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Urbana too much for 'Dogs

September 16, 2006|by MARK KELLER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - For proof that there's two sides to every story, one need only speak to the head coaches after Friday night's football game at Cobourn Field.

Urbana coach Joe Polce used phrases like "playoff atmosphere" and "hostile environment" to describe the matchup with No. 1 Martinsburg, which the Hawks won, 30-7.

Bulldogs coach David Walker ... well, he didn't.

"Honestly, we prepared for this game like we do any other," Walker said. "But then again, we don't treat the playoffs any differently than we treat a regular game. We prepare for them the same. Maybe that's a mistake on my part."

Even though Walker tried to avoid getting caught up in the hype of a game that featured the No. 7 team in Maryland and the No. 1 Class AAA team in West Virginia, Polce and the Hawks seemed to thrive on the idea of facing a formidable opponent.

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"We've been getting ready for these guys since Aug. 15," Polce said. "They're a great team, great program with great tradition. We wanted to play a game in a playoff atmosphere. We came up here and beat a good team in a hostile environment. We got exactly what we wanted from this game."

Ryan Smith ran for 152 yards and a touchdown for Urbana (2-0), even though most in the crowd didn't realize it.

Smith took a hit to the nose on the first play of the game, leading to a bloody game jersey. He changed from his regular No. 29 shirt to No. 32, leading the PA announcer to credit Bryce Jacobs - listed on the roster as No. 32 - with all of Smith's runs

"That was Smith," Polce said. "You think we have two guys that good?"

The Hawks scored 23 of their 30 points in the first quarter. In fact, all but one score - an interception return by Urbana's Mike Jarboe - came in the first period.

Urbana took the lead quickly, scoring twice in the first three minutes of the game - and neither score came from the offense.

After a touchback on the opening kickoff, Martinsburg (2-1) started from its own 20-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Dustin Peters dropped back in shotgun formation, but not far enough back.

The snap from center soared over his head and bounced into the end zone. Peters beat two Urbana defenders to the ball and kicked it out of the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 Hawks lead.

"That kind of set the tone for tonight, didn't it?" Walker asked. "We really dug a hole for ourselves early on. I think we played hard tonight. I just don't think we played well."

After recovering an Urbana fumble at their own 23, Martinsburg failed to move the ball and punted. Cameron Shelton got away a 39-yard kick, but Jarboe found a seam in the Martinsburg coverage and broke free for a 69-yard touchdown return to give the Hawks a 9-0 edge.

The Bulldogs countered with a quick four-play drive, spearheaded by tailback Josh Twyman. Twyman had runs of 19, 48 and 2 yards to get the ball to the 1, where Peters finished with a plunge into the end zone to pull the Bulldogs within two at 9-7.

But the Bulldogs never found the end zone again, even though they ran 31 more plays from scrimmage and gained only seven fewer yards.

"When we get that close to the end zone, we have to finish. That's not like us not to finish," Walker said. "A lot of that has to do with the fact that Urbana has a great team."

Twyman finished with 173 yards on 22 carries. Peters was 13-for-40 passing for 128 yards and two interceptions.

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