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Rebels beat Blazers

October 07, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

CLEAR SPRING - Short-field opportunities were the difference in Friday's outcome between South Hagerstown and Clear Spring.

The Rebels started six of their 13 possessions in Clear Spring territory, and converted four of them into touchdowns on the way to a 27-8 victory over the Blazers in an MVAL Antietam Conference matchup.

It may have been a little blessing for the Rebels (2-3, 2-0), whose offense was not nearly as in sync as it was the previous week in a win over Brunswick.

"We didn't have a good week of practice and we almost looked like we were flat on offense," said South coach Greg Kellick. "We didn't have the fire tonight, but some of that credit goes to Clear Spring. They fought hard."

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Some of South's offensive problems when facing a long field could be attributed to a feisty but undermanned Clear Spring team.

The Blazers (1-4, 0-2) tried to mix their looks on the defensive front, and were effective at times behind the effort of Brett Turner.

"We tried to give them different look with five- and six-man fronts," said Blazers coach John Wilson. "We were getting guys in the gaps. Turner played really well."

Kellick agreed that was part of the problem for South offensively.

"We worked on their blitz package," he said. "Our line didn't see them jumping around and 75 (Turner) killed us."

South gained 233 total yards, all on the ground, but needed 45 plays to do so. South's four scores, all with the benefit of the short field, totaled 13 plays.

After a Clear Spring punt, the Rebels started on the Blazers 40, and immediately, Tony Bender turned the right corner for 39 yards and scored on the following play.

At the end of Clear Spring's next possession, Melvin Bowers blocked a Dan Jarvis punt to give the Rebels the ball at the Blazers 30. Seven plays later, quarterback Jason Waybright scored from 3 yards out and it was 13-0 with 1:08 left in the opening quarter.

In the second quarter, a South punt pinned Clear spring on its own 9-yard line. Two plays later, Zeke Ricketts picked off a pass by Steven Munson to set up Bender's 3-yard run on the next play.

Clear Spring closed the gap at the start of the second half. Brian Doyle intercepted a Waybright pass to set the Blazers up at the South 16. After a 15-yard run by Jarvis, South stood tall inside the 1 with two stops before Munson bounced off the pile on third down and got into the end zone. Jarvis also scored on a trick conversion run, as Clear Spring ran off of the swinging-gate lineup that didn't move.

South closed the door on the Blazers midway through the final quarter when Clear Spring's snap on a punt attempt was bad and Jarvis was nailed for a 10-yard loss, leaving the Rebels on the short field at the 14.

After a 12-yard run by Eric Phillips, Bender scored from the 2.

"Our backs ran hard tonight," said Kellick.

Clear Spring finished with 1 yard rushing and 28 total yards. In the fourth quarter, the Blazers lost 42 yards on seven plays, beginning with the bad snap.

"(South) just killed our passing game with their pass rush," said Wilson. The Blazers completed only 4 of 15 attempts.

Bender finished with 97 yards on 18 carries, Brock Jamison had 30 yards and Alan Mahan got into the mix with 35, though he had an 80-yard scoring run nullified on a Rebels penalty.

Jarvis had runs of 16 and 15 yards and ran hard, but in the end finished with 21 yards on 17 carries for Clear Spring.

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