After missing the last five games with a stress fracture in his ankle, River Hill running back Chris Galloway made his presence felt early in the Maryland 3A East final Friday night.

On the Hawks’ first offensive play in their 28-0 win over Reservoir, Galloway took a sweep to the left for a 50-yard touchdown.

“We knew we had to come out on the first play and smack them in the mouth,” Galloway said.

Kalonji Moore rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries, Galloway finished with 61 yards on six carries, and River Hill won in Clarksville to earn its third straight region title and eighth in nine seasons.

The Hawks will travel to face Maryland 3A East champion Linganore (11-1) in a state semifinal next week.

Just two weeks ago, Reservoir (8-4) shut out River Hill in the second half of the Hawks’ 14-13 win.

The Hawks made some offensive adjustments to jump-start their running game Friday night, and Moore was the biggest beneficiary.

Each of his three scores came from four yards out.

“Two weeks ago, Reservoir figured out what we were doing,” Moore said. “They were blitzing the gaps we were running to. We adjusted and got our linemen to the backers. Holes were opening up and I was reading the blocks.”

River Hill finished with 182 combined rushing yards.

The Hawks’ defense held Reservoir to 118 total yards in recording its second consecutive shutout after a 49-0 win against City College in a region semifinal last week.

Senior cornerback Mitch Howland recorded two interceptions Friday. His first came in the third quarter with the Gators running a halfback pass, a play he noticed from film study.

“We went back to their film last year and saw them throw the halfback pass against Atholton,” Howland said. “We knew that they could do that in any kind of situation. We were ready for the trick play."

Reservoir running back Avian White led the Gators with 80 rushing yards on 24 carries.

River Hill has now won 10 straight playoff games and is two wins away from its third straight Maryland 3A championship.

“It’s a great feeling when you have expectations like this, but know you have the talent to continue to get this far in the playoffs,” Galloway said. “It’s a great tradition.”