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Ugly win just fine with Leopards

November 03, 2007|By Bob Parasiliti

WILLIAMSPORT - If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that's probably why Buddy Orndorff looked away.

It was rough-and-tumble, cat-scratching football going on all around Smithsburg's coach, but it wasn't particularly pretty to look at.

Except for the scoreboard.

The No. 2 Leopards used minimal offense - enhanced by their kicking game, field position and numerous penalties - to produce a 33-6 MVAL Antietam victory over Williamsport on Friday.

It wasn't glamorous, but it didn't have to be.

"We took advantage of our opportunities. That's what we are supposed to do," Orndorff said. "We played well enough to win. That was our goal."

That's what undefeated teams have to do to stay undefeated and in the playoff hunt.

Smithsburg (9-0, 4-0) scored its touchdowns on just 144 yards and ran only 38 offensive plays. The Leopards capped drives of 55, 7, 42 and 12 yards with their scores, all aided by Williamsport turnovers and penalties.

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"We told the kids that Williamsport was going to be aggressive and they would do some borderline stuff," Orndorff said. "We told them that if they kept their composure and ran their game, that everything would come out."

The turning point of the game came in the final minute of the first half, when Smithsburg scored two times in seven seconds. The Leopards turned a Tyler Scott interception into a 7-yard drive capped by Eric Parker's 6-yard run with 54.8 seconds remaining.

Then, when Kyle McDannell fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Matt Plumley scooped up the loose ball and ran it in from the 8 with 47.5 seconds remaining to give Smithsburg a 19-0 halftime lead.

"We work on our special teams a half-hour every practice," Orndorff said. "The way the kids played the interception and then stripped the ball on the kickoff and picked it up to run it in showed a lot."

Willamsport (3-6, 1-3) kept Smithsburg occupied with its defense, but made just enough mistakes to stay out of the end zone until the last play of the game.

The Wildcats ran 67 plays and outgained Smithsburg by 74 yards, but until the end had no points to show for it.

"We gave them the short field and you can't do that," Williamsport coach Adrian Custer said. "I thought our defense stopped them. Take away the two touchdowns and some of the field position and we are still in it."

Williamsport turned the ball over three times and had 15 penalties for 136 yards to derail itself.

Smithsburg jumped out to a 7-0 lead when quarterback Bryan Faulders pushed in from the 1 to cap an eight-play, 55-yard drive with 2:24 to go in the first quarter.

After the two quick scores gave the Leopards the 19-point cushion, Faulders found Kevin Kocsis in the back right corner of the end zone midway through the third period for a 26-0 lead.

Smithsburg capped its scoring with 2:19 remaining by taking the ball over on downs at the Williamsport 12 before scoring on a 4-yard run by Bobby Smith.

Williamsport got its last and only gasp on the final possession, driving downfield behind the running of Kyle Cunningham, who rushed 18 times for 109 yards. The senior fullback scored from the 3 as time expired.

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