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Cougars' 'D' makes South surrender

October 30, 2005|By TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Don't tell Catoctin coach Doug Williams his offensive unit looked sharp as tacks on Saturday afternoon.

And don't try to tell South Hagerstown coach Greg Kellick his team had posted a moral victory.

Heavily favored Catoctin struggled on its way to a 14-0 MVAL Antietam victory over South at School Stadium. Nonetheless, the Cougars are closer to a spot in the Maryland Class 1A West playoffs, with games remaining against North Hagerstown and Brunswick.

"We didn't have any emotion, no excitement, we were flat offensively," said Catoctin coach Doug Williams.

The Cougars (6-2, 4-1) pushed their way for 317 total yards, but had problems punching out the Rebels due to three turnovers and a South defensive effort that throttled Catoctin's scoring opportunities.

"The kids hung in there and didn't give up," said South coach Greg Kellick. "They stuck together, fought hard and they showed improvement today."

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Both Catoctin touchdowns came on its first possession of each half.

Following the opening kickoff, Catoctin marched 70 yards on eight plays, with Wyatt Baseley scoring from 4 yards out at the 9:38 mark. Mike Lovejoy ran in the two-point conversion.

Early in the second half, South fumbled on a pitch play on its second play from scrimmage and Lovejoy pounced on the loose pigskin at the Rebels 30-yard line.

Five plays later, sophomore quarterback D.J. Doyle ran an option right perfectly and scored from 13 yards out.

Catoctin's defense, behind stellar play by linebackers Mike Munday and Lovejoy, kept South well away from the end zone. The Rebels had just 143 total yards, 93 coming on 41 rushes.

The Rebels' longest drive reached the Cougars 21 before South lost possession on downs late in the third period.

A dropped punt by Doyle late in the fourth gave South the ball at the Catoctin 29, but the Cougars intercepted a pass after the Rebels had reached the 16.

"We had the wrong switch on offensively, but the switch was turned on defensively," said Williams. "(Munday) had a lot of tackles. But I give (South) lots of credit. They played tough defense. We knew they were capable and it showed."

South quarterback Marcellus Sumlin had runs of 28, 24 and 20 yards, but Catoctin also put the junior quarterback down for 60 total yards in losses that left his net total at 22 yards.

"I like the heck out of him. ... He's a tough kid," said Kellick. "He's just going to get better and he'll grow as he learns more."

Junior Tony Bender wasn't afraid to throw his 5-foot-3 frame into the mix, lugging the pigskin 19 times for 66 yards for the Rebels.

Doyle was guilty of six fumbles overall and lost three of them. Despite rushing for 105 yards on 14 carries to lead a Catoctin ground game that racked up 252 yards total, Doyle spent 10 private minutes with Williams after the game, distraught over his mishandling of the ball.

"(D.J.) is a young man with loads of talent and he was obviously upset with himself," said Williams. "When you're a player like him that plays hard, you care."

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