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Last of unbeatens falls as Tuscarora routs Smithsburg

September 22, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

FREDERICK, Md. - It didn't help the Smithsburg Leopards that Chad Brown missed Thursday's game against Tuscarora.

What really hurt the Leopards was their inability to execute blocks offensively and make tackles defensively.

All those ingredients added up to a subpar performance against Class 3A Tuscarora in the form of a 35-0 thumping, sending the No. 4 Leopards to their first loss after two wins.

"I don't know if one guy (Brown) could have made a difference tonight," said Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff after watching his outmanned troops surrender 318 total yards, all but 30 coming in the first half. "They just wore us down."

Forced to punt on its opening possession, Smithsburg pinned the Titans on their own 8-yard line.

The Titans (3-0) put together a 16-play, 92-yard drive that took 8 minutess off the clock and ended with Cruz Mannherz scoring from the 2-yard line, the first of his four scores.

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Tuscarora's second possession wasn't as impressive as its first, going only 70 yards on eight plays. Mannherz opened the second quarter going straight up the middle from 30 yards out to the end zone.

The Titans finished off the first half with a seven-play, 57-yard drive which amplified the Leopards' tackling woes.

Quarterback Brian Sweeney was nearly sacked for a 10-yard loss but broke free, dodged two tackles around the line of scrimmage and ended with a 16-yard gain. On the next play, a designed bootleg to the left, Sweeney busted three tackles for 31 yards, setting up Mannherz's 10-yard score with 23 seconds to play in the first half.

"I think we've got a real advantage with Sweeney," said Tuscarora coach Shawn Carey. "We're finding ways to take advantage of his ability."

John Robinson returned the second-half kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown and the Titans converted an interception into a 20-yard touchdown by Mannherz and the running clock started with 9:08 to play in the third quarter.

"(Tuscarora) is a veteran team," said Orndorff. "We're pretty big, but up against them, they make us look little. I thought we played the passing game better defensively. We just tackled very poorly."

Mannherz ended with 113 yards on 20 rushes as the Titans finished with 284 on the ground.

Aaron Householder had 44 yards on 11 carries for the Leopards, who had 81 yards on the ground and 55 passing.

"We'll see what they want when they come back next week," said Orndorff. "We've got some kids banged up and North is another big team for us to face."

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