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Hubs win coin flip, little else

September 24, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK, Md. - Thomas Johnson lost the flip of the coin on Friday night.

After that, everything was on the upside in what turned out to be a walk in the park as the Patriots throttled North Hagerstown, 46-0.

The Patriots (2-1), who have won two of their first three games for the first time since 2000, scored at will in the first period on the way to a 34-0 first-quarter lead in the first meeting between the schools since 1986.

By halftime it was 46-0, and TJ did it on only 19 plays from scrimmage, 13 in the second quarter. The Patriots had 261 yards rushing and 150 return yards in the first 24 minutes.

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The Hubs (1-2) had a severe case of fumble-itis, losing six of their 11 mishandles in the game.

"We certainly were a team that was not ready to play football," said North coach Danny Cunningham, who did not use injuries as an excuse. "We had a week of practice as a 'team' but didn't play, period."

North's opening possession was halted at the TJ 34 on downs. On the Patriots' second play, Bobby Humphries bolted over left tackle and galloped 63 yards untouched.

TJ's defense thwarted the Hubs again, and Terrance Kerns' 30-yard punt return set up his own 40-yard burst for a touchdown with 5:55 left.

Then it got really out of hand.

North backup quarterback Mike Twigg botched a pitch to running back Lamar Harris and TJ's Albert Leech scooped up the pigskin and ran 31 yards to paydirt 21 seconds later. Then Humphries, on the same belly play as his first score, busted loose for another 63-yard TD with 3:43 left.

"That's the trademark of a wing offense ... you start with an effective belly series off tackle," said Wright.

After another Hubs drive stalled, Dink Snowden's 57-yard punt bounced in and through the hands of Kerns on the next possession, but the speedy back collected himself and dashed up the middle before cutting to the sideline for an 84-yard score with 1:30 left in the opening quarter. The Patriots finished with 179 rushing yards and 115 return yards in the quarter.

TJ quarterback Brad Betson hit Steve Chase on an 8-yard score following a Hubs fumble, and a 37-yard return by Kerns set up an 11-yard score by Jerame DuVall on a student-body sweep right.

"(North) is not that bad of a team," said Wright. "I know they had a lot of injuries. They are young and we have experience and are getting better. We were in this position two years ago."

North entered the game without regular quarterback Logan Kelso, running back Marcus Scott and Tom Ulizio, a solid two-way performer.

Cunningham tried four players at quarterback, including Snowden, who completed two passes, one a 29-yard hookup with Rodriguez from the shotgun formation before a drive fizzled at the end of the first half.

"(Snowden) was about the only one that could throw the football," said Cunningham.

Humphries had 138 yards on five carries and backup Anthony Guarino had 88 yards on eight carries as the Patriots racked up 363 yards rushing. Sophomore Mike McMillan had 69 yards rushing for the Hubs.

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