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Wildcats let game get away with miscues

September 05, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

HAMPSTEAD, Md. -- Williamsport football coach Randy Longnecker was forced to use a few four-letter words he would have rather avoided.

"We didn't get beat, we lost the game," Longnecker said.

Beat. Lost. Longnecker was stuck because the Wildcats were constantly uttering one of their own -- Oops.

Williamsport made four crucial mistakes that led to all four North Carroll touchdowns as the Panthers held on for a 26-20 win over the Wildcats and ruined Longnecker's debut as the school's coach.

Williamsport allowed two kick returns for touchdowns, a 54-yard pass on a fourth-and-2 to set up a third, and fumbled at its own 18 to give North Carroll all it needed to win. The Wildcats held the Panthers to 159 yards of offense and seven first downs.

North Carroll's Brandon Seibold scored three touchdowns. He returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for the first. He opened the fourth quarter by returning a punt 77 yards for his second score, and he capped it with a 4-yard run with 2:36 left.

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Still, the Wildcats remained competitive. North Carroll only managed two first downs and 40 yards in the second half after quarterback John Shipley was injured late in the first half.

"After allowing them to run back the opening kickoff, it was tough to come back," Longnecker said. "Our confidence was shaky and that didn't help. It took most of the first half to overcome it. We played really well in the second half."

Quarterback Casey McKenrick started in place of injured Blake Bandeff and did a creditable job. He threw for 185 yards, including a 43-yard strike to Darius Smith in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 13-6 and breathe life into the Wildcats.

But nine penalties and a number of execution miscues kept the Wildcats from following through.

"I'll take the blame as the head coach," Longnecker said. "I was supposed to have them ready."

North Carroll took a 6-0 lead on Seibold's kick return and went up 13-0 at the half when Shipley went in from the 1 with 9:32 left. The score came one play after Shipley hit Tom Frances on his 54-yard pass on fourth down.

After Smith scored on his go route in the third, the Wildcats punted to open the fourth. Seibold ran down the left sideline for the score to go up 19-6.

Brett Allen brought the Wildcats closer again by picking up a Shipley fumble and returning it 48 yards for a score to make it 19-12 with 10:06 remaining.

McKenrick fumbled on Williamsport's 18 to set up Seibold's third touchdown.

The Wildcats came back with an 87-yard drive, capped by Baker's scoring grab and a two-point conversion run by Reggie Russ with 19 seconds remaining. Williamsport failed on the onside kick.

Lost in the shuffle was Russ, who rushed 20 times for 127 yards. He put Williamsport in position with his elusiveness, but the Wildcats couldn't capitalize.

Smith caught three passes for 100 yards to go with his touchdown.

"This was tough," Longnecker said. "This was a Class 2A team and we had them. We had them on the hook and we let them wiggle off."

North Carroll 26, Williamsport 20
Williamsport 0 0 6 14 -- 20
N. Carroll 6 7 0 13 -- 26

NC -- Brandon Seibold 89 kickoff return (kick failed)
NC -- John Shipley 1 run (Trevor Walzl kick)
W -- Darius Smith 43 pass from Casey McKenrick (kick failed)
NC -- Seibold 77 punt return (kick failed)
W -- Brett Allen 48 fumble return (pass failed)
NC -- Seibold 4 run (Walzl kick)
W -- Kemper Baker 8 pass from McKenrick (Reggie Russ run)
W NC
First downs 17 7
Rushes-yards 36-155 33-74
Att-Comp-Int 13-20-2 4-9-1
Passing yards 185 85
Total offense 56-340 42-159
Fumbles-lost 2-1 5-2
Punts-average 3-32.3 2-34.5
Penalties-yards 9-50 5-25
Records: North Carroll 1-0; Williamsport 0-1.

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