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Turnovers spell doom for North

November 05, 2005|By CURT HORNBECKER

THURMONT, Md. - The only thing North Hagerstown's football team didn't do was gift-wrap it.

Of the Hubs' eight turnovers, Catoctin converted seven into touchdowns in the Cougars' 42-12 victory in an MVAL Antietam game on Friday night.

The win virtually assures Catoctin a berth in the Maryland Class 1A West playoffs.

Once the Hubs (4-5, 3-3) started turning the ball over, they seemed unable to stop.

A 10-play North drive was halted midway through the first period when Nicholas Stiles picked off a Logan Kelso pass at the Catoctin 15-yard line and returned it to the Hubs 26 before Wyatt Baseley's 6-yard run gave the Cougars a 7-0 lead.

Matt Munday recovered a Hubs fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and Michael Lovejoy's 5-yard run on the next play gave Catoctin (6-2, 4-1) its second score in 12 seconds.

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"I guess we all were stunned at that point," said Hubs assistant coach Shawn Reynolds. "They scored, what, two scores in 10 seconds? We're not used to something like that happening."

Things only got worse, as yet another fumble - this one on a North punt attempt - gave Catoctin a first down at the Hubs 10. Four plays later, Ken Getzandanner ran it in from the 3 as the quarter ended.

Two more Hubs fumbles in the second period resulted in two more touchdowns for Catoctin, which took a 35-0 advantage into the half.

"I don't know how many points our defense scored for us," said Cougars coach Doug Williams, "but they gave us great field position, and our offense just needed to punch it in."

Turnover-free in the third quarter, North scored twice - on a 30-yard Kelso-to-Chris Palmer pass, and a 5-yard Diez Johnson run - to close the margin to 35-12. But three more interceptions in the fourth quarter, including one returned 62 yards for a touchdown by Stiles, eliminated any hope of a Hubs comeback.

North's defense limited Catoctin to 30 yards of offense in the second half.

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