Marriotts Ridge quarterback Tim Blair barely had his first snap from center when he found out just how difficult a time he and his Mustangs teammates were going to have last night.
Chased from the pocket, Blair unleashed a pass that went right into the hands of River Hill defensive back Michael Campanaro. Campanaro, who scored four touchdowns and rolled up more than 230 yards at halfback, returned the ball to the 1-yard line, where on the next play River Hill quarterback Luke Hostetler ran it into the end zone.
The No. 1 Hawks (7-0) were on their way to a 41-0 victory over the No. 12 Mustangs, one of their fiercest county rivals.
For host River Hill, it was its fourth shutout of the season and its third in four games.
While the game is developing into a good rivalry, the frustration began to show among the Mustangs players in the third quarter, resulting in unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, one of which came after Scott Trench made his fourth extra point. The River Hill kicker had to be helped from the field with a leg injury. He will have X-rays tomorrow.
"We didn't think this was going to be easy," River Hill coach Brian Van Deusen said. "We did think if we came in here and executed and protected the ball, we could move the ball on them, but we thought we were going to get a good challenge from their offense."
But River Hill's defense, as Blair found out on that first play, executed so well it seemed to be in the Mustangs' huddle, flooding into the backfield before most plays had a chance to develop.
"We went over and over their formations in practice," said junior linebacker Kevin Moore. "We were keying off little signs that we saw."
After Hostetler's score in the first 20 seconds of the game, Campanaro scored three times before the half. Then he and Hostetler each scored in the second half.
"Tim was under a lot of pressure and we didn't do a very good job protecting the quarterback," said Marriotts Ridge coach Ken Hovet, whose team fell to 5-2. "But give them credit. They played hard and did a good job of taking the game to us and we didn't respond very well. But we'll just turn around and play better next week."