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Warriors squib way to victory

November 04, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

BOONSBORO - Boonsboro used a little special-teams razzle-dazzle, and senior Matt Wetzel added some pizzazz of his own.

The No. 3 Warriors concluded the home portion of their regular season Friday night with a resounding 41-8 victory over No. 6 South Hagerstown, leaving Boonsboro (7-2, 5-1) in a three-way tie for the MVAL Antietam lead as North Hagerstown defeated Catoctin.

The win secured Boonsboro's position in the Maryland 1A West playoffs. The Warriors' first-round opponent hinges on their regular-season finale next week at Smithsburg as well as the Allegany-Fort Hill matchup.

"We don't want any letdown," said Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders. "Smithsburg is a big rival and they'll be excited about playing us."

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On the opening kickoff, Mike DeBarge caught the football at his own 15-yard line, ran 10 yards upfield and lateraled to Wetzel, who sped up the middle to complete an 85-yard score and begin a long first half for the Rebels (4-5, 4-2).

"We've practiced (the lateral) all year but it was the first time we've used it," said a smiling Wetzel.

On South's second possession, quarterback Jason Waybright's handoff to Zeke Ricketts malfunctioned and Boonsboro's Brad Rohrer pounced on the ball at the South 16. Three plays later, Ryan McLean scored from the 3.

Marco Johnson's intentional squib kickoff bounced off two Rebels and the Warriors' Matt Beall secured the ball at the South 28.

After a 24-yard pass from DeBarge to Jordon Young, Kyle Kane scored from the 4 and the Warriors were on top 21-0 with just over four minutes left in the period.

On Boonsboro's next set of downs, Wetzel ran 72 yards in an inside counter before he was stopped by Eric Phillips at the Rebels 8. Two plays later, Wetzel scored from the 5 on a rollout pitch from DeBarge.

Again, the Warriors befuddled the Rebels with a squib kick, as Drew Olden jumped on the loose ball. Eight plays later, DeBarge hit Kane with an 18-yard scoring pass.

With 27 seconds left in the first half, South lost the football on a muffed pitchout.

On Boonsboro's first play, DeBarge rolled right and found Kane all alone in the far corner of the end zone for a 12-yard score and 41-0 halftime lead.

"(Wetzel) has been No. 3 on the pecking order," said Anders. "A game like this helps us in our choices. And (DeBarge) threw the ball well."

Boonsboro had 220 of its 235 total yards in the first half, compared to 3 for South.

Phillips' 60-yard run set up his own 4-yard run for South's score in the fourth period. Phillips ended with 146 yards on 16 carries; South finished with 175 net yards.

"How else do you prepare for the opening kickoff being returned on you and three squib kicks?" said South coach Greg Kellick. "We didn't block and we didn't tackle in the first half. Hopefully it will be a wakeup call for (North) next week."

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