U.More­land falls short of In­ter­boro

Public Spirit - - SPORTS - By Pete Sch­natz

For Mont­gomery Me­dia Rashon Fen­tress was ex­hausted, but the In­ter­boro se­nior de­scribed his con­di­tion as “happy tired” Fri­day night af­ter star­ring on of­fense, de­fense and spe­cial teams in the Bucs’ 27-21 down-to-the-wire non­league football win over Up­per More­land.

Fen­tress blocked a punt in the first Tuar­ter, which team­mate Steve Phillips re­cov­ered in the end zone for a touch­down to stake the Bucs (2-1) to an early 14-0 lead.

With the game tied mid­way through the fourth Tuar­ter, Fen­tress made a spec­tac­u­lar cir­cus catch that kept a drive alive that even­tu­ally ended with Nick Ren­tos ri­fling a 22-yard go-ahead touch­down strike to Mark Ever­ton.

And it was Fen­tress who teamed with War­ren Allen to tackle Up­per More­land’s Robert Knox at the In­ter­boro 5-yard line, stop­ping the Golden Bears’ work­horse two yards short on fourt­hand-three with 29 sec­onds left in the game.

“The coaches ex­pect a lot of me,” Fen­tress said. “We came out know­ing we had to re­deem our­selves af­ter the 41-0 loss to Epis­co­pal last week. I was go­ing to do what­ever it took to win this game.”

No play was big­ger than when Fen­tress and Allen joined forces with the game on the line, some­how find­ing enough strength to take down Knox — who rid­dled the In­ter­boro de­fense throughout the night, rolling up 163 yards and two touch­downs on 35 car­ries.

“We kind of col­lided at the run­ning back,” Fen­tress said.

“I didn’t know we had stopped (Knox) short un­til I heard the crowd,” Allen said

Allen was the Bucs’ main offensive weapon with 100 yards and two TDs on 15 car­ries.

Even though In­ter­boro re­lied al­most ex­clu­sively on its ground game, the Bucs also needed clutch Tuar­ter­back­ing from Ren­tos down the stretch. The se­nior com­pleted just 4 of 5 passes for 69 yards, but his pret­ti­est throw of the evening was the third-and-13 touch­down toss over the mid­dle to Ever­ton that closed the scor­ing with 6 min­utes, 48 sec­onds left in the fi­nal Tuar­ter.

Yet, as Up­per More­land (2-1) showed in bat­tling back from a 14-0 deficit less than 4½ min­utes into the game, the Bucs’ late lead was any­thing but safe.

Knox was re­lent­less to the end, re­bound­ing from a seven-yard loss on a tackle by Fen­tress to al­most sin­gle­hand­edly carry the Golden Bears within the shadow of the In­ter­boro goal­posts in the fi­nal sec­onds.

The ef­fort left Up­per More­land coach Dave Hey­ing search­ing for ad­jec­tives to de­scribe his sTuad’s all-out ef­fort.

Knox “is a great football player, pure and sim­ple, he runs the ball hard on ev­ery down,” Hey­ing said.

“I don’t want our guys to beat them­selves up over this loss,” the coach con­tin­ued. “I’m so proud of the ef­fort, I’m happy with how we re­sponded from the early 14-0 hole. Even though we won our first two games this sea­son, I’d say this is my fa­vorite football game in my two years at Up­per More­land.”

Mont­gomery Me­dia / BOB RAINES

Academy New Church’s Shane McCurdy breaks away from Spring­field’s Ma­lik Ball dur­ing Fri­day’s non-league ac­tion.

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