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|September 7, 2018 @ Mike Callas Stadium|
|Mother Nature’s weather scare didn't deter two teams from playing an entertaining game at Mike Callus Stadium on Friday night.
After an hour delay from the original 7 p.m. start, North Hagerstown rolled to a 35-28 win over Manchester Valley, much different than the Hubs' 7-0 win from last year.
And it was a pleasant experience for North coach Greg Stains, who was part of the 1983 Hubs team that was honored at halftime.
“That season has a special memory, and before the game I wanted to impart some of that on our players,” said Stains, who was an offensive tackle.
North played well in several aspects of the game, and in others there is room for improvement, but the Hubs can look forward to trying to improve to 3-0 next week at Century.
“It’s one game at a time,” said Stains. “We had some defining moments in the game tonight, and we had some bad choices at times.”
The Hubs gave up yardage, notably to Brandon Yingling, a tough senior halfback and through the air from the arm of senior quarterback Kolby Engel, who threw for two scores and ran for one.
At times North needed only a small chunk of yardage to complete scoring drives. Offensively the Hubs had 103 yards on 12 carries from Antoine Cook and 87 yards on 11 carries from Scott Neal. Quarterback Jaynaz Melendez was efficient running the offense and hit 4 of 7 passes for 94 yards.
Exciting moments came in the latter part of the fourth quarter with North holding a 35-22 lead. Engle constructed a 61-yard drive and with 1:23 scored on a 1-yard plunge to cut the deficit to 35-28.
Everyone knew an onside kick was coming. Manchester Valley (0-2) had successfully executed a previous onside, but this one went far out of bounds and North was able to run out the clock.
North’s defense made an immediate impact on Manchester Valley’s first possession.
After a sack and penalty put the Mavericks in a fourth-and-36 necessitating a punt, the Hubs’ Jasiah Wing got his hands on the punt and the deflection went into the hands of Cesar Torres-Lopez at the 13.
Three plays into the set, Neal went off the left side for a score and a 7-0 lead after the kick by Torres-Lopez.
On the Mavericks’ next set of downs, quarterback Engel threw a pass nabbed by North’s Wing at the 47. Wing returned the ball to the 22, Melendez hooked up with Wing to the 3 and two plays later Antoine Cook scored from the 2.
The Mavericks moved from their 43 to the North 8, but the Hubs' defense rose with a defensive effort on a pass in the end zone. That left Manchester Valley with a successful 34-yard field goal by Dayne Koontz.
North had a 59-yard pass play from Melendez to Hunter Keller called back because of a holding penalty, but the Hubs came right back, highlighted by a 17-yard run by Neal who followed his blockers around left perfectly.
From the 21, Cook burst through the middle and could not be touched as he romped in for the score and a 21-3 lead after the PAT with 6:33 left in the second quarter.
But Manchester Valley managed to returned the favor with a scoring strike of 19 yards from Engel to Sam Riley.
With less than two minutes left in the half, North had an opportunity after a Mavericks fumbled on the 30, but two holding penalties snuffed out any scoring chances.
One of the defining plays came in the waning moments of the third quarter when the North defense rose again. The right side of the line gathered to put Yingling on the ground short of a first down, with the Hubs taking over on their own 3.
On a short field from the Mavericks' 35, North made it 28-10 when Cook scored from the 3 following a 13-yard run by Neal.
“Cook is our unknown," said Stains. "It’s his first year in the backfield and he’s a natural talent. He has a combination of speed and power.”
The Mavericks answered right away when Engle found Jacob Chanaud streaking down the sideline in front of the North bench for an 80-yard score. Manchester Valley executed the onside kick and took over on the North 44. A run by Engle followed by a scoring strike to Sam Riley made it a 28-22 game.
North went out quickly on offense and Manchester Valley took over on its 12. On a third-and-8, Engel dropped back to pass but Jamaal Campbell came up with an interception.
