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Rebels get their fill of Michels

October 27, 2007|By Bob Parasiliti

MIDDLETOWN, Md. - On a night made for meat-and-potatoes football, South Hagerstown got more than its fill of "bread and butter."

Heavy rain and sloppy conditions turned the Rebels' matchup with Middletown into a battle of basic football. Unfortunately, the Knights took the starch out of the Rebels.

Middletown quarterback Rob Michels sliced through South for 188 yards rushing and two touchdowns while orchestrating the Knights' veer option offense on the doughy field Friday to provide just enough for a 12-0 Homecoming victory in an MVAL Piedmont game.

"We worked hard on our option series," said Middletown coach Lorne Ridenour. "Last year, that was our bread and butter. This week was the first time we read the defenses well and made the right decisions."

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Michels made the right moves on his scoring runs of 31 yards in the second quarter and 83 in the fourth to give the Knights (5-3, 1-2) enough crust to hold off a South team that knocked on the door but couldn't get into the end zone.

"Their quarterback killed us," said South coach Greg Kellick. "He was running our base play - a dive - and coming out. Their lead blocker would come out and got us hooked."

The Knights plodded all over the field, rolling up 362 yards of total offense - including 345 yards rushing, eating more time than scoring points. Still, it was enough to turn back the Rebels, who never got closer than the Knights' 16.

"We thought we could throw against them," Kellick said. "We thought they were weaker in the secondary. We were going to pick at them short and then go long, but the weather took us out of that. We didn't run the ball well. They did what they needed to to win, and we did what we needed to do to stay in it and not win."

South looked for offense, throwing some and trying to find space to run. Quarterback Wes Samples hit on 4 of 11 passes for 64 yards, but the murky conditions made it look like he was throwing a watermelon. The Rebels only managed 68 yards rushing and just seven first downs.

The two teams slid up and down the field until the Knights finally dug in their heels in the second half. Middletown took the ball on its own 32 and drove in seven plays for the score, with Michels calling his number on the last three.

On a third-and-1 at South's 31, Michels went off right tackle and worked downfield before cutting back at the 10 to make it to the end zone. The kick failed and Middletown owned a 6-0 lead with 5:15 remaining before half.

Michels all but iced the game at the start of the fourth quarter when he faked a handoff up the middle, went undetected around left end and ran all alone 83 yards down the sideline for the second score.

"We were playing real well to stay in the game," Kellick said. "After that score, you could see all the steam leave us."

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