Barnes is noble for Warriors

November 07, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

SMITHSBURG - No matter how hard it tried, the Boonsboro football team's game plan was narrowed down to an old country philosophy.

If you need a horse, head for a Barnes.

After being held to a virtual standstill and fortunate to be in a 14-14 tie at halftime, the Warriors saddled up senior fullback James Barnes, who bucked No. 4 Smithsburg for 94 yards, a touchdown and two conversion runs in the second half to lead Boonsboro to a 36-30 upset of the Leopards Saturday in the 38th edition of their rivalry.

Barnes finished with two touchdowns and 107 of Boonsboro's 116 yards rushing to carry the Warriors to a season-ending victory while the Leopards limp into the playoffs on a two-game losing streak. Boonsboro's victory tied the series at 19-19.


"We went out and tried some things and started to experiment," said Barnes, who took over the game with power runs up the middle. "It was a different scheme the coaches got us into and then the offensive line kicked it into gear. All I had to do was take advantage of it. It was all or nothing for us because it was our last shot."

Boonsboro, which lost its first five games, broke the game open by scoring the first three touchdowns of the second half. The Warriors benefited from six Smithsburg turnovers - four fumbles and two interceptions - to stay in the game even though it allowed the Leopards 392 yards of offense.

The Warriors had 40 yards of offense in the first half but turned it around with a basic attack as Barnes accounted for 75 percent of their second-half yardage.

"We found a formation that worked," said Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders, who celebrated his birthday with the victory. "We were only able to run two plays against them the whole second half. Barnes was our horse and we just rode him. We got ourselves in the short field and created some great situations."

Boonsboro took the second half kickoff and set the tone for the rest of the game, opening the drive at Smithsburg's 39 after a return and a personal foul penalty. Quarterback Zach Shoemaker hooked up with Chad Lewis on an underthrown pass for a 37-yard touchdown and Barnes added the conversion for a 22-14 lead.

"What turned the tide for us was when we came out and got going to start the second half," Anders said. "It gave us confidence and confidence is a great thing.

"This was a big rivalry and a great game. We talked this week and told the kids that we can't fix any of the games before. This is our playoff game. There is nothing better about finishing 4-6 than winning your last game to do it. I told them that there will be many Boonsboro graduates who will open the paper to see this upset and remember how they had lost this game in the past."

The Warriors scored on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 9-yard run by Barnes, followed by the conversion for a 30-14 lead. Barnes ran five of the six plays on the drive - all power runs up the middle - for 42 yards on the 37-yard drive.

"In the third quarter, it was tough. We got a little movement and kept pounding," Barnes said. "I don't know what we picked up, but when we got down to the goal line, it was tough but I couldn't stop for that."

Boonsboro turned an interception by Adam Rippeon into its final score, a 1-yard plunge by Shoemaker set up by 34 yards in six carries by Barnes.

Smithsburg started a comeback late and scored on a 2-yard run by quarterback Josh Daniels and a 51-yard pass to Luke Heinrich with 33 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to six before time ran out.

"I'm really happy for Boonsboro," Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff said. "They played extremely hard and inspired to the end. They had nothing to lose and played like it."

Smithsburg opened by scoring on the second play of the game on Daniels' 71-yard pass to Dustin Mitchell for a 7-0 lead. But Boonsboro answered immediately when Blaec Ramos picked up a short kickoff at the 21 and returned it for a touchdown. The Warriors failed on the conversion and trailed 7-6.

Boonsboro took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter by turning Justin Thompson's fumble into a 13-yard drive, capped by Barnes' 8-yard run and Shoemaker's burst on the conversion.

Smithsburg pulled even for the intermission as Daniels found Matt Thompson threading the middle for a 43-yard scoring pass.

Daniels finished with 268 yards passing and three touchdowns, but fumbled four times (losing two) - three off center exchanges - and threw two interceptions. Matt Feiser was the top runner with 82 yards on five carries.

"We need to regroup and find the Smithsburg team which played the first seven games of the season," Orndorff said. "We need to wake up or we won't be going far into the playoffs."

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