Fort Hill overpowers Capitol Christian
CUMBERLAND— Capitol Christian Academy came to Greenway Avenue expecting to show Fort Hill something it hadn’t seen before, but the Sentinels wrote the story Saturday and unfortunately for the Warriors the story had an all-toofamiliar hero and a predictable ending.
Ty Johnson had almost 200 yards on offense and scored three touchdowns, and five different players reached the end zone for the Sentinels during a 56-16 win over Capitol Christian that keeps Fort Hill undefeated at 8-0 and gives them a Cumberland City record 22 wins in a row. The previous record was held by the Allegany teams of 1983-1984.
Johnson, the reigning area player of the year, ran for 172 yards on only eight carries, scoring from 10 and 37 yards, and caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Rashaan Shives to account of 18 points and improve on his area-leading average of 16.6. Alex Barnes added 76 yards on 11 carries and scored on a oneyard run as Fort Hill gained 304 of its 357 yards on the ground.
The Warriors, who lost for just the second time in school history, hoped their mix of talent at the skill positions and different looks on offense would spell trouble for the Sentinels, and for small chunks of time it may have, but Fort Hill allowed just one successful drive and limited Capitol Christian to a handful of big plays.
Capitol Christian had the ball for almost seven minutes and for 11 plays on its opening drive but only got to midfield before turning the ball over on downs. Fort Hill used 12- and 20-yard runs from Raen Smith along with a 13-yard rush from Johnson to move to the one before Rashaan Shives snuck in with 2:31 left in the first quarter to make it 7-0.
The lead jumped to 14-0 less than two minutes later when Brayden Brown recovered a fumble at the Warriors 15 and Johnson scored from the 10. It only took another two minutes for the next Fort Hill touchdown to make it 21-0. Freshman Brayden Poling intercepted a Reggie Robinson pass at the 20-yard line and returned it all the way, nine seconds into the second quarter.
Capitol Christian showed some of its big play ability in the form of a 95-yard return by John Sterling on the ensuing kickoff. The return, along with a few pass plays, helped highlight some of the chinks coach Todd Appel still sees in the Fort Hill armor.
“I think we responded well to their speed, but we are not where we need to be because we didn’t tackle well with those kids out in space. I also thought that at times in the first half we didn’t cover well. We need to get better at both of those.
“Overall, this was a physical test. They tried to bring a physical match to us, and I think we answered them with our physical play. I think they thought they could go toe-totoe, but we showed early onFort Hill’s physical play also seemed to mentally affect the Warriors, who committed 20 penalties for 157 yards, including six of the 15-yard variety.
Barnes scored with 9:37 left in the half on the Sentinels’ next possession, but long drives from Capitol Christian that lasted 12 and 10 plays but stalled just outside the red zone ate up most of the remaining time before the break. Smith scored two quick touchdowns in the second half on runs of one and 10 yards, to build Fort Hill’s lead to 43-8.
With 52 seconds left in the third quarter the Warriors picked up their only offensive touchdown on an 11-yard pass from Robinson to Maurice Lewis Jr.
“We have things to work on. We’re not perfect by any means and are nowhere near where we want to be, but we know by what we saw today that we can work on pass coverage and our tackling.
“But overall we are pretty happy. We’re healthy going into next week and right now we have the most people health-wise that we’ve had all year. We just need to keep taking the next step.”
Johnson added the two final scores in the fourth quarter, running 37 yards behind a great block from Kris Jackson that sealed the edge, and on the 29-yard pass from Shives that was hauled in at the back corner of the end zone.
Fort Hill tries for its 23rd consecutive win Friday evening when it hosts Mountain Ridge at 7 p.m. Capitol Christian (9-2) hosts Options Charter on Saturday.