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Warriors edge Hubs

October 22, 2005|By TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Ring one up for the Boonsboro special teams.

With more than just a win or a loss on the line, Mike Debarge came through with a gallant 69-yard kickoff return that helped the Warriors thread their way to a 7-3 win over North Hagerstown in an MVAL Antietam Conference contest at School Stadium on Friday night.

A facemask penalty tacked on to the end of Debarge's return gave the Warriors possession on the North 8-yard line. Two plays later, Adam Rippeon scored from the 3 with 6:40 remaining.

The only TD of the game offset a 26-yard field goal by North's Chris Reid just 58 seconds earlier.

"I had an opening on the left side and got great blocking from Jeremiah (Mills) and Kyle (Kane)," said Debarge, who also had one of Boonsboro's three interceptions.

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The victory kept Boonsboro (5-2, 4-0) in a first-place tie with Brunswick in the Antie-tam Conference and sets up Friday's home battle against the Railroaders not only for MVAL bragging rights, but a wealth of points in the Maryland Class 1A playoff race.

"We can only take games one week at a time, just as we have," said Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders. "This was a big win for our program."

North (3-4, 2-2) took the proverbial approach of shooting itself in the foot, with five turnovers and numerous dropped passes that left the Hubs scratching for much-needed yardage to continue drives.

Operating from the shotgun formation, North quarterback Logan Kelso tried to get the Hubs into the end zone, but no less than four passes were dropped. After the Boonsboro TD, the Hubs reached the Boonsboro 31 before Debarge picked off a Kelso pass intended for Jarell Hasan, who ran an incorrect route.

"Turnovers hurt us, but that wasn't the whole story of the game," said North coach Dan Cunningham. "We had receivers not catching the ball and running wrong routes and we have a TD called back because of a penalty."

It appeared North broke the scoreless deadlock late in the third period when Kelso scampered 11 yards and Josh Talbert for 14 more to put the Hubs on the Boonsboro 32.

Kelso, on a play fake, rolled to his left and dashed 32 yards for a score, but it was nullified on a block in the back and the Hubs did not score on the drive.

Boonsboro tried to catch North off-guard in the first half with more of a wide open offensive set, but the Hubs reacted well and held the Warriors to 42 total yards through 24 minutes. North had only 61 yards.

"We looked at doing some things to catch them off-guard," said Anders. "We went back to our main offense and our kids played great defensively."

Rippeon, who led the Warriors with 66 yards rushing on 14 carries, also played with a heavy heart after the death of his grandmother earlier in the week.

"I wanted to be here (tonight) for her and for my team," said Rippeon. "It was tough for me to focus. This was a tough game tonight and our defense played well."

The Hubs, after starting the game with minus-32 yards on their first three plays, held a 193-102 advantage in total yards. Talbert led North with 94 yards on 20 carries.

Kelso finished 8-for-20 for 92 yards. Matt Byers had the other two interceptions for Boonsboro, his second in the third period to halt a North drive at the Boonsboro 12.

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