Richland Routs Forest Hills
Written by: Phil Myers on Saturday, September 8th, 2018
Dads usually always get the better of their sons when it comes to competition. That has been the case over the years when Forest Hills goes up against Richland. Forest Hills coach and father, Don Bailey, has routinely beaten his son, Brandon who coaches Richland. But, not this year. The Rams rode the arm of QB Joe Hauser and the hands of WR Caleb Burke to victory over their rival 56-27 at Herlinger Field. It was also the first time Richland upended Forest Hill at home since 1986.
Brandon Bailey said, “We’re playing well. Special teams are playing phenomenal. The defense is playing great. Then offensively, we got a kid who can throw it, great kids up front, a bunch of kids who can run the football, and a bunch of receivers.” In other words, it’s a pretty darn good football team.
Richland scored 30 points in the second quarter to turn a close game into a rout. In fact, the Rams scored a touchdown on all six first half possessions. They also never punted in the game. Hauser completed 15 of 22 passes for 312 yards and four TD tosses. Burke caught three of those TD passes and accumulated 191 receiving yards with just 7 catches.
Forest Hills received to start the game and Don Bailey used some trickery on the first play when Dylan Fyock found a wide-open Jack Shope for 44 yards on the half back option. But, the Rams defense stiffened and forced the Rangers to turn the ball over on downs at Richland’s 17. Seven plays later Hauser hit Burke for a nine-yard score and Tim Bodenschatz’s PAT made it 7-0 the home team with 6:45 left in the first.
Forest Hills bounced back by driving 78 yards on 8 plays capped by Adam Cecere’s 28-yard TD pass to Fyock. The point after attempt hit the upright and Richland maintained their lead 7-6 with 2:32 to go in the first quarter. The Rams took all of four plays to score on their next drive to increase their lead to 13-6 before the opening period ended. Hauser did the honors by going in from five yards out on a keeper.
Richland kicked it up a notch in the second quarter by scoring four touchdowns and a safety. Hauser had a TD pass to Burke covering 66 yards on a one play drive after the defense stopped the Rangers on fourth down. Then he connected with Burke again for 36 yards and a score, followed by an 11-yard TD throw to Trevor Tustin. In between those two scores, Richland registered a safety when the Forest Hills center made a bad snap that sent the ball out of the end zone on a punt.
Cecere spotted Forrest Wolfhope for a 9-yard score with under a minute left in the half to close the gap. But that was enough time for Hauser and company as they drove 65 yards in only 5 plays, managing the clock brilliantly. The touchdown came with 9 seconds remaining when Zack Vogelsberger carried the ball 6 yards to pay dirt. That put the Rams up 43-14 at halftime.
The visitors stopped Richland for the first time early in the third when they forced a Hauser fumble at the Ranger 24. From there, Cecere orchestrated a 76-yard drive finished off by his TD throw to Seth Richardson that covered the final 20. The Rams countered by scoring the next two times they had the ball. First on a 35-yard strike to Burke and then on freshman Kellan Stahl’s 53 yard run right up the gut. Once in the clear, he turned on the after burners and no one could catch him.
Stahl’s run made the score 56-20 and began the Mercy Rule’s constant running clock. Forest Hills scored in the fourth quarter on a Damon Crawley 5-yard run to set the final at 56-27 after Fyock tacked on the PAT.
Game Notes: Richland outgained Forest Hill in total yards, 573 to 393. The Rams had 327 yards through the air and 246 on the ground. Cecere was 18 for 40 throwing the pigskin, 247 yards and 3 TDs. The Rangers had a total of 346 yards passing and 47 rushing. The line play appeared to take its toll on Forest Hills too. Seniors Colin Instone and Dylan Dininny along with sophomore Connor Rager led the way. “We hope to get better every week and peak come November,” said Brandon Bailey. Adam Cecere is going to attend Wake Forest. Only it’s for baseball not football. When asked which team Mrs. Bailey (Don’s wife) roots for in these games, both Don and Brandon said she roots for her grandsons who play for Richland.
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