River Hill senior Beau Brade is determined to prove that its 15-14 overtime loss at Marriotts Ridge on Sept. 27 was an anomaly.

Practices have been more focused and intense. They’ve been working harder, coach Brian Van Deusen said, and simply getting better. The taste of defeat in such a devastating fashion has fueled them.

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“It was a wake up call for us,” he said.

The show they gave their fans for their homecoming game Friday night proved as much. River Hill scored touchdowns on its first six drives and rolled over visiting Long Reach, 42-8.

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Zach Igwebe (17 carries, 91 yards; 2 receptions, 9 yards) and Anthony Behrmann (5 carries, 54 yards) each had two rushing touchdowns, while Brade led the team with 130 yards rushing on 10 carries and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 28 yards and another score.

Defensively, the Hawks (5-1) held the Lightning (2-4) to 19 yards of offense in the first three quarters and allowed just one first down. A touchdown drive against the second and third stringers got Long Reach on the board with less than two minutes remaining.

Overall, River Hill allowed 71 total yards to a Lightning team that was averaging nearly 200 yards passing per game.

Van Deusen said he’s “really encouraged” by the way they’ve played the last two games.

“Our defense has been solid all year and I think the big thing is offensive line-wise, we just keep getting better and better,” he said. “We’re mixing the ball up, we’ve got three good running backs that are running hard and we’re able to mix in a pass here and there. Hopefully we keep it going.”

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The Hawks’ first three drives started inside Long Reach territory. Igwebe capped a seven-play, 44-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run on their opening drive, and Behrmann needed just one play to score on a 42-yard run on the next possession.

An interception by Christian Myers set River Hill up at the opponents’ 27, and Igwebe’s 6-yard run into the end zone put the Hawks up 21-0 with 2 minutes, 51 seconds left in the first quarter.

River Hill never relented. A 13-play, 55-yard drive that spanned the first two quarters ate up nearly nine minutes of the game clock. Keegan Remick, who was 4 of 4 passing on the drive, finished it off with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Brade.

A botched punt return gave Long Reach a chance to cut into the Hawks’ 21-point lead, but it lost five yards on the first play from the 28 and never got back on schedule. Three plays later, Brade raced up the middle on a counter play 57 yards for a score.

“I think they’ve proven that they are worthy of being a great offensive line,” Brade said.

River Hill took a 35-0 lead into halftime and racked up 252 yards of offense, 215 of which came on the ground.

Behrmann scored his second touchdown on a 7-yard run sweep to cap an 11-play, 61-yard drive to open the second half.

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Howard County 2019 football power rankings, third edition

The third edition of the Howard County football 2019 power rankings.

“All these guys run hard and that’s the key. We’re not really big up front, so a lot of these guys are creating some thing on their own and they’re breaking tackles and protecting the ball, and you know I think with anything if you have balance it’s going to make you tougher to defend,” Van Deusen said. “So we’ve got some pretty good balance inside and outside run and now we’re able to throw the ball a little bit and I think that’s going to help us down the road.”

Long Reach has lost back-to-back games and scored just one touchdown in each. Coach Jamie Willis didn’t mince words after the game.

“Right now, we’re just not good. We’re not good across the board and it’s evident. It’s sad and it’s upsetting,” he said. “I know we’re young at places but right now upperclassmen are not playing well. [River Hill] is a good football team, they’re physical. We’re not real physical right now. We have a lot of work to do, but the crazy part about it is we’re going to make the playoffs. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”

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Take a look at the Howard County football statistical leaders for the 2019 season.

River Hill 42, Long Reach 8

Scoring plays:

First quarter

RH: Zach Igwebe 4-yard run, Santiago Bryant kick [7-0]

RH: Anthony Behrmann 42-yard run, Bryant kick [14-0]

RH: Igwebe 6-yard run, Bryant kick [21-0]

Second quarter

RH: Keegan Remick 6-yard pass to Beau Brade, Bryant kick [28-0]

RH: Brade 57-yard run, Bryant kick [35-0]

Third quarter

RH: Behrmann 7-yard run, Bryant kick [42-0]

Fourth quarter

LR: Jordan Perry 1-yard run, Elijah Saunders run conversion [42-8]

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