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Big plays give South win

September 27, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

The South Hagerstown football team didn't make a lot of plays Friday night.

But the few that they did were spectacular.

South turned a fumble recovery into a quick touchdown and ran back two kicks for scores -- including a 50-yard return by Antoine Malone on an onside kick -- to carve out a 24-17 win to ruin the home opener for a offensively revamped Williamsport.

"We'll take it," said South Hagerstown coach Greg Kellick, whose Rebels improved to 2-2. "We've had (games like that) happen to us enough times. We didn't execute very well."

Except, of course, for the three plays that gave the Rebels 21 of their 24 points.

The final straw came with 3 minutes, 23 seconds remaining in the game, just after Williamsport scored on a Blake Bandeff 1-yard sneak to move within 17-14 after trailing 17-0 after three quarters.

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Timber Jones bounced an onside kick to the left as Williamsport tried to get the ball back immediately. After a collision on the play, Malone scooped up the loose ball at the 50 and threaded his way down the far sideline with a convoy of blockers for a touchdown and the final 10-point margin.

"I have to give the front line all the credit," Malone said. "Their blocking did it all, and their blocking kept me in line going down the sideline. (Williamsport) used to be my school and I wanted to win this one for my teammates. They were bragging about beating us last year."

The play quickly switched the momentum that Williamsport had worked on gaining the entire fourth quarter.

"That's high school football," Williamsport coach Adrian Custer said. "Nine out of 10 times, you don't see an onside kick returned for a touchdown. The kid kicked it perfectly. There wasn't anything else he could do. Our kids fought all the way through."

Malone's work was rather easy, compared to that done by John Moser.

"The hero on that play was John Moser," Kellick said. "He bent down to get the ball and was buried by four Williamsport players. Poor ol' Antoine picked up the ball and had green grass ahead of him because John had taken out four guys."

It ended a fortified effort by the Wildcats (1-3), who basically controlled the game offensively -- despite moving out of character with 27 passes -- but didn't have much to show for it.

The Wildcats, who changed their offensive set, outgained the Rebels, 183-108. Bandeff connected on 10 of 27 passes for 122 yards for the majority of the damage, while neither team dominated on the ground. Williamsport outgained South 61 to 23 on the ground.

It was mistakes that brought the Wildcats down.

After controlling the first quarter with a scoreless 7:21 drive, Williamsport battled South for the upper hand.

The Rebels got it with 5:55 left in the half when the punt snap sailed over kicker Kenny Frey's head for a 19-yard loss. South took the ball at the Williamsport 25 and cashed in quickly as quarterback Nick Gross found Cory Shank in the corner along the goal line for the touchdown.

South added to the lead after forcing the Wildcats to punt after three plays. The Rebels' Jason Chase slipped while trying to pick up the ball at the South 24. He regained his footing along the near sideline and ran across field and down the far sideline for 74 yards and the 14-0 lead.

The Rebels cemented the lead with a 14-play, 58-yard drive to open the second half, resulting in Dustin Rowland's 20-yard field goal.

Williamsport got back in the game converting a South fumble with an Andrew Dagenhart plunge from the 1 before Bandeff's 1-yard run.

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