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Blazers get first victory of season

September 22, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - The Clear Spring varsity football team won for the first time ever in Washington County limits on Thursday night.

The Blazers traveled to the northern most region of the county to knock off Hancock 27-14 to gain the second win in the program's history.

"That's why this was big," said Clear Spring coach John Wilson. "We beat that team four years ago in a JV game, but these varsity wins are the ones that really count."

Clear Spring (1-2) had a good formula to success against the Panthers (0-3), using the run to set up the pass. And that became much easier, thanks to favorable field position.

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Of its 30 plays in the first half, Clear Spring started 28 in Hancock territory.

On the first play of the game, Clear Spring's Jesse Jarvis intercepted a Matt McCoy pass and returned it to the Hancock 22. The Blazers' drive stalled at the 5, but it set up the next drive from the Hancock 44, leading to a short touchdown run by Jesse Jarvis for a 7-0 lead.

Clear Spring started at the Hancock 7 with two minutes remaining in the half by blocking a Panther punt. Dan Jarvis scored on the ensuing play to give the Blazers a 14-6 lead at the half.

"Field position enabled us to work the offense the way we wanted," Wilson said.

Hancock wasn't so fortunate. Four of the Panthers' five first-half drives stalled inside their 35. The only drive that pushed past midfield lasted nine plays until McCoy hit B.J. Weller with a 13-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-6 play.

The second-half kickoff pinned Clear Spring deep in its own territory, but that didn't faze the offense. The Blazers started a 14-play drive from the 33 that lasted nearly nine minutes, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run by Steven Munson to extend the lead to 20-6. Munson completed three passes on the drive - all on third down.

"Our goal was to come out of halftime and eat up the clock just like that," Wilson said. "They started focusing on the running backs and it allowed us to make some plays in the passing game."

The Blazers rushed for 106 yards in the first half, but were held to 18 after halftime. Munson made up for the lost yardage 84 yards passing in the second half to finish 8 of 12 for 122 yards.

Trailing by two touchdowns, Hancock was forced to pass. That put the Panthers in a three-touchdown hole when McCoy threw his second interception - this time to Keith Gilchrist, who returned it 33 yards to put the Blazers ahead, 27-6.

"We just shot ourselves in the foot," said Hancock coach John Blake. "We were consistently inconsistent."

Hancock used an unusual play in the final three minutes to close the deficit. McCoy completed a short pass to Kaleb Trail, who reversed field but fumbled the ball. McCoy, trailing the play, picked up the ball and sprinted 55 yards up the left sideline to cut the deficit to 27-14.

Aside from the fluke play, McCoy's runs were relegated to scrambles as he was sacked five times.

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