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Warriors run over Leopards

November 12, 2005|By BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - Adam Rippeon wasn't greedy. Just efficient.

He is part of the Boonsboro football team's senior contingent that has so much to accomplish with so little time remaining. And with one final game left in his final regular season, it was the final chance to pull it all together.

And if there was any sweeter way to end it, it couldn't have come against a better opponent. The Warriors' running game ran Smithsburg back down Route 66 in a 62-7 victory that gave Rippeon and Boonsboro everything it wanted.

"I have been waiting for this game for weeks," Rippeon said. "This was my last home game and it was against Smithsburg. We've been rivals as long as I can remember. It's been forever. This game goes beyond the playoffs. It was them coming into our house and we took it over."

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Rippeon will probably remember his Warrior Field swan song, especially since he rushed 12 times for 189 yards and three touchdowns, doing his part to help Boonsboro get all the parting gifts that came with the game.

The Warriors won the MVAL Antietam title with a 7-0 record. They sealed the third seed for next week's Maryland Class 1A West playoffs. And their defense set an MVAL record.

"Seniors. We have been waiting for this for years," Rippeon yelled to his teammates in the Warriors' post-game huddle. "We won the conference title. We are conference champions, seniors."

But most of all, they beat Smithsburg to give Boonsboro a 20-19 edge in the rivalry. To go with all the other accolades, Boonsboro's defense set a league record by allowing just 36 points in its MVAL schedule, beating the mark of 39 set by North Hagerstown last season.

"This is all part of the Smithsburg rivalry," Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders said. "This game was so much like last year's game only reversed. We were the one going to the playoffs and they were the ones coming in winning three of their last four games. We didn't want to go into the playoffs after a loss."

Boonsboro made a dramatic comeback to beat the Leopards 36-30 at Smithsburg last year. For the Warriors, the win gave them a .500 record at 5-5, while playoff-bound Smithsburg was 8-2.

Boonsboro will be on the road at Fort Hill or Beall in next week's playoffs.

"This group was so focused all week," Anders said. "Last night when we were running our pregame, they were vicious with their hits. ... They were hitting each other as hard as they were hitting Smithsburg tonight. They said they wanted to play this game and get it over with. They were ready.

"Tonight, the first thing they wanted was the win, but then it was the conference championship, the defensive scoring record and then it was to beat Smithsburg."

In this case, the numbers didn't lie.

Boonsboro rolled up 544 yards of offense on just 38 plays. The Warriors rushed for 505 yards - 352 in the first half - on 34 carries. Boonsboro was so dominant, 20 of those 38 plays went for at least 10 yards and 11 of those 20 went for at least 20 yards.

The shortest of Boonsboro's eight touchdowns was a 14-yard run by Kyle Kane to give the Warriors a 21-0 advantage in the first quarter.

"Last week, we won by running to the outside strong," Anders said. "Today, when Smithsburg came out, they were playing us to run the ball to the outside. So we went inside with Rippeon."

The stage was set quickly, even before Rippeon got his first handoff.

Freshman Ryan McLean set it by taking the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, going untouched up the middle before bouncing to the right sideline for the score. It was 7-0 Warriors in just 15 seconds.

Rippeon scored his first touchdown on a 21-yard burst off left tackle for a 14-0 lead. He later added scoring runs of 21 and 31 yards to cap his night.

Kane, who finished with 146 yards on carries, scored on runs of 14 and 40 yards as the Warriors built a 42-0 halftime lead. Matt Byers capped the first half by pulling in a 29-yard scoring pass from Zach Shoemaker on a simultaneous catch with a Smithsburg defender.

Backup quarterback Mike Debarge scored on a 59-yard broken-play run and Jesse Dalton ran 40 yards for a score to cap the game.

Smithsburg's only highlight came early in the third quarter as Justin Thompson scored from the 6. The senior rushed for 140 yards on 22 carries, accounting for all but 28 yards of the Leopards' offense.

But it was a day that Rippeon and the rest of Boonsboro's senior class could relish forever.

"This was a big game. The seniors have been waiting for this day (winning the title) for four years," Rippeon said. "Leaving this field for the last time is heartbreaking, but we are seniors and we have to leave."

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