Forest Hills opens season with an 40-21 win over Westmont Hilltop
Written by: Doug Keklak on Sunday, September 1st, 2013
The emergency weather bulletin prior to the contest between Forest Hills and Westmont was luckily a false alarm. No evacuation of the field was necessary as the only weather condition was that a lot of spectators got a nice sunburn as it was a sunny, hot afternoon at Price Field in suburban Johnstown.
On the field, the outcome was indicative of one of the oldest sports clichés in the book: the final score really didn’t tell the entire story. While Forest Hills ultimately won the contest 40-21, Westmont truly had the Rangers on the ropes for much of the game. They led a good portion of the first half and actually were within one score as late as the fourth quarter.
It did not start that way however, as the Hilltoppers received the opening kickoff and went three and out. Forest Hills received the punt and mounted an eight play, 70 yard drive that culminated in quarterback Joe Donoughe scoring on the ground from 2 yards out. The extra point was no good, but with 7:28 to go in the first quarter, Forest Hills was up 6-0.
The Hilltoppers answered right back as quarterback Liam Moran hit Colin Barron from seventeen yards out for the score. A key play in the drive was two plays earlier when these same two players hooked up for a pass play of 22 yards to get the ball deeper into Forest Hills territory. The Hilltoppers also took advantage of a few uncharacteristic Rangers’ penalties on the drive. Sophomore Mitch Causer’s extra point was good and Westmont went on top 7-6.
Westmont extended their lead in the second quarter as Moran scored on a sneak from one yard out with 8:29 to go in the half. The key in setting up this Hilltopper score was a 29 yard scamper from Sam Curry that advanced the ball to the one. Causer again was good on the kick and it was 14-6 in favor of the Hilltoppers.
The momentum started to swing in the Rangers’ favor on the ensuing drive. Forest Hills advanced the kickoff to their own 45 and just five plays later, following a steady diet of runs from big Ian Wieczorek, Donoughe hit Tyler Shima from 13 yards out. Coach Don Bailey opted to go for two and was successful as Donoughe called his own number on that play and the ball game was tied just like that.
Westmont put the ball on the ground just two plays in on the following possession and the opportunistic Rangers defense pounced on it and made the Hilltoppers pay. In just four plays, Donoughe scored on the ground from ten yards out. A Donoughe to Shareef Blough pass play that gained 26 yards was the key play in that quick drive for the Rangers. The two point conversion was no good, but with 4:26 to go in the first half, Forest Hills once again took the lead at 20-14.
First half scoring was closed out by the Rangers on their next possession. Forest Hills took the ball over on their own 23 yard line and drove thanks to a double pass from Donoughe to Blough to Dustin Ohler that advanced the ball to the Westmont 20. Two plays later Donoughe scored his second rushing touchdown of the day from five yards out. The extra point was blocked and the halftime score was cemented at 26-14.
After a scoreless and uneventful third quarter, Westmont was the first to get on the board in the second half with 7:30 to go in the fourth quarter as Curry’s one yard run to score capped off a very impressive 11 play, 87 yard drive. Causer hit his third and final extra point of the day for Westmont and it was 26-21 Forest Hills.
However, the Hilltoppers would get no closer as Donoughe and Shima hooked up for their second touchdown connection on the afternoon, this one from 25 yards out. The two-point conversion was good and it was 34-21.
The game was put on ice with just under two and half minutes left as Blough intercepted a Westmont pass and return down to the Hilltopper 8. Wieczorek got rewarded for all his tough carries with a one-yard score. The point after attempt was no good and the final score was cemented at 40-21 with 2:21 to go in the contest.
Forest Hills (1-0) has their home opener with Bishop McCort next Friday while Westmont (0-1) is at Cambria Heights on the same evening.
Forest Hills 6 20 0 12 – 40
Westmont 7 7 0 7 – 21
FH-Joe Donoughe 2 run (kick failed)
W-Colin Barron 17 pass from Liam Moran (Causer kick)
W-Moran 1 run (Causer kick)
FH-Tyler Shima 13 pass from Donoughe (Donoughe run)
FH-Donoughe 10 run (run failed)
FH-Donoughe 5 run (kick blocked)
W-Sam Curry 1 run (Causer kick)
FH-Shima 25 pass from Donoughe (conversion good)
FH-Wieczorek 1 run (conversion not good)
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