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Cunningham stepping down
to take Williamsport AD job
Dan Cunningham never thought he’d be wearing school colors other than the red and black of North Hagerstown High School, his longtime home as a student, coach and teacher.
But he’ll now don blue and white as he takes over as the new athletic director at Williamsport High School, succeeding Todd Ullery who recently became an assistant principal at the school.
“I never thought I’d leave (North) but it has always been a goal of mine to be an AD,” Cunningham said on Wednesday. “I am fortunate that Williamsport is giving me this opportunity.”
Washington County Public Schools made the announcement on Wednesday in a release in which Williamsport principal April Bishop lauded Cunningham.
“I am very pleased to welcome Dan Cunningham to the Williamsport Wildcat community," Bishop said. "He has a contagious, positive attitude that will motivate parents, coaches and fans.
“He built strong teams at North High and will bring those same leadership skills to Williamsport. As athletic director he will build on a strong and successful athletic program. Dan’s focus is on the safety and well-being of the student-athlete preparing for college and careers after high school.”
In recent years, he had been an understudy to North AD Marcia Nissel, learning the ropes of a job he wanted in the future.
“(Marcia) has really been good along the process of leading me in the right direction,” said Cunningham.
Cunningham will step into his new office in the upcoming days.
The 40-year-old Cunningham wore the North colors as a celebrated Hubs quarterback. He is a 1997 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University.
He has been the head coach at North since 2001 with four postseason appearances and two regional championships with a 13-year won-loss record of 78-58.
“I’m not going to say I won’t miss the kids, the coaches (at North),” said Cunningham. “I’ll be texting for Friday night scores.”
One score he won’t have to find via text will be on Oct. 2 when North Hagerstown hosts Williamsport.
Hubs Bembry wins Combine King MVP at National Underclassmen Combine
July 21, 2014---Hubs senior running back Calvin Bembry won the 2014 combine king award at National Underclassmen Football Combine in July.
Bembry had a standing reach of 86, a jumping reach of 122.5, a combine best 36.5 vertical leap, a 9-0 broad jump, 4.37 shuttle time, a 4.56 40-time and 15 bench press reps at 185 lbs.
The Show Must Go On
Thirty-five minutes into the first preseason football practice Wednesday at North Hagerstown, assistant coach Terry Harnish realized there was some necessary equipment missing — the footballs.
As Harnish and two other assistants departed to find the pigskins, it was less apparent that there was another essential element missing — a head coach.
It was a week ago that Dan Cunningham, head coach at North for the last 13 seasons, departed to take the athletic director job at Williamsport.
On Wednesday afternoon, defensive coordinator Greg Stains and offensive coordinator Juwuane Sandridge ran a crisp, three-hour workout. One of the two is likely to be named head coach soon.
Stains said that he expects the decision to come Monday.
"It went well," Stains said of practice. "Under the circumstances and the adversity that we're under, I think you couldn't ask for anything more from the kids than they gave us. It's just something we've got to build and go day to day."
Given the timing of Cunningham's departure, one might expect the Hubs to be running practice just as they have in the past. But on Wednesday, the varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams worked out together, breaking from past tradition.
"It's a different year — a little bit of rebuilding going on," Sandridge said. "We're working as hard as we can to get the best group of guys on the field as possible. We just want the ones who work the hardest to get the playing time, no matter if you're a freshman, sophomore or junior."
It was one of the seniors who took a leadership role in the first practice. When 6-4, 235-pound Aaron Dopson heard some unnecessary chatter during a conditioning drill, he confronted his teammate.
"What is it you don't understand about 'shut up,'" Dopson yelled, adding a few more colorful words for emphasis.
Dopson didn't sound concerned that the departure of Cunningham puts North Hagerstown at a disadvantage.
"We all wish it would have happened a lot sooner than it did," Dopson said. "But I think we have a great coaching staff that'll make what we have, and what we're left with, work. Coach Cunningham was a great guy and left the program in a great place, so I've got nothing bad to say."
"This isn't Xbox," barked assistant Dave Foltz as some of his players struggled through a conditioning station. "This is real football, gentlemen."
Moments earlier, Stains told the entire team of this preseason: "This isn't a jog, it's a sprint."
Doing his best to live up to Stains' order was one of the fastest Hubs, Preston Carey. The versatile senior, who plays all of the offensive skill positions, said that the Hubs are comfortable with the coaching uncertainty.
"It obviously feels a little different," Carey said. "And it's a little bit of a scramble right now. But we got a whole group of coaches who really care about the kids. They really want to win games, too, and they care about us in the classroom and on the field."
Cunningham's decision didn't take North by complete surprise. He informed the coaches of his possible departure a month earlier, which allowed the staff to meet in early July and make contingency plans.
"We just kind of figured we'd set things up and whoever came in and took over as head coach, they would at least have a base from which to go with," Stains said. "We structured practice and decided to do some things differently."
Another change is the offensive set. On Wednesday, the Hubs ran out of a pistol formation, a departure from last year's multiple offense.
"We lost a lot of big linemen, so this offense suits our personnel a little better," said Sandridge, formerly the head coach at Saint James. "A lot of speed. We're trying to cater to that."
After practice, as Sandridge and Stains tossed ideas and observations back and forth, it was evident that they were working together as associates and friends.
In a few days, one will likely be working for the other.
"It's a difficult situation," Sandridge said. "But we know whoever gets it, the program will be in good hands. We all want the same thing — the best for the program no matter what."
Stains named Hubs Head Coach
HAGERSTOWN — Greg Stains had this dream.
