Hill holds on, wins 14-7
fumble recovery halts Allegany drive
November 9, 1997
a rained-soaked muddy field that had fumble written
all over it, turnovers became the big plays in the annual
Fort Hill-Allegany Homecoming Game Saturday at Greenway
keeping Allegany's hopes alive with two fumbles in the
second and fourth quarters, Fort Hill got the biggest
turnover of the game when George Uhl pounced on a Campers'
fumble at the Sentinels three-yard line with 5:46 left.
That fumble recovery stopped a 94-yard Allegany drive
and helped Fort Hill hold on for the 14-7 victory in
the battle of unbeaten teams.
victory sends Fort Hill into the Maryland Class 2A playoffs
for the sixth straight year top-seeded as the West Region
champion with a 10-0 mark and three state records. The
Sentinels will be hosting a first-round game on Friday
or Saturday night.
remains on top in the State Class 1A West Region ratings
despite the loss with a 9-1 record and will also be
hosting a playoff game this coming weekend at Greenway.
about the field conditions is probably a cop out. It
was a great homecoming game and it was a shame somebody
had to lose," said Fort Hill coach Mike Calhoun.
"Honestly there were no losers out there today
and I would say that if we would have lost the game."
marks the 12th time that Fort Hill has finished a regular
season unbeaten to become the all-time state leader
in that category. The Sentinels have scored 449 points
for the most in the state during a 10-game schedule,
and the 358 yards they gained on the ground give them
the state record for the season with 3,985 yards rushing.
fullback Josh Page rushed for 158 yards on 26 carries
and scored one touchdown in capturing the Offensive
Player of the Game honors. Noah Read ran for the other
Fort Hill touchdown and gained 134 yards on only 13
senior fullback David Miller kept the Campers alive
with an 11-yard run for their only touchdown late in
the first half and had everybody on the edge of the
seat with his running in the late drive to the Fort
Hill three-yard line before the fumble
looked like neither the muddy field nor the Allegany
defense was going to stop the explosive Fort Hill offense.
But one fumble led to the Allegany touchdown and another
kept the Sentinels from scoring one that would have
iced the game at the start of the fourth quarter.
the explosiveness of our offense it doesn't make me
happy to play on a field in that condition," said
Calhoun. "But in the mud things like that happen
and Allegany took advantage of it to stay in the game.
I thought the field was pretty good at the beginning,
but it kept getting worse."
the ball at their own 20-yard line after a 47-yard punt
by Allegany's Ryan Ackerson for their first possession,
the Sentinels needed just eight plays to go the 80 yards.
Josh Grove hit Mike Page for 10 yards on the first play
with his only pass of the game. Josh Page and Read then
started showing their running skills.
got outside for a big 36-yard run to the one-yard line
and the 6-3, 220-pound Page blasted for his 22nd touchdown
of the season with 6:37 left in the quarter. Ben Lapp
kicked the extra point.
Sentinels then forced the Campers to punt again after
just three running plays and started this time at their
own 17. They drove 73 yards on eight plays with a time-consuming
drive before Lapp was wide left on a 27-yard field goal
again Allegany couldn't move the ball for a first down
and Ackerson's punt gave Fort Hill the ball back at
its own 40-yard line. Senior Trae Foster, who had 52
yards on only five carries, broke loose on a 32-yard
run on the first down. Three straight runs by Josh Page
up the middle gained 16 yards and then Read went around
the left side for 12 yards and the touchdown with 8:16
left in the second quarter. Lapp's kick made it 14-0.
Campers then got their initial first down on a pass
interference penalty with 4:45 left in the half, but
were forced to punt again after only six plays.
came a play that kept the drama in the game. On second
down at Fort Hill's own 22-yard line Grove lost the
handle on the snap from center and David Aydelotte recovered
the ball at the 19 for Allegany.
straight carries by Miller set up a fourth-and-two situation
at the 11-yard line. Allegany coach Tim Kane then decided
to go for the first down instead of the field goal and
on the next play Miller went up the middle almost untouched
for the touchdown with 50 seconds left in the half.
Peter Angman kicked the extra point.
Hill was forced to punt for the first time on the first
possession of the second half and it appeared the momentum
was swinging toward Allegany.
getting a first down at the Fort Hill 41-yard line on
two Miller runs, Allegany quarterback Jeremy Strother
hit Miller with a pass for 13 yards. But an Allegany
player was called for unsportsmanlike taunting on the
play and the Campers were moved back to the 46-yard
line. On the next play Read picked off a Strother pass
and returned the ball 20 yards to the Allegany 45-yard
with Tommy Welsh spelling Josh Page at fullback the
Sentinels used up the rest of the third quarter with
11 plays as they moved to the Campers' one-yard line.
But then Welsh lost the ball going for the touchdown
and Jim Hilton came up with the recovery for Allegany
at the three-yard line.
a 5-10, 170-pound senior, was ready to take advantage
of the break and quickly got Allegany out of the hole
with a 34-yard run as Mike Page had a touchdown-saving
tackle for Fort Hill. After a two-yard run by Miller,
Nik Gates got another first down with a 10-yard run
then on it was Miller time as the Allegany fullback
was handed the ball nine straight times. But with a
first down at the seven-yard line he took a hard hit
trying to get through the middle of the Fort Hill line
and the fumble was recovered by Uhl at the three.
big 25-yard run by Read brought the Sentinels away from
their goal line and they were able to run the clock
out with 12 running plays.
dominated the first half and we controlled the second
half," said Allegany's first-year coach Tim Kane.
"If we would have only had to go 95 yards instead
of 97 we would have scored. Does a loss like this build
character? I hope so."
linebacker Chris Appel had some big stops to help slow
Fort Hill down and was named Defensive Player of the
Game after leading the Campers with eight tackles. Chris
Golliday also had a strong game with six tackles.
led the Fort Hill defense with eight tackles, whole
Ricky Jenkins and Travis Broll had four each.