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Two backs are better than one for Berkeley Springs

November 09, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Angelo Luvara is becoming a shrewd commodities dealer.

He would rather have livestock over real estate.

"Some people up at Allegany said if one of them got hurt, the other one would probably run for about 400 yards a game," the Berkeley Springs coach said. "It's better to have them each go for 150 and have them both."

"Them" are much more valuable than a measly 100 extra yards rushing, especially when it comes to Berkeley Springs running backs Cody Hess and Cody Reed. The pair has meant more than just a couple of extra first downs to the Indians.

Berkeley Springs (8-2) earned the fourth seed in the Class AA playoffs and the school's first-ever home game on Saturday against Logan, even though the game will be played at Martinsburg's Cobourn Field.

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Reed and Hess make up the two-headed focal point to the Indians' offense which has rumbled past a wide-range of competition, including three of the four Class AAA-level opponents the Indians have played.

"We push each other," said Hess, the smaller, shiftier tailback out of the pair. "We both run track, so we are used to trying to beat each other."

"When one of us isn't having a good day, we challenge the other to step up," said Reed, the physical, rumbling fullback. "We just feed off of each other."

It is a rivalry that has carried the pair to the top of the charts in rushing and scoring in Tri-State area statistics.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Reed leads the area with 1,526 yards rushing and is second in scoring with 21 touchdowns, one behind Hess. The 5-9, 175-pound Hess, in turn, is a couple of breakaway runs behind in yards with 1,300. Both have equally dominated games in their own ways.

"(Reed) has more power and likes to run people over," Hess said. "I can't take on 225-pound linebackers, so I'm better at moving side-to-side and juking."

"Yeah, but you are getting better at running over people," Reed said.

The tandem has become a nightmare for opposing teams. First, opponents have had to prepare to stop two strong running backs with different abilities. In addition, Hess and Reed stay on the field for nearly every offensive package the Indians run, making it difficult for opponents to key on personnel changes.

"They are just great kids," Luvara said. "They have been in the program for five years and work hard. The advantage we have is that we don't have to take either of them out of games."

But while the pair rings up all the scores and yardage, Luvara, Hess and Reed all admit that it takes more than ball carriers to get the job done.

"I don't know if they are as important as our offensive line," Luvara said. "(Hess and Reed) know they won't get anywhere if they get hit in the backfield. If the line gets them into the secondary, it's trouble and we got a chance to do big things."

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