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Atholton football advances in 3A state playoffs with 27-3 win over River Hill

Atholton football used a balanced attack Saturday, one that included rushing touchdowns from three different players, to lead from start to finish in a 27-3 victory over River Hill in the second round of the 3A state playoffs.

The Raiders (10-1) advance to host Chesapeake in the state quarterfinals next Friday at 7 p.m.

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Atholton built an 11-0 lead by the end of the first quarter, getting a field goal from Ben Gurshuny and a 3-yard touchdown run from Dillan Watkins.

River Hill (6-5) then got its only points of the game courtesy of a second-quarter field goal to temporarily cut its deficit to eight at 11-3. But before the half, Gurshuny added another field goal of his own to make it a two-score game at the break, 14-3.

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The Raiders later got themselves some insurance in the fourth quarter as Kevin Smitson (59 yards rushing, 129 yards receiving) and Charlie Decelles each found the end zone to create the final margin of victory.

Atholton ended up with four players — Smitson, Watkins, Malik Hemmeian and Miles Scott — with 20 or more yards rushing.

The Raiders’ defense, meanwhile, was led by Tra Evans (8 tackles, interception), Daniel Ogordi (2 tackles, fumble recovery), Watkins (3 tackles, fumble recovery), John Prajka (4 tackles) and Decelles (4 tackles).

4A/3A Playoffs

Urbana 38, Mt. Hebron 14

The Vikings (5-6) saw their season end in the second round against the visiting Hawks, who advance to face Dundalk in the state quarterfinals.

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