“I told Danny (Cunningham) at the Hub Cup once (2004) that I would like to be able to come back to North Hagerstown and coach,” he said.
The dream is now a reality. Stains was named the Hubs’ new head football coach on Thursday, replacing Cunningham, who left the position last week to become Williamsport’s athletic director.
It wasn’t exactly the way Stains envisioned the whole process, but he got what he had always hoped.
“The opportunity to come back and coach at your alma mater is tremendous,” Stains said. “It’s an opportunity to come back and try to build off everything that Danny and (former North coach Glenn) Cross had started. I’m very proud of being a Hub and I’m elated to have the opportunity.”
Stains, 47, has been a Hub for most of his life, considering he played for Cross from 1980-84 and assisted Cunningham for six years as a line coach before getting his shot on Thursday.
The Hubs started preseason practice on Wednesday with offensive coordinator Juwuane Sandridge, assistant Dave Foltz and Stains implementing a plan by committee until a coach was named.
“Danny called to tell me the Williamsport job was open and he was considering applying,” Stains said. “The first thing I thought about was the team, not being a head coach.
“I got together with Dave and Juwuane in the weight room and we started to come up with a plan.”
Williamsport’s hiring process was prolonged and officially elected Cunningham, which set everything in motion.
On Wednesday, it was coaching by committee. On Thursday, it was the same scenario, only with Stains assuming the lead role while he still coached the linemen.
Stains said one of his first acts as head coach was to add to his staff.
“We are in the process of rebuilding our talent core,” he said. “I’m bringing in some new coaches that will help us with the process.”
Sandridge will remain the Hubs’ offensive coordinator and will be allowed to run his system.
Many of them have college coaching backgrounds, which Stains is counting on to help get the Hubs to a higher level. It will be a test for North Hagerstown, considering it opens the season with games against Milford Mill, Urbana, Linganore and Fort Hill — the last three on the road.
“I haven’t looked at it, but Danny was telling me our schedule is ranked as second toughest in the state,” Stains said. “We will be facing five playoff teams from last year.”
One of the assets that Stains says he hopes to draw from is his familiarity with the Hubs.
“This is a work in progress, but these kids have been dynamic in the way the adapted and adjusted,” Stains said. “We explained to them what was going on and they just said ‘Whatever happens, happens.’
“All these guys know me because I’ve been here all four of their years here. I’ve been the coach during the summers at weightlifting. And I’ve run 300s and stairs with them. I tried to build things up and I started with the line.”
Practices have opened with the Hubs’ three teams — varsity, JV and freshmen — practicing together instead of separately.
“I like the enthusiasm of the kids and their effort,” Stains said. “We are working the entire team together, trying to evaluate all the kids and to allow the newer and younger coaches to see and duplicate what we are doing. We are hoping that they see things being done the right way will lead to success.”
And until then, Stains plans on pinching himself as a reminder his dream came true.
“I have no time to react,” Stains said. “Things are just rolling. I interviewed for the job last night. There’s no time to realize what happened. It’s time to get ready. I’ll react later."
Milford Mill rips Hubs, 57-0
It was not a good evening for the North Hagerstown Hubs.
The Milford Mill Academy Millers dominated the Hubs from start to finish to run away with a 57-0 victory on Friday night in a season-opening football game at Mike Callas Stadium.
Bad luck struck North on the opening kickoff. The Hubs caught the kick at their own 25-yard line, before fumbling it. The Hubs managed to recover the fumble, but it went for a 9-yard loss back to their own 16-yard line.
Right before the first play from scrimmage, North was penalized 5 yards for having too many players on the field. That sent the Hubs back to their own 11-yard line with a first-and-15 situation. Shortly thereafter, the Hubs punted without getting a first down.
Milford Mill gradually moved the ball down the field as it only took four first downs to get their first score. Running back Brandon Abrams charged through the middle for a 1-yard touchdown run with 9:03 remaining to give the Millers a 6-0 lead.
Millers quarterback Deonte White came through with a pair of touchdown runs through the middle in the latter stages of the first quarter. White had a 2-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion run with 2:56 to go in the period. White then added a big 44-yard touchdown run with 12 seconds left in the period to enlarge the Millers’ lead to 20-0.
Abrams came up with a pair of touchdown runs during the second quarter. Abrams had a 2-yard touchdown run with 10:17 remaining in the period and then added a 5-yard touchdown run with 4:09 left in the quarter to enable Milford Mill to increase its advantage to 32-0 by halftime.
Deontaye White, who is Deonte White’s brother, scored a pair of touchdowns during the third quarter for Milford Mill. White had a 3-yard touchdown run and Jonathan Johnson kicked the extra point with 10:40 left in the period. White then added a 19-yard touchdown run with 4:20 remaining in the quarter to boost the Millers’ lead to 45-0.
Believe it or not, Milford Mill decided to go for an onside kick and recovered it on the Hubs’ 48-yard line.
The Millers still had possesion going into the fourth quarter and got a 3-yard touchdown run by Derrick Williamson with 8 minutes left in the period.
But the Millers were still not finished with their scoring. Milford Mill got a 12-yard touchdown run to the right side by Troy Scott as the time in the fourth quarter was running out for the final margin of victory at 57-0.
Metz, Hamburg lead JV Hubs past Williamsport, 49-22
September 6, 2014---Freshman QB Chase Metz was 8-for-10, for 174 yards, with three passing TDs, and running for another, while Noah Hamburg had 210 total yards and two TDs in the North Hagerstown JV Hubs 49-22 victory over Williamsport.
