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Patriots reload to whip Hubs in opener

September 04, 2010|By CHRIS CARTER

FREDERICK, Md. -- Despite losing 33 players to graduation, the Thomas Johnson football team showed no signs of being in a rebuilding year Friday night.

No, it seems the Patriots have simply reloaded.

Thomas Johnson exercised its pedigree against North Hagerstown in the season opener, reaching the end zone eight times in a 56-7 drubbing of the Hubs to kick off the season.

The Patriots were sharp in all phases, scoring touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams.

"That's a (Maryland Class) 4A team," said North coach Dan Cunningham. "When you can graduate (33) players and come back with almost as many seniors the next year, you're in pretty good shape."

The Hubs, a Class 2A team, fared worse Friday night than when when they played the Patriots in 2009 -- North fell 38-12 in that contest.

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North managed only 110 yards of offense -- all coming on the ground -- and committed three turnovers. Anthony Winter, who dropped close to 30 pounds because of a tonsillectomy in the preseason, led the Hubs with 84 yards rushing.

"It all starts up front," Cunningham said. "They controlled the interior. They shot our A-gaps and we weren't stepping down.

"We're out of shape and we started sucking wind. They took advantage and got some big plays out of it."

The first of Thomas Johnson's big plays came when Brandon Berney broke free for a 32-yard run, setting up the first score when quarterback Brian Chase found De'Andre Scott for a 13-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 5:38 left in the first quarter.

North answered on the ensuing drive, going 53 yards in five plays. Winter ran for 29 yards on one play, and Rico Johnson capped the drive with an 8-yard scoring run to even the score at 7.

That was the last the Hubs would smell the goal line, as they got no closer than the Patriots' 38-yard line the rest of the game.

Meanwhile, Thomas Johnson continued to roll. Dante Snowden returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown to give the Patriots the lead for good. Chase hooked up with Zack Petrill for a 17-yard score and Eric Gross had a 34-yard touchdown run to give the Patriots a 28-7 halftime cushion.

Gross added a 50-yard scoring run 1:07 into the second half, and Thomas Johnson activated the running clock when Rich Anderson scored from 10 yards with 4:19 left in the third quarter.

Scott intercepted Hubs backup quarterback J.T. Root and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown, before Patriots third-string quarterback Paris Price scored on a 2-yard keeper in the final minute.

"We did some good things, but we did a few more bad things," Cunningham said. "It's high school football, so every job can be had."

Thomas Johnson 56, North Hagerstown 7

North 7 0 0 0 -- 7

TJ 14 14 21 7 -- 56

TJ -- De'Andre Scott 13 pass from Bran Chase (Galen Stetsyuk kick)

NH -- Rico Johnson 8 run (Alex Courtney kick)

TJ -- Dante Snowden 88 kick return (Stetsyuk kick)

TJ -- Zack Petrill 17 pass from Chase (Stetsyuk kick)

TJ -- Eric Gross 34 run (Stetsyuk kick)

TJ -- Gross 50 run (Stetsyuk kick)

TJ -- Rich Anderson 10 run (Stetsyuk kick)

TJ -- Scott 65 interception return (Stetsyuk kick)

TJ -- Paris Price 2 run (Stetsyuk kick)

NH TJ

First downs 8 17

Rushes-yards 40-110 27-232

Passing yards 0 87

Comp-Att-Int 0-7-2 4-9-1

Total offense 47-110 36-319

Punts-avg. 5-28.4 1-46

Penalties-yards 5-45 8-65

Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING -- North Hagerstown, Winter 18-84, Johnson 6-16, Black 2-10, Staley 3-8, T. Anderson 2-5, J. Anderson 1-0, Root 4-0, Schreiber 1-(minus 3), Lyles 1-(minus 5), Coccodrilli 2-(minus 5); Thomas Johnson, Gross 2-84, Berney 5-52, Anderson 6-48, Randolph 1-18, Sponyoe 4-15, Snowden 2-9, Price 2-4, Chase 4-1, Nelson 1-1.

PASSING -- North Hagerstown, Coccodrilli 0-3-0-0, Root 0-4-2-0; Thomas Johnson, Chase 3-7-0-52, Dahlgren 1-2-1-35.

RECEIVING -- Thomas Johnson, Scott 2-48, Petrill 1-17, Anderson 1-22.

Records: North Hagerstown 0-1; Thomas Johnson 1-0.

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