River Hill junior quarterback Daniel Hostetler threw hundreds of passes to cousin Josh Hostetler as the two grew up approximately five miles apart in Clarksville, yet no completion was bigger than the one with just over a minute left in the first half in a Maryland 3A East Region semifinal at Long Reach last night.
With the game tied at 7 and River Hill facing second and 10 from the Long Reach 23-yard line, Daniel dropped back and delivered a perfect spiral to Josh on a post pattern for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown in a 21-13 victory, the school's first postseason win since opening in 1996.
"I've caught some big passes from him, but that was huge," said Josh Hostetler, a junior. "I've caught passes from Daniel ever since I can remember, and I'll always remember this one."
Hostetler's fourth receiving touchdown of the season with 1 minute 10 seconds left in the half preceded Chris Martello's extra-point that gave River Hill a 14-7 lead it would not relinquish, as the Hawks (10-1) prevailed in a game between teams that tied for the Howard County title.
Three weeks ago, Long Reach (9-2) scored a touchdown followed by a two-point conversion with 45 seconds remaining for a 15-14 victory after River Hill missed a 32-yard field goal on its final possession.
"We were upset about the last time we played Long Reach, so this was like another county championship game and a playoff game all in one," River Hill Coach Brian Van Deusen said. Long Reach had its chances to win its first postseason game since it opened in 1996. After taking a 7-0 lead on a 60-yard run by senior running back Josh Brown (18 carries, 141 yards) on its first possession, the Lightning committed two turnovers inside the River Hill 15-yard line in the first half. Long Reach turned the ball over on downs on the 12, and River Hill senior Nick Campanaro intercepted a pass in the end zone.
River Hill tied the score, 7-7, with 2:15 left in the half when Daniel Hostetler scored on a one-yard sneak. On its next possession, Daniel completed a pass over the middle to his cousin for a 14-7 advantage at halftime.