The Francis Scott Key offense spent the entire night looking for a big play against South Hagerstown.
When it finally came, it was too late. The visiting Rebels spoiled Key's homecoming with a 9-8 win last night in Uniontown.
South Hagerstown quarterback Rodney Young found Danny Moore on an 18-yard touchdown strike to give the Rebels a 9-0 lead in the third quarter and they held off a late Key rally to improve to 5-3.
The Eagles (4-4) scored with eight seconds left when quarterback Jordan Chiaruttini hit tight end Jesse Brossoit from four yards out.
The Key touchdown was set up by a 50-yard reception by David Norwood on a throw from Brad Stonesifer, who took a lateral from Chiaruttini before throwing long. Time expired on Key's unsuccessful onsides kick.
There was one play in particular that summed up how things went for the Key offense.
With 10 minutes left and the Eagles, down by nine, needing nine yards for a first down on their own 10, Norwood took a screen from Chiaruttini and had two blockers in front. After four yards, he slipped and fell and the Eagles were forced to punt.
Later in the fourth quarter, the game was delayed for nearly 20 minutes when Key's Bobby Bollinger went down with an apparent neck injury. He was taken to Carroll County General Hospital for what assistant coach Bill Hyson said was precautionary purposes.
Field position played a big role throughout, particularly in the second half. South Hagerstown started its only touchdown drive on Key's 45-yard line. Key started its second-half drives from its own 17, 24, 9 and 23.
Key running back Cortney Woodyard ran the ball 22 times and gained 96 yards, his biggest gainer being 10 yards. Three Key turnovers also proved costly.
With the wet field conditions, defense dominated a first half that saw South Hagerstown take a 3-0 lead at intermission on a late field goal from Bryan Glines.
The Eagles' defense shut down South Hagerstown three times on fourth-down situations -- all in Key territory. Ryan Roach and Eric Bere both made big plays defensively to turn the ball over on downs.
The Rebels started their scoring drive on their own 48 with 3:45 left in the second quarter and marched to the Eagles 14-yard line before settling on the 34-yard field goal from Glines.
The Eagles had their best possession of the half when they got the ball back on their own 34 with 1:27 left in the half.
Chiaruttini found Bollinger for 20 yards early in the series and later hit Brossoit on a delayed screen along the right sideline for 24 yards to the Rebel 7 with eight seconds left.
On second-and-goal with three seconds left, the Eagles faked a field goal with holder and backup quarterback Stonesifer missing Woodyard in the left corner of the end zone.