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Jefferson dumped by unbeaten Fort Hill

October 08, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - On the fifth play from scrimmage, Jefferson's Ryland Newman bolted 55 yards for a touchdown and the No. 2 Cougars appeared to be at the top of their game offensively.

Unfortunately, it was a short stay at the top as the Cougars came out on the short end of a 24-7 loss to Fort Hill in a Cumberland Valley Athletic League game Saturday night at Cougar Stadium.

The unbeaten Sentinels (5-0, 3-0) responded with a 15-play, 74-yard drive capped on Scott Rice's 9-yard run. However, the Cougars still had a 7-6 lead following a missed extra point.

It was a fortunate position for Jefferson to be in as Fort Hill dominated possession in the first half, running 32 plays to 15 for Jefferson and holding a major advantage in time of possession.

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In the third quarter, Jefferson had Fort Hill in a fourth-and-1 situation at midfield when the Sentinels called on Drew Yurko, who sped quickly through the line untouched as he headed to paydirt. A two-point conversion gave Fort Hill a 14-7 lead.

The Sentinels stopped Jefferson on its next possession and put together a drive from their own 20 that resulted in a 36-yard field goal by Levi Mallow with 16 seconds left in the quarter.

Fort Hill again stuffed the Cougars and a 23-yard punt return by Yurko gave the Sentinels the ball at the Jefferson 32. Four plays later, Rice ran straight through the middle of the Jefferson defense for a 22-yard score with 3:33 remaining.

Other than his scoring jaunt, Newman was completely held in check by the swarming Fort Hill defense, which constantly pinched the Cougars on the line of scrimmage with loaded looks. Newman finished with 86 yards on 12 carries and the Cougars had but 146 yards in total offense, 107 on the ground.

"We just made too many mistakes blocking," said Jefferson coach Richard Mills. "We didn't hold our blocks and there were mistakes on special teams.

"(Fort Hill) is a good team," he said. "They outplayed us. We didn't respond."

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