River Hill coach Brian Van Deusen admitted he’s held back quarterback Keegan Remick since he hurt his shoulder late in a Week 4 loss to Marriotts Ridge.
It didn’t cost the Hawks, as they beat Wilde Lake, Long Reach and Glenelg while attempting just 18 total passes, but they will need Remick’s passing ability to be a threat if they hope to reach their ultimate goals this season.
Van Deusen showed glimpses of taking off the reins Friday night, and Remick delivered in a commanding 40-6 road win at Oakland Mills.
The senior was unblemished throwing the ball, finishing 5 of 5 for 70 yards and a touchdown on a perfect 21-yard back-shoulder pass to Anthony Behrmann late in the first half.
It wasn’t much in the end, and they didn’t need him to carry the offense with a 19-0 halftime lead and a 33-0 advantage after three quarters, but his ability was on full display.
“He’s got that potential,” Van Deusen said. “... He can throw the ball and he made some big plays tonight, and they had some good coverage. So if we can keep going that, you know, that just brings another dimension to our offense and makes us tougher to defend.”
River HIll (7-1) didn’t need to throw the ball to beat the Scorpions (5-3), who were held to a season-low six points. Not with how senior Anthony Behrmann (12 carries for 135 yards and two touchdowns) and junior Zach Igwebe (17 carries for 116 yards and three touchdowns) have been tearing up defenses. Each of them surpassed 750 yards rushing for the season with their 100-yard performances, while Beau Brade, Michael Crisitello, Derek Sandoval and Tony Lazzari combined to add 76 yards on the ground.
Igwebe had touchdowns on each of the Hawks’ first two drives of the game on runs of 4 and 1 yard. Behrmann had his turn on the first two possessions of the second half, finishing a seven-play drive with a 5-yard touchdown before taking off for a 72-yarder on the ensuing one to make it 33-0. Igwebe added a third score for good measure on a 12-yard run early in the fourth quarter one play after Remick completed a miraculous 14-yard pass to Sandoval on a 4th and 4.
Van Deusen knew before the start of the season that his team would be good. How good, however, would depend on the growth and health of his offensive line.
Through eight weeks, the unit has surpassed expectations.
“I think some of it even goes to weight training, conditioning, just maintaining our strength level, and I think that's been big for our guys up front because we're not the biggest team,” Van Deusen said. “Being in shape, working hard, and then just adding some wrinkles here and there and just having some balance in our offense is key.”
Defensively, Brade’s unit has simply never relented. They haven’t allowed more than two touchdowns in any game and are averaging fewer than 10 points allowed per contest, and they have held seven of their eight opponents scoreless through the first three quarters.
Van Deusen said the defense is “the heart and soul of our team.”
“They keep bringing it every week. This is a dynamic offense. I mean, with with Kai Castle, and there's so many playmakers on that team. For us to hold them to six points was was pretty impressive.”
The Scorpions’ lone touchdown drive came on an extended possession that spanned the third and fourth quarters. Running back Antoine Holmes (15 carries for 83 yards) did most of the damage and finished it off with a powerful 3-yard run into the end zone.
Ultimately, Oakland Mills coach Tom Browne said, “they just beat us up.”
“They won the line of scrimmage time and time again on offense and defense, and that’s the result of the game when that happens.”
Oakland Mills plays at Wilde Lake in the season finale next week, while River Hill is at home against Howard.
River Hill 40, Oakland Mills 6
RH — 13 6 14 7 — 40
OM — 0 0 0 6 — 6
RH: Zach Igwebe 4-yard run, Santiago Bryant kick [7-0]
RH: Igwebe 1-yard run, kick blocked [13-0]
RH: Keegan Remick 21-yard pass to Anthony Behrmann, conversion failed [19-0]
RH: Behrmann 5-yard run, Bryant kick [26-0]
RH: Behrmann 72-yard run, Bryant kick [33-0]
OM: Antoine Holmes 3-yard run, conversion failed [33-6]
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RH: Igwebe 12-yard run, Bryant kick [40-6]