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Rebels switch course to slip by Warriors

October 23, 2009|By MARK KELLER

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    BOONSBORO -- Talk about a turnaround.

    The South Hagerstown Rebels -- underachievers throughout the season, mired in a six-game losing streak and barely four days removed from a 50-point loss -- pulled off a shocker Friday night at Warrior Field, blanking Boonsboro 21-0 in a wet and muddy MVAL Antietam football game.

    The Rebels (2-6, 1-1) hadn't won since their season opener and produced few highlights during their skid.

    They had been outscored 208-28 in those six games and already had a loss to their credit this week -- a 50-0 shellacking at the hands of Walkersville on Monday in a game that was postponed from last Friday night.

    None of that mattered as South made the most of Boonsboro's inability to hold onto the ball in horrible weather conditions, favorable field position and -- finally -- its considerable size advantage.

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Nick Stubbs ran for a pair of touchdowns, including one out of the Wildcat formation, and Xavier Richardson ran for one score to lead South's offense.

"The rain helped us, it really did," South coach Greg Kellick said. "It took their speed away and allowed us to run our big guys up inside. We had them size-wise and that had a lot to do with it."

The wet field -- which was basically a mud pit between the 30-yard lines and the hash marks -- kept Boonsboro's running backs from making the sharp cuts they've become accustomed to making, particularly Branden McLean, who was forced to run more plays off tackle than around end.

But the bigger problem for the Warriors (4-4, 1-1) was fumbles. Boonsboro coughed up the ball nine times, and though they only lost two, the fumbles kept the Warriors from getting into any offensive flow.

"The ball was wet, but they weren't putting it on the ground like we were putting it on the ground," Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders said. "Field position was key, they pinned us down early and kept us there. This was as poor a performance as I've been associated with in a long, long time."

The Rebels set the tone from the start as David Savage booted the opening kickoff into the end zone for a touchback, making Boonsboro start deep in their own end.

The Warriors punted after their first drive went nowhere and South took over at its own 48. Richardson powered through the middle for 8 yards on first down, Stubbs followed with a 5-yard gain and the Rebels' confidence seemed to grow with each play.

Stubbs then electrified the Rebels as he spun out of one tackle, kept his knees off the ground after another hit and scampered into the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown run.

Savage's kickoff again sailed into the end zone, as did Ryan Wood's punt following South's ensuing possession. The Warriors' best starting field position in the first half was at their own 35 on the final play of the half.

By then, South had taken a 13-0 lead as Stubbs replaced Hunter Phillips under center and scored on a 3-yard run out of the Wildcat.

"Nick has that ability when he gets the ball to see a hole and explode through it. And when you get a handoff sometimes that's a little bit slow," Kellick said. "So to put him back there to go ahead and read where the hole is going to be at, if he can get a little bit of a crack, he's going to get the 4 or 5 yards."

That play was set up by another Boonsboro miscue as punter Patrick Hollis fielded a low snap at his own 4 and was buried by five South rushers.

The Warriors had several players out with illness and injury, including Drew Lowery, the team's second-leading rusher. Lowery did not play in the first half, but came on to run for 45 yards in the second half.

"We were concerned about letting them get some success and letting them get some confidence," Anders said. "If we let that happen we were going to be in trouble and that's what happened.

"We were trying to hold (Lowery) out because he was coming off an injury and really didn't want to use him. He said he could go and at halftime we decided to give it a shot."

Richardson finished with 89 yards and Stubbs had 45 for the Rebels. McLean was held to 50 yards on 18 carries for the Warriors.

South Hagerstown 21, Boonsboro 0

SH -- Nick Stubbs 17 run (David Savage kick)
SH -- Stubbs 3 run (kick failed)
SH -- Xavier Richardson 2 run (Kenny Kitchen run)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING--South Hagerstown, Richardson 12-89, Stubbs 15-45, Wood 9-24, Prather 1-7, Davis 2-1, Phillips 4-0. Boonsboro, McLean 18-50, Lowery 9-45, Jardeleza 3-32, Marshall 3-7, Grant 1-4, Gregory 1-0, Sigler 5-(minus-7), Team 3-(minus-19).

PASSING--South Hagerstown, Phillips 0-1-0-0. Boonsboro, Sigler 0-3-2-0.

RECEIVING--South Hagerstown, none. Boonsboro, none.

South Hagerstown7608--21Boonsboro0000--0SHBooFirst downs77Rushes-yards41-16643-112Passing yards00Comp-Att-Int0-1-00-3-2Total offense42-16646-112Punts-avg.7-25.43-27.0Penalties-yards7-555-30Fumbles-lost3-09-2
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