Fort Hill holds off Hollidaysburg

Sep 27, 2021
Kyle Bennett

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. — Despite missing nearly its entire offensive and defensive lines, and a furious second-half comeback, No. 2 Fort Hill staved off Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, 35-33, on Friday night to remain undefeated.

The Sentinels were missing 10 players, including seven defensive starters, due to quarantining after a Southern player tested positive for COVID following Fort Hill’s 69-0 win over the Rams on Sept. 18.

Fort Hill jumped out to an early 28-0 lead as Tavin Willis and Breven Stubbs scored on long runs of 44 and 35 yards at the 6:41 and 5:53 marks, respectively.

The Sentinels extended their lead to 21-0 when Anthony Burns recovered a blocked punt in the end zone just over a minute following Stubbs’ touchdown.

Shane Welsh made it a four-score game with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Schadt at the 1:28 mark.

The Golden Tigers got on the board with the first of three touchdown runs by Xander Bainey, as he scored on a 4-yard run early in the second quarter.

Schadt extended Fort Hill’s lead to 35-7 at halftime when he scored on a 5-yard run 34 seconds before the break. Jacob Tichnell was a perfect 5 for 5 on extra point attempts.

But Hollidaysburg came storming back in the fourth quarter after Bainey scored on a 1-yard run at 7:27 in the third, with the Sentinels leading 35-14 entering the final frame.

Jake McGinnis tossed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Justin Wolfe at the 11:46 mark, just over five minutes before Bainey scored on a 5-yard run. The PAT following Bainey’s score would’ve made it a seven-point game, but the kick hit the left upright and was no good.

Hollidaysburg got the ball back and McGinnis scored on a 6-yard run with 2:13 to play, but the two-point pass went incomplete, keeping Fort Hill’s lead at 35-33.

The Golden Tigers got one final attempt at the win, as McGinnis threw a Hail Mary toward Avery Sloan on the final play of the game, but the Sentinels knocked it down and escaped with the victory.

Fort Hill and Hollidaysburg were pretty much even in every sense, with the Golden Tigers getting 18 first downs to Fort Hill’s 13 and edging the Sentinels in total offense, 389-327. Fort Hill ran 40 times for 234 yards to Hollidaysburg’s 49 for 243 yards. Both teams punted three times, while Fort Hill took care of the football with no turnovers.

Blake White, who missed a chunk of the game due to illness, led the Fort Hill ground game with six carries for 71 yards. Stubbs added 61 yards on nine rushes and Willis had five carries for 58 yards.

Schadt was efficient through the air, going 6 for 8 for 93 yards — all six of his completions went to different receivers. Saiquan Jenkins had a 28-yard catch, Welsh a 19-yarder, Isaiah Campbell a 15-yard catch, Stubbs a catch for 14 yards, Willis an 11-yard catch and Anthony Palmisano had a 6-yard reception.

Bainey led the Golden Tigers (2-3) with 122 yards on 23 carries while McGinnis went 14 of 21 for 146 yards.

Fort Hill (4-0) hosts Oakdale on Saturday, 2 p.m., at Greenway Avenue Stadium.