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Rebels' offense lets them down again

September 16, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

For the second straight week, the South Hagerstown defense played well enough to beat a Frederick County opponent.

And for the second straight week, the Rebels' offense played poorly enough to lose.

South was held to just 68 yards of total offense and turned the ball over four times to spoil an efficient showing by its defense as the Rebels were blanked by Tuscarora 13-0 at School Stadium on Friday night.

"The defense played well. That's two weeks in a row the defense played well enough to win," said Rebels coach Greg Kellick. "But offensively we haven't done a thing."

The pattern was the same as last week's loss to Walkersville.

South (0-2) had four three-and-outs in its first five series. The Rebels managed to move the chains only twice before halftime - both on a 10-play drive to start the second quarter - but were still forced to punt.

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Tuscarora (2-0) had nearly as much trouble moving the ball against the Rebels defense. But when the Titans finally put together an extended drive, they finished it.

After getting pinned in its own territory by a Zeke Ricketts punt, Tuscarora drove 87 yards on nine plays, capped by a 24-yard touchdown run by Cruz Mannherz for a 7-0 lead with 5:09 remaining in the first half.

Mannherz added a touchdown run of 62 yards in the second half and finished the game with 195 yards on 21 carries. The rest of the Titans' offense accounted for 22 yards.

"Cruz has worked hard since he was a freshman," said Tuscarora coach Shawn Carey. "Even when we don't make the blocks, he can make something out of nothing. He can run at you or run around you."

South needed a gamebreaker-type player like Mannherz was for the Titans, but no one stepped forward. The Rebels had three primary ball carriers, but none topped the 20-yard mark.

Thanks to its defense, South was never out of the game, but because of the sputtering offense, the Rebels were never really in it either.

On the Rebels' first series of the second half, they gained 17 yards when a fumble was kicked and recovered at the Tuscarora 28. Two plays later, quarterback Jason Waybright fumbled the snap and it was recovered by the Titans to end the threat.

South fumbled four times, losing two. Even worse was the Titans' five fumbles - two recovered by South inside the Tuscarora 35 - that the Rebels failed to capitalize on.

"We practiced very poorly this week, too," Kellick said "We were flat on the practice field and it carried over to the game field."

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