HAGERSTOWN – Hagerstown’s Mitch Morris only touched the ball twice on offense during the Tigers’ 28-14 Sectional 47 win over visiting Oldenburg Academy Friday (Oct. 25).
They were arguably two of the night’s biggest plays. The second one was for sure.
Tied 14-14 late in the first half, OA junior Dominic McFee forced a fumble by Collin Romack, recovered by senior Abe Peetz. But the Twisters went backward on the drive and punted with just under two minutes left.
On the next snap, the Tigers went with a trick play that somehow worked to perfection. Quarterback Noah Snodgrass pitched to halfback Camden Rhoades, who threw a short completion to Morris. The latter navigated the OA defense for an 87-yard touchdown, nearly stepping out of bounds early in the run. Damian Hilbert’s point-after was good, making it 21-14.
To begin the second quarter, Hagerstown blocked a punt attempt by freshman Trevor Moizuk, who suffered a serious leg injury on the play. Sophomore Greg Kline promptly set the hosts back with a 6-yard tackle for loss. One play later, HHS had a 3rd-and-7 from OA’s 18-yard line. Snodgrass faded one to Morris, who landed at the 1 with a 1st-and-goal. A 1-yard sneak by Snodgrass and 2-point conversion pass to Morris built the home team’s lead to 14-0.
Between those short but effective drives by Hagerstown, the Twisters did a little work of their own to get back in the ball game.
Down two scores, McFee broke his best run of the game on a 2nd-and-5, advancing the pigskin 55 yards inside the Tigers’ 5. After two minimal gains, freshman quarterback Rhett Martin rushed in from a yard out to put the visitors on the board. Hagerstown was called for offsides – one of 11 penalties for 85 yards – on the extra-point try, making a 2PC attempt enticing for head coach Eric Feller. Peetz did the honors to make it a 14-8 deficit.
On the Tigers’ next play from scrimmage, Snodgrass dropped back for a pass that was tipped by OA for a fortunate interception deep in HHS territory.
The Twisters traversed the necessary yards to pay dirt, but not without great assistance from Hagerstown. Backed up to the 28 and facing a 4th-and-17, Martin’s pass fell incomplete; however, he was roughed on the play for an automatic first down at the 15. McFee put the ball 7 yards closer before the Tigers were called for pass interference. With the ball moved to the 1, Peetz rumbled across for the tying score. Senior Allison Storms’ kick was blocked.
OA’s evening couldn’t have started much worse from an offensive standpoint.
On the game’s third play from scrimmage, Martin was picked off by Rhoades. Yet, the Twisters forced a 3-and-out to regain possession at midfield. Carries by McFee and senior Tony Kline netted two of OA’s seven first downs on the night. One play later, though, the ball squirted to the turf for a second turnover.
This time, the Tigers parlayed the miscue into points by reeling off an 11-play, 78-yard scoring drive. They started with a pair of 3rd-down conversions, later assisted by a Twister personal foul call. After being whistled for holding, Hagerstown recovered with a 20-yard scoring strike from Snodgrass to Braden Himelick. McFee blocked the PAT to keep the margin at 6-0.
Defense reigned for much of the second half, each side coming out of the locker room only to punt the ball away.
Near midfield, OA forced a turnover by jumping on a bungled handoff. The ensuing possession sent OA back 11 yards, leading to another punt. After a Tiger turnover on downs, Oldenburg’s next drive carried the same result to begin the final period.
Needing 48 yards for the backbreaking score, Hagerstown obliged in a matter of 10 plays. An OA facemask call gave the Tigers first and goal. A play later, HHS appeared to reach the end zone, instead called for an illegal shift. Converting their second 4th down of the drive, Snodgrass took it in from the 2. Hilbert’s kick produced the final score.
OA’s last attempts resulted in a turnover on downs and interception by Michael Gard off a halfback option.
The Tigers earned a quiet 348 total yards on 12 first downs. McFee rushed for 90 yards on 13 carries, about 73% of OA’s all-purpose total.
Oldenburg finished 4-5, as Tony Kline, Matt Sedler, Peetz, Zeb Streator, Owen Hudepohl, Storms, Zach Wegman and Brendan Miller played out their high school careers.
Hagerstown will face Milan Friday, the Indians squeezing out a 3-0 win at Knightstown.