From Staff Reports
CUMBERLAND — Allegany’s best offensive players during the first half was a punter and the defense, but the Campers’ offense built momentum during the second half to pull away from Towson and keep their playoff hopes alive with a 35-6 win Saturday at Greenway Avenue Stadium.
The Campers still have some say in their possible postseason appearance, as a win over Fort Hill in Saturday’s Homecoming will lock up the fourth spot in the Maryland 1A West Region, but Allegany (5-4) can potentially make the cut if they lose to the Sentinels and North Carroll can beat Manchester Valley.
The fans that showed up Saturday afternoon were treated to a little bit of everything but offense, seeing rain, wind, and sun during the first half, but only 118 combined yards. Allegany punter Nate Condor booted a 62-yard punt with the wind at his back that set the Campers up for their first touchdown, and was also only 10 yards shorter than the 72 the Allegany offense picked up in the first half. Towson, running out of the bunched, single-wing formation, was even more out of sync than the Campers by putting up only 46 yards over the first 24 minutes.
Despite the inconsistencies on offense, the Campers built a 14-0 lead before halftime by getting an eight-yard run from Kirk Robinette and a one-yard sneak from Trenton Eirich, who is back after missing a game with concussion-like symptoms.
Robinette’s touchdown came on Allegany’s third possession, but was the first that didn’t end in a three-and-out. In fact, it only lasted two plays as Condor’s punt pinned the Generals at their own two, forcing Towson to punt from its own end zone and Darion Lopez returned the short kick to the 15. Robinette went for seven yards on the first play and then the final eight on the second to give Allegany a 7-0 lead after Condor’s extra point.
Towson had picked up two first downs and was moving the ball with the run on its first drive, but went to the air around midfield and Allegany’s Jordan Shook intercepted the first of two passes to stop one of the Generals’ best drives of the day.
The Campers got their second touchdown on another short field set up by another great punt by Condor. This time the punt traveled only 36 yards, but was downed at the Towson eight and put the Generals into another punt from their end zone. After a 14-yard kick, Allegany took over at the 24 and Eirich finished the drive on the fifth play with a sneak from the one.
Both teams picked up the pace in the second half as Allegany added 223 more yards to finish with 295 and Towson gained 199 to end the afternoon at 245.
That didn’t appear to be the case for the Campers initially as they fumbled and lost possession on their first play of the half, then fumbled and recovered, but got called for holding on their second play. Eirich got his team out of the hole with a keeper around the end for 14 yards, and Robinette picked up the first down on the next play. Two plays later Allegany had a 21-0 lead with 3:09 left in the third when Robinette when 59 yards.
Robinette finished with 132 yards on 16 carries.
The final two Allegany touchdowns came through the air in the fourth quarter. Lopez recovered a Towson fumble and Dalton Golliday had a 38-yard run to build towards an 11-yard touchdown pass from Eirich to Wade McGee. Trevor Evix threw to Derrick Hickle for an eight-yard score a few minutes later to give Allegany a 35-6 lead.
Towson, coached by former Fort Hill player Chad Knippenberg, scored with 7:33 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 16-yard run by Ronje Wright. Wright had over half of Towson’s 245 yards rushing with 146 on 29 carries.
“I think we are peaking at the right time,” said Allegany coach Tom Preaskorn. “I thought the players had a lot more enthusiasm out there today and it seemed like we were able to play better in all aspects. We are a couple turnovers or penalties away from being undefeated or having only one loss, so the players need to realize how good they can play, but that we need to keep getting better at cutting those turnovers and penalties.”
Allegany will play Fort Hill for the 88th time at 12:30 on Saturday at Greenway Avenue Stadium.