River Hill's dream season turned into a nightmare at M&T; Bank Stadium last night, thanks to Friendly quarterback Joe Haden.
Haden, who is headed to the University of Florida to become a wide receiver, led Friendly of Prince George's County to the Class 3A state championship with a 37-18 victory over top-ranked and previously unbeaten River Hill.
The Hawks played the second half without leading rusher and tackler Zach Martin, who left the game after suffering a separated shoulder in the second quarter.
The title was Friendly's fifth, its first since 1998.
It was 11-year-old River Hill's first state final in football. The Hawks had advanced to their first state semifinal last season, losing to eventual state champion Gwynn Park.
The game matched a pair of 13-0 teams, and Haden was the difference. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior completed 11 of 16 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 50 yards and two touchdowns.
His pair of touchdown passes gave him a state public school record of 38 for the season and 80 for his career, tying Sherwood quarterback Deontay Twyman, who finished with 80 on Friday night.
"We've never seen a team with so many athletes like they had," River Hill coach Brian Van Deusen said. "And he [Haden] made several big plays tonight. He could tuck it and make plays. He's just a playmaker and the best player we've faced all year."
Added River Hill senior two-way lineman Jeff Wallin: "He's fast and strong, can throw, can do everything. That's probably why he has a full ride to Florida."
River Hill quarterback Daniel Hostetler threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Michael Campanaro with 4:51 left in the first half to close the gap to 15-6, and the Hawks came out strong in the second half. They marched 65 yards in six plays, with Hostetler scoring from the 2 to make it a 15-12 game.
Friendly, however, answered with two straight scores in the third quarter to boost its lead to 29-12.
Hostetler closed out the scoring with a 9-yard pass to Greg Nowak with 3:51 left in the game. Hostetler's two touchdown passes last night gave him a school-record 18 this season, breaking his record of 17 set last season.
Friendly dominated the first quarter, running 16 plays to the Hawks' seven and taking a 7-0 lead on a 3-yard dive by Haden with 20 seconds left in the period.
The score came on the fifth play of the drive after a fumble recovery by Rakeem Vick on the River Hill 19.
Taking over at their own 32 after River Hill punted on its first possession of the second half, the Patriots drove 68 yards in seven plays, with Haden plunging in for the touchdown on fourth-and-one. This time, Friendly went for the two-point conversion and Haden connected with Vince Hill to make it 15-0.
River Hill staged an impressive drive of its own to get on the board after taking the ensuing kickoff. The Hawks drove 80 yards in seven firstname.lastname@example.org
River Hill 0 6 6 6 - 18
Friendly 7 8 14 8 - 37
F-Haden 3 run (Haden kick) F-Haden 1 run (Hill pass from Haden) RH-Campanaro 13 pass from Hostetler (kick failed) RH-Hostetler 2 run (kick blocked) F-Hill 7 pass from Haden (kick failed) F-Davis 25 pass from Haden (Haden run) RH-Nowak 9 pass from Hostetler (pass failed) F-Curry 29 run (Hill pass from Haden)