Sep 23, 2017
CUMBERLAND — It was another game of big numbers Friday night at Greenway Avenue Stadium, and just like every other week for the better part of three seasons, they added up to another victory for Fort Hill.
Seven Sentinels scored touchdowns, two combined on a safety, no one had the chance to punt, the offense piled up 464 yards and the defense racked up seven sacks.
Fort Hill, with a 36-point second quarter, had 64 points at halftime and finished with a 73-12 rout of Silver Oak Academy, tying its own area record with a 29th straight victory.
It’s a record the head coach says isn’t talked about much, a claim supported by senior four-year starter Brayden Poling.
“I don’t think the kids are aware of it at all,” said Todd Appel, whose team led 28-6 after the first quarter and 64-6 after the second. “We don’t talk about those things. I know I say that, and maybe you guys don’t believe me, but we don’t talk about those things.
“We’re really focused on the game at hand, and we try to do that every single week, whether it be Silver Oak or whoever it may be. We watch film just like we would any game, and we try to prepare because schematically you need to, to be fundamentally sound, and to line up the right way and to block the right way. We approach it game by game and week by week. That’s all we ever have done, and we don’t pay attention to the externals.”
Several minutes earlier, away from Appel and along the Fort Hill sideline, Poling said much the same about the winning streak.
“It doesn’t come up at all,” he said. “We don’t worry about that. We just focus one game at a time, and just take it like that.”
But he and his teammates are at least aware of it, right?
“Actually, no. I never really knew of it,” said Poling, who scored twice, ran seven times for 51 yards and caught two passes for 58 yards. “I just go out and play. I did not know that we tied it.”
Fort Hill’s last loss was to Keyser, 48-41, at Greenway, on Sept. 11, 2015, which ended a 29-game winning streak. This year’s team can get a record-breaking 30th straight win Friday night at Greenway against Westinghouse of Pittsburgh.
Last night the offense scored eight touchdowns, and the defense and special teams one each. Xavier Michaels and James Miller got the team’s final points with a sack in the end zone for a safety.
Poling, Troy Banks and Carter Swan scored two touchdowns, Braeden Smith, Nick Lamb and Blake Beal scored one for Fort Hill (4-0), which had 20 first downs, 351 yards rushing on 37 carries, and 464 yards overall. Logan Johnson completed 4 of 8 passes for 113 yards.
Wyatt Brehm led the defense with four sacks for minus 35 yards in the first half. Silver Oak finished with just two first downs and 58 yards of offense, 51 coming on a touchdown pass on the final play of the game.
Fort Hill used 13 ballcarriers. Tyreke Powell was the leading gainer with three carries for 86 yards. Banks was next with eight carries and 67 yards.
Powell set up the first score with a 37-yard sweep to the Silver Oak 35. Two plays later, Banks scored on a 35-yard run with 8:37 left in the period.
Swan recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and, after a 12-yard run by Poling, scored on a 1-yard plunge that quickly made it 14-0 with 8:03 left.
The Sentinels took advantage of another Silver Oak fumble, this one coming after a high punt snap. Jahier Brown scooped up the ball but lost it after a hard hit by Keegan Miller, and Braeden Smith picked it up at the 2-yard line and waltzed in to make it 21-0.
A 40-yard run by Powell set up the next TD, a 9-yard run by an untouched Poling, making it 28-0 with 18 seconds left in the period.
Silver Oak’s Xavier Fields got the Rams (1-5) on the board with a 94-yard return on the ensuing kickoff, making it 28-6 at the end of the period.
The 5-touchdown second quarter included a 6-yard run by Poling, a 40-yard interception return by Askins, a 5-yard run by Banks, a 16-yarder by Swan and a 21-yard dash by Nick Lamb, which made it 64-6 with two seconds left in the half.
The second half flew by because of the merciful non-stop clock rule. Fort Hill had the only possession of the third quarter, which ended in an 18-yard touchdown run by Blake Beal.
The Michaels/Miller safety made it 73-6 with 9:30 to play. Demetrius Moody, 2 for 2 for 82 yards passing in the fourth quarter, hit Jzahalir Peterson in stride on a 51-yard touchdown pass on the game’s final play.
Silver Oak hosts Allegany next Saturday.