- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
BALTIMORE – Justin Arn scored on a 20-yard run early in the fourth quarter to help River Hill repeat as Class 3A state champions with an 18-14 come-from-behind win over Huntingtown on Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium.
“It was a great high school football game, a great high school football atmosphere and all day at school it was electric,” Huntingtown first-year head coach Brendan Galligan said. “I wish we could have brought back a bigger trophy [than the smaller runner-up award] for them, but I’m proud of these guys.”
The Hawks (14-0 overall) captured their second straight state championship and have won their last 24 games, though it wasn’t easy against a valiant Huntingtown team.
The Hurricanes (12-2) took a 14-6 lead into halftime and never trailed until Arn’s eventual game-winning touchdown 3 minutes 37 seconds into the final quarter. Arn also scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter and finished with 85 yards on 15 carries. River Hill rushed for 215 yards compared to 156 for Huntingtown.
Trailing 18-14, Huntingtown got the ball back and promptly drove 42 yards in eight plays but Arn came up big defensively when he picked off Huntingtown quarterback Zach Piazza at the Hawks’ 12-yard line.
River Hill answered back with an 11-play, clock-eating drive, but the Hurricanes gave themselves one final chance when Arn was stopped for no gain on fourth down.
With the ball at Huntingtown’s own 29, no timeouts and 62 seconds remaining, Piazza went to work.
After two incompletions, he hooked up with receiver Bryan Rawlings on four quick out patterns that put the ball at the River Hill 40 with 17 seconds to go. But Evan Griffin picked off Piazza in the end zone to set off a noisy celebration.
It was the Hawks’ fourth state championship since 2007.
Arnez Bowens rushed for a game-high 115 yards – including 82 in the first half – and scored both Huntingtown touchdowns.
River Hill 18, Huntingtown 14
Huntingtown 7 7 0 0
River Hill 6 0 6 6
H – Bowens 2 run (Reeves kick), 5:24
RH – Osong 1 run (pass failed), 9:20
H – Bowens 1 run (Reeves kick), 2:49
RH – Arn 10 run (run failed), 7:37
RH – Arn 20 run (kick failed), 3:37
H (17 first downs, 37-156 rushing, 138 passing, 2-0 fumbles, 7-64 penalties)
RH (18 first downs, 40-215 rushing, 147 passing, 2-1fumbles, 5-45 penalties)
Top individual performers
Rushing – H: Bowens 20-115, Rowe 5-33; RH: Griffin 14-90, Arm 15-85, Osong 7-25
Passing – H: Piazza 14-23-2 138; RH: Altman 9-17-0 147
Receiving – H: Rawlings 8-58, Woodburn 4-49, Rowe 1-17; RH: Arn 2-66, Ball 2-37