Fort Hill crushes Chestnut Ridge with 63 in 1st half

Posted: Saturday, September 19, 2015 5:30 am
Marty Leap

NEW PARIS, Pa. — A standing room only crowd packed into Dr. Giovacchini Stadium on Friday night to watch the Chestnut Ridge Lions (1-2) host the two-time defending Maryland Class 1A State Champion Fort Hill Sentinels (2-1).

Fort Hill entered this game with a high-powered offense averaging 45 points per game and it was on full display in the first half.

The Sentinels would strike for their first of nine first-half touchdowns in when quarterback Nathaniel Graves completed a seven-yard pass to Brayden Poling, the first of three for Poling. Austin Farrell’s extra point gave Fort Hill an early 7-0 lead with 8:12 to go in the first quarter.

After forcing another Chestnut Ridge punt, which Poling returned to the two-yard line, Fort Hill would need just one play to find the end zone. Poling took the ball off left tackle and hit pay dirt to make it 14-0.

The following Lions drive would end when they lost a fumble, their first of five turnovers, when a bad snap was recovered by Sentinel defender Kaden Watts. Four plays later, Brayden Brown dashed for an eight-yard touchdown run to give Fort Hill a 21-0 lead.

The Sentinel defense would quickly make it 28-0 when Markel Spencer intercepted a Logan Hauck pass and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown on the following possession.

Fort Hill’s domination would continue into the second quarter, when the Sentinels put up 35 points. Poling added his third touchdown on a 25-yard run, to make it 35-0 with 10:24 to go before halftime.

The Sentinels would also get a pair of Troy Banks touchdown runs, another touchdown run from Brown, and a three-yard Xavier Trimble touchdown run on the last play of the half that gave the Sentinels a dominating 63-0 halftime lead.

In the first half it was not just the Fort Hill offense that dominated, but also the defense as it forced five turnovers, and held Chestnut Ridge to just 20 yards of total offense which included negative 31 yards rushing.

“We got beat up last week, and we practiced really hard this week,” said Fort Hill head coach Todd Appel. “The kids really responded, and we actually got we wanted.”

“In the first half we were totally out classed,” Chestnut Ridge head coach Max Shoemaker said. “There was very little we did right. From special teams to tackling, Fort Hill is a top-notch program but we didn’t show up in the first half.”

Chestnut Ridge would finally got on the board in third quarter. The Lion defense would recover a Fort Hill fumble at the Sentinel 25-yard line, and the following play Bryan Feather would take a jet sweep and scamper 25 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown. This made it 63-7 with 2:08 to go in the third quarter.

The Lion offense was then able to mount an impressive fourth quarter drive that covered 93 yards on seven plays capped off with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Logan Hauck to John Deaner, making the score 63-13.

Chestnut Ridge was able to find the end zone one last time when Hauck found Feather coming across the middle of the field for a 61-yard touchdown catch-and-run with 1:05 to go. This was Feather’s second touchdown and would set the final at 63-19.

“We’re going to try to flush this from our system and move on,” said Shoemaker.

Fort Hill hosts Silver Oak Academy on Friday and Chestnut Ridge hosts Bellefonte.