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Russ rushes 'Cats past Clear Spring

November 11, 2006|by CURT HORNBECKER/Staff Correspondent

CLEAR SPRING - Williamsport football coach Adrian Custer may have found a diamond in the Russ.

Mike Russ, the Wildcats' soft-spoken sophomore tailback with quick feet and speed to burn, rushed for 173 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown to spark Williamsport to a 20-6 victory over MVAL Antietam foe Clear Spring Friday night in the season finale for both teams.

"This was my first game with the varsity, so it feels real good," said Russ.

"This is just a glimmer of his future," said Custer. "He definitely has to keep working during the off-season, but he's come a long way this year. He's grown up a lot this season."

Along with Kyle Cunningham's 100-yard effort, Russ paced a potent ground attack that chewed up the Blazers defense for 383 yards, including 213 in the first half.

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Despite gaining just 15 first-half rushing yards, Clear Spring (1-9, 0-7) had an opportunity to go into the intermission trailing by just seven points.

But after the Blazers missed a 28-yard field goal attempt with just over two minutes left in the half, Williamsport (2-8, 1-6) drove 80 yards on eight plays - Russ accounting for 48 of those yards - with quarterback Andrew Minella skirting the right side for a score with just 10 seconds left.

Dan Jarvis appeared to be headed for the end zone for Clear Spring on the ensuing kickoff, but lost control of the ball and pushed it out of bounds at the Williamsport 34.

"It was definitely a momentum changer when they scored with 10 seconds left in the half," said Blazers coach John Wilson. "But it seemed like we were just one play away from something good happening all night."

That one play may have happened late in the fourth quarter, when Jesse Jarvis stole the ball from Dan Myers at midfield and ran it in for the score with 2:54 left in the game.

Cunningham accounted for 52 yards in the Wildcats' 57-yard scoring drive early in the second period, including a 3-yard scoring run.

Williamsport's final score of the game came on Russ' 37-yard run midway through the third quarter.

Most of Clear Spring's 130 yards of total offense came on quarterback Steven Munson's four pass completions for 104 yards, including 64 yards on three passes to Jesse Jarvis.

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