No. 2 Leopards continue to take care of business

October 28, 2007|By MARK KELLER

SMITHSBURG - Buddy Orndorff wasn't biting.

When asked if Smithsburg locked up a postseason berth with its 21-6 victory over Catoctin on Saturday, the Leopards coach dodged the question as if he were dodging traffic.

"If it gets us in, that's great. It'll be nice, but we still have business to take care of the next two weeks," Orndorff said. "If we take care of those games, playoffs take care of themselves."

The No. 2 Leopards took care of Catoctin, holding the Cougars' double-wing offense to a mere 104 yards on the day while rolling up 330 yards of their own to keep their unbeaten records - both overall and in the MVAL Antietam - intact.


The Cougars (3-5, 2-1) were averaging more than 30 points per game in their last five contests. On Saturday, they recorded just four first downs and their only score came on defense.

"With all the backs they have in that offense, to hold them close to 100 yards is a heck of a credit to our defensive coaches, Terry Verdier, Jay Harvey and Jeff Barnhart, and the kids," Orndorff said. "They had great schemes, and the linebackers did a nice job getting uphill and not getting picked off by blockers."

Even so, the Leopards (8-0, 3-0) trailed 6-0 into the second quarter due to their only turnover of the game. Quarterback Bryan Faulders helped move Smithsburg into Cougars territory by hooking up with Dan Rishell for a 54-yard gain. But on a fourth-and-long play, Catoctin defensive back Dusty Kidd found himself in the right place at the right time, picking off Faulders' pass and returning it 69 yards for a Catoctin score.

It didn't take long for the Leopards to respond, however. They drove 73 yards in 10 plays, capped by Erick Parker's 13-yard touchdown run, to take a 7-6 lead early in the second period. Faulders connected with Kevin Kocsis - who made an outstanding effort to get his feet inbounds - on a 27-yard pass play on third-and-9 to keep the drive alive.

The Leopards made it 14-6 late in the first half on Bobby Smith's 2-yard run, which was set up by Brandon Knight's 37-yard run. Knight finished with 78 yards rushing.

"Brandon does a nice job being able to run our quick trap series inside," Orndorff said. "He has to be patient, and he made some real crucial runs for us today. Everybody keys on (Smith and Parker), which they should, but we were able to take advantage of them overpursuing with Brandon."

Smithsburg used its running game to take time off the clock in the second half and wear down the Catoctin defense. Smith scored his second touchdown with 4:12 left in the game as the Leopards had the ball for 15 of the 24 minutes after halftime.

Faulders finished with 118 yards passing, putting him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Parker ran for 79 yards and Smith added 65.

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