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Cumberland wins junior Super Bowl

December 06, 2004|by BILL STERNER/Staff Correspondent

As the loudspeakers blared out the strains of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" at the conclusion of the Western Maryland Junior Football League All-Star Classic on Sunday, the irony was not lost on Washington County defensive coordinator Arcie Harvey.

"We never got a glove on No. 39," Harvey said, referring to Keyser's Jeremy Green. "We never really got to him."

Green, the MVP of the Cumberland Area Youth Football League, rushed 17 times for 217 yards and a touchdown as the CAYFL All-Stars took advantage of several early miscues by the Washington County Trojans to win the third annual "Super Bowl" 36-0 at Marty Snook Park.

The game marked the end of a remarkable youth league career for Green, who said he is looking forward to playing for the Keyser High School Golden Tornado next season.

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"I admire Jamal Lewis of the Ravens," Green said. "I love to be a power runner, making heavy contact on every play."

But Green was quick to add a big thanks to the teammates up front that made it happen for him, especially on Sunday.

"I learned early that without those guys, I don't care how good you are, you won't get far," Green said.

But Green did get far as he led the Cumberland team to a 30-0 lead at the half by pounding out 157 yards on the ground. Cumberland scored on its first possession, with Green accounting for 50 yards on the ground. The seven-play, 60-yard drive was capped by a nifty misdirection bootleg as quarterback Preston Hartman rolled left untouched into the end zone at the 6:48 mark. Mike Okelly added the point after run to give Cumberland an 8-0 lead.

The Trojans offense had a jittery beginning, getting flagged twice for illegal motion in the first three plays. Forced to punt, Washington County held Cumberland after a sack by Jimmy Dotson caught Hartman 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

Washington County mounted a good drive behind the running of Alec Nelson and Alex Akers, driving the ball deep into Cumberland terriotory. But a fourth-and-2 pass completion came up short and Cumberland took over on downs.

"We just didn't capitilize when we could have," Washington County head coach Roy Palmer said." Green kept us off balance on defense, and on offense we seemed to shoot ourselves in the foot several times."

In fact, Washington County drove into Cumberland territory four times - twice getting into the red zone - but was unable to finish off a drive.

Green scored his lone touchdown, a 17-yard run, on the next series before the wheels really came off the Washington County wagon.

Trailing 16-0 and punting from its own 40, Cumberland's Randy Wiley blocked the Noon Jordan punt scooped it up and rumbled down the left sideline for a 24-0 Cumberland lead. After an interception, Okelly capped a 44-yard drive by bulldozing into the end zone from the 1 to give Cumberland a 30-0 lead.

"Regardless, this is a great experience for all these kids," Palmer said. "We had a great day for football and everyone learned something today."

Dotson was the defensive player of the game for Washington County, while Alec Nelson was selected the top offensive player. Cumberland selected Green as the offensive player of the game and Christian Brown, who intercepted two passes, as the defensive player of the game.

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