POLAND – Mistakes early in a half will drive any football coach batty. Poland doubled the frustration, making mistakes early in both halves of 49-20 defeat to Greely.

The Knights (0-3) fumbled the ball away inside their own 20 on the first play from scrimmage, leading to a Greely score. Poland then failed to cover the ensuing kickoff, as the Rangers recovered the ball deep in Poland’s territory to set up another touchdown.

The Knights repeated the feat after halftime, giving up a quick score on defense and then fumbling the kickoff return to give the ball right back to the Rangers, leading to a touchdown.

Greely quarterback Sean Vaughn threw for 191 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score.

Tailback Matt Harris moved the chains with 149 yards and punched in three more TDs.

Poland senior quarterback Joe Douglass sparked the Knights with his arm (4-10 for 80 yards, touchdown pass) and his legs (21 yards rushing), leading a pair of scoring drives in the second quarter before leaving early in the third with an apparent shoulder injury. Backup signal caller Adam Hill stepped in and performed well, throwing for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

“Losing Joe is a big loss for us, because he means so much to us out there on the field,” Hill said after the game. “I just tried to come in and do as much as I could to help us win the game.

“Adam’s a very talented kid. He’s a senior, but he doesn’t have a lot of experience,” said Poland coach Rick Kramer. “He just needs to keep building up his confidence by getting more playing time.”

Chris St. Hilaire caught four passes for 136 yards and two scores, and Tyler Merchant added 16 yards and a two-point conversion on the ground for Poland.

Hill got the chance to warm up his arm on a trick play late in the first half. With a Knights drive stalled at the 33-yard line and 1:22 to play before halftime, Hill lined up as a receiver and took a handoff from Douglass on a reverse. As he turned the corner, he planted his feet and uncorked a pass to wide-open Charlie Hill along the right sideline to make it 20-12.

“I don’t usually play at wide receiver, as the backup quarterback, but they put me out there for that play,” said Adam Hill. “Joe handed me to ball on the end-around, and when I looked up the field, Charlie was out there with nobody around him. It was just a matter of getting the ball to him.”

Harris added another touchdown run and Vaughn added a 31-yard scoring pass to Ben Stewart late in the fourth. The Greely defense racked up six sacks. The Rangers also fumbled six times, losing the ball twice.

“That team played us really tough out there,” said Greely coach Shawn Austin. “We’re pleased to be 3-0, but in every game we’ve made our share of mistakes. We’re going to keep working on eliminating those mistakes.”

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