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Long Reach's late stand turns back River Hill, 17-15

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Long Reach stopped River Hill's two-point conversion attempt with 52 seconds to play yesterday, and then hung on for a 17-15 victory.

The visiting Lightning (2-0) utilized two long runs by Rodney Lightfoot and a River Hill turnover to set up its scores.

Long Reach, leading 17-9 at halftime, successfully ran its wishbone, mainly to Travis Poling, to control the ball in the second half. Poling had 58 yards on 11 carries.

But it was Lightfoot, running from a spread offense in the first half behind an offensive line that averages 283 pounds -- Tom Kerr, Mike Zyvoloski, Ryan Pope, James Burckhardt and Justin Pruitt -- that ended Long Reach's two-game losing streak to River Hill.

Lightfoot, who had 126 yards on nine carries, ran a counter 61 yards to the River Hill 12-yard line on the first play of the game. Maragh pounded for eight yards and then a 4-yard touchdown, and Travis Poling ran for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead.

River Hill (0-2) retaliated on a 39-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Hostetler to Chris Kupec with two seconds left in the first quarter. The conversion run failed. Hostetler completed 13 of 23 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

Lightfoot, on the first play of the second quarter, broke off a 45-yard run to the River Hill 30-yard line. The Hawks continued driving and scored again on a 3-yard run by Poling. The extra-point kick failed. It was 14-6.

Both teams added field goals before halftime. Long Reach scored on Scott's 22-yard field goal following a fumble recovery by Rob Onolfi at the River Hill 23.

Kupec's biggest catch was an 18-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone with 52 seconds left in the game, culminating a 45-yard drive on four pass plays. That drive was set up when River Hill's defense, which held Long Reach on three downs following Patrick Huter's 61-yard punt that backed Long Reach to its 12-yard line.

"I called a safety punt on that play with no one back and if I had it to do over again I would have put one player back," Long Reach coach Pete Hughes said.

River Hill tried an onside kick, but Andre George recovered and hung on despite a crunching tackle.

"Our kids fought hard all the way and it was a good high school football game," River Hill coach Brian Van Deusen said. "It doesn't get any easier for us with Oakland Mills next and then Wilde Lake."

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