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Key-Middletown game suspended by storm


Lightning forced suspension of last night's Francis Scott Key-Middletown football game after only four minutes of play. The game is scheduled to be completed at 10 a.m. today at Key.

Game officials stopped play at 7:43 p.m. with 8 minutes, 1 second left in the first quarter when the lightning Carroll County

began.The officials, after conferring with school administrators, suspended the contest at 9 p.m.

Safety of the players and fans was the reason for the decision, officials said.

"The safety has to be the number one thing," said Francis Scott Key's acting athletic director Leo Totten. "You're talking liability, and there's too many chances for things to happen."

Two other Carroll County games were affected because of rain and lightning.

Thomas Johnson lead host North Carroll, 21-0, in a Central Maryland Conference contest at the end of the first quarter. The game is not scheduled to be completed, North Carroll coach Randy Clark said.

The Liberty at Frederick contest, which never got under way, has been rescheduled for tonight at 7:30.

At Key, the teams and fans were cleared from the stadium immediately after stoppage of play.

Ten plays were run before the stoppage. Francis Scott Key got a first down before punting, and Middletown had run four plays and had two first downs before the game was halted.

Totten said the game needed to be scheduled for early today because of a large band show set for 6 p.m. He said that even a 10 a.m. start would be playing it close.

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