By land, air and leg, the Forest Hills Rangers opened their 2012 campaign in impressive and, at times, dominating style on Friday night.
And the defense wasn’t bad either.
Running back Shawn Dell rushed for 169 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns, while quarterback Joe Donoughe passed for 155 yards and two more touchdowns, including one to Dell, while booting a 32-yard field goal in an emphatic 44-0 win over Westmont Hilltop at G.H. Miller Field.
All things considered, the win was a welcome way for the Rangers to open the season.
“We got some kids who have been waiting their turn and we’ve got some young players who really stepped up in the opening game,” Forest Hills coach Don Bailey said. “We’re a threat to get on the edge with our quarterback (Donoughe) and his speed, and he threw the ball very well tonight and Shawn Dell had a great game also. Give some credit to our offensive line. Those were some pretty big holes.”
Defensively, Forest Hills (1-0) limited the Hilltoppers’ single-wing attack to 138 yards rushing, allowing few sizeable gains, while bottling up the inside rushing attack.
“We watched (Westmont’s) two scrimmages on tape ... DVD now. I guess tape is an old word,” Bailey said. “We worked hard. We thought we picked up some keys to stop that. They had some nice gains on us at times, but overall I thought that we controlled it pretty well.”
Lukas Kleinmeyer rushed for 68 yards with many of them coming by way of counters in his squad’s new offense.
“Our counter game was working,” Westmont Hilltop coach Pat Barron said. “Our power game up front, which usually starts drives, is our bread and butter and Forest Hills did a great job against us. We were hanging our hat on our offensive line ... We didn’t get it done tonight. We’ll get better as we move on. The new offense will take time, and it’s going to be an uphill battle.”
Dell served as the Rangers’ splash-play threat, scoring on runs of 65, 17 and 63 while collecting a 12-yard pass from Donoughe.
The Rangers’ senior amassed his rushing total on just five carries while catching three passes for 35 yards.
“The linemen did great,” Dell said. “As soon as I got the ball, there were wide-open holes. Anyone could have ran through those holes tonight.”
Donoughe completed 13 of his 15 pass attempts with Jared Shope catching five for 75 yards.
Dell pushed the Rangers in front on his squad’s third snap, knifing through the Westmont defense on his way to a 65-yard score. Donoughe added the point-after kick and then a 32-yard field goal on the Rangers’ next drive to increase the lead to 10-0.
After a Hilltoppers drive stalled in Rangers real estate early in the second, Forest Hills marched from its 42 to another score in five plays with Dell snagging a 12-yard pass from Donoughe. A three-and-out by Westmont greased the path to Forest Hills’ next score – a 17-yard burst from Dell that capped a three-play march.
Donoughe guided the Rangers to their next score with his arm and legs, passing for 57 and rushing for 11 more of his team’s 85 yards.
He finished the drive with a 12-yard dart to Austin Danel in the end zone.
“We worked the ball around a lot,” Dell noted. “Everyone did a phenomenal job. The line did great, the holes were there, the passes were there. It was a great night for everyone around.”
Dell’s 63-yard run to open the third activated the game’s running clock just 21 seconds into the second half. With both squads mixing in reserves throughout the remaining time, Jared Krug tallied the game’s final touchdown as he broke a 65-yard scoring run. Tyler Shima fielded a low snap on the point-after try and scrambled into the end zone to cap the scoring.
“It’s unfortunate for Westmont that we had to score again but you can’t tell your kids not to score,” Bailey said. “Jared works hard in practice and he got an opportunity and he took it to the house ... He’s got good speed.”
Krug picked up 91 yards on three carries.
Forest Hills has won the past eight meetings against Westmont, outscoring the Hilltoppers 298-62 since 2003.
The Rangers travel to Point Stadium to face Bishop McCort next week. The Hilltoppers welcome Cambria Heights to Price Field on Sept. 8.