The JV Hubs had six different players score touchdowns on Saturday. Hamburg led the way with two TDs, while Jackson Clement, Austin Kershner, Cody Michael, T.J. Harris, and Metz had one TD each.
Hamburg led all receivers with 101 yards on only two catches and Harris led the ground game with 70 yards on nine carries.
Shawn Thomas led the defense with eight tackles, Ray Lansdowne, Ryan Montes, and Aaron Hudson had seven tackles each. Montes, Thomas, and Dominik Wolters had a sack and Clement had an interception in the win.
Freshman kicker Madison Foltz became North's first-ever female football player on Saturday and made her mark right away--- going a perfect 7-for-7 on PAT kicks, tying Josh Metzner's JV record of seven set in 2006.
The JV Hubs improve to (1-0) and will be right back in action on Wednesday against Smithsburg at Mike Callas Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM.
Freshman Hubs fall to South, 20-14
JV Hubs defeat Smithsburg, 33-20
September 10, 2014---The Smithsburg Leopards opened the second half with a scoring drive to take a 14-13 lead, but the North Hagerstown JV Hubs responded with three straight TDs to pull away for a 33-20 victory on Wednesday evening.
Fullback Cody Michael was the JV Hubs catalyst in the second half by gashing the Smithsburg defense for 105 yards and a TD.
Noah Hamburg, the Hubs shifty veerback, scored two TDs, while tight end Michael Stevens hauled in two Chase Metz passes for North touchdowns.
Ray Lansdowne led the JV Hub defense with seven tackles, Dominik Wolters had two sacks, and Jackson Clement and Hamburg had INTs. Maddy Foltz connected on three PATs for the winners.
The JV Hubs improve to (2-0) and will travel to Boonsboro (1-0) on Wednesday evening for a 6PM kickoff.
Urbana flies past Hubs, 48-6
IJAMSVILLE, Md. — The result of the second game of the season for the North Hagerstown Hubs was very similar to their Week 1 defeat, but the attitude and effort given was much different, according to head coach Greg Stains.
Despite falling 48-6 on the road against Frederick County powerhouse Urbana, Stains saw a strikingly different Hubs team when compared to a week ago.
“Last week, we lacked intensity,” Stains said. “We didn’t take the punch. Tonight was different. Although the score looks similar, I just could tell our guys were playing harder and had something more tonight.”
On the back foot from the opening possessions, North (0-2) struggled to do much offensively in the early going. Quarterback Damien Nave, who would exit in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury, was harassed by the Hawks’ defense. Running backs Calvin Bembry and Tucker Brugh ran hard, but found openings hard to come by.
The Hawks scored on their first three possessions and were up 20-0 at the end of the first quarter. Quarterback Donovan Pannell was accurate and star back Ray Gray, who finished with 145 yards and three touchdowns on only 12 carries, was at his best.
“We kept giving them a short field, which didn’t help our cause,” Stains said. “Our backs were against the wall for much of that first half.”
Gray’s third touchdown of the game, directly following a Hubs fumble near midfield with five minutes left in the second quarter, made it 27-0 and the rout was on. The hosts would add two more scores on a run by backup quarterback Julian Kenard and a 31-yard strike from Pannell to Jake Gallaway to make it 41-0 at the break.
“We are so young, starting multiple freshmen and sophomores,” Stains said. “They are the first ones I grab to make sure they don’t get discouraged. They understand that we are building something that takes time.”
Urbana ran in one more score in the third quarter, and the Hubs broke through in the fourth. After a fine drive led by quarterback Andrew Fiery, Raughn Carter took a sweep around the left side for a 13-yard TD.
Despite, the scoreline, the Hubs bench was still involved and cheering the entire drive.
“They are starting to believe in themselves, and when they do that, they see that they can compete with these teams,” Stains said. “I preach to them that it’s about taking small, incremental steps, and we’re doing just that.”
Carter finished with 58 yards rushing and 26 receiving, while Bembry added 40 rushing. Fiery threw for 50 yards in his time under center.
Boonsboro defeats JV Hubs on last second FG, 24-21
September 17, 2014---Boonsboro capitalized on a late North turnover and converted a 32-yard game winning field goal to defeat the JV Hubs, 24-21, on Wednesday evening.
Chase Metz threw for 151 yards and a TD, while also rushing for a score. Jackson Clement caught a 73-yard TD, Cody Michael rushed for a 23-yard touchdown, and Madison Foltz was a perfect 3-for-3 on PATs in the loss.
Michael Stevens led the defense with 15 tackles, Austin Kershner had an interception, and Clement recovered a fumble.
The JV Hubs fall to (2-1) and will come home to face South Hagerstown on Monday evening at 7:00 PM.
Hubs fall to state ranked Linganore, 46-6
IJAMSVILLE, Md. — As the last seconds ticked off of North Hagerstown’s 46-6 loss at Linganore on Friday night, there was at least one feeling absent from the Hubs’ huddle and sideline: Apathy.
Energetic throughout the four quarters, Hubs coach Greg Stains’ men were a different bunch from those who fell in other tough games against Milford Mill and Urbana. This team has started to grow and jell.
“We had some bad luck, and that’s discouraging, but we kept at it,” Stains said. “Defensively, I thought we were great for periods. They played with fire.”
After surrendering a safety on their second possession, the Hubs (0-3) then gave up a 4-yard touchdown run to quarterback Nathaniel Musselman to make it 8-0. The defense was constantly put in precarious situations, but its ability to fight back and hold the Lancers at bay kept the game close for much of the first half.
