WASHINGTON, D.C. — All good things eventually come to an end, and on Saturday afternoon at Anacostia High School, it was Fort Hill's 32-game winning streak that came to a close as the Sentinels fell, 24-6, to Friendship Collegiate Academy, a public charter school located in Washington, D.C.
It was the Sentinels' second loss since 2012 and the first since falling to Keyser, 48-41, on Sept. 11, 2015, snapping the previous area win streak record at 29 games. It was also the first time Fort Hill has been held to a touchdown since a 10-7 loss to Mount St. Joseph on Sept. 17, 2010.
The Knights offense got right to work, with senior tailback Josiah Crute breaking free on a 20-yard run on the first play from scrimmage before Dyson Smith connected with Maryland commit Dontay Demus Jr. two plays later on a 56-yard pass to the Fort Hill 11.
On third-and-six from the 7, Smith threw a touchdown pass to Jabril Holley at the 9:16 mark. Smith then completed the two-point pass to Crute, giving Friendship an early 8-0 lead. The drive spanned 82 yards on six plays.
The teams exchanged punts, then last Saturday's hero against Melbourne Central Catholic, Danny King, booted a 40-yard punt that was returned to the Sentinel 36 by Christopher Ferguson Jr., who spun out of a pair of tackles before being brought down by Carter Swan.
On the ensuing drive, Crute had runs of 18, 4 and 2 yards before Smith doubled the Knights' lead on an 11-yard read option play on third-and-three on the first play of the second quarter. Dyson found Demus Jr. wide open in the back of the end zone on the two-point play, putting Friendship Collegiate ahead 16-0.
One of Fort Hill's keys to the game was to chew time off the clock to keep the ball away from the Knights' offense. The Sentinels achieved both on their next drive, going 77 yards on 10 plays in under five-and-a-half minutes. Fort Hill picked up a pair of first downs before converting on back-to-back third downs, one via a short-yardage run by Troy Banks and the other on an offside penalty, which set up a 33-yard touchdown pass from Logan Johnson to Brayden Poling at the 6:27 mark. The two-point pass failed, leaving Fort Hill's deficit at 10, 16-6.
The touchdown appeared to be all the Sentinels needed to get momentum on their side, as an illegal block in the back penalty negated a 51-yard kickoff return following the Fort Hill touchdown. Then, on Friendship's first play from scrimmage from its own 15, Jadon Hoover intercepted a pass at the Fort Hill 37-yard line.
The momentum swing didn't last long, however, as the Knights forced a three and out.
Following another booming punt by King, which went out of bounds at Friendship Collegiate's own 10-yard line, penalties for holding and illegal procedure spotted the ball at the Knights' 2. On second-and-12, Crute broke free on a 98-yard dash as he went untouched for six points. Crute caught the two-point pass from Smith at the 2:16 mark, putting the score at its eventual final.
Fort Hill punted on its next three drives — including its final drive in the second quarter and both offensive series' in the third period.
The Sentinels' final drive went 13 plays, from 10 seconds remaining in the third quarter to 6:22 in the fourth, but was ended on a fumble at Friendship's 23. It was Fort Hill's only turnover. It converted on two third downs and a fourth down on the drive.
The Knights were able to run the clock out from there.
Fort Hill led in first downs, 13-11, while penalties haunted Friendship Collegiate as it compiled 16 for 132 yards. The Sentinels had three violations for 30 yards.
Crute led the Knights' rushing attack, finishing with 203 of the team's 244 yards. Crute had 16 carries, while Smith had half as many for 45 yards. Smith went 3 of 8 passing for 71 yards and punted the ball three times for a 45.5-yard average.
Fort Hill led in time of possession, 25:47-22:13, while Banks had 20 carries for 87 yards. Tyreke Powell rushed six times for 23 yards as the Sentinels finished with 143 yards rushing.
Johnson had a solid game under center, completing 4 of 5 passes for 54 yards. King averaged 38 yards on six punts.
Fort Hill (7-1) travels to Frostburg on Friday to play Mountain Ridge. Friendship Collegiate Academy improved to 5-3.