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Defensive play sparks Boonsboro

November 11, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

SMITHSBURG - On a night when the offensive ledger between two teams amounted to 717 total yards, it was one defensive play that helped turn the tide in favor of Boonsboro on Friday night in the regular-season finale at Smithsburg.

Boonsboro had taken a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter, and following the kickoff, Smithsburg had decent field position on its own 40-yard line.

On the second play, Will Dayhoff came blitzing from his corner position to the backside of Smithsburg quarterback Brian Faulders, jarred the football loose, and teammate Vince Van Orden was right there to pick up the pigskin and rumble 27 yards for a score. With it, Boonsboro stabbed any momentum the Leopards might have had by taking a 21-7 lead on the way to a 47-28 victory.

"That was the turning point ... the big play in the game," said Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders.

The Warriors (8-2, 6-1) clinched a share of the MVAL Antietam title with North Hagerstown, and awaits the outcome of today's Allegany-Fort Hill contest to learn when and where its Maryland Class 1A West playoff opener will kick off.

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Kyle Kane ran for 159 yards on 14 carries and Ryan McLean added 145 on 16 carries as the Warriors hammered out 396 yards on the ground and added another 66 in the air.

"The offensive line blocked real well tonight, but I thought our downfield blocking was the best it has been all year," said Kane.

"We basically ran three plays with lots of variations off them," said Anders. "They were working so we kept riding the hot ticket."

Smithsburg (5-5, 2-4) couldn't find the ticket on the ground, rushing for 123 yards - the bulk coming on two specific efforts, a 49-yard run by Bobby Smith and Chad Brown's 54-yard score in the fourth period.

Boonsboro struck on its first possession, an 11-play, 85-yard drive ending when Mike DeBarge scored from the 1 on a QB sneak.

But the Leopards (5-5, 3-4) wasted no time answering as Kevin Kocsis took the kickoff at his 25, ran up the middle and suddenly veered right and into daylight for a touchdown. With the PAT, the Leopards led, 7-6.

After muffing the kickoff, Boonsboro started its next drive on its own 13 and eight plays later scored on a 17-yard pass from DeBarge to tight end Curtis Wolfe, who slipped unnoticed into the end zone waiting for the pass. McLean was instrumental in the drive, rushing for 36 yards, and DeBarge had a 33-yard pickup on a bootleg on 3rd-and-13.

Following Dayhoff's big hit, each team scored again heading into halftime.

Boosted by Kane's 18-yard run, the Warriors scored when DeBarge connected with Wolfe from 18 yards. Smithsburg answered with a quick 5-play drive capped when Faulders zipped a 34-yarder to Joey Cacciola, leaving the Warriors on top at the half, 27-13.

Penalty flags - 21 of the 27 coming in the second half, beginning with the second-half kickoff when the Leopards were hit with a 15-yarder due to the band staying on the field beyond its halftime allotment - dominated the final 24 minutes. Smithsburg was penalized 17 times for 135 yards and Boonsboro 10 for 71.

Between the flying laundry, Boonsboro's Jesse Dalton rushed for a pair of scores to hike the Warriors' lead to 41-13 before the Leopards regrouped for two scores on a well-thrown 10-yard pass by Faulders to Cacciola and Brown's run, breaking free for the one and only time all night.

With 3 minutes to play, McLean put the lid on the outcome for Boonsboro with a 38-yard scoring run.

DeBarge left the game at the 9:30 mark of the third period after suffering a shin contusion and did not return.

"It was a precautionary move," said Anders.

"(Boonsboro) did a great job of converting on second and third downs," said Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff. "They capitalized on our mistakes, but I'm proud of these kids. They didn't quit. They came back and made a game of it."

Faulders was 8 of 15 passing for 132 yards, including five completions to Cacciola covering 83 yards.

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