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North Hagerstown-South Hagerstown Notebook

November 05, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

City numbers

Tonight's Hagerstown Gridiron Classic between North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown is the 53rd meeting and the second to be played on North's true home turf -- Mike Callas Stadium.

Always played at School Stadium, the series became a bonafide home-and-away series with the addition of the stadium at North in 2007.

This will be the third straight year each team enters the game with losing records. Not since 2006 when North was 6-3 has anyone entered the game above .500.

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It has been since 2004 that both teams entered with winning records -- North at 8-1 and South at 5-4.

The Hubs have the advantage in the all-time series at 27-24-1 and will look to make it seven straight victories. A victory would match the current longest winning streak of seven which South held from 1960-1966.

North's workhorse

When it comes to player statistics, North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown won't bowl anyone over except one individual -- North's Anthony Winter.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior tailback has accounted for 67 percent of North's rushing yards this season. Of the 1,644 yards by the team, Winter has picked up 1,102 yards on 189 carries, an average of 5.8 per tote.

And of those yards, nearly half came in two games.

Against Smithsburg, Winter set a school record with 256 yards and later surpassed that mark with 264 yards against Walkersville.

Needless to say, South must stop Winter to have a chance at victory.

"(North) has the run game and we have to step up our run defense," said South senior Xavier Richardson. "We need to come out and be consistent. Take practice to game day."

However, South coach Greg Kellick added the Rebels can't focus everything on Winter.

"(Winter) will get his yards, but they also have (A.J.) Staley that can add some firepower," said Kellick.

Staley has picked up 386 yards for a 4.7 average.

South's potential

North coach Dan Cunningham expects tonight's game to be a copy of the last two, North's 28-27 overtime victory last season and a 27-20 victory in 2007.

"Last year was a tough game and I expect the same this year," said Cunningham. "We can't match South's size on the line and they have backs that can be explosive."

For the season South is averaging just under 102 yards rushing per game and 67 passing. Those are numbers that bear out a losing record.

Richardson is the South leader with 499 yards for a 4.6 average and junior tailback Nick Stubbs has managed just 280 through an injury-filled year.

"We have to get to the lanes and close them off because they can be so explosive," said Cunningham.

Heading into practice early in the week, Stubbs indicated he has finally returned to full health.

Crosstown buddies

North senior Greg Pheabus will play in his third Gridiron Classic. he leads the Hubs defensively from his linebacker spot where he has accumulated 101 total tackles, including 60 solos.

"We see one another almost on a daily basis, but when it comes to the game I plan on planting my No. 20 jersey on a few (of South's) backs," he said.

"It's for a year's worth of bragging rights," said South senior Dulaney Williams of the game. "Everything has to come from the heart."

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