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Brian Van Deusen wins 200th game as River Hill football coach

River Hill’s 28-0 win over Reservoir on Friday was more than just a key victory to keep the Hawks in the hunt for a county championship.

The triumph was also the 200th of coach Brian Van Deusen’s career at River Hill. Van Deusen, who is in his 22nd season as the Hawks head coach, has amassed a career record of 200-49.

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The longtime coach took over the program from his father, Don, in 2000. He’s won four state championships, eight region titles and 11 county crowns.

In their win at Reservoir, the Hawks were led by a stout defense and two long runs by Arjun Singh.

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Singh opened the game’s scoring with a 45-yard run in the second quarter to put the Hawks up 7-0 at halftime. The senior running back then broke off an 89-yard run in the third quarter to put River Hill (4-1) up two scores.

Nico Lancashire scored from 11 yards out later in the third quarter, and Devron Johnson sealed the win with a 5-yard rushing score in the fourth.

River Hill’s defense pitched its second shutout of the season. Through five games this fall, the Hawks have allowed only 27 points (5.4 per game).

River Hill football coach Brian Van Deusen (left) poses for a picture with his players after his 200th career win as the Hawks' coach.
River Hill football coach Brian Van Deusen (left) poses for a picture with his players after his 200th career win as the Hawks' coach. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Hearns)

Van Deusen actually started his head coaching career at River Hill on the basketball court in 1999. He led the Hawks boys basketball team from the 1999-2000 season through 2003-04, totaling a 79-35 record and sharing the county championship in 2001-02.

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In his first season as the Hawks football coach, River Hill, which opened in 1996, went 4-6, and the Hawks haven’t been below .500 in any season since. The Hawks won their first county title in 2003 after going 9-1 in the regular season.

For the next 10 years, River Hill was one of the most dominant football teams in the state. From 2003 to 2013, Van Deusen’s squad won nine county titles, including eight straight from 2003 to 2010, and four state crowns.

River Hill reached its first state championship in 2006, losing to Friendly (Prince George’s County), 37-18, in the MPSSAA Class 3A championship. The Hawks then won 40 games in a row over the next three seasons, going 14-0 in both 2007 and 2008 and 12-1 in 2009.

Van Deusen first reached the pinnacle in 2007 with a 14-7 win over Eastern Tech in the 2A title game. The Hawks defense was dominant all season, pitching 11 shutouts and allowing only 21 total points in 14 games.

River Hill then won its second consecutive 2A state title in 2008, defeating Eastern Tech again, 31-6.

The third state title under Van Deusen came in 2011. After starting the season 2-2, the Hawks won 10 straight games and defeated Thomas Johnson (Frederick County) in Class 3A, 41-13.

Van Deusen’s fourth and latest state title came the following season with an 18-14 win over Huntingtown (Calvert County) in the 3A title game. The victory earned the Hawks revenge over the team that ended their 40-game winning streak in the 2009 state semifinals. The team’s offense in 2012 was unstoppable, scoring 600 points in 14 games (42.8 per game).

The Hawks then won their third straight region title in 2013, which is the program’s latest region crown. After a four-year hiatus from being atop the county between 2013 and 2016, the Hawks won county championships in 2017 and 2019. This past spring in the COVID-shortened 2021 season, River Hill went 5-0 with four shutouts.

River Hill 28, Reservoir 0

RH — 0 7 14 7 — 28

Re — 0 0 0 0 — 0

Scoring plays:

Second quarter

RH: Arjun Singh 45-yard run, Poojan Patel kick [7-0]

Third quarter

RH: Singh 89-yard run, run failed [13-0]

RH: Nico Lancashire 11-yard run, Bergen Remick run [21-0]

Fourth quarter

RH: Devron Johnson 5-yard run, Patel kick [28-0]

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