Big plays ignite River Hill

River Hill 27 North Harford 7

Football

November 18, 2006|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to the Sun

The River Hill offense struggled at times in last night's Class 3A East semifinal, making four turnovers in North Harford territory. But River Hill got enough big plays to wipe out all of its mistakes.

Michael Campanaro ran for a 74-yard touchdown on the game's second play, and the sophomore sparked a 20-point second quarter that helped top-ranked River Hill to a 27-7 victory over visiting North Harford in a first-round game.

River Hill (11-0) will play at home again next week against the winner of today's Severna Park-Edgewood game. For the second straight season, North Harford(7-3) suffered a first-round playoff loss.

In a battle of the Hawks, River Hill simply made too many big plays. The Howard County power finished with 321 yards of total offense - 187 of which came on four plays, helping the Hawks take a 27-0 halftime lead.

"The first half was huge," River Hill coach Brian Van Deusen said. "Getting up 27-0 like that was [great]. We made some big plays in the first half."

Campanaro scored on the long run on an inside handoff, with help from good blocking, giving River Hill the lead just 45 seconds into the game.

Campanaro rushed for 84 yards and caught three passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Zach Martin helped with 77 yards rushing, but that first score set the tone.

"Right away, we wanted to make a statement," Campanaro said. "I think that was really big."

The sophomore later caught a 58-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Daniel Hostetler (6-for-12, 139 yards) and returned a fumble for a 15-yard score on the next play to give River Hill a 27-0 lead with one minute left in the first half.

Hostetler had run for a 1-yard touchdown with 7:43 left in the half, three plays after River Hill recovered a fumble at the North Harford 13-yard line. That gave River Hill a 13-0 lead and seemed to shake up the other Hawks.

"That took the wind out of our sails," North Harford coach Ken Brinkman said.

North Harford's lone touchdown was a Bryan Woolson 2-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.

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