CUMBERLAND — It didn’t take long for the Allegany Campers, but for the Southern Rams it seemed like it would never end, as the Campers established their dominance from the opening kickoff in opening their season with an overwhelming 56-6 victory Friday night at Greenway Avenue Stadium.
In the sweltering heat, Chris Fram opened the game with a deep kickoff and three plays later Madison Wolford stood in the end zone with the first touchdown of the season, the result of an intercepted swing pass at the Southern 19 and an easy stroll in for the TD return at 10:35 of the first quarter.
From there the Campers scored 13 more in the first, then 22 in the second to take a 42-0 lead at the half and activate the Maryland 35-point mercy rule, but hardly the cruise control as they were playing as crisply on the final play of the game as they were on the first.
“I thought our special teams set the tone for the entire game, which is good because we’ve been preaching it,” said Allegany head coach Tom Preaskorn. “We had a deep kickoff and Madison had the interception to open the game and our kids kept building on it the entire game. I couldn’t ask for more. Everybody contributed and they played united to ensure each other was successful. Now we have to build on it.”
Playing just the first half, Wolford, a senior, led the Allegany ground attack with 101 yards on six carries, scoring another touchdown on a 50-yard run in the second quarter. Junior Dalton Golliday rushed for 81 yards on two carries, his first carry of the season covering 67 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Senior Christian Thomas picked up 53 yards on six carries, caught a pair of passes for 28 yards and scored two touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Carter Imes completed 4 of 6 passes for 84 yards with a touchdown pass covering 34 yards to the senior end Fram, and junior Trenton Eirich completed his only pass to Colton Sivic for 33 yards.
Junior Dylan Shockey also scored on a one-yard run and junior Brady Hillegas ripped off a 20-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for the Campers’ final score.
Although nearly half the Allegany team is made up of seniors who have experienced the ropes on the last two Camper teams that went 5-5 and 3-7, the team on the field Friday night looked nothing like those teams at all. Preaskorn noticed, too, pointing out that accountability and competition are nice things for a football team to have.
“We’ve been preaching to the seniors, ‘This is your senior year. You need to pick it up.’ ” said Preaskorn. “And the junior class is right there pushing them. There wasn’t much of a drop-off tonight with Golliday, Hillegas and Trenton Eirich in there. I couldn’t be more pleased with the team effort. That’s what it’s going to take.”
Since the clock was running throughout the second half, the vast majority of the Allegany numbers came in the first half, with the Campers rushing for 158 yards and 263 for the game. Imes and Eirich combined for 117 yards passing, giving the Campers 380 total yards.
Southern finished with 142 yards — 122 rush, 20 pass — but just 48 in the first half. The Rams turned the ball over three times.
Fullback Garrett Campbell led the ground game with 37 yards on 13 carries, while the lone Rams score came on the final play of the game when quarterback Travis Newton found Brian Hooper with a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Allegany will host Williamsport Friday night at Greenway while Southern will play Friday at Moorefield.
Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org