CUMBERLAND — One player knew coming into the game that he was going to be the focal point of his team’s offense. The other became the focus as the game dictated it.
Allegany’s Trevan Powell, who was expected to be one of the Campers’ key offensive players from his running back position, was forced into action due to another injury, this time to Grant Cain during last week’s 21-14 loss at Northern.
Throughout the season, the Campers have dealt with more than their fair share of injuries and that has limited what they originally planned to do. Cain, the starting quarterback, became the latest after suffering a concussion against the Huskies.
Therefore, Allegany opened Homecoming with Powell playing quarterback. Starting from their 20-yard line, Powell — out of the pistol formation — gained eight yards on his first two carries and then had to fall on a bad snap that lost three yards that would end the drive.
On their next possession, two Powell runs gained 16 yards and their only first down of the first half before an incomplete pass and a two-yard loss on a pitch ended another drive.
“The coaches were making fun of me all week, they called me ‘XBox Hansel,’” said Allegany head coach Bryan Hansel.
“It was something that we had to do,” he said. “The best thing with coaches is we are thieves sometimes and we went through some Dunbar stuff and some other films and we came across the table and we decided we had to do some of this stuff to get Trevan and J.D. (Shambaugh) involved as much as possible, get downhill with them as much as possible.
“Fort Hill’s really good trying to get side by side, so we wanted to get downhill on them. I thought the game plan went really well for us. If we don’t fumble it’s a better game for us. But I thought those kids performed very well.”
Powell, who finished as the team’s leading rusher with 118 yards on 26 carries and both of the Campers’ fourth-quarter touchdowns on one-yard dives, agreed.
“The coaches and the team sat down and thought of the best way to try and win and compete,” Powell said, “and this was the best opportunity and the best chance we thought we had so we went for it.”
“We told the kids and we actually watched film from a couple years ago when they did have the wildcat with Karson Robinette and try to prepare for that a little bit,” said Fort Hill head coach Todd Appel. “We figured with their quarterback situation that Trevan Powell was going to be the quarterback. He has a good arm, he’s a good athlete, he runs the ball well. I would do that. So we prepared for that — not exactly like that because you don’t know exactly what that looks like, but the kids knew that thirty-four was going to get the ball most of the time. We told them going in that JD Shambaugh is another good running back that’s going to get the ball, so I think the kids listened. I think we played good, sound, fundamental defense. And we’ve had enough sets to face all year that sometimes it reemerges later on in the year and they’re used to it, so that’s always helpful.”
Both of Powell’s touchdowns were set up by deep sideline passes to Dorian Terrell, who made a one-handed highlight reel grab to the one on a 26-yarder and his second covered 33 yards and also ended at the one.
“I trust him with my life,” Powell said. “He’s one of my homies, he’s one of my day ones and I know if I throw it up to him, he’s going to try and catch it so I trust him.”
Fort Hill’s Carson Snyder didn’t know he was going to run for 180 yards on 21 carries and score three touchdowns to be named Homecoming’s Offensive Player of the Game.
“No sir, I did not,” Snyder said. “It’s a team effort.
“We came out flat and then we started arguing a little bit in the second quarter,” he said. “We started stepping it up in third quarter, and the linemen were opening up holes and that got me going.”
Snyder scored on two one-yard runs in the first half and a 23-yarder in the third quarter that put the Sentinels ahead 31-0.
Part of Allegany’s game plan was to make sure that the Sentinels’ speedy sophomore Breven Stubbs didn’t beat them. For the most part, he didn’t.
He had a 24-yard run on Fort Hill’s first offensive play that set up Danny King’s 19-yard touchdown run and he broke free on a 32-yarder late in the fourth quarter that was capped by Colby Santmyire’s four-yard touchdown run.
In between, the Campers bottled him up, holding him to minus-one yard on six carries. Linebacker Dillon Hogamier had a big part in that.
“Oh, at linebacker, he probably had 15 to 18 tackles,” Hansel said. “He’s all over the field. He reads the Wing-T phenomenally well. But that kid flies ... and he’s always been a great linebacker for us.”
Hogamier didn’t like the result, but he was pleased with his unit’s effort.
“I know we had to stop Stubbs,” he said. “I tried, I mean, he got one real good run and that’s about it. But other than that, we did pretty good on defense. We just couldn’t drive.”
As a result of the Campers’ success slowing Stubbs, the Sentinels adjusted and turned to their senior fullback Snyder.
“It’s the way the game develops most of the time,” said Appel. “We don’t earmark this one kid and run him.
“They were taking away the edges pretty good and we were trying to find places for Carson to find those holes and we finally did, breaking up some holes and he did a really good job running downhill and controlling the ball for the most part.”
Jeff Landes is the sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News.