SIDMAN - Friday night at G.H. Miller Stadium was the scene of the inaugural Wind Bowl between Forest Hills and Cambria Heights.
The Highlanders entered the contest in need of a big win and were hoping the winds of fortune were blowing in their direction.
Unfortunately for Heights, the gusts of wind blew in favor of the home squad from the opening drive and never changed course as the Highlanders turned the ball over four times and were blown out on the road to the Rangers, 42-0, in the Laurel Highlands Conference Section 1 opener for both teams.
"Whenever you're playing on the road against a tough team like this, you can't turn the ball over," Cambria Heights coach Jarrod Lewis said. "We did it early, and it just proved to be too much to overcome tonight."
The Rangers [3-2 overall, 1-0 LHS Section 1] laid claim to the traveling trophy behind the arm of junior quarterback Joe Donoughe, who shredded the Cambria Heights secondary for 180 passing yards in the first half while also running for three scores.
On the game's opening drive, Cambria Heights gave up 21 yards in penalties and a 27-yard pass-and-catch from Donoughe to Connor Hudson before the QB punched it in from 2-yards out.
After turning Forest Hills over on downs on their next possession, Heights' Eddie Link fumbled the ball and the Rangers' Jacob Colbert recovered it at the Heights' 12. Donoughe called his own number on first down and made good as he put Forest Hills up 14-0.
"We took advantage of the turnovers tonight. This is the first game we've had this year that we really created some turnovers, and then we did take advantage of them," Forest Hills coach Don Bailey said. "We're pleased with the way our defense played tonight and also the way our offense played."
The Highlanders were unable to move the ball and were once again forced to punt on the ensuing possession.
Donoughe hit Logan Madison twice for 44 yards, and then hit Ian Wieczorek on a 4-yard scoring play with 53.9 ticks left in the first quarter.
"We felt coming in tonight with so many injuries that we had, that we had to throw the ball," Bailey said. "Joe [Donoughe] was throwing the ball pretty well tonight and a lot of people shared in the success."
Cambria Heights [1-4, 0-1] once again couldn't hold onto the ball as quarterback Richard Legros coughed it up and the Rangers' Anthony Gibson wrapped it up.
Six plays later, Donoughe scored from 21-yards out on a 3-and-1 to increase the lead to 27-0 less than three minutes into the second.
"We just couldn't seem to stop making mistakes, even when we had some things going right,: Lewis said. "We just have to improve in all areas we just got to continue to get better."
While Donoughe was flinging the ball around to six different receivers through two quarters of play, the Highlanders were getting nothing done through their passing game, and though their running attack amassed 78 yards, it led to no points.
Cambria Heights opened the second half with the ball and a renewed chance, but after 25 yards in penalties and only moving 19 yards in seven plays, they were once again forced to punt the ball away
Two running plays is all Shareef Blough would need as he outsprinted Heights on the second play for a 52-yard touchdown. When the extra point snap went a little high, holder Tyler Shima picked it up and scrambled right before finding Madison in the end zone for the two-point conversion, which also kicked the mercy rule into effect with the Rangers leading 35-0 at the 6:36 mark of the third.
On the ensuing possession, Cambria Heights moved the ball all the way to the FH 26 on seven plays before Legros was intercepted by Donoughe who returned it 46 yards to the CH 44.
Five plays later, Shima would rumble for a 26-yard score to set the final just 10 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Cambria Heights had some success running inside the tackles as Josh Fees led the way with 94 rushing yards on 17 carries, while CH as a team had 166.
"Tip your hat. They came out and capitalized on our mistakes," Lewis said. "We just didn't play our best game today."
Donoughe finished 12-of-21 for 197 passing yards, while Blough ran for 80 yards on just seven attempts.
"The kids responded before the game," Bailey said about his team coming off of two straight losses. "We told them either we're going to have to gather the wagons and step up or we're going to have to step out. They stepped up tonight."
Cambria Heights hosts Penn Cambria next week, while Forest Hills will entertain Central Cambria.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Cambria Heights0 0 0 0 - 0
Forest Hills20 7 8 7 - 42
FH-Donoughe 2 run (Leach kick), 10:10.
FH-Donoughe 12 run (Leach kick), 4:59.
FH-Wieczorek 4 pass from Donoughe (kick failed), 53.9.
FH-Donoughe 21 run (Leach kick), 9:44.
FH-Blough 52 run (Madison pass from Shima), 6:36.
FH-Shima 26 run (Leach kick), 11:50.
RUSHING: Cambria Heights-Fees 17-94, E. Link 2-(-4), D. Link 7-34, Legros 6-42. Forest Hills-Donoughe 5-44, Wieczorek 4-9, Blough 7-80, Shima 2-27, Kudlawiec 1-(-4), Chinault 6-(-4), Bowen 1-1, Louchart 1-(-5).
PASSING: Cambria Heights-Legros 1-4-1-5, E. Link 1-2-0-3. Forest Hills-Donoughe 12-21-0-197, Kudlawiec 1-3-0-25.
RECEIVING: Cambria Heights-Legros 1-3, Baker 1-5. Forest Hills-Wieczorek 1-4, Blough 3-56, Hudson 1-27, Shima 1-13, DiFlauro 2-19, Madison 4-78, Chinault 1-25.
INTERCEPTIONS: Cambria Heights-None. Forest Hills-Donoughe.