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Turnovers cost Hubs

September 17, 2005|By MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

North Hagerstown's experience on the School Stadium football field Friday night was summed up in one sentence from an assistant coach.

"Even when we catch a break we can't catch a break."

The Hubs didn't catch many breaks Friday, but gave Frederick more than its fair share, turning the ball over six times in a 28-3 loss to the Cadets.

"Turnovers ... you just can't turn the ball over like that," North coach Danny Cunningham said. "We gave them the short side of the field all night long. We couldn't hold on to the ball and tried to get too cute with certain plays. We just didn't get the job done."

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As a result of the turnovers, the Cadets (1-1) had great field position most of the night. Frederick finished with just 179 yards of offense and ran only 33 plays from scrimmage - 20 fewer than the Hubs.

Frederick coach Vince Ahearn said his defense couldn't take all the credit for the Hubs' turnovers, but said the Cadets did focus on defense in practice this week after a season-opening loss to Tuscarora.

"We had 42 points scored against us last week," Ahearn said. "We're not used to that and we were all disappointed."

"Maybe we created some of that, but I've been on (North's) side of that, too. Sometimes things just don't go right."

That was especially true for the Hubs (1-1), particularly in the second and third quarters. North fumbled on three consecutive possessions in the second, but the first likely was more costly than the others.

Quarterback Logan Kelso was scrambling to his left, looking for an open receiver. He was sacked as he was about to throw and lost the ball, which was recovered by Frederick's Todd Scharf at the North 11.

Kelso injured his elbow on the play and remained on the ground for about 15 minutes. He was eventually taken off the field and driven from the stadium in an ambulance.

Any hopes the Hubs had of using Kelso's injury as inspiration were quickly put to rest as Anthony Walker scored on an 11-yard reverse on the first play after the delay to give Frederick a 14-3 lead.

"That was huge. We stayed pretty basic on offense this week because we spent so much time on defense," Ahearn said. "So, in an academic sense, that play was a return to honors-level stuff that we do."

In the third quarter, the Hubs had another opportunity on which they could not capitalize. Frederick went three-and-out on its first possession of the second half and Kevin Redden blocked the Cadets' punt, giving the Hubs the ball at the Frederick 28.

But eight plays later, backup quarterback Mike Twigg's jump-ball pass intended for Jarell Hasan was picked off by Steve Custis in the end zone. Custis nearly returned the interception for a touchdown, but was run out of bounds by Marcus Scott at the 7-yard line.

Walker scored his third touchdown of the night two plays later on a shuttle pass from Damien Wallace.

"We spent that time on defense this week and it paid off," Ahearn said. "We had big plays on offense. Maybe that's what we are this year, a big-play team. That's frustrating, but not any more frustrating than what Danny is dealing with."

North did catch two breaks on the opening drive of the game. Punter Dink Snowden ran down a ball snapped over his head and got the kick away before being hit by two Frederick defenders, giving the Hubs a first down on the roughing the kicker call.

Two plays later, Kelso bobbled a snap that went right into the hands of running back Josh Talbert for an 8-yard gain. The Hubs settled for a 27-yard field goal from Chris Reid to take a 3-0 lead.

The lead was short-lived, however. Just over three minutes later, Wallace found Walker wide open behind the defense and hit him in stride for a 76-yard touchdown.

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