Cats win second-half battle, Cougars win game

October 21, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

THURMONT, Md. - Adrian Custer found his silver lining.

"I was happy with the way we played defensively in the second half," the Williamsport football coach said. "Actually, from late in the second quarter on. We made three good defensive stops and held (Catoctin) to six points. We won the second half, 7-6."

All that came after the dark cloud rolled through.

Catoctin scored 22 points in the first 21 minutes before protecting the lead with the deception and precision of its double-wing offense Saturday to win the first half - and the Homecoming game - 28-7 in an MVAL Antietam contest.

The Wildcats held the Cougars to 127 yards of offense - and one touchdown - over the final 30 minutes of the game. Williamsport settled in and solved the helter-skelter confusion that is created by Catoctin's offense, but the Wildcats couldn't slow down the Cougars' defense.


"That is a tough offense to practice for," Custer said. "You get your scout team to run it, but they don't run it as well as Catoctin does. Once we got used to it, we were stopping the ball, but we couldn't stop their defense. We had some things to combat it, but they were putting 10 in the box and trying to stop our run."

It worked for Catoctin, but Williamsport helped with three turnovers.

The first came early after quarterback Adam Cook hit Cortez Boyce with a 43-yard pass on the opening play. Three plays later, Cook tried to hit Brandon Morales with a lateral pass that fell to the ground for a fumble recovered by the Cougars at the Wildcat 39.

Catoctin went to its bread-and-butter offense, which features a maze of counters, sweeps, reverses and off-tackle running out of a tightly packed set. On the second play, Jack Watson countered off left tackle and broke a 57-yard run for a touchdown and a 6-0 Cougars lead with 9:27 left in the first quarter.

"I don't know if that offense gives us an advantage," Catoctin coach Doug Williams said. "Maybe, yes and no. We have been playing it since 1997 and they know what's coming. But the offense didn't play as well as we wanted. It was the defense. They got us the ball and got us on the short field most of the time."

The turnover proved to be costly for Williamsport, which struggled early offensively after falling behind.

"The turnover changed the momentum and gave it over to them," Custer said. "In high school football, momentum is everything."

Catoctin quarterback D.J. Doyle put the Cougars up 22-0 with TD runs of 19 yards with 5:31 to go in the first quarter and a 2-yard sweep with 4:53 in the half. Wade Droneburg capped the first-half scoring with a pair of conversion runs.

Most of the rest of the game was played in the middle of the field as the Wildcats began to slow Catoctin's running game, even though it finished with 258 yards on 51 carries.

The Cougars scored on a 46-yard rollout pass to Kyle Sanders with 9:11 to go .

Williamsport used its final drive of the game to go 65 yards and score to avert the shutout with a 21-yard run by Mike Russ and a kick by Jeff Haney with 1:45 remaining.

"This was all about Williamsport. That's all we were worried about," Williams said. "It was our second conference game and we are 2-0. That's all we cared about. Now it's time to start getting ready for Smithsburg next week."

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