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Tigers rebound with victory at Lincoln

By DAN HARNEY - For The Courier-Times

CAMBRIDGE CITY—Someone had to be next on the schedule.

Still stinging from a loss to Union County in its previous game, the Hagerstown High School football team rebounded with a statement game. After seeing their 16-game regular season Tri-Eastern Conference win streak end, the Tigers started a new one.

Hagerstown sent a message Friday night to the other conference schools that it still will be able to control its own destiny, crushing long-time rival Cambridge City Lincoln 36-0. The Tigers, who elected to use reserves most of the second half, logged 449 yards of total offense on the night while holding the Eagles to 55 total yards.

Hagerstown won the coin toss and deferred to the host Eagles. After forcing a four-and-out, the Tigers' Cody Swimm gathered in Lincoln punt and ran it back for an apparent touchdown, but it was called back because of a holding penalty.

Hagerstown shook it off and Mason Hicks ran 89 yards for a touchdown on the Tigers' first play from scrimmage. Clay Cochran added the PAT to give the visitors a 7-0 lead with 9:58 left in the first quarter.

After the ensuing kickoff, the hosts fumbled the ball after a six-yard gain and Hagerstown's Cam Rhoades pounced on it. Three plays later, quarterback Noah Snodgrass hit Cody Swimm in stride for a 20-yard touchdown strike at the 8:51 mark of the first period. Cochran booted the PAT to expand the Tiger lead to 14-0.

Hagerstown brought the defensive heat again. On Lincoln's second play from scrimmage after the kickoff, the Tigers again forced an Eagle fumble. Hard-hitting linebacker Ryan Golliher knocked the ball loose and recovered it, putting the Hagerstown offense back in business near midfield.

Using a nice mixture of running and passing plays, the Tigers covered ground quickly. Snodgrass delivered a 27-yard touchdown strike to Rhoades that pushed the visitors' lead to 20-0 with 3:22 remaining in the first quarter. It was obvious by that time that this game was a mismatch.

Hagerstown turned Cambridge City over on downs early in the second quarter and again aggressively headed for paydirt. Snodgrass tossed a 54-yard TD pass to Swimm three minutes into the second quarter, and Cochran added the point after to expand the Tiger lead to 27-0.

The Eagles responded with an eight-play drive, but the eighth-play resulted in an interception by Hagerstown's Grant Vinson. The Tigers could not sustain a drive, kicked the ball back to the Eagles, but they could not move the pigskin either, so they punted it back to Hagerstown with 42 seconds remaining in the first half.

It turned out to be enough time for the Tigers to light up the scoreboard again. Hicks ran the ball in from 26-yards out and Cochran added the PAT that sent the Tigers to the locker room at halftime holding a commanding 34-0 lead.

Hagerstown went to the bench early and often in the second half, giving a lot of kids a chance to see varsity minutes. Neither team scored in the third quarter. The Tigers had a chance to score in the fourth quarter when Swimm caught a pass in the corner of the end zone, but he could not get his feet down in bounds, so Cochran attempted a 28-yard field goal that was long enough but wide.

Lincoln took over on downs, but the Tiger defense sacked the quarterback for a huge loss near the goal line. On the next play, Collin Romack tackled the Eagle ball carrier in the end zone for a safety that expanded the Hagerstown lead to 36-0. With the win, the Tigers remain tied at the top of the TEC standings.

Cambridge City Head Coach Phil Renforth said the Eagles have a numbers problem. “I am proud of the effort my kids gave,” Renforth stated, “but we have some kids out with injuries and we just don’t have the numbers to easily replace them.”

Hagerstown Head Coach Scott Snodgrass said that a very good week of practice translated to a focused team on game night.

“We had the best week of practice this week that we have had all year.” Coach Snodgrass said. “The guys came out focused and did a great job offensively and defensively. We were able to sub in in the third quarter. Coach Renforth is working hard with those kids. They play hard and they play the right way. They are classy kids; there are just not many of them.”

The Tigers used a balanced attack to control the game. Noah Snodgrass connected with 10 different receivers, throwing for 177 yards and three touchdowns before leaving the game. Mason Hicks ran for 224 yards before leaving the game early in the third quarter.

Hagerstown has a tough task Friday in its only non-conference game of the season as Class 2A No. 8 Shenandoah pays a visit to Cory Field.

Hagerstown 36, Cambridge City Lincoln 0

HAGERSTOWN`20`14`0`2`-36

CAMBRIDGE CITY`0`0`0`0`-0

Hagerstown - Hicks 89-yard run (Cochran kick)

Hagerstown – Swimm 20-yard pass from Snodgrass (Cochran kick)

Hagerstown – Rhoades 27-yard pass from Snodgrass (kick failed)

Hagerstown – Swimm 54-yard pass from Snodgrass (Cochran kick)

Hagerstown – Hicks 26-yard run (Cochran kick)

Hagerstown – Safety by Romack for Hagerstown defense

`H`CC

First downs`10`4

Rushes/yards`35-259`33-22

Yards passing`177`31

Passes`12-17-0`3-8-1

Punts`3`5

Fumbles lost`0`3

Penalties/yards`5-30`5-25

Individual Leaders

Rushing

Hagerstown: Hicks 19-224, Swimm 1-20; Cambridge City: Garza 7-16, Suttles 2-6.

Passing

Hagerstown: Snodgrass 11-15-0, 177; Cambridge City: Ervin 3-8-1, 31.

Receiving

Hagerstown: Swimm 1-54, Vinson 3-50, Favorite 1-20, Rhoades 1-27; Cambridge City: Bishop 1-28.

Records: Hagerstown 4-1, 4-1 (TEC); Cambridge City 0-5, 0-5 (TEC).