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Lions fight off Rebels

September 10, 2005|By MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

Based on Friday night's football game, one would think new Walkersville coach Ryan Hines is a man who doesn't like having to wait.

The Lions gave Hines his first victory in his first game, rolling up a quick two-touchdown lead on the way to a 26-7 victory over South Hagerstown at School Stadium.

"It was good to get it on the first try, and it was a good experience for them to get it out of the way," Hines said.

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These Lions apparently aren't ones to dawdle. They started the game running their offense without a huddle and scored their first points in the game's first three minutes.

Walkersville quarterback Ryan Nusbaum found Andrew Leadore wide open behind the Rebels' defensive backfield for a 33-yard gain on the third play of the game, a horrific sign of things to come for South's secondary.

Nusbaum threw to receivers who were at least five yards behind the South defense six times, completing four of those passes - all to Leadore.

Nusbaum completed 8 of 11 passes for 151 yards. Leadore caught five of those passes for 137 yards.

"I'm not going to defend anybody on that, but what I will say is that we've got a lot of young kids," South coach Greg Kellick said. "They made mistakes, but now we're going to find out what kind of character they have. Because when you make mistakes you can do one of two things: You can blame people ... or you can say I'm going to get better."

The Rebels (0-1) showed some resolve late in the first half, trailing 19-0 with less than a minute to play in the second quarter. Quarterback Marcellus Sumlin completed a pass to Lucas Lichtenberg at midfield. A penalty moved the Rebels into Walkersville territory before Sumlin connected with Pat Mertz on the final play of the half.

Mertz caught the ball around the 10-yard line, shed a tackle and fought his way to the end zone for a 42-yard touchdown pass.

The Rebels seemed to grab more momentum early in the third quarter when Coty Grove recovered a Lions fumble at the Walkersville 13.

But South was unable to move the ball and Sumlin threw an interception on third down to end the Rebels' threat.

"That hurt us, not getting anything out of that," Kellick said. "My first thought was, 'at least we're going to get three out of this.' Marcellus should have just thrown that ball away. He was rolling right and trying to throw against his body. But he was trying to make a play, and he'll learn from that when he sees the film."

Sumlin was 6-for-15 for 97 yards and two interceptions. He also fumbled after being hit running an option play in the second quarter - a turnover which Jack Smith returned 73 yards for a touchdown.

Ryan Joyce ran for a pair of touchdowns for the Lions (1-0).

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