River Hill runs wild, 28-14

Hawks running back Campanaro scores three touchdowns in victory over Wilde Lake



With a progressively muddier field and steady rain falling throughout River Hill's game at Wilde Lake last night, the Hawks had to scrap their passing game, which they prefer, and focus on the basics.

The basics worked. River Hill ran on nearly every play, relying mostly on inside handoffs. Senior tailback Nick Campanaro had a huge night, and the Hawks took advantage of several Wilde Lake turnovers to knock off the host Wildecats, 28-14.

"The conditions should have favored them because we like to throw and we couldn't," River Hill coach Brian Van Deusen said. "A lot of credit goes to our offensive line. I think we dominated them tonight."

The Hawks (5-0, 5-0 in Howard County play) established their offensive game plan early and stuck to it. But they weren't unique. Wilde Lake (3-2, 2-2) employed the same plan, calling only running plays until late in the game.

The differences were that River Hill controlled the line of scrimmage and did a better job of holding on to the wet ball. The Hawks out-rushed the Wildecats, 333-82, and committed three fumbles, compared with six for the Wildecats (Wilde Lake lost two of them).

Daniel Hostetler gave the Hawks a 7-0 lead by returning a Wildecats fumble 30 yards for a score, and the Hawks' offense broke through on its next possession.

Campanaro led a 10-play, 52-yard march, rushing six times for 33 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run.

Wilde Lake senior Eddie Thomas returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a score, but the Hawks' line went right back to work.

During a six-play, 58-yard drive, Campanaro carried five more times, including another 1-yard touchdown burst that gave River Hill a 21-7 edge at the half. After Wilde Lake drew within 21-14 early in the fourth quarter, the River Hill offense responded again.

The Hawks used most of the remaining time moving 70 yards in 10 plays. Campanaro again ended the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, effectively clinching River Hill's 16th straight win against Howard County teams.

"We had to stay inside" running the ball because of the worsening field condition, Van Deusen said. "Nick really stepped up and had a breakout game for us."

He added, "Overall, we made fewer mistakes than they did."

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