Atholton tops No. 16 River Hill on Scott’s fourth quarter run


Atholton’s Max Smalls heads upfield as River Hill’s Dillon McCullough (34) attempts a shoestring tackle during Friday’s Howard County league football game. The Raiders gained their first victory over the Hawks with a 14-7 decision in Clarksville. (photo – Sports Majors)


by Donald Daniels

Miles Scott would not be denied. After leading Atholton High football team into the red zone, to no avail, several times Friday evening at River Hill, Scott took matter into his own hands.

His 12-yard touchdown run with 2 minutes remaining in regulation lifted the Raiders to a 14-7 victory over 16th-ranked River Hill in a Howard County contest in Clarksville.

“I just put it all in God’s hand, and I had to score touchdown right there,” Scott said who accounted for 127 yards from the line of scrimmage. “I knew if we got the ball back, I had to score a touchdown to help us win the game.”

“They are resilient, they’ve got a confidence about them, and they believe that they can come through in big situations,” Atholton coach Eric Woodson said of his team determination.

The hard-fought win keeps the Raiders (5-1 overall, 5-1 Howard) tied for second in the HoCo standings. It’s the first victory for the Columbia school over the Hawks (4-2, 4-2 Howard) since 2015.

Before the Scott touchdown scamper, the Raiders had went 0-for-3 in the red zone.

The first half was a defensive struggle.

In the second quarter, Atholton took the ball from its own 34-yard line and drove deep into Hawk territory. The 10-play drive ended at River Hill’s 5-yard line with a 23-yard field goal attempt missing right.

The Raiders’ special team picked up the slack as Jerome Colbert took the second half kickoff 85 yards for the game’s first points.

“That play right there turned the tide for us, the momentum swung right there,” Woodson said.

Atholton drove the ball inside the Hawks’ 20, but fumbled and MBJ Motoni recovered for River Hill. The Hawks utilized their running attack and Ethan Burnett (21 carries, 117 yards) scored from 7 yards to tie the game at 7.

Miles Scott was a big reason Atholton won its fifth game Friday evening. The junior quarterback had 127 yards from scrimmage, including a game-deciding 12-yard touchdown run with two minutes left in regulation. (photo – Sports Majors)

With six minutes left in the fourth, Atholton moved the ball effectively to River Hill’s 1. The Hawks stonewalled the Raiders on back-to-back run attempts. River Hill gained a few yards before punting and giving Atholton solid field position.

Scott and the Raiders’ offense finally broke through.

“Our defense has been strong all year, kind of bend but don’t break,” River Hill coach Brian Van Duesen said. “They got some big plays early on, but with that spread offense as it gets closer to the goal line it gets a little tougher. Our guys stepped up.”

ATHOLTON 14, NO. 16 RIVER HILL 7

Atholton 0 0 7 714

River Hill 0 0 0 77

Third quarter

Atholton – Jerome Colbert 85 kickoff return (Benjamin Gershuny kick)

River Hill – Ethan Burnett 7 run (Poojan Patel kick)

Fourth quarter

Atholton – Miles Scott 13 run (Gershuny kick)