Hill School's Grant Smith looks to avoid Germantown Academy's Nelson Floyd as he runs for yards after a reception Thursday. (Bob Raines/21st Century Media) (Bob Raines)
FORT WASHINGTON — Having one less game under your belt than your opponent early in the football season can be a big handicap, as was the case for The Hill School in its opener on Thursday afternoon at Germantown Academy. That undesirable situation, along with a couple of quick injuries, contributed to a slow start for the Rams, who trailed by 21 points after the first quarter in a 43-14 loss.Matt Foltz threw for 204 yards for The Hill, including five completions to Grant Smith good for 129 yards and a touchdown. But that came too late after Myles Anthony (16 carries, 106 yards) quickly established the running game for the Patriots (1-1) — who lost 31-0 to Lansdale Catholic in their opener last week — and Hayes Nolte threw for 152 yards and three scores.
Hill School quarterback Matt Foltz gets off a pass as Trey Humes fends off Germantown Academy's Pat McGettigan Thursday. (Bob Raines/21st Century Media) (Bob Raines)
"It's a tough opener when it's our first game and their second game,' said Hill coach Grey Simpson. "We lost two defensive starters in the first series. That's the second time in a row we've lost two personnel right off the bat. With our depth, we're not in a position to recover from that. We never, defensively, got situated and comfortable. We had kids playing in positions they weren't comfortable in.'And the Patriots took advantage of that as Anthony darted through the smallest holes in the line for gains of 13 and 12 yards during a 12-play, 74-yard scoring drive by the hosts on their first possession.Then GA forced a second straight Hill punt and went 50 yards on just three plays, the last a 37-yard TD toss from Nolte to Kyle Donahue. Another Hill punt and a 15-yard penalty set the hosts up on the Rams' 24 and Nolte went to the air again, hitting Cliff David from 22 yards out on the second play of the series for a 21-0 advantage with 46 seconds to go in the opening quarter."We felt pretty confident coming in this week,' said Nolte. "We were able to get them a few times going up-tempo and we were able to execute. Coming in this week, we really wanted to set the tone with the run ... get them to creep up and go over the top.
Hill School's Richie Tabarrini grabs a pass just before he is hit by Germantown Academy's Ryan Calhoun Thursday. (Bob Raines/21st Century Media) (Bob Raines)
'The running of Anthony made that possible as he ripped off carries of 12 or more yards four times and gained at least five on 10 of his attempts."Last week, I had seven carries, which is OK,' said Anthony. "I came in hoping to have a big game and help the team more. We definitely went more up-tempo. We have to work on our conditioning this week.'A 36-yard run into the end zone by Nolte — who gained 71 yards on six tries — made it 28-0 with four minutes left in the first half. Then the Rams put together their first drive of any distance as Trey Humes broke off an 18-yard run and Foltz completed a 73-yard march with a six-yard scoring run.But the Patriots came back with scores late in the first half and early in the second to start the running clock at 43-7.
Hill School's Zack Sheehan gets surrounded by Germantown Academy's Nelson Floyd, Matt Herman and Riley Kordek Thursday. (Bob Raines/21st Century Media) (Bob Raines)
A 75-yard pass play over the middle from Foltz to Smith completed the scoring midway through the third quarter."First-game jitters, first-game mistakes,' said Simpson. "Kind of Week 1 mistakes when you're playing a team that's a week ahead of you.'Foltz finished at 12-for-26 passing for 204 yards, with his only interception coming on a long attempt on the last play of the first half, and the Rams wound up with 273 yards of total offense after their slow start. The Hill defense also improved as the day went along after allowing touchdowns on the first three series."It's all about taking the next step, turning the page, and getting better for next week,' Simpson said. "We'll look at the films and see some of the things we can build on and watch the films and see the mistakes we made.'
Six different players scored for the Patriots, who compiled 401 yards, including 249 on 37 carries. ... The Hill's Jake Wright boomed punts of 45, 55, and 43 yards in the first half and averaged 36.6 yards on eight tries. ... Both teams played a no-huddle offense and had just one turnover each, with GA's coming on a second-half interception by the backup quarterback.