South Carroll defense stuffs No. 12 Key, 34-12

Rushing attack grounded as Eagles suffer first loss


High Schools

October 04, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

On a night that was supposed to showcase two of the area's most prolific offenses, South Carroll's defense stole the show last night in a 34-12 win over No. 12 Francis Scott Key.

The undersized Cavaliers held running backs Josh Rutter and Layton Hersh - who each had been averaging more than 140 yards a game - to a combined 63 yards on 19 carries.

Meanwhile, host South Carroll, which has one of the area's most dangerous passing attacks, racked up 187 rushing yards to go with quarterback T.J. Swanson's 151 passing yards.

In the end, it was the recipe for an unlikely blowout.

"We knew they had good running backs and great power, so it was just big for us to shut them down," Swanson said. "We had the outside all game, because our receivers were blocking downfield and the line was doing a great job holding those guys up. We could do whatever we wanted."

Key (4-1) managed four first downs and went 32:29 between scores. "Offensively, we didn't move the ball much," coach John Baugher said. "They just beat us."

After stopping Key on its first possession, South Carroll (4-1) immediately took to the air - and paid the price.

On the Cavaliers' first play from scrimmage, Swanson came up well short on a fly pattern, and Key's Brian Horr picked it off at the 50-yard line, returning it to the South Carroll 23.

Five plays later, Rutter took a pitch and sprinted left for a 13-yard touchdown and a 6-0 Eagles lead. But that was pretty much the extent of Key's first-half offense, and the Cavaliers took command with three touchdowns before halftime.

Using an offense composed mainly of short passes, slant routes and runs by backs Zach Baker (14 carries, 45 yards), Brad Mayr (seven, 43) and Swanson (18, 79), South Carroll put together consecutive scoring drives of 11, 12 and 11 plays.

"Our game plan coming in was to force them to run the ball, and they did," Baugher said. "They ran effectively on us. We thought our size, defensively, would be able to take care of us in the run situation."

Swanson tied the score at 6 on a 14-yard pass to Andy Eisold before Baker put the Cavaliers ahead on a 3-yard run. Then, 21 seconds before halftime, Swanson extended the lead to 21-6 by using second effort to score on a 1-yard sneak, then running in the two-point conversion.

South Carroll extended its lead to 34-6 in the third quarter, and the rout was on.

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