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Warriors get breaks to break 'Cats

October 09, 2009|By MARK KELLER

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    WILLIAMSPORT -- While doing his famous parody of Fernando Lamas, Billy Crystal used to say, "It is better to look good than to feel good."

    Boonsboro didn't necessarily look good in its 28-21 win over Williamsport on Friday night, but the Warriors walked off the field feeling pretty good about getting back to the .500 mark on the season.

    "This is an ugly win, but it's a good win," Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders said. "The halfway point of the season, being 2-3, that's not so good. To come in here tonight and scratch out a win and get back to even ... now we can take that and build."

    The Warriors (3-3, 1-0 MVAL Antietam) needed a couple of breaks to pull out the victory over a much-improved Williamsport team. They came early in the fourth quarter, all with the help of the Wildcats.

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Williamsport (4-2, 1-1) grabbed a 21-12 lead late in the third on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Casey McKenrick to Reggie Russ. The Warriors moved inside the Wildcats 40 on their next drive, but Karl Culbreath and Nate Willis each sacked Andy Sigler to force a Boonsboro punt.

The punt looked to be rolling harmlessly toward the sideline when it bounced and hit Williamsport's Kenny Frey, becoming a live ball.

Boonsboro's Scott Haupt recovered at the Williamsport 9, Branden McLean scored one play later and Drew Lowery added the 2-point conversion to pull the Warriors within one, 21-20.

The Wildcats gave the ball right back to Boonsboro two plays later when McKenrick's option pitch fluttered to the ground and was covered at the Williamsport 28 by Boonsboro's Josh Harwood. Lowery gave the Warriors a 28-21 lead with a 20-yard scoring run and the 2-point conversion with 8 minutes, 42 seconds remaining in the game.

"We gave them the ball on the goal line on the punt, then we gave it right back to them again. That really put the pressure on us," Williamsport coach Randy Longnecker said.

The Wildcats weren't through being generous. They failed to cover the ensuing kickoff, a short kick that Boonsboro scooped up as it bounced toward the sideline.

Williamsport's defense held on that occasion, but not before the Warriors drove the ball inside the 10-yard line and took 3 1/2 minutes off the clock.

Russ connected with Frey on a halfback pass, then McKenrick threaded the needle across the middle to find Russ for a 40-yard gain into Boonsboro territory. McKenrick then hit Kemper Baker at the 25, but the Wildcats were flagged for offensive pass interference, resulting in a 15-yard penalty and loss of down.

Two incomplete passes gave possession back to the Warriors, who looked to run out the clock. Instead, Evan Marshall -- who scored Boonsboro's first touchdown of the night -- fumbled and Frey recovered to give Williamsport one more chance with 2:09 left.

McKenrick connected on four straight passes to take the Wildcats from their own 25 to the Boonsboro 25. But on second-and-6, McKenrick's pass was tipped by two Warriors and nearly caught by Russ before ending up in the arms of Boonsboro's John Lowery with 35.9 seconds remaining.

"Things were looking pretty bleak for us. We were lucky a couple balls bounced our way," Anders said. "They had us on the ropes down here at the end until that tipped pass. They moved the ball right down the field on us."

McKenrick completed 21 of 31 passes for 260 yards. He gave Williamsport a 13-6 lead at halftime, hitting Chris Githens in stride for a 45-yard touchdown with just 17 seconds left before the break.

That touchdown came just 2 1/2 minutes after Brett Allen put the Wildcats in front 7-6 by falling on Lowery's fumble in the end zone.

"I'm proud of the kids because they kept fighting tonight," Longnecker said. "This was a statement game that we wanted to win because Boonsboro is sound in all facets. The kids are really disappointed, they're crushed right now, but I told them that's a sign of just how far they've come."

Russ caught 10 passes for 103 yards. McLean rushed for 156 yards and Lowery added 78.

The game was delayed for 15 minutes early in the third quarter when Boonsboro's Justin Jardeleza suffered a neck injury. He was taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to Washington County Hospital.

Boonsboro athletic director and assistant coach Mark Wadel said Jardeleza's father called the sideline to report that X-rays on his son's neck were negative.

Boonsboro 28, Williamsport 21

B -- Evan Marshall 2 run (run failed)

W -- Brett Allen recovered fumble in end zone (C.J. Ezidinma kick)

W -- Chris Githens 45 pass from Casey McKenrick (kick failed)

B -- Haquan Grant 25 pass from Andy Sigler (pass failed)

W -- Reggie Russ 9 pass from McKenrick (Darius Smith pass from McKenrick)

B -- Branden McLean 9 run (Drew Lowery run)

B -- Lowery 20 run (Lowery run)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING--Boonsboro, McLean 17-156, Lowery 17-78, Marshall 14-63, Jardeleza 1-(-2), Sigler 8-(-22), Team 1-(-11). Williamsport, Russ 9-47, Culbreath 1-33, Sutch 5-14, Baker 1-(-2), McKenrick 4-(-5).

PASSING--Boonsboro, Sigler 2-4-0-50. Williamsport, McKenrick 21-31-1-260, Russ 1-1-0-11.

RECEIVING--Boonsboro, Foote 1-25, Grant 1-25. Williamsport, Russ 10-103, Smith 4-59, Githens 1-45, Sutch 3-28, Baker 3-25, Frey 1-11.

Boonsboro60616--28Williamsport01380--21BooWillFirst downs1814Rushes-yards58-26220-92Passing yards50271Comp-Att-Int2-4-022-32-1Total offense62-31252-363Punts-avg.2-32.52-31.0Penalties-yards4-399-90Fumbles-lost6-31-1
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