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Campers halt Roaders' march

December 03, 2005|By BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

CUMBERLAND, Md. - In a battle of smashmouth football, Brunswick had the glass chin.

It took 30 seconds for the Railroaders to go from a standing eight count to technically knocked out of the Maryland Class 1A state football playoffs.

In two plays, Brunswick suffered a 15-point swing that put the Railroaders on the canvas in a 35-6 loss to Allegany on Friday in the state semifinals at Greenway Avenue Stadium.

"It was like a one-two punch," said Brunswick coach Kevin Lynott.

Brunswick was stacked up on a fourth-and-2 play at the Allegany 3, turning the ball over on downs. After the Campers hit the Railroaders in the mouth, Allegany took them down with a kidney punch to the right side.

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Jeff Link swept to the right on the ensuing play and broke free for a 97-yard touchdown run to completely change the complexion of the game. Instead of going in for a possible 7-7 tie with 10:24 remaining in the first half, it was suddenly a 15-0 deficit with 10:06 to go before intermission after the two-point conversion.

"It was all defense, but it was the big plays," Lynott said. "We got down there on offense and not getting in (the end zone) hurts, but defensively, we struggled. The momentum changes by not scoring, but then they take it to the house on the next play."

It was a struggle for the Railroaders (9-4) to get back to their feet after the big blow. Allegany added to the uphill climb with three Logan Reiter-to-Donavin Vinson touchdown passes to build a 35-0 lead early in the third quarter and start the running clock for much of the second half, shutting down comeback chances for Brunswick's patient, run-oriented offense.

"We came in wanting to throw the ball," said Vinson, who caught four passes for 115 yards and the three scores. "Even with it being windy, we wanted to go to the air, and we moved the ball. The ball was fluttering in the air, but we had to go up and get it."

Allegany (13-0) will face Snow Hill next weekend in the state championship game at Baltimore's M&T Stadium.

Allegany got the upperhand early in the windy, frigid conditions, scoring on its first drive on an 18-yard run off left tackle by Tyler Wharton, who cut back against the grain to get to the end zone for the early 7-0 lead.

Brunswick answered by marching back after recovering an Allegany fumble. The Railroaders pounded out a 14-play drive to move 42 yards and set up the fourth-down play on the Campers' doorstep.

Quarterback Aaron Main was stacked up for no gain on the fourth-down sneak, turning the ball over the Campers.

"We got down there running our normal plays, but then they tightened up and did a lot of cutting of the offensive linemen," Lynott said.

Allegany crossed Brunswick up by running wide on a goal-line play, with Link busting over two Railroader tackles before running the final 75 yards along the right sideline untouched.

The Campers moved to a 28-0 halftime lead on Vinson's first two touchdown catches. The first was a 29-yarder that was held up by the wind, forcing the receiver to outjump the Brunswick defender at the 1 to get the score. The second was on a swing pass out in the right flat that Vinson turned into a 35-yard sprint to the end zone.

"Our defense stopping them was big," Vinson said. "Our defense is strong. They are going to carry us all the way to a state championship."

Reiter hit Vinson with a 25-yard score at the 9:32 mark of the third quarter for a 35-0 lead to start the running clock.

Brunswick battled back with a 19-play, 83-yard drive that consumed 11 minutes, 30 seconds to move to within 35-6. Main hit Chris Papanicolas on a 10-yard strike for the payoff.

Allegany held Brunswick's workhorse runner, Eric Zwilsky, to 72 yards on 22 carries. Main hit on 13 of 22 passes for 160 yards.

Link finished with 151 yards - all but one coming in the first half - on nine carries for the Campers.

Allegany outgained Brunswick, 328-181.

"They proved why they are No. 1," Lynott said. "We weren't intimidated coming up here. We were motivated by it. They are just a great team."

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