By ANDREW SCHOTZ
9:19 PM EDT, November 2, 2012
School Stadium was packed on Friday night to see Hagerstown’s two public high schools — North and South — duke it out in their annual football showdown.
The bleachers on opposite sides of the field were filled with red-clad North fans and green-clad South fans. Some took extra steps to show their spirit, dying their hair the appropriate team color.
The bands entertained, students cheered, burgers sizzled on the grill.
Bruce Carter, the father of a South High band member, worked one of the french fry fryers. He figured his booth would go through two 50-pound bags of potatoes by the end of the night.
Lines at refreshment stands on both sides of the field were long.
North moved out to a 14-0 lead, then held on for a 14-12 win.
During the first half, Rebecca Canova, a 2011 South High graduate, was confident her team would win.
Flanked by her father, George, and her mother, Michelle, Rebecca was at a table selling South High gear — T-shirts, blankets, hats, foam fingers and hoodies, which were popular because of the chilly weather.
The T-shirts said: “Repeat — Rebel Nation,” a reference to last year’s 40-7 rout by South over North and a hopeful hint that something similar would happen again.
Down at the field level, Rebecca’s sister, Allison, a sophomore, was assembled with South High’s guard.
Vincent Herold stood nearby, also looking down toward the field, where his son, Justin, stood along the South sideline.
Vincent Herold said Justin, a freshman who has a mild case of cerebral palsy, serves as the manager and water boy for South High’s football team.
Justin is a big football fan, his father said, and roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.
A short distance away, Lindsey Mowen also was selling T-shirts, for a more somber cause.
The shirts said: “Team Aaron — Tackle Cancer.”
Miller, a junior who plays tackle for North High, has had to miss the season while he battles acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Miller, Mowen’s cousin, was diagnosed on Aug. 18.
Over the summer, Miller felt sick, but thought it was just a respiratory problem, said Mowen’s husband, Anthony.
It was hard for Miller, who plays baseball, basketball and football, to be stuck in a hospital while one of his teams is playing, but he’s adjusting, Anthony Mowen said.
He has done some of his school work while he’s in the hospital, Lindsey Mowen said.
Lindsey Mowen has organized a bingo fundraiser for Miller’s benefit on Nov. 18 at the Maugansville fire hall.
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