November 14, 2009
By Steve Luse
CUMBERLAND — In a game that Fort Hill head coach Todd Appel described as a chance for just about everybody on the team “to get a piece of the pie,” the top-seeded and unbeaten Sentinels rolled over No. 4 Smithsburg, 45-0, Friday night at Greenway Avenue Stadium.
The Sentinels, ranked No. 1 in the Cumberland Times-News poll and No. 7 in the MDVarsity.com state poll, lifted their record to 11-0 and will be defending their Maryland Class 1A West Region championship when they face the winner of today’s 1 o’clock game between second-seeded Allegany (7-3) and No. 3 Boonsboro (6-4) on Friday at 7 p.m. at Greenway.
Smithsburg, which lost to Boonsboro 28-15 last week, finished with a 6-5 record. The 45-0 score matched Fort Hill’s win over the Leopards two years ago.
“I thought Smithsburg played us tough and did some good things at the start of the game,” said Appel. “We had some good performances from some pretty talented backs on offense. We figured out some different ways to move the ball. Obviously, our defense play great again.”
Quarterback Devin Lee threw a 13-yard scoring strike to Sam Walker, scored on a 13-yard run and caught a 57-yard touchdown play from sophomore Hunter Ware. He also had an interception for one of the three turnovers the defense created.
Senior fullback Dakota Welsh rushed for 123 yards on 15 carries and had scoring runs for one and six yards. Shawn Metheny raced 31 yards for the final touchdown, and Colton Sibley caught a pass from Lee for a two-point conversion. Josh Borland booted a 29-yard field and Phillip Giugliano kicked four extra points.
The Fort Hill defense, led by Welsh and Garrett Dolly from their linebacker spots and senior tackles Sibley and Glen Vincent, held Smithsburg to only 101 yards of offense. Joe Howser also had an interception and Kaleb Miller recovered a fumble.
Fort Hill moved 45 yards on its first possession, but ended up settling for the Borland field goal at the 6:15 mark for the only points in the opening quarter.
Facing a fourth-and-three situation at the Smithsburg 13, Appel decided to pass up the chance for another field goal and Lee was able to find a wide-open Walker near the sideline at the three-yard line for the touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. Lee also had a big 16-yard run in the eight-play, 54-yard drive.
The Sentinels quickly got the ball at their own 43-yard line. Ware, a sophomore who helped lead the junior varsity team to a 9-1 record, was then brought in at quarterback and on his first varsity pass he found a streaking Lee deep down the field on a 57-yard scoring play at the 10:09 mark in the second quarter. Giugliano’s third extra point made it 24-0.
On the next Fort Hill possession, the Sentinels went 56 yards on six plays with Welsh scoring his first touchdown at the seven-minute mark.
Lee then did it with both his arm and legs on the next Fort Hill drive. He ran 19 yards on a keeper for a first down and then connected with Welsh on a pass coming out of the backfield for 29 yards. After losing two yards on a fumble, the senior quarterback got outside on a 12-yard run to the end zone with 2:45 remaining in the first half. He then passed for the two points to Sibley.
Fort Hill got the kickoff to open the second half and went 67 yards behind some hard running by Welsh, who went the six yards for the touchdown that kept the clock running under the 35-point mercy rule with 8:15 on the clock in the third quarter. Giugliano’s kick made it 39-0. Metheny concluded the scoring with his 31-yard run with 1:57 left.