They are the only kickoffs Damascus place kicker Keith Lagarde works on in practice. Coach Dan Makosy calls them "area kicks." They flutter and are used with the intent of minimizing the breakaway ability of the receiving team. To recover one is merely a bonus.
Second-ranked Damascus recovered three of those kicks in a row in the first half against No. 18 Quince Orchard last night and scored on each of the ensuing possessions for a 35-14 road win.
"We wanted to kick it to an area," Makosy said. "Believe me, that was just luck that we got three in a row."
To recover the kicks three times in succession was one thing; to do what the Swarmin' Hornets (5-0) did afterward was another. Damascus ran the ball 30 times for 145 yards in the first half, holding possession from the midpoint of the first quarter to the latter portion of the second and taking a 28-0 halftime lead. All told, the Swarmin' Hornets had 36 offensive plays in the half to Quince Orchard's 14.
Damascus mixed in heavy doses of running backs Steven Anderson and Kyle Hogan to keep Quince Orchard (4-1) off-balance. Hogan finished with 94 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, and Anderson added 64 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries for the Swarmin' Hornets, who did not run one play that netted them negative yardage in the first half.
"The key thing was momentum," Anderson said. "We didn't give them any momentum, and we physically beat them up. I think that hurt them a little bit."
A four-yard run by Bani Gbadyu in the third quarter and a two-yard keeper by quarterback Pepper Coe early in the fourth accounted for Quince Orchard's two scores.
"Every play that Damascus ran on offense or defense we had practiced for," Quince Orchard Coach Dave Mencarini said. "But when you get yourself into that kind of deficit and you don't cover kicks, you're going to get beat. As the head coach, that's my fault."