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Cougars' offense befuddles Wildcats

October 01, 2006|by MARK KELLER

WILLIAMSPORT - MVAL Antietam football teams know what is coming at them when Catoctin lines up in its tight double-wing offense.

Stopping the Cougars when they start running that offense is quite another.

Williamsport discovered that Saturday afternoon as the Cougars gained nearly 400 yards and scored on six straight possessions on their way to a 40-0 victory over the Wildcats in the conference opener for both teams.

"We had a good week of scouting. We knew what they were going to do," Williamsport coach Adrian Custer said. "But until you see that offense live ... a scout team just doesn't do it justice. It's a tough offense to work on during the week."

And an even tougher defense to work against on game day. Six backs carried the ball for the Cougars (3-1, 1-0), rolling up 253 yards on the ground. Nicholas Stiles had 65 yards and three touchdowns, Robert Groft had 62 yards and a score and Stephen Owens ran for 77 yards.

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Then there was quarterback D.J. Doyle, who threw for 126 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 33 more yards.

"We knew coming in we had to stop D.J. Doyle. That was the game plan coming in," Custer said. "He's probably the best athlete we'll see at that position all year. We just couldn't stop them once they got into the misdirection plays."

The Wildcats (1-3, 0-1) pinned Catoctin deep in its own territory with a punt early in the first quarter and held the Cougars' offense on its first possession.

But the Cougars were not to be held for long. Catoctin started its second drive from its own 20 after Kyle Cunningham's punt sailed through the end zone, and needed just six plays to march the 80 yards to paydirt.

Owens gained 23 yards on a first-down sweep to get the ball near midfield. Four plays later, Doyle connected with Colten Eureka for a 33-yard gain to the Williamsport 24, and Stiles capped the drive on the next play on a reverse for a 6-0 Cougars lead.

Each of Catoctin's next five possessions ended the same way - with a Cougar crossing the goal line for a touchdown. The Cougars scored four times in the second quarter alone to take a 34-0 lead at halftime.

Catoctin put the running clock into effect just 3 minutes into the third quarter on Groft's 7-yard touchdown run.

With each successive touchdown, the frustration the Williamsport players felt became more visible.

"We expected to come out and play hard," Custer said. "The breaks didn't go our way and they got their heads down. The key now is to come back and work hard to get ready for Boonsboro.

"We still have a lot of football to play. Sometimes the game just doesn't go your way."

The Wildcats, despite gaining 205 yards, never really got their offense untracked. They had seven plays that went for 11 yards or more, but 17 that went for 2 yards or fewer.

Kyle McDannell ran for 51 yards and Jason Green ran for 50. Green had a 46-yard touchdown run negated by an illegal block penalty in the third quarter.

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