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Warriors' turnovers are costly

November 15, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

CUMBERLAND, Md. -- Boonsboro had a faulty indicator light appear early and the outcome wasn't good.

The second offensive play of the game showed what was ahead for the Warriors on Friday night.

Fort Hill took advantage of a fumble by Brandon McLean to begin piling up the points-off-turnovers category on the way to a 35-0 thumping of the Warriors in the Maryland Class 1A West semifinals at Greenway Avenue Stadium.

The Warriors (9-2) had three critical first-half turnovers, and Fort Hill (9-1) made them pay heartily, rolling to a 22-0 halftime lead.

"We got in such a deep hole we wouldn't have beaten many teams, much less Fort Hill," said Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders. "We gave them a short field with unforced errors."

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No. 1 -- Taking the opening kickoff, McLean fumbled and Fort Hill took over on the Warriors' 33. The Sentinels scored five plays later when Marcus Lashley rolled in from the 2.

No. 2 -- Boonsboro fashioned a good-looking offensive drive from its own 26, moving to the Fort Hill 7 on the strength of a 24-yard run by McLean and 14-yard pass from Tyler Walsh to Sean Colgan. However, on first-and-goal, Walsh was intercepted in the end zone.

Fort Hill then marched 80 yards in 13 plays, with Sam Walker scoring from the 3 early in the second quarter. The Sentinels added a two-point conversion.

No. 3 -- On the first play following the kickoff -- a wide sweep -- Walsh pitched out to McLean, but the ball got away and the Sentinels recovered and were in business at the Boonsboro 33. It took one play for quarterback Eric Howser to connect with Jordan Helmick on a touchdown pass.

"The interception was critical because we're only down by one score and we're moving the ball," said Anders.

Fort Hill was not without mistakes after grabbing the lead, losing two fumbles and throwing an interception to Kyle Knowles on successive possessions.

But the Warriors couldn't muster a thing against Fort Hill's bigger defensive line.

Following Knowles' pick, Boonsboro was on the Fort Hill 8 with 22 seconds left, but left empty.

At the half, Boonsboro had 83 total yards -- 70 coming on its drive leading to the second turnover.

"We just couldn't control their line either way," said Anders. "They were gashing five, six and seven guys at a time at us."

Fort Hill methodically marched 65 yards in eight plays after the second-half kickoff. Lashley rumbled in from the 5 to cap it.

With a 28-0 lead, the Sentinels didn't make many Boonsboro friends with a successful onside kick at the Warriors' 46. An additional 15 yards was tacked on via penalty.

Right away, Fort Hill went for the jugular with a 31-yard scoring pass from Howser to Colton Sibley.

Boonsboro couldn't stop Lashley, a bruising 6-foot-3, 210-pound fullback who churned out 120 yards on 19 carries. Howser also gained 46 yards on nine carries, several on sneak wedges behind his big line up the middle.

All told, the Warriors finished with 109 yards rushing, but 47 came with the running clock and Fort Hill reserves on the field.

"It's disappointing to finish the season with two straight losses," said Anders. "We just did not give a good account of ourselves tonight."

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