“We forced them into nine negative plays,” Stains said. “Our boys came out more confident than they have been and knowing they can run this system well.”
Linganore (3-0) hit a 39-yard touchdown pass from Musselman to receiver Adam Beisser to make it 15-0 at the end of one quarter, but the game was still within striking distance.
The Hubs’ offense, however, struggled to gain any footing and found yards hard to come by against a robust Lancers front seven.
“Our offensive line just isn’t clicking right now,” Stains said. “They will continue to grow and get better, though.”
As the defense continued to hold its own, turnovers began to mount. A second fumble for the Hubs led to one score for Linganore, and a muffed kickoff gave the ball right back to the Lancers. After spending so much time on the field, the defense began to crack and the Lancers exploited the holes.
After two more Musselman touchdown throws, one a deflected effort that fell straight to receiver Jack Staub, and a touchdown run from halfback Darrick Edwards, the game was out of hand.
“We had two dropped interceptions and some other bad luck,” Stains said. “I truly believe that scoreboard doesn’t reflect how we played and improved tonight.”
Linganore added another running touchdown by fullback Chris Connor early in the third quarter before North broke through. Quarterback Andrew Fiery found Preston Carey across the middle, and the receiver used his elite speed to do the rest on a 61-yard score to put the Hubs on the board.
Another Linganore safety midway through the fourth quarter rounded out the scoring.
Despite another big loss, Stains remained optimistic, knowing what he had seen was an improvement from the previous two weeks.
“We’ll come out again against Fort Hill, and we’ll know what we have to do,” he said. “We’re going to work on some things and just keep working and things will come together.”
Harris leads JV Hubs past South, 21-12
September 22, 2014---T.J. Harris ran for 158 yards and a pair of scores to lead the North Hagerstown JV Hubs to a 21-12 victory over cross-town rival South Hagerstown on Monday evening.
Freshman QB Chase Metz connected with fellow freshman Taliek Mackenzie on a 21-yard score for the first touchdown of the game. Maddy Foltz drilled the PAT for a 7-0 Hubs lead.
After a North fumble South answered back with 10 yard TD pass, but Metz broke up the conversion to preserve a one-point North lead.
North grinded away a 14-play, 78-yard drive capped by a five-yard TD plunge by Harris. Foltz added the PAT kick to make the score 14-6.
South answered again with a two-yard TD run, but the Hubs once again stopped the conversion to hold on to a two-point lead.
T.J. Harris needed only one play to find the end zone. Harris sprinted 82 yards around left end and down the sidelines for a TD. Foltz added her third PAT for a 21-12 lead heading to the half.
Both teams threatened several times---but never found the end zone the rest of the way.
Metz had a solid game, going 8-for-13, for 140 yards and a TD, while Jackson Clement caught three passes for 63 yards and Mackenzie added two grabs for 45 yards and a score.
Michael Stevens led the defense with 12 tackles, while Ray Landsdowne added 10 tackles in the win.
The JV Hubs improve to (3-1) and will have 16 days off until they face Williamsport on October 8 at Callas Stadium.
Freshman Hubs close out South, 22-20
Deion Odai scored the game winning two-point conversion to lead the North Hagerstown Freshman Hubs to a 22-20 come from behind victory over South Hagerstown.
Odai added a TD, Jayden Carter had a TD run, and Ashton Vanvelzor had a fumble recovery TD in the victory.
The Freshman Hubs improve to (2-0) and will face South again on Wednesday at School Stadium.
Fort Hill uses big first quarter to rout Hubs, 46-8
CUMBERLAND, Md. — Fort Hill continued its dominance of North Hagerstown in the career series, beating the Hubs for the 36th time in 42 contests.
This one was over early.
Fort Hill (4-0) held a 36-0 lead by the time the first period came to a conclusion, well on the way to sending North (0-4) to another loss.
Ty Johnson had three touchdowns for the Sentinels in the first quarter, including a punt return that made it 29-0. On the last play of the first quarter, Timmy Friend intercepted a North pass and returned it 45 yards for a score, and the quarter ended 36-0.
North avoided a shutout when Calvin Bembry ran 31 yards for a touchdown, followed by a two-point conversion pass from Andrew Fiery to Preston Carey, in the fourth quarter.
The Hubs managed 153 total yards, compared to 407 for Fort Hill. Carey caught six passes for 60 yards. Aaron Dopson had 11 tackles and Jeremy Lum had 10 for North. Tucker Brugh and Jerrod Green each recovered a fumble.
This is the first time since 2008 North has started a season 0-4.
Williamsport stuns Hubs, 28-23
HAGERSTOWN — Matt Malphurs is a man of few words.
"I'm overwhelmed. ... I don't know what to say," he said.
That's OK. He didn't have to say a thing. His actions spoke much louder.
Malphurs, a bit player on offense by his own description, provided three huge plays in the last two minutes of Thursday night's contest, leading Williamsport to a stunning 28-23 MVAL Antietam victory over North Hagerstown at Mike Callas Stadium.
The Wildcats (3-2, 2-0) won out in a ping-pong match of a fourth quarter, outscoring North 22-6 in the final 12 minutes to pull out a thrilling victory.
The game was basically a duel between Williamsport quarterback Saavon Brown and North's swing back Preston Carey, as the pair combined to score 30 of the first 39 points.
The last two minutes was all for Malphurs, who made a big reception before scoring the winning touchdown on a 14-yard run. He topped it off by taking down the slippery Carey for a critical 3-yard loss to thwart the Hubs' last-minute attempt to pull out their first win of the year.
