Golden Tigers can’t figure out Sentinels
HOLLIDAYSBURG — Anyone with access to the internet or anyone who has seen the Fort Hill High School football team in person since the 1990s knows that the Sentinels perform like a machine when it comes to offensive execution. Hollidaysburg knew about it from last year’s 55-12 loss.
The Golden Tigers got to experience that again, unfortunately, but this time in front of a near-capacity crowd at home on Friday night.
The Class 1A defending state champs from Maryland jumped out to a 35-0 halftime lead en route to a 42-10 victory. The loss dropped Hollidaysburg to 2-2, while the Sentinels improved to 3-0. They have scored 176 points in their wins.
“They execute very well. We talked to our guys about that this week. When you have a team that executes that well, the margin for error is very small,” Tigers coach Homer DeLattre said. “We made too many mistakes against a really good team.”
Hollidaysburg had to punt on its first two offensive series. The Sentinels scored on their first two series, One went 10 plays and 65 yards, ending in a Troy Banks 2-yard run. The other went seven plays and 63 yards, again ending on a Banks score, this one from 1 yard out.
“Hollidaysburg is very physical on defense,” Sentinels coach Todd Appel said. “No yard was easy, but five of our six offensive linemen only go one way and that helps. If we can get more conditioned, that is what we do, wear people out. It was a battle up front, and that is what they usually do. The battle is to see who can maintain that fight for a long time and our kids did that.”
Hollidaysburg’s drives in the second quarter ended in a punt, a fake punt that did not get a first down, and an interception return by the Sentinels’ Jadon Hoover, who took it back for a 50-yard touchdown.
“We did not capitalize on our offensive possessions,” said DeLattre, whose club was held to 43 yards of offense and three first downs in the first half. “We did not possess the ball long enough, which in turn kept our defense on the field a lot. When you play a scheme like theirs, you have to limit their plays.”
Besides the pick-6 for a score, Fort Hill got touchdown runs of 23 and 38 yards from Brayden Poling on drives that went 11 plays and three plays. When the halftime dust settled, it was 35-0 Sentinels.
Poling rushed for 114 yards on eight carries in the game, while Banks finished with 145 yards on 14 carries, and neither back played more than one series in the second half.
“We do have a lot of depth there. Thank God for that,” said Appel, who had six different guys carry the ball in the first half. “It was hot here, humid. Hopefully our kids will get better as the year goes on.”
Fort Hill played its starters one series in the second half, scoring on a 16-yard pass from Logan Johnson to Anthony Smith. Ryan Hipp’s sixth PAT made it 42-0.
“I told our kids (at halftime) I didn’t want to see another penalty. I didn’t want to see another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty or a personal foul penalty because we don’t play like that,” DeLattre said when asked about his halftime message. “We told them to go out and try to win the second half.”
The Tigers scored on a Brady Walters’ 70-yard touchdown pass to Jack Sauserman as time expired in the third quarter. Kicker Vlad Hilling booted a 38-yard field goal with 2:42 to go in the game to set the final score. Now, DeLattre and his staff will prepare for another home game, this one from Brashear out of the city of Pittsburgh.
“I told our kids that everyone has to take ownership of their mistakes. Things we have done wrong are all correctable,” he said. “We want to make sure they are getting better and that goes for everyone, coaches and players. If we do that, we are capable of winning the rest of our games.”
Game notes: Banks rushed for 101 yards in the first half on 13 carries. … Trevor Mitchell, a two-way starter on the line for the Tigers, left the field in the second half with an apparent leg injury and did not return. … Before the game, Hollidaysburg honored coaches from its program’s past. In attendance were Joe Gallagher, Dick Gooderham, Dale Carson and Bob Greene. …There were eight fan busses from Fort Hill that came to the game, giving the team a total of 12 counting the band and team busses. Fans for the Sentinels started lining up at the gate for the game before 5 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Fort Hill 14 21 7 0 — 42
Hollidaysburg 0 0 7 3 — 10
FH–Banks 2 run (Hipp kick), 6:42
FH–Banks 1 run (Hipp kick), 2:51
FH–Poling 23 run (Hipp kick), 5:33
FH–Poling 38 run (Hipp kick), 2:38
FH–Hoover 50 int. return (Hipp kick), 1:43
FH–Smith 16 pass from Johnson (Hipp kick), 10:02
H–Sauserman 70 pass from Walters (Hilling kick), :00
H–Hilling 38 FG, 2:42.
RUSHING: Fort Hill–Johnson 1-18, Banks 14-145, Poling 8-114, Swan 6-17, Appel 1-14, Haskins 4-9, Powell 5-25, Yacenech 1-2, K. Smith 2-52, Little 1-(-1), Lamb 1-10. Hollidaysburg–Young 14-33, Walters 11-15, Day 1-1, Sauserman 1-2, Miller 2-12, Kratzer 1-(-1), Barr 2-12, Weyant 2-4.
PASSING: Fort Hill–Johnson 3-4-0-30. Hollidaysburg–Walters 5-13-1-130, Kratzer 0-2-0-0.
RECEIVING: Fort Hill–Poling 1-2, A. Smith 2-28. Holidaysburg–Nolan 3-60, Sauserman 1-70, Sensenig 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS: Fort Hill–Hoover. Hollidaysburg–None.
TEAM STATISTICS FH H
First downs 21 9
Rushes-yards 44-405 34-78
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 3-4-0 6-15-1
Yards passing 30 130
Total yards 435 208
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-0
Penalties-yards 8-80 5-41
Punts-avg. 1-45.0 3-40.1