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Warriors living in moment for now

November 16, 2011|By MARK KELLER | keller@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO — Despite a downpour that forced the Boonsboro football team indoors Wednesday afternoon, the outlook was still sunny for the Warriors.

Chalk that up to a 27-12 victory over Mountain Ridge last Friday in the Maryland Class 1A West semifinals, the first playoff victory for Boonsboro in 10 years.

“It was like a black cloud hanging over the coaching staff,” said Warriors coach Clayton Anders. “Not over the kids. Those kids have graduated and moved on.

“When you qualify for the playoffs, you want to advance. You can deal with a loss if you give a good accounting of yourself. But that hasn’t always been the case with our losses.”

The Warriors (10-1) made the playoffs every year from 2005 to 2009, but were one-and-done each of those years — with each loss coming to an Allegany County school.

They’ll get a shot at some redemption when they play Fort Hill in the 1A West final Friday night at Greenway Avenue Stadium in Cumberland.

The Sentinels (11-0), ranked 19th in the state poll and the top overall seed in Class 1A, has flexed its muscle all season long. They’ve scored 503 points — breaking 40 in a game nine times — while allowing only 70.

Fort Hill advanced with a 49-27 victory over Brunswick last week.

The Sentinels have also dominated Boonsboro in the past, outscoring the Warriors 119-13 in regular-season games in 2002 and 2003 and a first-round playoff game in 2008.

Those Fort Hill teams no longer concern Anders. He’s put his focus — and implored his players to focus — only on the Fort Hill team the Warriors will face on Friday.

“I was asked this week if we’ve ever beaten Fort Hill. Not since I’ve been here,” Anders said. “But they’re not here. Fort Hill is a different team and we’re a different team. We can only worry about the team that we’re playing this week.”

Anders wasn’t overly concerned about missing a day on the practice field Wednesday. Boonsboro’s boys basketball team gladly shared the gym with the football team.

That meant the practice honed in more on setting defensive schemes and refining player assignments rather than any physical contact.

“We can’t do the kicking game real well inside,” Anders said. “But you hope by Week 12 that if you miss a day of kicking you’re still OK.”

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