KEYSER, W.Va. – Fort Hill avenged last season’s loss to Keyser on Friday night by running for 316 yards and totaling six touchdowns en route to a 41-0 shutout over the Tornado.
The Sentinels averaged nearly eight yards per play and ran for just over seven yards per touch as they collected 398 yards in total offense. Five of their six touchdowns came via the run and three different players ran for a score.
“We like to take advantage of what other people give us,” said Fort Hill head coach Todd Appel. “Keyser played great defense tonight and the score is not indicative of how they play defense.
“We struggled at times to get first downs and we need to execute better on the offensive line,” he said.
The Sentinels didn’t struggle much in the opening half as they raced out to a 28-0 halftime cushion. They racked up 283 yards on offense behind 202 rushing yards. Fort Hill averaged 9.4 yards per play and averaged 8.1 yards per rush.
Defensively, Fort Hill limited Keyser to just five offensive yards in the opening half on 20 plays. The Sentinel defense forced four punts, stopped the Tornado on fourth down and intercepted a pass in the final minute of the first half.
In two games, the Sentinels have outscored their opponent 114-0.
“I was very pleased with us defensively,” said Appel. “We run to the football well and we are physical. We have a lot of kids that understand how we play defense.”
On the other side of things, Fort Hill seemingly scored at will finding the end zone on four of five drives over the first two quarters. They fumbled the ball at midfield for their only blemish of the opening half.
Nathaniel Graves found Brayden Poling for a 35-yard touchdown pass to open scoring at 7:11 in the first quarter. Poling made a diving catch towards the back of the end zone for the TD. Raen Smith dragged a Keyser defender or two into the end zone for FH’s second touchdown of the first half, this time an 11-yard scoring run.
The second quarter scoring belonged to Brayden Brown as he scampered up the Keyser sideline for a 65-yard score early in the quarter for a 21-0 Fort Hill lead.
Brown’s second score capped the Sentinels’ longest drive of the contest as they marched 80-yards on 13 plays for a 28-0 lead. Brown pushed his way into the end zone for a two-yard score on fourth down with 39 seconds left in the frame.
“I think we played pretty good in the first half, but we made some mistakes that we can fix,” said Jayden Brown. “Coach also preaches about making the least amount of mistakes.”
In the second half, Fort Hill wasn’t quite as efficient, but it added two more touchdowns. The Sentinels capitalized on a Keyser interception as Smith rumbled in from 20 yards out for a 35-0 score.
Midway through the fourth, the Sentinels added their sixth and final touchdown. Logan Johnson darted through the Tornado defense for a 16-yard scoring run for the 41-0 final.
“I think the offensive line helped out tonight in terms of running the football,” added Brown. “The line stepped up and played well.”
Keyser finished with 31 yards in total offense and was led in rushing by Terrell Bush, who had 13 yards. Deavonta Johnson and Jacob Biser added nine and seven yards rushing respectively.
Fort Hill (2-0) will play Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, in its home opener Friday at Greenway Avenue Stadium. Keyser (2-1) visits Weir High in Weirton, West Virginia, also on Friday.