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Blazers turned over by Hancock

September 21, 2007|By MARK KELLER

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CLEAR SPRING - It seemed the Clear Spring football team found a few things at halftime Thursday night.

A spark ... a hole in the Hancock defense ... an opportunity to get back into the game.

And as the second half began, the Blazers found momentum. But just as quickly as they found those missing items, they fumbled them away - literally.

Clear Spring took the second-half kickoff and drove all the way to the Hancock 4-yard line before turning the ball over, coming up short on its best chance of the night in an 18-0 loss to the Panthers.

"They came out and rose to the occasion in the second half, and if it wouldn't have been for that turnover, it would have been a whole different ballgame," Hancock coach John Blake said. "But we were able to step up defensively and get the shutout. And any time you can do that, it's great."

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The Panthers (2-1) led 12-0 at halftime and the Blazers had managed just 49 yards offensively. But on Clear Spring's first possession after the break, Jesse Jarvis broke off two 10-yard runs off right tackle to get the Blazers into Hancock territory, though Jarvis limped off the field with leg cramps following his second run.

Jon Connors ran four straight times to move the ball to the Panthers 13. Jarvis re-entered the game on fourth-and-3 play and gained six yards on a sweep for a Clear Spring first down at the 6.

After Connors gained two yards on first down, Kyle Hendershot was stacked up behind the line and lost the ball, which was recovered by the Panthers.

"That hurt. That hurt a lot," Clear Spring coach Craig Bathgate said. "Fumbles have been killing us so far this year. We've got to find a way to hold onto the ball a little better."

The Blazers (0-3) fumbled eight times, losing four of them, and quarterback Jordan Lavender also threw an interception.

Hancock committed its share of turnovers, too. The Panthers fumbled five times, losing two, and Jon Clark threw two interceptions.

The Panthers struck early, going 61 yards in 10 plays on the first drive of the game to take a 6-0 lead. Joey True carried six times for 52 yards on the drive, capping it with a 6-yard touchdown run.

In the second quarter, it was Josh Unger's turn. He needed just four plays to take Hancock from their own 29 to paydirt with runs of 8, 28, 24 and 11 yards.

"He was our guy last year, but he broke his collarbone in the second game and missed most of the season," Blake said. "He's doing what we expected."

Unger added a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He finished with 147 yards on the ground, while True had 68.

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