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Leopards shut out Blazers

September 27, 2008|By JACK HILL III

CLEAR SPRING -- The No. 5 Smithsburg Leopards posted their second shutout in their first four games, defeating the Clear Spring Blazers 47-0 on Friday night in an MVAL Antietam football game.

Senior linebacker Alex Akers led the way for the Leopards' defense as he made 13 tackles in the first three quarters.

"We have been playing together since we have been in fifth grade," Akers said. "We pretty much know each other. Our defensive line does a great job of keeping the offensive linemen off of our linebackers. That was giving me some room. The coaches explained about all of the plays that were going to happen. We were prepared for tonight. We're ready for everything that comes our way."

Last year, Akers ranked second in the Tri-State area with 151 tackles -- 15.1 per game.

"We have been doing real good," Akers said. "Our line has been coming together. We have been getting better every game. We are growing as a team. We have good team chemistry. We are not letting up or anything."

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Senior Josh Conway scored two touchdowns for Smithsburg (4-0, 1-0), one on a reception and the other a 68-yard punt return.

Conway gave credit to his teammates for his long punt return.

"Everyone did a great job of blocking," Conway said. "They made a big hole down the field. I was able to coast to the end zone. There was just intensity in practice and that helped us out for tonight."

Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff is pleased about the Leopards' good start, but he knows the rest of the schedule is not going to be easy.

"I thought the kids played really good on both sides of the ball," Orndorff said. "We were able to get up on them in a hurry. We got a couple of breaks on defense. That kind of basically sealed the ball game. Everybody got to play and we were really happy. We have been playing really good football. But we have six tough games left."

Smithsburg raced out to a 19-0 lead over Clear Spring (1-3, 0-1) by the end of the first quarter. Senior quarterback Kyle Orndorff threw two touchdown passes -- a 41-yard score to Joseph Edwards and a 35-yard strike to Conway.

Orndorff, who completed 5 of 6 passes for 139 yards, has eight TD passes this season.

Smithsburg scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, one on a 27-yard fumble recovery and return by Tyler Barnhart, the other on a 5-yard run by Erick Parker.

Parker added a 28-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for his fifth rushing touchdown of the season.

The Leopards got their final touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 28-yard run by Taylor Damuth.

"We made too many mistakes and mental errors," Clear Spring coach Craig Bathgate said. "You can't make these kinds of mistakes against a team like Smithsburg. They're really aggressive. They really get after the ball."

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