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Leopards get a heart, score two TDs for win

September 20, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

SMITHSBURG -- Collectively, Smithsburg's football team was much like the Cowardly Lion and Tin Man on Friday night.

Facing a deficit and needing courage to rally, the Leopards found their heart and responded down the yellow brick road with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to post a 21-14 victory over Winters Mill.

"We showed that we have heart on this team," said senior linebacker Tyler Scott, who helped secure the victory with a big defensive play in the final 90 seconds.

Down by seven, Winters Mill was driving effectively as quarterback Ben Love was engineering a drive with four straight completions covering 57 yards to reach Smithsburg's 25.

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Love was picking through Smithsburg's mixture of zone and man coverages as he targeted in on John Shaw and Dave Blackwell. The Falcons were full steam ahead until Scott stepped up.

On fourth-and-1, Love rolled out and fired to Shaw, but Scott was there, knocking the pass away with 1:31 to play and giving Smithsburg (3-0) possession to kill the clock.

"We were in zone coverage and I was able to jam on (Shaw)," said Scott. "It was a crucial play."

Had it not been for finding the courage to rally for two scores, the final intriguing moments would not have mattered.

"We had a bend-but-not-break defense and in the end we had a nice drive," said Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff.

Down 14-7 after Winters Mill (1-2) took the lead on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 12-yard pass from Love to Shaw, Smithsburg began to find its heart.

After a face mask penalty and a key 11-yard inside counter run by Josh Conway put the Leopards in position, Eric Parker scored from the 3 and Cody Blum's PAT tied it at 14 with 6:01 left.

Smithsburg contained Love & Co. on a three-and-out and took over at the Winters Mill 49 after a 22-yard punt.

On a trap play, Parker zipped through the middle for 48 yards before he was brought to the turf at the 1. Quarterback Kyle Orndorff sneaked in for the score two plays later with 4:20 remaining.

"It was a trap play and it surprised them," said Parker, who finished the night with a hard-earned 174 yards on 30 carries, including a first-quarter touchdown that gave Smithsburg a 7-0 lead. "Coach told me to pick my holes. I can't give the line enough credit."

Operating exclusively out of the shotgun, Love gave the Leopards fits for most of the second half, completing 11 of 18 passes as he finished 18-for-30 for 273 yards. However, the Leopards held the Falcons to 34 yards on the ground on 28 rushes, and Scott's late pick sealed the win.

"We had a hard week of practice focusing on the line, and it won't get easier this week," said Buddy Orndorff. "We did a good job of running north-south and we responded as a team."

Scott also chimed in with 44 yards on the ground as the Leopards racked up 280 yards.

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