"I wasn't supposed to play any offense tonight," Malphurs said rather sheepishly.
But he played much of the second half, mostly in his bit role behind Brown, who scored on runs of 32 and 33 yards and added two two-point conversions in the fourth quarter to move the Wildcats from a 17-6 deficit to a 22-17 lead with 5:26 remaining.
North (0-5, 0-1) didn't go away. The Hubs drove down the field on strong runs by Calvin Bembry and isolation passes to Carey to move the ball downfield quickly.
The Hubs took advantage of Williamsport's attention to Carey on a fourth-and-10 play at the Wildcats 17. With Williamsport triple-teaming Carey, quarterback Andrew Fiery took advantage of an uninhabited left half of the field to run in for the score that gave North a 23-22 lead with 2:22 remaining.
All of a sudden — unbeknownst to even Malphurs himself — it was Malphurs' time.
Williamsport moved to the North 47 with 1:59 remaining. Brown rolled right looking for a receiver and dumped a quick hit to Malphurs just before stepping out of bounds. Malphurs bulled upfield and got to North's 28. The Hubs were called for a personal foul on the play to move the ball to the 14.
"It was just a broken play," he said. "I got over there ... he saw me ... I got the ball and turned upfield. I'm really overwhelmed right now."
Malphurs got the call on the next play and slashed over right tackle, bulling his way for the last 14 yards and the game-winning touchdown with 1:36 remaining.
"The line blocked great," Malphurs said. "I just got the ball and hit the hole and then I saw the goal line."
Williamsport failed on its conversion attempt, keeping the lead at five.
North hustled to get in position for a possible winning score. On a first-and-10 at the Williamsport 43, the Hubs tried another swing pass to Carey. Malphurs took him down for a 3-yard loss. On the next play, Justin Kemp intercepted a Fiery pass at the 13 with 20 seconds remaining to ice the game.
"He's pretty tough to bring down," Malphurs said of Carey. "I just got him enough to bring him down."
It was an impressive end for Williamsport, a team that has a reputation for struggling defensively.
"At the beginning of the year, as a staff and a team, we felt we were way behind," said Wildcats coach Vince Ahearn. "We got the kids to come over. They have been great for coaching and for changes. Matt is the epitome of that."
North led 10-6 at the half. Carey scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter and Hunter Martin added the kick for a 7-0 North lead, before Brown scored his first TD on a 6-yard run for Williamsport. Martin hit a 23-yard field goal with 1 second remaining in the half to give the Hubs the four-point lead.
Carey added a 28-yard TD catch to open the second half, and finished with 50 yards rushing and 43 yards receiving. Bembry ran for 132 yards on 23 carries.
Brown rushed for 160 yards and threw for 111 more. Malphurs rushed five time for 21 yards.
Freshman Hubs rout South Hagerstown, 36-12
JV Hubs close out Williamsport, 28-22
October 8, 2014---It seemed like deja vu all over again, just on a different level. Just five days ago the Williamsport varsity team scored in the final moments to defeat the Hubs varsity squad.
On Wednesday evening the exact same thing happened as the JV Wildcats scored with 1:57 left to take a 22-21 lead. The JV Hubs decided it wouldn't happen again as they marched 52 yards in 1:16 to defeat Williamsport 28-22 on a T.J. Harris 5-yard game-winning TD run and a Maddy Foltz PAT.
North jumped out to a 14-0 lead with a Chase Metz to Noah Hamburg TD connection, a Metz 19-yard scoring run, and two Foltz PATs.
Williamsport answered back with a score right before the half and a third quarter TD to tie the game at 14.
Cody Michael put the Hubs back on top at the beginning of the fourth quarter with a two-yard run to cap a 91-yard drive.
Metz finished 14-for-20 passing with 167 yards and a TD, while also rushing for 101 yards and a TD. Harris added 70 yards on the ground with a TD and Michael chipped in with 52 yards and a score.
Hamburg paced the JV Hubs receivers with four catches for 58 yards, while Michael Stevens caught four passes for 55 yards.
Austin Kershner, Ray Lansdowne and Stevens led the defense with nine tackles, while Hamburg had two INTs---including one to ice the game with 30 seconds left.
The JV Hubs will travel to Smithsburg on Wednesday for a 6:00 PM kickoff.
Boonsboro holds off Hubs, 35-27
BOONSBORO — With two electrifying plays, Preston Carey threatened to turn around a game, and maybe a season, on Friday night for North Hagerstown.
But the efficient offense of Boonsboro would have none of the pity party for the winless Hubs. The Warriors scored on their first three drives of the second half, then fended off a North rally for a 35-27 MVAL Antietam victory.
Owen Glass ran 18 times for 150 yards and three touchdowns, leading a powerful ground attack as Boonsboro (4-2, 2-1) extended the miseries of North (0-6, 0-2).
It was an interesting matchup of the big-play dynamism of speedy North against the precision and execution of Boonsboro. Nearly every drive the Warriors made, the Hubs answered with a big play.
Carey scored in the first half on a spectacular 87-yard interception return, then added a 33-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass.
In the second half, Calvin Bembry (11 carries, 142 yards) broke loose for a 60-yard touchdown sprint. Later, when the game looked lost, Carey touched off a rally with a 46-yard run from scrimmage which set up his own 7-yard touchdown run with 1:15 left, making it 35-27.
When North recovered the ensuing onside kick, the Hubs had a chance to tie. Carey (seven carries, 92 yards) ripped off 28 yards, then 6 more as North reached the Boonsboro 1-yard line.
