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Revamped offense gets Lions in win column

September 21, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

THURMONT, Md. - Little by little, Walkersville football coach Hal Grau has been revamping his offense to suit his skilled players in the backfield.

With quarterback Dave Berry yet to take a snap this season and unlikely to do so for another three weeks due to a hand injury, Grau has gradually done away with the wing-T offense in favor of a combination package that came full tilt on Monday night.

With senior Brandon Geppert back in the lineup, after missing last week, to join Shaun Coon and Mark Ferro, the Lions roared to a 28-0 victory over Catoctin. It was the first win for Walkersville (1-2) and left the Cougars with a second straight shutout loss after an opening-week victory.

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"This offense has been in the making now for two weeks," Grau said. "We're just not doing the traditional wing-T. A little at a time we've put more into the offense and with Brandon back this week, we were able to put more in."

What the Lions did might not have been what Catoctin scouted in advance, using both Coon and Geppert at various positions with Ferro turning into a big-play machine.

Walkersville opened with a methodical 13-play, 64-yard drive, with Coon hitting Geppert on a quick slant pass and Geppert returning the favor on a pass from the shotgun to Coon in two of the first three play calls.

After runs by Ferro and Coon, Geppert was on the end of a 16-yard pass play from Coon off an option setup. Two plays later, at the 6:29 mark of the first quarter, Geppert rolled right out of the shotgun and went 7 yards for the first score of the game.

Following a three-and-out by Catoctin, the Lions had a short field from the Cougars' 45 and after five plays, Ferro took an option handoff, made two cuts to the left side of the field and went 35 yards for a score and 13-0 lead with 2:36 left in the period.

Midway through the second period, Ferro slid in front of an intended Catoctin receiver, picked off a pass by Ken Getzendanner at the Lions' 47 and scampered to the Catoctin 12, setting up Geppert's 4-yard TD run with 5:33 to play before halftime.

In the fourth quarter, after catching a punt from his own 22, Ferro, using a terrific block from Geppert, exploded down the right sideline for a 78-yard TD jaunt.

"We knew Geppert was going to be coming back," said Catoctin head coach Doug Williams. "It was a good move on (Grau's) part to run that offense. I thought we were ready to play tonight, but we got an old-fashioned whipping. They controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage."

While Walkersville rolled up 244 yards on the ground, its defense allowed only 88 net yards on 44 Catoctin carries.

Ferro ended with 118 yards and Geppert 54 yards rushing, while Mike Lovejoy churned his way for 57 yards on 15 carries.

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