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Wildcats stay hot by beating Rebels

October 02, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

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    HAGERSTOWN -- Williamsport reached the midway point of the season with a record many thought might not be possible.

    After a 14-7 victory over South Hagerstown on Friday night at School Stadium, the Wildcats improved to a Washington County-best 4-1 with a successful MVAL Antietam opener.

    The Wildcats managed to work around a 13-penalty night which cost them 100 yards. South Hagerstown (1-4, 0-2) couldn't stay away from another night of mistakes with 17 penalties for 135 yards along with three turnovers.

    "We were a little juiced up tonight," said Williamsport coach Randy Longnecker. "That's uncharacteristic of us with the penalties. Both teams fought hard tonight."

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While Williamsport's 4-1 record might not have been considered probable at this juncture, neither was the Wildcats' passing attack.

Casey McKenrick threw two scoring passes and completed 12 of 18 for 95 well-used yards. He also threw a two-point conversion pass.

The Wildcats picked up 187 yards rushing -- 88 from Reggie Russ and 75 from Joey Sutch.

McKenrick's second strike covered 6 yards on fourth down to Nate Willis with 8:59 left in the fourth quarter, capping a 58-yard drive.

"I hadn't played football for four years," said the 6-foot-5 McKenrick, entrusted with the offense when Blake Bandeff went down with a preseason injury. "I can see myself getting better and the offense is getting trust in me."

McKenrick found Willis on a quick slant from the left side into the middle of the end zone while South defenders worked to double-team fellow receiver Darius Smith.

"The passing game has balanced the offense for us," said Longnecker. "We've got two good backs and Casey is learning every part of the game."

A two-point conversion gave the Wildcats a 14-7 lead as they answered the bell to South's lone TD of the game.

Nick Stubbs had a 30-yard run called back due to a penalty early in the third period. On South's next possession, Xavier Richardson ran 54 yards to no avail as another Rebels penalty voided the score.

On that drive, South didn't quit and Richardson's 20-yard run and a 14-yarder by Stubbs kept the effort churning. Richardson capped the drive with a 22-yard score. David Savage's kick gave the Rebels a 7-6 lead with 1:03 left in the third.

The runs were part of a 325-yard offensive effort by South, easily its best of the year, but in the end the Rebels couldn't avoid the turnover bug.

With just more than five minutes remaining and only one timeout left, Richardson ran 20 yards and Stubbs 21, and suddenly the Rebels were knocking on the door at the Williamsport 6 with a first down.

However, as quarterback Hunter Phillips was attempting to hand off to Ryan Wood, Williamsport sophomore Alex Fridley burst through the line and forced a fumble that the Wildcats covered.

"We've been through this before," said South coach Greg Kellick. "Tonight, though, we had intensity and the kids worked hard enough to win the game. I'm happy that I can think they did their best. They didn't give up."

It was a second straight penalty-infested game for the Rebels, who had 16 last week against Smithsburg.

"We were moving the football at the end, had two scores (called back) because the line jumps," said Kellick. "At this stage of the season, you just shouldn't fumble the football."

Williamsport's first score came with 8:08 remaining in the second period when McKenrick hit Sutch from 10 yards on a slant play. It capped an 85-yard drive that began when the Wildcats pounced on a fumble by Richardson.

Stubbs, who is looking better as he recovers from an ankle problem, led the Rebels with 111 yards on 11 carries. Richardson had 79 yards rushing and Phillips completed 6 of 14 for 102 yards, all in the first half.

Williamsport 14, South Hagerstown 7

W--Joey Sutch 10 pass from Casey McKenrick(run failed)

SH--Xavier Richardson 22 run (David Savage kick)

W--Nate Willis 6 pass from McKenrick (Willis pass from McKenrick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING--Williamsport, Russ 14-88, Sutch 20-75, Culbreath 2-16,Baker 1-5, McKenrick 4-3; South, Stubbs 11-111, Richardson 13-79, Wood 4-27, Davis 2-10, Phillips 8-(minus-4).

PASSING--Williamsport, McKenrick 12-18-95-1; South, Phillips 6-14-102-1.

RECEIVING--Williamsport, Baker 2-32, Willis 2-22, Sutch 3-20, Russ 3-12, Ezidinma 1-7, Smith 1-5; South, Kitchens 2-39, Prather 1-22, Wood 1-17, Stubbs 1-13, Ballou 1-9.

Williamsport0608--14So. Hagerstown0070--7WillSHFirst downs1417Rushes-yards41-18738-223Passing yards95102Comp-Att-Int12-18-16-14-1Total offense59-28952-325Punts-avg.4-32.22-25.0Penalties-yards13-10017-135Fumbles-lost1-03-2
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