“They were getting there in big chunks,” Boonsboro coach Clayton Anders said. “It was kind of a sinking feeling.”
But on third and goal, junior quarterback Marqui Hoffman couldn’t get a grip on a shotgun snap. Boonsboro swarmed the ball and made the recovery to clinch the win.
“This is the worst way to lose,” Carey said. “I’d rather lose by 60 points than lose by a touchdown, especially when you get so close like that. I feel like we didn’t lose (to them) tonight. We beat ourselves.”
For Boonsboro, it was another uplifting victory. Last month, the Warriors defeated three-time defending Class 2A state champion Middletown. On Friday night, they handed a loss to a team that thrashed them 42-7 a year ago.
“We pride ourselves on execution and on team effort,” Anders said. “We know we’re not going to have some of the athletes other teams have. We have to be the best team we can be.”
There were many threats in Anders’ Wing-T offense on Friday night. Sophomore Zachery Grams (eight carries, 54 yards) and junior Chance Thomas (12 carries, 54 yards) banged between the tackles while Glass and senior Bo Bodenheimer (nine carries, 69 yards) worked the outside.
Boonsboro did it all behind a tiny offensive line of seniors Scott Brandt (5-11, 176), Donald Drawbaugh (5-11, 177) and Dakota Pfeiffer (5-10, 207), junior Walter Riley (6-2, 208) and sophomore Jared Tribett (6-0, 190) — which was dwarfed by the North front seven.
“We definitely executed all of our blocking schemes on the offensive line,” quarterback Jeff Bennett said. “And we have some creative backs with some great moves.”
One of the best runs was turned in by Glass. It was only for 4 yards, but he made something out of nothing by stringing out the run and patiently finding a crack for a score.
“Owen's always been a playmaker for us,” Bennett said. “We expect it now.”
“We call that a willpower run,” Anders added.
After that carry, which put Boonsboro up 35-21 late in the third quarter, it was just a matter of Boonsboro hanging on and hoping to contain Carey.
“We have no answer for that,” Anders said when asked how to defend the senior.
North will continue to seek ways to shake Carey loose and try to salvage something from this trying season.
“We keep getting better,” Carey said. “But this is a new team trying to work as one unit. Right now, we’re still working as individuals.”
Kevin Dunleavy is a sports reporter for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JV Hubs win mud bowl over Smithsburg
October 15, 2014---Smithsburg used a sloppy wet field to their advantage on Wednesday evening and almost walked away with an upset victory---however the JV Hubs once again used some late game heroics to pull out a 13-8 victory.
North jumped on top with a 17-yard TD run by Noah Hamburg with 4:45 left in the first quarter. Maddy Foltz added the PAT for a 7-0 JV Hub lead.
The Hubs threatened several more times in the first half, but miscues and turnovers kept North out of the end zone.
Another North mishap---a bad snap---put Smithsburg in great field position for a score. With 4:34 left in the game the Leopards finally found the goal line on a QB sneak. Smithsburg would convert the two-point conversion to take an 8-7 lead.
The Red & Black marched 55 yards in five plays to regain the lead. The drive only took 2:04 and was keyed by two Chase Metz passes, the first a 25-yard throw to Cody Michael and a 20-yard TD pass to Hamburg.
The North defense shut down any threat by the Leopards and walked away with a five-point victory.
Metz was 7-for-14 passing for 134 yards and a TD, while Michael was his top target with five catches for 110 yards.
Michael Stevens led the defense with 10 tackles, Aaron Hudson had eight tackles and a fumble recovery, and Dominik Wolters had six tackles and two sacks.
The JV Hubs improve to (5-1) and will come home to face Boonsboro (6-0) at 6PM on Wednesday evening at Callas Stadium.
Catoctin jumps on North early
North Hagerstown was two different teams on Friday night — the one with Preston Carey on the field and the one with him on the sideline.
Unfortunately for the Hubs, the three solid quarters they played with Carey couldn’t compensate for the terrible period they played without him in a 32-21 homecoming loss to Catoctin.
With Carey sitting out the first quarter for a disciplinary matter, Catoctin dominated. While North (0-7, 0-3 MVAL Antietam) failed to get a first down on two possessions, the Cougars scored quickly on their first three, putting the Hubs in a 20-0 hole.
“That’s been the North High problem for a few years — we’re a slow-starting team,” Hubs coach Greg Stains said. “We just don’t take advantage of what we have in front of us.”
But there was a partial reason for the slow start on Friday as Carey sat out.
“It was very frustrating to watch, but I put all the blame on myself,” Carey said. “I was making the wrong decisions at practice — not taking things serious, goofing off a little bit. He wanted to show that leaders can get in trouble too.”
When Carey entered in the second period, he helped spark the Hubs immediately, capping a pair of drives with touchdown runs as North got back in the game, trailing 26-14 at the half.
But when the night was finished, there were too many mistakes to compensate for. A bad snap on a punt give Catoctin (3-4, 2-1) a gift touchdown in the second quarter.
In the fourth quarter, after starting center Chad Malcom limped off the field, his replacement sailed the next two shotgun snaps over the head of quarterback Marqui Hoffman. The second errant snap was recovered by Catoctin, ending the hopes of the Hubs with less than six minutes left.
“We lost our second-string center last night in a freak practice play,” Stains said. “When you lose your first- and your second-string center, you don’t really look for a third one.”
Carey (13 carries, 76 yards) and Calvin Bembery (13 carries, 65 yards) did the bulk of the work for the North offense. Bembry’s 8-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter capped a 20-play march which ate nearly 9 minutes off the clock and cut Catoctin’s lead to 26-21.
