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Blazers get third straight win

October 17, 2009|By MARK KELLER

CLEAR SPRING -- The Clear Spring Blazers -- winners of just three football games in their history prior to this season -- have now won three games in a row and are officially the hottest team in Washington County.

The Blazers withstood the rain, cold temperatures and a late Bishop Walsh rally Friday night, holding on for a 7-6 win over the Spartans.

"We've got a nice little roll going here," Clear Spring coach Craig Bathgate said. "We're just trying to keep it going right now."

Mike Etzel -- an atypical workhorse running back at 5-foot-9, 165 pounds -- carried 32 times for 134 yards, but the Blazers (4-3) got their only score out of the passing game.

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Corey Morgan caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Adam Mellott and Andy Jarvis added the crucial extra point to give Clear Spring a 7-0 lead with 4 minutes, 26 seconds left in the second quarter.

The Blazers defense was stingy all night, limiting the Spartans (4-3) to just seven first downs and 186 yards of offense.

Clear Spring ran 20 more offensive plays than Bishop Walsh, but had three drives stall inside the Spartans 10-yard line.

One of those possessions ended at the Bishop Walsh 7 when a 12-play second-quarter drive was halted by a fumble recovered by the Spartans.

Just one play later, Bishop Walsh fumbled it right back, setting up Mellot's touchdown pass to Morgan.

Etzel did much of the work getting the Blazers in position. He accounted for about two-thirds of the team's rushing attempts and 80 percent of its rushing yards, most of them coming on off-tackle runs.

"We've got a lot of beef up front, and he's hard to find behind that," Bathgate said. "He's all guts, though. He'll run through the middle, put his shoulder down and give a hit. That's the kind of kid he is."

Clear Spring maintained its 7-0 lead until late in the fourth quarter when Quincy Redmon caught a 75-yard pass from Greg Hendershot to pull the Spartans within one with 2:38 remaining.

Bishop Walsh called timeout before the conversion attempt, then set up to go for two. Hendershot threw to an open Jared Mathews, but he dropped the pass.

"We thought they were going to throw a jump ball to the corner," Bathgate said. "We were very fortunate with the way that play ended up."

Clear Spring recovered the Spartans' onside kick and -- with Bishop Walsh out of timeouts -- needed just one first down to close out the game. Etzel got it on three carries to extend the Blazers' winning streak.

Clear Spring 7, Bishop Walsh 6

CS -- Corey Morgan 5 pass from Adam Mellott (Andy Jarvis kick)
BW -- Quincy Redmon 75 pass from Greg Hendershot (pass failed)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING--Bishop Walsh, Walters 16-67, Hendershot 5-8, Lindelof 5-4, Redmon 1-(-3), Team 1-(-1). Clear Spring, Etzel 32-134, Mellott 11-26, Connors 4-6, Braithwaite 2-1.

PASSING--Bishop Walsh, Hendershot 5-9-0-111. Clear Spring, Mellott 4-8-1-42.

RECEIVING--Bishop Walsh, Redmon 3-82, Mathews 1-19, Hartman 1-5. Clear Spring, Morgan 3-31, Habel 1-11.

Bishop Walsh0006--6Clear Spring0700--7BWCSFirst downs714Rushes-yards28-7549-167Passing yards11142Comp-Att-Int5-9-04-8-1Total offense37-18657-209Punts-avg.4-32.81-29.0Penalties-yards3-285-30Fumbles-lost3-12-1
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