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Sentinels shut down Smithsburg

November 14, 2009|By MARK KELLER

CUMBERLAND, Md. -- For one quarter of football Friday night, it looked like Smithsburg might be able to hang with Fort Hill.

When the second quarter rolled around, Fort Hill put that notion to rest.

The Sentinels scored four touchdowns in the second quarter, two of them on their first two plays of the period, on their way to a 45-0 victory over the Leopards in the Maryland Class 1A West semifinals at Greenway Avenue Stadium.

Fort Hill (11-0), the top seed in 1A West and the No. 7 team in Maryland, will host the winner of today's semifinal in Cumberland between Boonsboro and Allegany in the region final next weekend.

Smithsburg (6-5) has lost four straight playoff games dating to 2004. The Leopards lost to Fort Hill by the same score in 2007.

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"They're just a solid, solid football team," said Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff, who graduated from Fort Hill. "There's a reason they're 11-0 and seventh in the state."

Actually, there are a couple reasons: Innumerable offensive weapons and a defense that allowed just 76 points all season.

The Sentinels used eight different ball carriers -- including some just up from the junior varsity -- and outgained Smithsburg, 372-91.

Dakota Welsh led the Fort Hill running attack, carrying 15 times for 120 yards and two touchdowns. No other Sentinel had more than six carries.

But it was Fort Hill's big-play ability that did in the Leopards.

Smithsburg gained a small victory on Fort Hill's first possession, holding the Sentinels to a 29-yard field goal by Josh Borland midway through the first quarter.

"They had a big play, that long screen pass," Orndorff said. "We don't give up that play, we might force them to punt there and who knows?"

The Sentinels moved deep into Smithsburg territory again and faced a fourth-and-4 from the Leopards 13 as the second quarter began. Rather than settle for another field goal, quarterback Devin Lee rolled right and connected with Sam Walker for a touchdown on the first play of the period.

After a Smithsburg three-and-out, Lee found himself on the receiving end of a 57-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Ware -- another recent promotion from the JV squad -- and Fort Hill suddenly led 17-0.

"The big plays killed us. They didn't run the ball down our throats, but maybe that's because they didn't have to," Orndorff said.

By halftime, it was 32-0. Welsh's second touchdown run -- a 7-yard jaunt four minutes into the second half -- initiated the running game clock.

Ben Daniels ran for 21 yards on 10 carries for the Leopards, who had just five first downs. Their deepest penetration was to the Fort Hill 21 in the fourth quarter. That drive ended with a fumble.

"We put up a fight and we didn't quit, and I'm proud of them for that," Orndorff. "We didn't play scared and we didn't give up. That's all I could ask them to do and they did that."

Fort Hill 45, Smithsburg 0

FH -- FG 29 Josh Borland
FH -- Sam Walker 13 pass from Devin Lee (Phillip Giugliano kick)
FH -- Lee 57 pass from Hunter Ware (Giugliano kick)
FH -- Dakota Welsh 2 run (Giugliano kick)
FH -- Lee 12 run (Colton Sibley pass from Lee)
FH -- Welsh 7 run (Giugliano kick)
FH -- Shawn Metheny 31 run (kick blocked)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING--Smithsburg, Daniels 10-21, McKenzie 2-18, Alexander 6-14, Damuth 4-7, Scott 1-3, Morgan 1-(minus-11). Fort Hill, Welsh 15-120, Metheny 3-49, Lee 3-46, Walker 6-24, Wilkins 3-16, Fullwood 4-9, Kassim 2-9, Ware 3-(minus-20).
PASSING--Smithsburg, Morgan 2-11-1-14, Scott 1-3-0-25. Fort Hill, Lee 3-8-0-62, Ware 2-3-1-57.
RECEIVING--Smithsburg, Ganley 1-25, Hartley 1-15, Daniels 1-(minus-1). Fort Hill, Walker 2-33, Lee 1-57, Welsh 1-29, Metheny 1-0.
Records: Smithsburg 6-5; Fort Hill 11-0.

Smithsburg0000--0Fort Hill32976--45SmithFHFirst downs513Rushes-yards24-5239-253Passing yards39119Comp-Att-Int3-14-25-11-1Total offense38-9150-372Punts-avg.5-33.61-36.0Penalties-yards7-405-40Fumbles-lost1-11-0
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