Green finally runs down Hereford Kent back's INT, 256 yards end Bulls' 11-0 streak, 28-14

November 23, 1996|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It was no secret that the key for Hereford to beat Kent County last night and continue its magical, unbeaten run was to contain Trojans running back Bruce Green.

But while the Bulls couldn't slow down the legs of Green, who rushed for 256 yards, his hands -- followed by his feet -- actually closed Hereford's best season.

Green returned an interception for a touchdown on the opening play of the fourth quarter, breaking a 14-14 tie and leading Kent to a 28-14 victory over the host No. 9 Bulls in a state Class 1A semifinal game last night.

The Trojans (11-1) will meet defending Class 1A state champion Cambridge-South Dorchester -- a 27-20 winner over Elkton last night -- in an all-Eastern Shore state final at Byrd Stadium Friday or next Saturday.

With Hereford (11-1) facing a third down from its 3-yard line, Green stepped in front of a pass from Jeff Harding intended for Chris Harring and went into the end zone with 11: 55 remaining.

"We weren't moving the ball," said Hereford coach Steve Turnbaugh. "We thought that was a safe pass. He [Green] was playing deep inside. We never anticipated him being able to make that play, but great athletes make great plays."

After exchanging possessions, Hereford faced a fourth-and-10 but fell short by a yard with 4: 45 remaining, leading to a 1-yard run by Green to put the game out of reach with a minute left.

Green, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior who entered the game with 2,132 yards and 29 touchdowns but a reputation for fumbling, added a second steal with 47 seconds left.

The Bulls' defense was able to keep the game tied, turning the Trojans back on a fourth down from the 3-yard line, but the Hereford offense struggled, managing only 40 yards in the second half.

Despite winning its first 11 games and becoming the first Baltimore County team to host a playoff game at its school site, Hereford hadn't seen a speedy, strong runner like Green all fall.

In the first half, Green had 152 yards. He made his presence felt on the Trojans' first possession, carrying eight times for 50 yards.

Green finished the 12-play, 75-yard drive with a 4-yard run off an option pitch from Davey Blake with 7: 23 left in the first quarter.

In less than three minutes, Hereford matched that with a seven-play, 71-yard drive that ended with Jason Murphy scoring on a 17-yard run. Another big play on the drive was a 16-yard pass from Harding to Carl Yelton.

Green quickly silenced the home crowd, going 75 yards on a sweep down the left sideline, giving him 136 yards -- with 3: 19 still to go in the first quarter.

The Bulls tied the game at 14 with 6: 37 left in the second quarter as Murphy, who rushed for 65 yards, scored his second touchdown on a 5-yard run up the middle. That capped a nine-play, 38-yard drive.

Hereford was able to slow Green down on the Trojans' next possession and get the ball. The Bulls drove to the Kent 24-yard line, but Roger Evans' 40-yard field goal attempt fell short with two seconds left in the first half.

"It's tough for it to end," said Hereford junior running back/defensive back Jason Wingeart. "Hopefully, we will be back next season."

Kent ...14 0 0 14 -- 28

Hereford 7 7 0 0 -- 14

K -- Green 4 run (Fellows kick)

H -- Murphy 17 run (Evans kick)

K -- Green 75 run (Fellows kick)

H -- Murphy 5 run (Evans kick)

K -- Green 3 interception return (Fellows kick)

K -- Green 1 run (Fellows kick)

Pub Date: 11/23/96

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