Fort Hill's early TDs secure win

Fort Hill 57 No. 15 Havre de Grace 14

December 03, 2006|By Mike Burke | Mike Burke,Special to the Sun

CUMBERLAND -- Things started off badly for 15th-ranked Havre de Grace and then got worse as it was overwhelmed by Fort Hill, 57-14, yesterday in a Class 1A football state semifinal at Greenway Avenue Stadium.

On the Warriors' second play from scrimmage, Sentinels defensive end Zach Blank stepped in front of quarterback Josh Appold's slant, intercepted it and sped down the sideline for a 24-yard touchdown return just 19 seconds into the game. Two plays later, it was Fort Hill defensive back Sean Whittacre picking off Appold to set up a second touchdown just 1:17 later.

By the time the first quarter had ended, the top-seeded Sentinels (12-1) led 29-0, and were well on their way to their sixth straight win and Saturday's championship game against Dunbar. The Sentinels led 43-6 at the half.

Fourth-seeded Havre de Grace, which entered the semifinals on a four-game winning streak, concludes its season at 8-5.

Five Fort Hill players scored touchdowns, with fullback Scott Rice (eight carries, 45 yards) scoring three, and halfback Drew Yurko (seven carries, 85 yards) scoring two. In all, eight Sentinels backs ran the ball, benefiting from the dominating play of their offensive line, which paved the way for 323 rushing yards and 377 total.

Havre de Grace failed to get a first down rushing and netted 8 yards on 19 carries. Quarterback Josh Appold, who was under pressure for much of the game, was 8-for-14 passing for 85 yards, scoring the Warriors' first touchdown on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. Wide receiver Travis Brown connected with Arthur Ibewuike for a 73-yard touchdown pass at 1:09 of the third quarter, throwing off a reverse to cut the Fort Hill lead to 50-14.

Ibewuike caught four passes for 107 yards, while Brown finished the game with three receptions for 61 yards.

Fort Hill will make its sixth state championship game appearance.

"Our kids came out with the same look in their eye they've had since day one of summer practice," Fort Hill coach Barry Lattimer said. "Our goal has been to get better each week, and I believe we're getting that done.

"Now we're playing for the state championship, and the goal will remain to get better and come together next week to play a great team."

Havre de Grace 0 6 8 0 -- 14

Fort Hill 29 14 7 7 -- 57

FH--Blank 24 interception (Yurko pass from Shook)

FH--Yurko 22 run (Mallow kick)

FH--Rice 5 run (Mallow kick)

FH--Taylor 39 run (Mallow kick)

FH--Rice 4 run (Mallow kick)

H--Appold 1 run (kick blocked)

FH--Yurko 16 run (Mallow kick)

FH--Rice 3 run (Mallow kick)

H--Ibewuike 73 pass from Brown (Ibewuike pass from Appold)

FH--Wade 1 run (Mallow kick)

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