate score from 1 yard out for a 14-0 advantage.

"I told (the team) they can't expect good things to happen all the time," said Kellick. "Bad things will happen, and we have to learn to overcome them."

Ironically, while four turnovers kept South from getting back in the game, it was a Century turnover that set up the Rebels' only score when Allen Daniels picked off a Letmate pass and returned it 52 yards to the Knights' 23. A Century penalty pushed the ball to the 13, and South needed just four plays before Daniels rushed it in from the 5.

"Turnovers is the one thing you can't prepare for," said Flanagan. "All you can do is get into the right spots, and the turnovers will come."

The final Century touchdown also resulted from a South fumble, giving the Knights possession on the Rebels' 15 before Josh Roscovinski dove in from the 2 for his second score of the game.

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