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Eagles get in the fast Lane in win

September 23, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER /Staff Correspondent

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - All the Hedgesville offense needed to do Friday night against University was open a lane for senior tailback Richard Lane.

Lane cut through the University defense for a season-high 169 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Eagles to a 21-12 win at Mumaw Stadium.

"I've been expecting a game like this from the beginning," Lane said. "We had some new people playing some new positions up front and it took a little bit. Now we know we can do it."

Lane was held to 3 yards on his first six carries, but found his groove on Hedgesville's fifth drive of the game. The Eagles, leading 8-6, started the drive on their own 3-yard line, but advanced to the 25 on a third-down pass interference penalty. After a 19-yard run up the middle, Lane broke a run to the right sideline. He hurdled a University defender at midfield and somehow managed to stay inbounds and on his feet to rumble 55 yards to the 1. He went into the end zone untouched on the next play for his second touchdown of the game.

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"Two weeks ago I told (Lane) to make one cut, then run north and south," said Hedgesville coach Dave Lopez. "He's just got to be determined to make the cut. Then things will happen."

Lane's first touchdown of the game was set up by good special teams. University's Kwasi Frempong shanked a punt 10 yards to the University 36, where Bryan McIntyre alertly picked it up and returned it to the 15. Three plays later, Lane scored from 3 yards out.

Special teams played a big part in Hedgesville's success. The Eagles (2-3) recovered an onside kick to start the game to put field position in their favor for the first half. Punter Nick Comer's 37.6-yard average - including a 55-yarder that pinned University (3-2) inside its 20 while Hedgesville nursed a three-point lead - also helped.

"We stress good special teams probably more than any other high school football team," Lopez said. "We saw on film that (University) plays 4 yards off the 50, so we thought we could get the onside kick.

"Plays like that also help set the tone because then, they worry about them."

Hedgesville ran a reverse pass on its first offensive play, but wouldn't need trick plays because of its power running game. Complementing Lane were five other runners who added 60 yards to push the Eagles' ground attack to 229 yards.

University relied more on its passing game to move the ball. Mark Golden completed 14 of 29 passes for 230 yards. He spread the ball to three receivers, but focused mostly on Ryan Nehlan, who had eight receptions for 127 yards. Golden hit Chad Frasher for a 28-yard touchdown just before halftime to cut the deficit to 15-12.

Taylor Hockman pushed the Hedgesville lead to 21-12 on a 10-yard bootleg with just over nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

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