Led by Campanaro, Hawks dominate

He rushes for 119 as team wins regional title

No. 1 River Hill 35 Patuxent 0

Football Class 2A South

November 24, 2007|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,Special to The Sun

Michael Campanaro knew the feeling of walking off the M&T Bank Stadium field with his head down after his River Hill Hawks lost the Class 3A state championship to Friendly last season. It's a feeling he is determined not to repeat.

Campanaro rushed for 119 yards on 17 carries, and he and his teammates dominated on both sides of the ball last night as host and top-ranked River Hill defeated Calvert County's Patuxent, 35-0, to win the Class 2A South regional title.

Zach Martin added 111 yards on 19 carries for the Hawks (12-0).

"After we lost last year, I told Zach that we were not losing this year," said Campanaro, a junior. "We have this can't-lose attitude this year, and we were really pumped up for this game."

It was the third straight regional crown for River Hill, which will host a Class 2A state semifinal game next weekend against an opponent to be determined.

Taking over on its own 35 on its second possession, River Hill got a 37-yard run by Campanaro to put the ball on the Panthers' 28. Three plays later, quarterback Luke Hostetler sneaked in from 1 yard out to give the Hawks a 7-0 lead 5:52 into the game.

The Hawks widened their lead on their first drive of the second quarter, capping a 13-play, 76-yard drive with Martin's 2-yard run with 7:01 left in the half.

The Panthers (11-1) managed 22 yards on their next possession, before punter/quarterback C.J. Hopson's punt was blocked by River Hill's Andrew Donoghue and Patrick McCleaf. Fours plays later, Campanaro ran the ball in from 6 yards out for a 21-0 lead with 2:50 left before halftime.

River Hill got second-half touchdowns by Malek Redd (on a 14-yard run) and Leron Eaddy (on a 1-yard pass from Hostetler) to close out the scoring.

Hawks coach Brian Van Deusen gave credit to the offensive and defensive lines.

"A lot of the credit should go to the guys up front," Van Deusen said. "We won the battle up front on both sides of the ball. Their quarterback [Hopson] is a great athlete, and we did a good job of controlling him."

The Panthers, with a 52-yard run by Kevin Haines to the Hawks 14, almost scored on their last series, but Campanaro sacked Hopson on fourth-and-13 with less than a minute left, preserving the shutout.

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