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Warriors pull away from Leopards

November 04, 2011|By MARK KELLER | keller@herald-mail.com
  • Boonsboro's Aaron Turner (80) stretches out but cannot come up with the catch as Smithsburg's Brad Spickler (12) defends during Friday night's MVAL Antietam football game.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

BOONSBORO — Britton Beard is not a running back, but he took a handoff Friday night that turned out to be the biggest of the football game.

The Boonsboro lineman stripped the ball away from Smithsburg quarterback Brad Spickler in the third quarter, setting up a Warriors touchdown that sparked them to a 34-13 victory over the rival Leopards in an MVAL Antietam game at Warrior Field.

The win locks up at least the No. 2 seed in the Maryland Class 1A West playoffs for the Warriors (9-1, 5-1), meaning they will host a region semifinal game next weekend, most likely against Mountain Ridge.

The Leopards (3-7, 0-6) trailed 14-0 at halftime, but cut the deficit to 14-6 on the opening possession of the second half, an 11-play drive that was capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Austin Ryan.

They then forced a Boonsboro punt and began their next possession at their own 32. That;s also where it ended.

On the first play, Beard blew through the offensive line and snatched the ball away from Spickler, then churned his way the other direction, getting all the way to the Smithsburg 15.

“That really turned the tide,” Anders said. “Any time you get a quick change like that, it’s an emotional lift.”

The Warriors capitalized, as Zach Poffenberger scored on a 1-yard run five plays later to give Boonsboro a 20- 6 lead.

“In a one-score game, you’re one play away from getting your butt beat,” Anders said. “That made it a two-score game, we were able to take a deep breath and just play.”

Poffenberger added his third touchdown run of the night in the fourth quarter on a 10-yard jaunt, and Gunnar Whipp added an 11-yard scoring run in the fourth as Boonsboro took a 34-6 lead with under a minute left.

Poffenberger ran for 108 yards as the Warriors played the entire game without J.T. Rice and the entire second half without Justin Jardeleza, who was nursing a shoulder injury.

Jardeleza did run for 51 yards in the first quarter, but was noticeably favoring his left shoulder any time he took a hit.

“It was a tough call for us,” Anders said. “I’ve done it both ways: Don’t play a guy and get into a dogfight, or play him a little and get him hurt.

“The positive was we were able to take Justin out, because he was going to get hurt.”

Devin Baker ran for an 85-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for Smithsburg. Zach Krall added 83 yards rushing.

“We’ve struggled with leadership all year. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t,” said Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff. “They didn’t do anything that we didn’t praqctice for all week, but there were times out there we looked like we didn’t have a clue.”

Boonsboro 34, Smithsburg 13
Smithsburg    0    0    6    7    —    13
Boonsboro    7    7    6    14    —    34
First Quarter
B — Justin Jardeleza 12 run (Caleb Yurish kick)
Second Quarter
B — Zach Poffenberger 10 run (Yurish kick)
Third Quarter
S — Austin Ryan 3 run (kick failed)
B — Poffenberger 1 run (pass failed)
Fourth Quarter
B — Poffenberger 10 run (Poffenberger pass from Ryan Ruiz)
B — Gunnar Whipp 11 run (kick blocked)
S — Devin Baker 85 run (Ryan kick)

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