Senior tailback Ed Trusty knows what he has to do to keep Gilman on a path leading to the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference title.
"It's my job to run," he said. "That's what I have to do."
In yesterday's MSA A Conference game at Gilman, Trusty ran his team one step closer to its goal. The senior gained 171 yards on 19 carries and scored three touchdowns, as the fifth-ranked Greyhounds (4-2, 4-1) beat the 13th-ranked Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders, 19-6.
The game was scoreless at halftime, and a lethargic Gilman offense had gained just 17 yards.
"The coaches were really upset," he said. "We knew we had to show them that we could play better than we'd been."
And they did -- to the tune of 209 second-half yards.
On Gilman's first possession of the second half, Trusty took a pitch on the halfback option and scrambled to find an open receiver. He couldn't, cut back to his right and outran the confused defense for a 49-yard gain to the Gibbons 4.
He then put Gilman in the lead, 6-0, as he ran it in on the next play, with 4 minutes, 56 seconds to play in the third quarter.
"I was looking for [Keith] Kormanik on the pass," said Trusty, who has scored six touchdowns in his past two games. "He was covered, so I faked and cut back. I was lucky enough to get off a long run."
On Gilman's next possession, the tailback took a handoff on first-and-10 at his team's 30 and bolted 70 yards down the right sideline to make it 12-0 with 24 seconds left in the third.
"The hole was there," he said, "but their guy came to fill it, so I had to cut back to the right. Our line just did a great job in freeing me."
Trusty's final score, which all but slammed the door on Gibbons' hopes for a comeback win, came with 5:59 to go in the game. He capped a seven-play, 38-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run down the right side, to make it 18-0. Kormanik's extra point made it 19-0.
Meanwhile, Gilman's defense stood its ground. Although the Greyhounds gave up 217 yards for the game, they stopped Cardinal Gibbons (4-3, 4-2) on each of its three deep drives.
"The turning point on defense was when we were able to keep [Gibbons] out of the end zone after first-and-goal at our 8," said Gilman coach Sherm Bristow.
Midway through the second quarter, with Gibbons trying to break on top, Jamal Cox stopped Eugene Marshall (22 carries for 52 yards) on third-and-goal on the 6, jarring the ball loose. Teammate Victor Carter-Bey fell on it to keep the game even.
"I saw the ball pop out," said Carter-Bey, a 6-foot-2, 192-pound outside linebacker. "I knew how important it was that they didn't score, so I just fell down on top of it."