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Warriors into 1A West football final

November 11, 2011|By MARK KELLER | keller@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO — The Boonsboro football team scored 352 points in the regular season, which makes it easy to overlook the Warriors defense.

Overlooking that defense wasn’t something Mountain Ridge had the luxury of doing.

The Warriors bottled up West Virginia recruit Jarrod Harper all night, holding the Division I prospect to 43 yards on 17 carries Friday night as Boonsboro earned its first playoff win in 10 years, beating the Miners 27-12 in the Maryland Class 1A West semifinals at Warrior Field.

Boonsboro (10-1) will play at Fort Hill in the region final next weekend. The Sentinels (11-0) beat Brunswick 49-27 on Friday.

“We can play some defense,” said Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders. “Coach (Pete) Yurish does a great job scheme-wise, getting the kids in the right places and making the right calls.”

The Warriors held Mountain Ridge (9-2) to 135 yards rushing. The Miners threw for 163 yards, but 93 of those yards came on one play.

Meanwhile, the Warriors offense showed its ability to move the football. With its full complement of backs — at least to start the game — Boonsboro rolled up 364 yards on the ground.

And while the offense wasn’t always able to get into the end zone, it ate up enough of the clock to keep Mountain Ridge’s offense off the field.

J.T. Rice rushed for 113 yards after missing last week’s regular-season finale with a concussion. His return to the lineup was a welcome one.

“Having J.T. back out there was huge for us,” said Boonsboro quarterback Ryan Ruiz. “Having him out there opened stuff up for Zach (Poffenberger) and JJ (Justin Jardeleza). It was a real boost for us.”

Poffenberger had 103 yards rushing, Gunnar Whipp added 59 and Jardeleza had 53 before leaving the game with an ankle injury in the second quarter.

“Getting J.T. back was big, because as luck would have it, out goes JJ,” Anders said. “If we didn’t have him back this week, it would have been a much tougher situation for us. Much tougher.”

Jardeleza played long enough to make Boonsboro’s first big play of the game. Mountain Ridge held the Warriors out of the end zone on a fourth-and-goal play from the 2, then began to drive the other direction.

But on a second-down play from the Miners 40, Jardeleza jumped a pass route and picked off Dan Streitbeck, returning the interception 47 yards for a score and a 7-0 Boonsboro lead.

“We practiced hitch routes all week defensively. We knew they liked to throw that hitch screen,” Jardeleza said. “I just followed the quarterback’s eyes and he led me right to the ball.”

“There’s not many guys who can jump a route like that, then run away from the guy that you jumped,” Anders said. “That was a momentum turner for us.”

Jardeleza was injured when he landed awkwardly trying to catch a pass from Ruiz. He spent the second half of the game on the sideline on crutches.

“When it happened, I went numb for about five minutes,” Jardeleza said. “They said they think it’s a slight fracture, but I don’t think so. I can move my toes and put pressure on it. I’ll be back out there next week.”

The Warriors were struggling to finish drives with Jardeleza in, and their first drive without him went nowhere. But late in the second quarter, Rice, Poffenberger and Whipp found their collective stride as Boonsboro went 77 yards in nine plays, culminating in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Ruiz to Rice to give the Warriors a 14-0 lead at the half.

Mountain Ridge got on the board midway through the third quarter. After Rice pinned them at their own 7-yard line with a 41-yard punt, Streitbeck connected with Justin Jeffries for a 93-yard touchdown pass to pull the Miners to within 14-6.

But the Warriors answered right back, going 73 yards in seven plays for another touchdown. Rice and Poffenberger did the bulk of the work before Ruiz called his own number on second-and-goal for an 8-yard touchdown run and a 20-6 advantage.

Anthony Spataro scored on an 8-yard run of his own for Mountain Ridge, cutting the deficit to 20-12 with less than a minute left in the third quarter.

The Miners appeared to grab some more momentum on the final play of the third quarter. Ryan Ruiz’s pass was picked off, but the ball was fumbled on the return and recovered by Boonsboro near midfield, giving the Warriors a fresh set of downs to start the final period.

“The football gods were smiling down on us on that play,” Anders said. “To regain possession and get a first down there was a big swing.”

Ruiz engineered one more scoring drive in the fourth, assisted by two penalties against Mountain Ridge, including one for a personal foul. Ruiz capped the eight-play drive with a 15-yard touchdown run to close the scoring.

“We’ve been hearing for a while that we’re not good enough, we’re not big enough and that Mountain Ridge was going to have a rematch with Fort Hill,” Ruiz said. “We came out and showed that we can play, that we’re the real deal.”

Boonsboro 27, Mountain Ridge 12
Mountain Ridge    0    0    12    0    —    12
Boonsboro    7    7    6    7    —    27
First Quarter
B — Justin Jardeleza 47 interception return (Calleb Yurish kick)
Second Quarter
B — J.T. Rice 10 pass from Ryan Ruiz (Yurish kick)
Third Quarter
MR — Justin Jeffries 93 pass from Dan Streitbeck (kick blocked)
B — Ruiz 8 run (kick failed)
MR — Anthony Spataro 8 run (kick blocked)
Fourth Quarter
B — Ruiz 15 run (Yurish kick)
    MR    Boon
First downs    12    20
Rushes-yards    36-135    58-364
Passing yards    163    27
Comp-Att-Int    6-11-1    3-7-1
Total offense    47-298    65-391
Punts-avg.    5-37.6    3-41.7
Penalties-yards    6-60    3-15
Fumbles-lost    3-1    1-0
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING—Mountain Ridge, Spataro 11-58, Harper 17-43, Vaughn 6-30, Streitbeck 2-4. Boonsboro, Rice 17-113, Poffenberger 17-103, Whipp 16-59, Jardeleza 3-53, Ruiz 5-36.
PASSING—Mountain Ridge, Streitbeck 6-11-1-163. Boonsboro, Ruiz 3-7-1-27.
RECEIVING—Mountain Ridge, Jeffries 3-121, Harper 2-34, Dibuono 1-8. Boonsboro, Rice 2-21, Poffenberger 1-6.

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