North was taking over the game with a ball-control offense. But Catoctin answered with a monster drive of its own led by senior Shawn Herman (34 carries, 148 yards, two touchdowns).
North was also haunted by Catoctin quarterback Ben Dewees who rushed 14 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns and completed 6 of 8 passes for 125 yards and another score.
“Defensive breakdowns, missed assignments, missed tackles,” said North linebacker Jeremy Lum who had an interception, a sack and a fourth down stop for another loss. “We got in too big a hole to dig ourselves out of.”
Catoctin’s fast start was unquestionably aided by the absence of Carey, who also plays safety and on Friday night was a member of the homecoming court.
“He came into the game and that was a problem,” Catoctin coach Doug Williams. “He’s one of the fasted kids I’ve seen in years. He’s lightning.”
Harris, JV Hubs blackout undefeated Boonsboro, 49-21
October 22, 2014---The North Hagerstown JV Hubs wore all black uniforms on Wednesday evening in their battle with undefeated Boonsboro. The JV Hubs were on a mission and they apparently thought the uniforms were military special ops digs as they throttled the Warriors, 49-21.
North racked up a JV single-game record 569 yards of total offense and rushed for 454 yards. Leading the way was T.J. Harris who ran 24 times for a JV single-game record 301 yards while scoring three touchdowns. Harris broke Diez Johnson's JV record by a whopping 65 yards.
Noah Hamburg scored two touchdowns and had 87 total offensive yards, while Chase Metz and Ray Lansdowne each added TD runs. Metz was 6-for-7 passing for 115 yards in the win.
Michael Stevens led the defense with 12 tackles, Dominik Wolters had nine tackles and Cody Michael had eight tackles in the victory.
Madison Foltz also kicked her way into the record books by connecting on four PATs to break the JV single-season record of 23 held by Matt Stowell. Foltz currently has 25 PATs on the season and also booted a 20-yard field goal right before the end of the first half.
The JV Hubs improve to (6-1) and will travel to cross town rival South Hagerstown next Wednesday evening for a 6PM kickoff.
Smithsburg scores 41 unanswered points to defeat winless Hubs
SMITHSBURG — The Smithsburg football team took a novel approach to what could have been a dire situation.
“We came out and had fun” said Smithsburg quarterback Dylan Curtis. “I told myself before the game, ‘Go out and have some fun … We’ve got nothing to lose.”
And oh, did the Leopards have fun — and when it was over, they didn’t lose.
Instead, Curtis threw for 234 yards and four touchdowns and ran for a fifth score as Smithsburg changed what looked like it was going to be another lousy Friday into an emotionally uplifting 41-14 MVAL Antietam victory over North Hagerstown.
Devon Robinson and Ali Robinson each caught a pair of touchdown passes as the Leopards (3-5, 1-3) found a couple of things they could exploit against the Hubs’ defense and used it to their advantage the rest of the night.
“The past six weeks were as tough a six weeks I’ve ever experienced,” Smithsburg coach Steve Lindsay said. “There were some tough close losses and a couple of humiliating defeats. We were having a tough time getting momentum. Today, they understood the need to play with a sense of urgency.”
It took time, but it came for Smithsburg.
It started out looking as if North (0-8, 0-4) was in a prime position to grab its first win after scoring 14 points in the first 5:03. But Smithsburg took advantage of North’s aggressiveness and a first-quarter injury to Preston Carey to turn the tables and score the final 41 of the game.
Carey scored on the second play of the game, busting out to the right sideline and running 56 yards for a touchdown. Hunter Martin added the extra point and North had a 7-0 lead in the first 44 seconds.
North’s blitzing attack took Smithsburg out of its first possession, then the Hubs blocked a punt to get the ball on the Leopards 11. It took four plays, with Calvin Bembry scoring from the 2 on fourth down to give North a 14-0 lead with 6:57 to go in the quarter.
But the Hubs lost Carey on a 3-yard run with 4:10 to go in the opening stanza. He got up slowly and left on his own power with his head down, and never returned.
Smithsburg took over.
The Leopards, who had been rather conservative offensively this season, took advantage of North’s aggressiveness and the loss of Carey.
They did so by turning Curtis and his receivers loose — using a few fourth-down plays to make the point.
The first came at the end of the first quarter, when Curtis hit Devon Robinson racing down the left hashmarks for a 35-yard score on a fourth-and-11 play to make it 14-7.
“They were coming up and leaving an opening around the safety,” Curtis said. “We went over the top. It felt good to just come out and have some fun.”
Smithsburg took control in the second quarter with three scores to take a 28-14 halftime lead by using the same formula. Curtis did the primary running with read options, then found the receivers to make the big plays.
“We saw some things we could use and we executed,” Lindsay said. “We kept going to them until (North) proved they could stop it.”
The Hubs never did.
Curtis hit Ali Robinson on a 39-yard scoring pass with 6:20 to go in the half on a third-and-13 play. He then hit Taylor Scott for a two-point conversion pass for a 15-14 Smithsburg lead.
Smithsburg recovered the ensuing kick that North allowed to roll free, setting up a 12-yard drive capped by Curtis’ dive from the 1. Then he hit Devon Robinson on a 29-yard pass with 1:51 to go in the half for the 28-14 halftime lead.
Curtis hit Marco Messina on a 24-yard TD pass in the third quarter, and backup quarterback Danny Pittinger hit Ali Robinson on a 16-yard toss with 2:32 remaining in the game to close the scoring.
