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Leopards make point to Cougars

October 25, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

Tensions between the No. 4 Smithsburg and Catoctin football teams began well before the 7 p.m. kickoff Friday.

Players from both sides exchanged words during Wednesday night's junior varsity game, but it seemed to serve as motivation for just one side, as the Leopards battered the Cougars from start to finish and got the last remark in a 34-6 MVAL Antietam victory.

"Apparently, some of our kids ran into some of their kids at the JV game and their kids said they weren't concerned about our running game," said Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff. "Some of our kids took it kind of personal, so we wanted to establish the running game early. I don't think (Catoctin) thought we were that good."

If asked to fill out a post-game evaluation of Smithsburg, the Cougars might have a different opinion.

Senior tailback Erick Parker ran for 176 yards and three touchdowns to lead a relentless Leopards rushing attack that piled up 299 yards on 55 carries. Parker ran 20 times for 163 yards in the first half alone as Smithsburg built a 20-0 lead at intermission.

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Parker also turned in the highlight of the game on second-and-24 when he swept right on a toss, cut back across the field through traffic and outran the defense for a 75-yard touchdown with 1:14 left before halftime.

"It was a 48 hit, but there were way too many Catoctin defenders there so I cut it back," said Parker, who helped spoil Homecoming for the Cougars.

"We told him on that play that (Catoctin) would probably be overflowing," Orndorff said. "That's what happened and everything just opened up."

Smithsburg (8-0, 3-0) threw only five times in the game. Quarterback Kyle Orndorff completed just one of those throws -- a 21-yard scoring strike to Billy Lawrence to put the Leopards ahead 34-0 with 3:55 left in the third quarter.

The shutout lasted until 14.8 seconds remained in the third, when Nathan Lenhart scored from a yard out to make it 34-6. Lenhart finished with 65 rushing yards to lead the Cougars (5-3, 2-1).

"We did a good job of containing their big guys and we were able to pressure the QB," Buddy Orndorff said. "We had a good defensive game plan, a good offensive game plan."

Special teams weren't so shabby, either:

· Kicker/punter Coby Blum pinned the Catoctin offense deep all game long with the Cougars' average starting field position at their own 20-yard line.

· Alan Reed recovered a muffed punt, which put Smithsburg at the Catoctin 33 and led to the first score of the game.

· Tyler Barnhart blocked a punt at the start of the second half that put the Leopards at the Cougars 20, setting up an 18-yard scoring jaunt by Josh Conway.

The Leopards host Williamsport next week and a win would set up a potential showdown with Boonsboro -- also undefeated -- in the season finale with the conference crown on the line.

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