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Son shines as Eagles soar to victory

September 21, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - In a way, you could say Hedgesville quarterback Michael Lopez gave his father, Eagles head coach Dave Lopez, a football lecture.

After a first-quarter incompletion, Lopez (the son) came over to the sideline and gave Lopez (the father) the advice that would carry the son to 191 yards and three touchdowns passing and lift the Eagles past visiting Boonsboro 26-14 at Mumaw Stadium on Monday evening.

The advice? Simple. With Boonsboro (0-3) playing three in the secondary, Michael Lopez knew enough to run four receivers deep.

"The first pass we threw, we ran another route," Dave Lopez said. "(Michael) said four seams is right there, and if he looks off (the safety), it's there all day.

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"If he has time to throw that pass, they can't stop it. That safety is in a mess. We got good protection for him and he hit those throws."

Did he ever.

Boonsboro took a 6-0 lead just more than a minute into the second quarter on James Barnes' 5-yard run to finish an impressive 11-play, 81-yard march. The Warriors rushed for 70 yards on the drive, including rips of 12 and 13 yards by Barnes on consecutive plays.

Two minutes later, Boonsboro had Hedgesville (1-3) facing a third-and-21 from its own 42 following an unsportsmanlike call on the Eagles. But that's when everything changed thanks to Michael Lopez's advice.

Lopez dropped back, looked off the safety, then came back down the other seam and let loose a bomb which fell into the arms of a wide-open Michael Bowers behind the Warriors' defense at the Boonsboro 15. Bowers ran it in for the score, and Lopez's extra point gave Hedgesville a 7-6 lead.

Hedgesville extended the lead when Lopez again found Bowers wide open down the right seam on the Eagles' next possession, this time for a 43-yard touchdown and a 13-6 lead.

"The second half we went to a cover-4, but by then it was too late," Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders said.

The crippling blow came on the ensuing kickoff. With Hedgesville's usual kicker playing a soccer game, the Eagles squibbed all their kicks. On this one, Boonsboro failed to find the handle and Hedgesville recovered at the Boonsboro 42.

Lopez's 30-yard pass to Mark Manspile, again down the right seam, moved the Eagles to the Boonsboro 12, and three plays later, fullback Derek Young punched it in from 3 yards out for a 19-6 lead at halftime.

Lopez's 30-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Hockman late in the fourth quarter - once again on a seam route - made it 26-6.

Boonsboro went 63 yards on four plays on the ensuing possession - with quarterback Zach Shoemaker finding Josh Lewis for a 28-yard catch down the right sideline and runs of 11 yards by Barnes and a 15-yard scoring run by Jeremiah Mills finishing the drive - but it was too late to make a difference.

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