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Railroaders clinch top seed in 1A South

November 12, 2005|By CURT HORNBECKER

BRUNSWICK, Md. /b> Opponents should know by now that spotting the Brunswick football team a big, early lead is a flawed strategy.

Smithsburg tried it earlier this season with no success.

Catoctin went the same route Friday night against its arch MVAL Antietam rival and met a nearly identical result, a 46-26 thrashing in the regular-season finale.

It took less than 12 minutes for the Railroaders (7-3, 6-1) to claim a 21-point advantage en route to the win, which clinched them the top seed in the Maryland Class 1A South playoffs.

"That first quarter was huge," said Brunswick coach Kevin Lynott. "We felt Catoctin's best weapon was its offense. They can score at any time. We didn't think we could shut them down all night."

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As has been the case all year, Eric Zwilsky provided the spark for Brunswick.

Behind an offensive line that dominated the line of scrimmage, Zwilsky rumbled for 80 yards in the first quarter and finished with 214 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns.

"What can I say about Eric Zwilsky?" said Lynott rhetorically. "He's our go-to guy. I think he's one of the best runners in the area and maybe in the state. He runs with his heart. He keeps running even when he's down."

The arm of Aaron Main added another dimension early for the Railroaders, throwing for 94 first-quarter yards and TD passes to Grant Wilson and Chris Rucker.

Main also sneaked into the end zone from the 1 for the game's first score.

But the Cougars (7-3, 5-2) weren't about to let Brunswick run away with it, mounting a nine-play, 71-yard march with Michael Lovejoy scoring from the 9 to close the gap to 21-6.

Catoctin drove 95 yards in less than three minutes after the Railroaders fumbled away a scoring opportunity. Wyatt Baseley carried four times for 49 yards, including the final 18 yards, to pull the Cougars to within 21-12 with 1:11 left in the half.

But Brunswick went 58 yards - aided by a critical personal foul penalty against the Cougars - to set up Andrew White's 23-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.

Baseley's 47-yard TD on the fifth play of the second half pulled Catoctin to within 24-20, but the Railroaders answered with two Zwilsky scores in the next six minutes for a 39-20 edge.

"I thought we were in the ballgame at halftime," said Catoctin coach Doug Williams. "I thought we really got some momentum when we scored right after the half, but they came down and scored and took the momentum back."

Zwilsky added another TD midway through the fourth quarter, before Catoctin's D.J. Doyle sneaked in from the 1 to complete the scoring.

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