Smithsburg held North to 116 yards of offense, while intercepting four passes and recovering a fumble.
The Leopards had 355 yards of offense. Curtis also rushed for 62 yards.
Brunswick keeps North winless
Brunswick’s defense forced three turnovers, Seth Wagner ran for 237 yards and two touchdowns, and the Railroaders earned a 28-24 victory over winless North Hagerstown on the Hubs’ Senior Night Friday.
North Hagerstown (0-9, 0-5) needed a touchdown to take the lead with 3:03 remaining in the fourth quarter, starting from its own 40-yard line. After a 10-yard run by Calvin Bembry started the drive, it ended on the next play when Tucker Brugh coughed up the football after breaking free for 21 yards, allowing Brunswick’s Ryan Wilson to pounce on it and seal the game for the Railroaders (4-5, 2-3).
The Hubs had enough offense and even made enough defensive stops to win. However, their turnover issues doomed them more than once.
Brunswick trailed 17-16 midway through the third quarter, but grabbed the lead when Erik Jones intercepted Marqui Hoffman’s pass and took it 52 yards for a touchdown and a 22-17 lead.
Bembry acted as North Hagerstown’s offensive catalyst, compiling 48 yards on the Hubs’ first drive and 197 yards total on 23 carries. He added a pair of touchdowns.
His first touchdown capped off North’s opening nine-play drive that covered 53 yards and gave the Hubs a 7-0 lead.
Brunswick had an immediate answer on its first offensive possession when Jones bolted 65 yards and Seth Wagner ran in for the two-point conversion to give the Railroaders an 8-7 lead.
Raughn Carter intercepted Brunswick quarterback Douglas Pearl’s pass, then made it count on offense with a 52-yard TD reception from Andrew Fiery that put North Hagerstown back on top 14-8 with 2:59 left in the first quarter.
A 37-yard field goal by Hunter Martin extended the Hubs’ lead to 17-8 early in the second quarter, but a 32-yard run by Jones started an eight-play, 64-yard drive for Brunswick. Wagner’s 1-yard touchdown and two-point conversion run. cut North’s edge to 17-16.
After the Railroaders’ pick-six, North Hagerstown reclaimed the lead when Bembry scampered into the end zone from 6 yards out to put the Hubs back ahead 24-22 with 1:13 left in the third quarter.
Wagner crossed the goal line again halfway through the fourth quarter, rumbling in from the 5 to cap a lengthy 14-play drive that proved decisive for Brunswick.
South explodes past Hubs, 46-7
The South Hagerstown football team is like a powder keg. It only takes a fire to light its fuse.
Darian Robinson provided the match on Friday. After that, it was just a matter of time before the BOOM.
Robinson broke off a 74-yard touchdown run on the third play of the second quarter, and it was fireworks the rest of the way as the Rebels ran off with a 46-7 victory over North Hagerstown to win the 58th edition of the City Championship.
South heads to the Maryland Class 3A West playoffs next week with a 10-0 record, the MVAL Antietam title and its first undefeated regular season since 1962.
Robinson finished with 252 yards rushing and three touchdowns, while teammate D’Morea James added three carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns to pace the way to a victory that really wasn’t all that easy.
North Hagerstown (0-10) made sure of that.
“I appreciate the way they came out and played,” said South Hagerstown coach Toby Peer.
“(North) had a game plan and fired off the ball. As a coach, I really appreciate that, but our team rebounded and came back.”
And did it with authority.
North took its opening possession and shredded South’s defense with strong runs by Calvin Bembry and Tucker Brugh. The Hubs finished the drive with a 10-yard score by Bembry for a 7-0 lead with 7:41 remaining in the quarter. Meanwhile the defense kept the Rebels in check.
The whole game changed in two plays for the Rebels.
The first was the first play of the second quarter, when South’s defense held Bembry short on a fourth-down run to get the ball on downs at South’s 20.
The second was three plays later on Robinson’s run. He busted around the left end of the line and dashed that fateful 74 yards for the first score to tie the game at 7 with 11:05 to go in the half.
“(North’s defense) was coming up quick and I was able to get past the first wave,” Robinson said. “It was a lot of work by the O-line and staying back and seeing the holes.”
After that run, there were many more to come for South.
The next two runs by South backs were a 36-yard starter followed by a 25-yard finisher for James for his first score at the 9:10 mark and a 14-0 lead. The Rebels ended the half with a 53-yard TD run by James and a 57-yard scoring jaunt by Robinson as each found the end zone for the second time to give the Rebels a 28-7 halftime lead.
“We tried to blitz and put a lot of pressure up on the line, and couldn’t fill the gaps,” said North coach Greg Stains. “We were giving them too much in the seams. We came out emotional and ready to play, but then we got shell-shocked. ... That happened to us a lot this year.”
With everything rolling their way, the Rebels took care of business to wrap up all the spoils of victory.
Dominique Johnson opened the second half with a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 34-7 lead.
Later, James squirted through the middle of the line for a 50-yard TD run and Robinson capped it off with a 44-yard burst with 3:39 left in the third quarter.
Suddenly, the clock was running — and the Hubs had trouble stopping that, too.
From there, both teams chewed up offensive yardage, but no one scored.
“This was a great job by the offensive line and the reads of the running backs,” Peer said. “That first touchdown got us on track. This is all huge for everyone in the South community and everyone who has ever wore a Rebels jersey.”
Bembry finished with 186 yards rushing on 29 carries for the Hubs.
South ran 27 plays in the game to score six touchdowns and roll up 489 yards of offense.
2014 Hubs Football Post Season Award Winners