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High School Football: Warriors host 'Roaders in rematch

November 08, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO — Boonsboro football coach Clayton Anders has been around long enough to know what is at stake when the Warriors take to the field Friday night.

He has talked to his players this week about the ramifications that are in store as the Warriors host Brunswick in the Maryland Class 1A West semifinals.

It’s the second time the Railroaders (6-4) will visit Boonsboro this year. On Oct. 19, the Warriors (8-2) thrashed Brunswick 47-0, but most observers aren’t expecting an outcome with a margin anywhere close to that monstrous in the rematch.

“We just have to forget about that first game,” Anders said. “Come about 9:30, one football team won’t be too happy. We understand we’re in a one-and-done deal.”

Senior Justin Jardeleza, one of several two-way performers for the Warriors, knows what is in front of himself and his teammates.

“We won 47-0 the first time, but now we are 0-0,” Jardeleza said. “We will go hard, there’s no tomorrow and I have full faith.”

Jardeleza said his teammates are “amped up” and that the playoff appearance hasn’t come without hard work.

“We lost a lot of seniors to graduation and I thought we could be a .500 team,” Jardeleza said. “But we have guys that have worked hard every day and kept the morale.”

Anders is expecting a different Brunswick team Friday night. The Railroaders failed to cash in on opportunities in the first meeting, which was expected to be an offensive shootout.

“The first time it had rained, the field was slick, their quarterback (Collin Nusbaum) struggled,” Anders said. “They had dropped passes, they dropped potential interceptions and couldn’t convert fourth downs. There were 13 to 15 plays that if (Brunswick) makes, it could have been a different game.”

In a stunning 42-32 victory over South Hagerstown, Nusbaum completed 32 of 50 passes for 323 yards, and the Railroaders ran the ball effectively in the second half — just as they were in last week’s 19-8 win over Catoctin. gaining more than 200 yards on the ground.

“We expect a few wrinkles, like an option in their package,” Anders said.

Nusbaum’s favorite target is Blaine Price — the holder of the Maryland prep record for career receptions (242), who is closing in on the state record for receptions in a single season. He has 114 catches this season and needs eight more for that mark.

However, Price caught only three short passes against Boonsboro in the first meeting.

Nusbaum has thrown for 21 touchdowns and more than 2,700 yards this year.

While injuries are a part of each team during a season, the Warriors have had more than their fair share and have become, in Anders’ words, “patchwork by position.”

Anders said his team has not been at full health going back to the first scrimmage.

“We’ve had broken hands, two ACL (tears), concussions, and it seems when one player comes back, another one goes,” Anders said.

For various reasons, players Nick Dougherty, Casey Strunk, Nick Seabright, Judah Metz and Gunnar Whipp are on the latest injury list. The most recent was an ankle sprain to Dougherty, one of Boonsboro’s big men (6-foot-3, 270 pounds) on the line.

But the injuries have given Anders and his staff an opportunity to give the second unit plenty of reps in practice, which have led to success on the field — most notably at quarterback when senior Chad Cowden stepped in for fellow senior Ryan Ruiz, who suffered a broken left hand midway through the season.

“Chad and the others got reps going back to last year when we put in the no-huddle,” said Anders. “To Ryan’s credit, he’s had no ego about not returning to quarterback.”

Ruiz has been a vital defensive cog in the Warriors’ secondary.

Anders, in his 28th year as head coach, is taking a Boonsboro team to the playoffs for the 11th time and has a 7-8 playoff record, including the Class 1A state championship in 1993.

The winner will take on the winner of Friday night’s Allegany-Fort Hill game next week. If Boonsboro wins, the Warriors will host that game.

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