Aberdeen pounded by Fort Hill, 32-7 Early mistakes prove costly for host Eagles

November 16, 1996|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Fort Hill scored on three of its first four possessions and rolled past host Aberdeen, 32-7, in a state Class 2A quarterfinal game last night.

On the other side of the ball, Aberdeen's first three series totaled eight plays and were thwarted by a blocked punt and two interceptions. It did not get much better for the Harford County champions who came in 10-0.

Josh Page had a spectacular night for Fort Hill (9-2, with losses to Southern-Garrett and DeMatha). He rushed 22 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and finished with 246 yards on 35 carries.

Aberdeen did not have a positive-yardage play until halfway through the second quarter -- and by then it was down, 20-0. There was a block on an attempted extra point, and the home team followed it with a 27-yard pass completion from quarterback Andy Gasdia to Mike Harris. He made a leaping catch at the Fort Hill 41 on a ball that was nearly intercepted.

Moments later, that drive ended with Josh Grove grabbing the Sentinels' third interception of the half.

The Eagles crammed the rest of their first-half action into the closing 2: 18.

A blocked punt gave Aberdeen possession at the Fort Hill 14, and five plays later bruising fullback E.J. Henderson dove into the end zone from 1-yard out. Gasdia's kick cut the gap to 20-7.

The Eagles were in position to go in again when Cliff Simmons smacked Rashad Page on the kickoff, and Aberdeen recovered the ball at the 18.

With 30 seconds left. A pass to Stephon Watson carried to the 4, but after two incomplete passes, Tommie Mims caught Gasdia's pass just out of the end zone.

Two-way players Henderson and Mims had strong performances, but were somewhat limited on offense because a bigger, stronger Sentinels defensive group controlled the line of scrimmage. Fort Hill overwhelmed Aberdeen for the first 17 minutes, led by fullback Josh Page.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound junior broke away and raced 47 yards to set up the visitors' first score at the Eagles' 10. Two Josh Page plays; 10 yards; touchdown.

A blocked punt led to Fort Hill's second score. From the Aberdeen 24, Josh Page carried on seven of the eight plays, including the last from 1-yard away.

Interceptions ended the next two series for Aberdeen, and the Sentinels cashed in on the second one. They went 45 yards in seven plays, six of them carries by the Page brothers -- five by Josh. Quarterback Pat Pennel found a wide-open Blank in the end zone. The attempted kick was blocked.

Fort Hill monopolized most of the third quarter, driving 72 yards in 12 plays. The last was a 9-yard pass from Pennel to Blank.

Fort Hill 14 6 6 6 -- 32

Aberdeen ..0 7 0 0 -- 7

Pub Date: 11/16/96

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