They're at the four-front

November 16, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

BOONSBORO - They don't have the one big star who stands out head-and-shoulders over anyone else. There aren't any statistics reaching into the stratosphere. They just go about their business in a team concept.

It's Boonsboro's version of the "Fantastic Four" in the backfield, engineered by quarterback Mike DeBarge and his wing-T associate engineers Kyle Kane, Ryan McLean and Matt Wetzel.

"On offense, we've got so many combinations between us that a defense doesn't know what is coming," said McLean, a 5-11, 190-pound junior who leads the team in rushing with 885 yards on 140 carries, a 6.3 average.

The Warriors (8-2, 6-1), champions of the MVAL Antietam by virtue of their regular-season win over North Hagerstown, finished No. 2 in the 1A West region rankings. Their efforts earned them a home game Friday night against the Allegany Campers (8-2).


In their wing-T offense, the Warriors have used all of their backfield talent throughout the year.

Kane, a 6-1, 185-pound senior, is second in rushing with 801 yards on 109 carries for a 7.3 average. Wetzel, the first player in the rotation when offensive formations are adjusted, carried the ball 53 times for 311 yards, a 5.9 average. In addition, Kane and Wetzel each caught eight passes.

DeBarge, Kane and Wetzel were juniors a year ago when Boonsboro lost in the first round on the road to Beall. They learned from that experience and plan to draw from it this week.

"It's great to have back-to-back league titles and to be in the playoffs," said Wetzel, a 5-11, 161-pound senior.

DeBarge, Kane and Wetzel have all been playing football together since their early days in the Boonsboro Youth Football program. McLean played youth ball in the Hagerstown Junior League before moving to Boonsboro.

"Since we came up to the varsity (the last game of their sophomore year), we haven't lost a game against any Washington County team," said DeBarge, a 6-1, 155-pound senior who rushed for 348 yards and passed for 288 this year.

DeBarge credits ex-teammate Zach Shoemaker, Boonsboro's quarterback last year, for plenty of help in his success.

"We'd been together for a while, too, and (Zach) helped me out on the varsity level," said DeBarge who also is the placekicker and punter as well as one of many Warriors who doubles up on defense. "There's always pressure as quarterback."

In the wing-T, DeBarge has some audible options and his offensive line becomes very important, beginning with checkoffs.

"The huddle can be very interesting," said DeBarge. "We have basic plays, but we have different formations and it takes longer to call those and for the linemen to know their assignments."

DeBarge is known by his teammates as "Sunshine," and the names don't stop there. Kane is called "K-Train" and McLean is known as "Juice." Wetzel doesn't have a nickname, but said he's the "attack" man.

"The other guys set it all up and I come in for the attack play," smiled Wetzel, nodding toward his mates.

McLean is the quiet one of the group and DeBarge said McLean is "definitely the fastest of any of us." McLean runs both indoor and outdoor track.

"Matt is one of our captains, Mike is our leader as a quarterback, Kyle leads by the stuff he does and Ryan is a quiet leader," said coach Clayton Anders.

"It's a big game at home and we're playing a real good Allegany team," said DeBarge. "I have faith in my teammates."

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