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Dorsey powers Cadets

November 13, 2004|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK, Md. - Any defender who has tried to stop Frederick running back Bruce Dorsey this season can tell you all about his power.

On Friday, the Seneca Valley defense got to see a little bit of finesse from the big man.

Dorsey took an option pitch from quarterback Cory Rhodes, outran one defender to the corner and hurdled another on his way to a 9-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to give Frederick the lead for good in an 18-7 win over the Screamin' Eagles in a Maryland Class 3A West semifinal.

The move was nothing new for Dorsey.

He simply harkened back to drills in which coaches throw blocking bags at the feet of the running back for the purpose of making him jump them.

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"That's something we've worked on in practice. I never know when the bags are coming and I have to time them," Dorsey said.

His timing was just right on that touchdown run, his second of the night. As he turned the corner to head toward the end zone, linebacker Christian Stahl dived at Dorsey's feet. Dorsey went up and over Stahl and needed just two more steps to cross the goal line.

Rhodes' timing was pretty good, too. He held the ball until the last possible moment, pitching to Dorsey just as he took a hit from John Walko.

"With Cory, you never know if you're going to get it or not, 'cause he likes to run it," Dorsey said. "I just stay patient. I know whenever he does pitch it on the option, I'm going to score."

The touchdown gave the Cadets a 12-7 lead with 9 minutes, 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Dorsey staked Frederick (10-1) to a 6-0 lead midway through the third quarter, plunging into the end zone from 1 yard out just one play after Rhodes connected with Anthony Walker for 31 yards on a fourth-and-14 play.

The Screamin' Eagles (9-2), who had trouble moving the ball all night on the muddy Frederick field, answered right back. A 44-yard kickoff return by Shawn Perry gave Seneca Valley its best field position, starting at the Frederick 38. Eight plays later, Bryant England went around left end on a reverse for a 20-yard touchdown. J.J. Veith's conversion put the Screamin' Eagles ahead, 7-6.

With the field a shambles because of Friday's steady rain, the Cadets relied heavily on Dorsey. He delivered an outstanding game, carrying 30 times for 189 yards.

"Our offense is built around both the run and the pass, but when you add in the elements, that takes away part of your game," Frederick coach Vince Ahearn said. "I think others would say because of our running back, we had an advantage here tonight. But it wasn't easy."

Rhodes added 61 yards rushing, including a 21-yard touchown run.

The Cadets were lucky not to be behind at halftime. On a fourth-down play from the Frederick 26 late in the first half, Seneca Valley flanker Jeff Koger took a handoff on a reverse and threw a pass to England, who had nobody within 20 yards of him. But the ball bounced off England's fingertips at the goal line and the game remained scoreless at the break.

Frederick will play host to the Northwest-Urbana winner in the 3A West final next weekend.

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