Poly falls short vs. Fort Hill, 14-13 37-yard field-goal try blocked with 5 seconds left

Class 2A football

November 15, 1998|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Fort Hill lineman Nathan Weaver keyed a blocked field-goal attempt with five seconds left, and the visiting Sentinels of Allegany County edged Poly, 14-13, yesterday before a crowd of about 2,000 at Lumsden-Scott Stadium.

The 2A quarterfinal victory ended Poly's six-game winning streak, earning defending state champ Fort Hill (9-2) a berth in next weekend's semifinal against No. 2 Randallstown (11-0), a 21-14 overtime winner against Einstein of Montgomery County on Friday night.

Facing fourth-and-five at his 30 with 1: 03 to play, Poly quarterback Timmy Frazier (9-for-12, 182 yards) found Donald Arnold on a 20-yard pass. The Hampton University-bound senior later found Eddie Henry (four receptions, 130 yards), who beat double-coverage on a 39-yard pass that put the ball on Fort Hill's 20 with five seconds showing.

But as Marcus Smith's 37-yard attempt left his foot, Weaver said he shoved a Poly lineman backward "and the ball deflected off his helmet" toward Poly's sideline.

"That was a heads-up play by Fort Hill, because the ball was

headed straight for the uprights," said Frazier, the holder on extra-point kicks.

Poly (8-3) led, 7-0, after Olen Oliver's fumble recovery set up Frazier's 71-yard scoring strike to Henry, his 11th touchdown reception of the year, with 54 seconds left in the first period. Marcellus Carrington caught four passes for 66 yards.

After that, however, Frazier had little time to get off the deep pass against linemen Weaver (one sack), Norman Cromwell (two), Josh Crisfori (one), Ben Lapp, Shaun Lewis and Mark Pyles.

Also, Jared Fradiska, who caught two touchdowns for Fort Hill in last week's 13-7 win over Allegany, focused primarily on Henry in the Sentinels' zone defense. And Fradiska's state-record 14th interception of the year on Poly's conversion attempt kept the score at 14-13 for the half.

"Eddie Henry's faster than anyone I've seen, so I didn't want him to get anything but the short stuff," Fradiska said. "Their quarterback can really throw the ball, but our line was putting all that pressure on him."

After stopping the Engineers' 10-play, 70-yard drive short of a first down on fourth-and-one at the Fort Hill 2, the Sentinels -- spurred on by the 1,500-some screaming Cumberland fans dressed in red and white -- got a 97-yard pass from Nick Pannell (4-for-4, 148 yards) to Fradiska.

And it was 7-all, 5: 48 before the half after a 2-yard run by T. J. Powell (19 carries, 137 yards), coupled with Lapp's first of two extra-point kicks.

The Engineers regained a 13-7 lead, 31 seconds before halftime, when 6-foot, 200-pound lineman Ronald White recovered a fumble and followed the blocking of George Hopkins and Jonathan Rogers for a 70-yard touchdown.

But the Sentinels opened the third period with a 66-yard, 11-play drive for Powell's game-clinching 2-yard run.

"We had momentum, but we knew the game wasn't over," White said. "That drive in the third period caught us in the wrong defense."

Pub Date: 11/15/98

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