CUMBERLAND — Brayden Brown ran for 191 yards in the first half, Brayden Conley had three sacks in the first quarter and the Fort Hill Sentinels put on a show worthy of the three-time defending state champion label they wear Friday night at Greenway Avenue Stadium.
The Hollidaysburg Golden Tigers just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Fort Hill (3-0) scored four touchdowns in the first 11 minutes, six in the first half and piled up 520 yards of offense in a 55-12 rout that stretched their winning streak to 14 games in their first home game since winning last year’s state championship in Baltimore.
They wasted little time Friday evening, burying the Golden Tigers in the first 20 plays of the night. It was a series that included three touchdowns, three sacks and two interceptions.
Conley sacked Jarrett Cavalet for a 12-yard loss on the first play from scrimmage, Brown intercepted Cavalet on the third play and then scored on the fifth play, getting key blocks from Conley and Noah Steckman on a 35-yard run that made it 6-0 just 2:26 into the game.
Conley sacked Cavalet for a 10-yard loss in the next series, then teamed with Luke Hamilton for a sack on the next play as well to force a Golden Tigers punt.
A 24-yard sweep by Brown was followed by a 25-yard touchdown run by Troy Banks (9 carries, 95 yards) that made it 14-0.
An Austin Martin interception and 31-yard return set up a four-yard plunge by Banks and a 21-point Fort Hill lead just seven minutes into the game.
“We were excited to play in our first home game and in front of a big crowd,’’ said Brown, who gained 191 yards on only eight carries. “What really got us started was the offensive line. They showed us that we can run behind them. They were the wood for the fire tonight.”
Running behind tackles Gabriel Logsdon and Richard Hess, guards Conley and RaShaan Haines, center Noah Bunner and tight end Kaleb Harden, the Sentinels ran 20 times for 313 yards in the first half. They finished with 37 carries and 489 yards.
Brown capped a 28-point first quarter with a 35-yard run around left end that made it 28-0 with 1:30 left in the quarter.
The Fort Hill defense, which had opened the season with shutouts of Brunswick and Keyser, gave up its first points of the season in the final seconds of the quarter. Two plays after Jack Sauserman turned a tipped pass into a 50-yard gain to the Fort Hill five, Cavalet hit Vyborny with a four-yard strike with 18 seconds on the clock.
The scoreless streak, stopped at 107 minutes, was of no concern to Brown or Fort Hill coach Todd Appel. Quite the contrary.
“I’m kind of glad it happened,’’ Appel said. “Like last year with the loss to Keyser (that ended a 29-game winning streak). We weren’t happy that we lost that game. We just need to concentrate on what’s most important, and that was getting better.
“It all goes through our defense. We have lots of experienced guys on defense, and seven returning starters. They are skilled, fast kids who pay attention to detail. They’re physical and love to play defense. And if you have a good defense, you always have a chance to win.”
Combine a good defense with a good offense, and you may run off a streak of 43 wins in 44 games, which is what the Sentinels have done. What they didn’t do Friday night was punt or fumble.
“We weren’t focused on (the scoreless streak). We want to stay focused on the right things all year. And right now, it’s just working hard and getting better.”
Brown scored on an eight-yard run to make it 34-6 early in the second quarter. Another Conley’s sack on third down ended Hollidaysburg’s next series and four plays later Raen Smith scored on a 19-yard run for a 41-6 halftime lead.
The only thing that ran faster than Brown was the clock in the second half, which turned continuously because of the 35-point mercy rule. Brayden Poling had a 15-yard run and Markel Spencer a 23-yard sweep for touchdowns that made it 55-6. Patrick Young, who led the Tigers with nine rushes and 64 yards, scored on a 14-yard carry for Hollidaysburg with 5:55 to go.
Fort Hill, which has scored 169 points and allowed 12 in its first three games, plays at Silver Oak Academy next Saturday. After that road trip, five of the Sentinels’ final six regular-season games will be at Greenway.
Mike Mathews is a Cumberland Times-News sportswriter. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMathewsCTN