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Warriors, dedicating season to Langley, win opener

September 06, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

BOONSBORO -- During pregame ceremonies, Shawn Langley was remembered by the Boonsboro community, including those who would have been his football teammates this fall.

The 17-year-old died suddenly in his sleep this summer, and the Warriors dedicated the season to him, emblazing No. 34 at midfield and wearing black wristbands with his number imprinted.

Langley likely was looking over his team with approval Friday night as Boonsboro held off Crossland, 26-14.

"It was a game to win because we dedicated the season to Shawn," said emotional senior Sean Colgan, who played an important part in the contest.

The Warriors appeared to match Crossland step-for-step, making huge defensive plays with players swarming to the football.

In the second half, Boonsboro's defense was on the field for all but seven plays until the final three minutes, when they ran out the clock following an interception. At one point, Crossland had run 23 plays to four for Boonsboro.

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"Coach (Pete) Yurish has got the defense running to the ball and being physical," said Warriors head coach Clayton Anders. "We were finding ways to shut them down."

The only major breakdown came on the final play of the first half when the Cavaliers hit the Warriors with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Justin Collins to Delante White that cut Boonsboro's lead to 20-14.

Before, after and around the penalties, Boonsboro clicked for 302 total yards, 262 on the ground, including 155 from Brandon McLean.

Spotting Crossland a 6-0 lead, Colgan stepped up big with a block that broke McLean loose for an 8-yard run to the Crossland 36.

On the next play, Colgan found himself on a deep pattern and quarterback Korey McCarthy was on the money as Colgan made a nice over-the-shoulder catch for a 6-6 tie.

"That was exciting," said Colgan. "I saw the ball all the way and it was a great throw by my quarterback."

McLean scored on a 6-yard run on Boonsboro's next possession and also tallied the two-point conversion on a pass from Drew Lowery for a 14-6 lead with 6:12 left in the first half.

Kyle Knowles set Boonsboro's next score in motion with a 50-yard punt return to the Crossland 15. Zach Demers got on the scoreboard three plays later from 4 yards for a 20-6 lead.

The Boonsboro defense held Crossland at the Warriors' 12 and 9 on two second-half possessions. From the 9, there was plenty of room for McLean to rumble.

The dynamic junior, from the left set in the backfield, moved to the right and ran 91 yards untouched in 15 seconds for his second score.

"It was a basic speed sweep," said Anders. "But what was good about the offense was the balance we had in the backfield."

Demers added 52 yards on nine carries.

"We've got some mistakes to correct come Monday (notably 13 penalties)," said Anders. "But this is a huge win to start the year."

Crossland, from Prince George's County, is a Class 3A school.

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