Sep 14, 2018
CUMBERLAND — Fort Hill stormed onto the field, beat Florence by 24 hours and Reginald Lewis by 50 points Thursday at Greenway Avenue Stadium, where the Sentinels scored at will and in just about every way possible.
Eleven Sentinels carried the football and seven reached the end zone in a game moved to Thursday to beat Hurricane Florence. It got out of hand on the scoreboard early and by agreement of both sides the final five minutes of the first half was played with a running clock and the second-half quarters were reduced to eight minutes, with a running clock also in effect.
Still, it was enough time for the Sentinels (2-0) to roll up 334 yards of offense, with 305 coming on the ground. Six touchdowns were scored in the first quarter, with 27 points scored in a span of just 1:31.
Anthony Smith scored twice, Tyreke Powell ran seven times for 72 yards and a touchdown, Carter Swan three times for 64 yards and a touchdown and Nick Lamb five times for 51 yards and a score to lead the offense.
“We played better. I think that’s the biggest thing,” said Fort Hill coach Todd Appel. “We got better tonight and that’s always been sort of our mantra: to get better week by week.
“Coming into the year, we were young and inexperienced at a number of positions … we have a lot of guys who haven’t played a lot of downs. But we’re getting better in practice every day, and that’s the important thing and what’s good to see.”
In the first quarter, the Sentinels offense scored twice, the special teams twice and the defense once — all in the first nine minutes. It was 35-6 at the end of a quarter that took 47 minutes to play.
Fort Hill won the coin flip, deferred to the second half, and Reginald Lewis elected to kick off in the first half. They would kick off in the second, too.
Carter Swan scored five plays after the opening kickoff on a 30-yard run and the first of six Danny King kicks made it 7-0 just 1:47 into the period.
Two minutes later the Falcons (1-2), facing fourth-and-10 on their first possession, fumbled a punt snap, the ball skidded into the end zone and Shakur Trimble pounced on it, making it 14-0.
On first down after a King kickoff into the end zone, Smith intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown and 21-0 lead with 7:47 left in the quarter.
Reginald Lewis struck on third-and-10 when Dwane Cornwall lofted a deep pass to Gartrell Johnson, who hauled it in near midfield and raced into the end zone, cutting the score to 21-6 at the 6:41 mark.
Smith answered immediately for Fort Hill by fielding the ensuing kickoff and racing 84 yards for a touchdown. At 6:46, the teams had not yet played half of the first quarter, and it was 28-6.
After a three-and-out and a 19-yard punt, Blake Beal rolled out of the pocket and found Braeden Askins for a 10-yard TD pass, making it 35-6 with 3:30 still to go.
“I thought we played well in all facets. In the first half we scored on offense, special teams and on defense, had a pick-six and a kickoff return. We were really clicking,” said Appel.
The second quarter began as the first ended, with a Fort Hill touchdown, this time by Powell on an eight-yard run that capped a 60-yard, eight-play drive that was easily the longest of the night, eating up 3:55 of the clock.
Askins scored on an 18-yard inside reverse to cap a four-play, 44-yard drive a few minutes later, and after an interception by Andrew Smith, Nick Lamb ran 22 yards for a touchdown that made it 55-6 with 6:10 left until halftime.
Devontae Lawson, who led all rushers with 15 carries and 118 yards, broke free on a 70-yard run for the Falcons with 4:56 left. That made it 55-12, and it was there when both sides agreed to allow the rest of the clock to run continuously the rest of the first half, followed by eight-minute second-half quarters.
The Sentinels substituted early in the first half.
“You want to make sure you get the starters out and you want to reward the backups who go to practice every day who love to play too and work just as hard as everyone else,” said Appel.
That’s what the Sentinels did, and despite so many different faces on the field, there were no fumbles and only three penalties, all in the first quarter.
With the running clock, there were only nine plays in the third quarter. The only score of the fourth quarter came on a two-yard run by Andrew Smith with 4:52 to go. It capped a 65-yard, seven-play drive that included Darius Younger following big lead blocks by Andrew Smith and Liam Moran for 26-yard gain, and three runs by Colby Santmyire for 25 yards.
Fort Hill hosts Hollidaysburg on Friday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m.