The Hubs went in to score on a 24-yard scamper by Neal for a 35-22 lead with 3:10 left, setting up the finishing stages. ---Tim Koelble, Herald-Mail
|August 31, 2018 @ Mike Callas Stadium|
|On the practice field, Jamaal Campbell and Elijah Keyes try to outdo one another.
That’s what North Hagerstown teammates do.
But on Friday, they put any rivalry on the shelf to outdo the competition. This time, it was Surrattsville, and they did it in very special ways.
Campbell and Keyes returned back-to-back short punts for touchdowns to turn a rocky 12-0 lead into a 26-0 halftime advantage to ignite the Hubs as they cruised to an opening 53-0 win.
“They are friends and they have a bit of a competition,” said North coach Greg Stains. “But they were short punts …”
The short punts allowed the Hubs to make short work of the Hornets.
On a night when the offense wasn’t all that crisp, North’s special teams scored 16 first-half points, then helped set up two more scores in the second half — one pass and one run by quarterback Jaynaz Melendez. The defense scored or set up another 10 points.
Scott Neal scored two more TDs on runs of 5 and 54 yards to go with 110 yards rushing to ice the cake. It was the least the offense could do.
“The score is deceiving,” Stains said. “We get the three big punt returns and they were stuck back on their side of the field for the entire game. We had times when we had a chance to do more, but we couldn’t put the dagger in. We had three fumbles in the first half.
“But in high school football, the team that gets the short field usually wins.”
North’s defense more than handled Surrattsville, holding it to minus-15 yards with 22 plays going for losses.
Defensive linemen Jakob Connor and Christian Teague led the way. Connor had a number of tackles for losses and stole a handoff from Surrattsville’s Kordell Diggs, returning it for a 19-yard touchdown to start the third-quarter scoring.
Teague added 11 tackles with three sacks and four hits for losses.
“Christian can just get up the field and make things happen,” Stains said. “Jacob just has a motor that won’t stop.”
But it all got ignited by the kick returns.
The first came with 1:40 to go in the first half with Surrattsville kicking from its own 8.
The kick headed right and short, with the Hubs’ sideline yelling “Get away… get away!”
It fell on Campbell’s deaf ears. The ball bounded near the Hubs sideline and Campbell caught it in midair before running free and clear to the end zone for a 19-0 North lead.
“It was short and it took a fortunate bounce right to him,” Stains said. “He got it on the run and knew he could return it.”
Keyes followed suit on the next series, doing the same thing from the left side of the field. A kick from the end zone bounced at the 31, where Keyes caught it going full speed heading to the end zone. The Hubs led 26-0 with 15 seconds remaining in the half.
It was all but over.
North built the early 12-point lead as Neal scored from the 5 to cap an eight-play, 72-yard drive with 3:22 to go in the first quarter.
The Hubs scored 19 in the second quarter, with the help of the defense and special teams.
North went up 9-0 with 6:40 remaining in the half as Bailey Wilson blocked a punt in the end zone for a safety.
Neal followed with an interception that led to Carlos Torres-Lopez’s 27-yard field goal as the prelude to the punt returns.
The second half started slowly, but the Hubs finished off the game.
Connor scored on his pickpocket touchdown, followed by a second long punt return by Keyes and a personal foul on the Hornets. On the second play from the Surrattsville 13, Melendez found Campbell in the end zone for a touchdown he grabbed from the Hornets defender to put North up 40-0 after three periods.
North capped the scoring in the fourth quarter on Neal’s 54-yard run and a Melendez run from the 1 on the first play after a third long punt return by Campbell.
“We were trying to make things up,” Stains said. “We made mistakes and we have two sophomores starting on the right side the seemed to get overwhelmed. They are better than that. We struggled because they started blitzing and we forgot all our rules.
“I believe we have something special here. We haven’t had a lot of success here over the years, but now we have a group here that can do things.” ---Bob Parsaliti, Herald-Mail
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