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Kerns, Patriots light up Titans

October 29, 2005|By TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

FREDERICK, Md. - The field lights on one of the sidelines didn't illuminate until about 15 minutes before kickoff.

As far as the Tuscarora Titans were concerned, they should have stayed off on Friday night for two reasons.

First, Thomas Johnson's Terrance Kerns would not have dazzled the home crowd with three dynamic touchdown runs and 263 yards rushing on only 11 carries.

Second, the Patriots would not have posted a dominant 56-14 MVAL Chesapeake victory in the first meeting between the schools. It was also the most points the Patriots scored in a game since a 62-0 victory over North Carroll in 1993.

"We played real hard tonight," said TJ coach Ben Wright. "We tried to take what they gave us."

Not only did the Patriots garner 433 yards on 43 offensive plays, their defense shut down Cruz Mannherz, holding the hard-charging junior to 27 yards on 16 carries, the first time he's been held under 100 yards this year.

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Talented TJ linebacker Bobby Humphries mirrored every move by Mannherz, whose single best rush was a 6-yard gain.

"We've been our own worst enemy recently, but tonight I thought we had a very tough defense," said Wright.

The Titans (4-4, 1-4), mired in a four-game losing streak against the Chesapeake hierarchy, were guilty of three lost fumbles and two interceptions and the Patriots (5-3, 3-2) capitalized as they stopped a two-game losing skid.

But what TJ really did was give Tuscarora a dose of Kerns. And the fact Kerns is correcting some mistakes running routes and reading blocks only makes it tougher for opponents to take down the track star.

Kerns broke loose for touchdown runs of 56 and 73 yards in the first period, the second set up by Sam Drake's interception. On counter plays, Kerns blasted through holes set up by Jared Crouse, Robert Bishop, Charles Curry and Alex Dietrich.

"(Kerns) is a load," said Wright. "We've been working the last couple of weeks on running plays the right way. He's not been reading the holes and making cuts."

Kerns has bought in to the needed adjustment.

"The biggest thing for me was reading the blocks," said Kerns. "Tonight, these guys on the line had big holes for me."

TJ made it 29-0 in the second period when Ed Whitman scooped up a fumble by Chris Castro and ran 39 yards for a score. Soon thereafter, Mannherz was plunked in the end zone for a safety.

Tuscarora fought back with a 4-yard scoring pass from Castro to Mitchell Weedon on the last play of the first half. The Titans came out and scored on the first possession of the second half when Castro found Dexter Lee from 40 yards out to give some ray of hope, whittling the deficit to 29-14.

Humphries, who also had 90 yards rushing on nine tries, intercepted a Castro pass and immediately Kerns went to work from 78 yards as he broke two tackles around end, side-stepped two more defenders in the secondary and flat outran another to score.

The Patriots finished their scoring with a 66-yard interception return by Jerame DuVall, a 25-yard run by Brad Betson after taking a lateral from Whitman and a 20-yard run by J.D. Jones near the end.

"We haven't seen two backs like this since Urbana," said Tuscarora coach Scott Carey. "We didn't play our best game. ... They really came at us and hit us. This is probably the most pressure (Castro) has faced all year."

Castro ended 12 of 28 for 212 yards, splitting 10 of those completions between Weedon and Lee.

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