River Hill holds off Severna Park

Class 3A Football

High schools


Two-way lineman B.J. Benning controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football and workhorse Nick Campanaro ran for three touchdowns and a game-high 167 yards on 22 carries.

But River Hill needed a costly Severna Park penalty and an interception by Kevin Magan with 54 seconds left to win the Class 3A East regional title on the road yesterday, 34-28.

Benning, who is 6 feet and 280 pounds, opened gaping holes from left guard as the Hawks amassed 257 yards rushing.

"B.J. is our best lineman and a lot of credit goes to our offensive line. We had a little size advantage [25 to 30 pounds per man] and we were able to pound the ball," said coach Brian Van Deusen.

At nose tackle, Benning had three sacks. He also recovered a fumble at the Falcons' 27 to set up Dan Hostetler's first of two touchdown runs.

Winning their first regional title and berth in the final four, the No. 7 Hawks also set a school record for wins (11-1).

River Hill will visit The Washington Post 's No. 4-ranked Gwynn Park (12-0) in a 3A state semifinal likely to be played at 1 p.m. Saturday in Prince George's County.

Gwynn Park ripped Lackey, 26-6.

Campanaro's third touchdown of the game on a 25-yard burst gave the Hawks a seemingly commanding lead at 34-21 with 6:11 left in the game.

The No. 6 Falcons (10-2) answered, however, on quarterback Greg Zingler's second touchdown pass of the game, a 48-yarder that was tipped by Brent Sanders into the hands of teammate Tommy Babington. It cut the deficit to 34-28 with 4:34 remaining.

After forcing the Hawks to punt, the Falcons took over at their 33 with 2:26 left. Zingler, who had a terrific game, running for 136 yards and completing eight of 18 passes for 229 yards, completed a fourth-and-10 pass to Dave Horn at midfield with 1:39 left.

On the next play, Zingler found Chris Hunt at the River Hill 25, but a holding penalty brought the ball back. Magan followed with his interception on the next play.

"That was my fault," said Severna Park coach J.P. Hines. "I made a bad call."


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