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A successful homecoming for Tigers

Hagerstown’s Paige Stuart (left) and Colten Griffin were named Homecoming Queen and King, respectively, at halftime of the host Tigers’ 20-0 TEC football victory over Cambridge City Lincoln Friday night.

By DAN HARNEY - For The Courier-Times

HAGERSTOWN — Nothing helps erase memories of a frustrating football season like a victory over a longtime rival on Homecoming night.

The Hagerstown Tigers and the Cambridge City Golden Eagles may not be Class A state title contenders, but Friday they fought so furiously you would have thought they were playing for one. Both teams desperately needed a win to turn their season around.

It would be unthinkable for the Tigers to lose to their biggest rival on Homecoming night. On the other hand, there would be nothing sweeter for the Golden Eagles than to send the Tigers to the post-game Homecoming dance with a loss.

The host Tigers made sure it was a happy Homecoming dance with a 20-0 shutout win over the Golden Eagles.

The effort was there in the first half, the results were not. The Tigers elected to kick off to Lincoln to start the game. The Eagles were not effective on ground or in the air. The only first down they could generate came as result of Tiger penalties before they finally turned the ball over on downs on the 20-yard line.

The Tigers were no more effective. After six plays they punted it back to the Eagles. The teams traded possessions two more times before going the end of the first quarter in a scoreless tie.

Two plays into the second quarter, an 18-yard run from Collin Romack gave Hagerstown a first and goal at the seven-yard line. The Eagle defense held for the first three attempts to score before Lincoln’s Hayden Pierce intercepted a fourth-down pass in the end zone for a touchback.

A 36-yard pass play from Alex Bertsch to Pierce gave the Eagles great field position but four plays later Brady McMillan stepped in to intercept a Bertsch pass to kill the drive.

The Tigers then put together a sustained drive. After effectively and methodically marching down field they again found themselves on the five-yard line with a first and goal. Again, the Cambridge City kept them out of the end zone and off the scoreboard, and the teams went to halftime in a scoreless tie.

The third quarter started much like the first two quarters. The Tigers received the kickoff and put together a 12-play drive before Jacob Ervin picked off a Snodgrass pass and carried it to the 18-yard line.

A 50-yard pass play from Bertsch to Shawn Suttles moved the ball to the 32-yard line with a new set of downs. Two plays later Braden Himelick picked off an errant pass and this time the Tigers made the Eagles pay.

On the second play from scrimmage Snodgrass found Himelick deep and Himelick made a circus catch and ran to the end zone. The play went for 61 yards. The PAT kick was wide, but with 1:48 remaining in the third quarter the Tigers were on the scoreboard with a 6-0 lead they carried into the final period of play.

Lincoln punted the ball to Hagerstown on the opening play of the fourth quarter. The Tigers started on the 30-yard line and marched 70 yards to the end zone in ten plays. Camden Rhoades ran the ball in from three yards out at the 8:10 mark.

The Tigers lined up to kick the PAT, but the holder, Brady McMillan, picked up the ball and ran it in for the two-point conversion to extend the Hagerstown lead to 14-0.

The teams traded possessions before Cambridge City gambled with 4:08 remaining. Facing a fourth-and-11, the visitors went for it and came up short.

Operating on a very short field, the Tigers scored on a Sam Houck five-yard run, at the 2:12 mark that made the score 20-0. The PAT was wide, but it did not matter. Himelick intercepted another pass on the next Lincoln possession and the Tigers ran out the clock.

Cambridge City Head Coach Phil Renforth said that there were several things he could point to, but line play was the difference in his mind.

“I will have to look at the film, but the difference I saw was in the line play,” Renforth said. “We stopped them inside the five twice. Overall, I thought the difference was the play of our offensive line. We just couldn’t get anything going offensively in the second half. It is frustrating. This was a game that both teams thought they could win. You have to have pride and you have to push people around up front and tonight we did not want to push anybody around.”

Hagerstown Head Coach Scott Snodgrass said his team followed through what they talked about in practice.

“We talked in practice about the importance of finishing a game,” Snodgrass explained. “We talked about the importance of sustaining an effort for four quarters. When we played Knightstown in our opener, we weren’t ready, and it had an impact on our confidence. We have been trying to pull ourselves out of that hole since. Tonight, we stayed with it for four quarters and it paid off. Our defense played well, our offense did some good things, and our punt team did a good job. Our O-line is improving every week and that is what we must have. Now we will try to build on this.”

Hagerstown 20, Cambridge City Lincoln 0

CAMBRIDGE CITY 0 0 0 0 – 0

HAGERSTOWN 0 0 6 14 – 20

Hagerstown – Himelick 61-yard pass from Snodgrass (kick failed)

Hagerstown – Rhoades 3-yard run (McMillan run)

Hagerstown – Houck 5-yard run (kick failed)

CC H

First Downs 7 14

Rushes/yards 17-13 40-103

Yards passing 116 234

Passes 5-15-3 17-26-2

Punts 3 2

Fumbles lost 0 0

Penalties/yards 3-20 9-55

Individual Leaders

Rushing

Cambridge City: Sherwood 9-17, Hokey 6-8; Hagerstown: C. Romack 8-41, Snodgrass 15-35, M. Romack 8-14, Houck 4-13.

Passing

Cambridge City: Bertsch 5-15-3, 116; Hagerstown: Snodgrass 17-26-2, 234.

Receiving

Cambridge City: Pierce 3-52, Suttles 2-64; Hagerstown: Himelick 4-100, Rhoades 5-46, Morris 2-38. Gard 1-23.

Records: Cambridge City 1-4, 1-4 TEC; Hagerstown 2-3, 2-3 TEC.