It was, in the words of Gilman head coach Sherm Bristow, "a sort of upset field that gives you concern."
But Bristow's concern for the muddy and puddle-pocked Edward Brown Field at Gilman for the 75th renewal of the McDonogh-Gilman series didn't last long, as the No. 4 Greyhounds powered their way to a 20-8 victory and at least a share of the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference championship.
"Offensively we didn't turn the ball over, and defensively we were rock solid," Bristow said. "That's a pretty tough combination to beat."
The victory improved Gilman's overall record to 7-2, and its 7-1 MSA A Conference record leaves only Poly a chance to tie for the title; the Engineers need to beat City on Thanksgiving Day. The victory increased Gilman's lead in the series to 45-25-5. The loss dropped McDonogh to 1-8.
Senior co-captain Keith Kormanik set the tone for the Greyhounds with a 70-yard return of the opening kickoff. The run was shortened by a Gilman clip, but senior quarterback Josh Miller then directed the Greyhounds on a 13-play, 48-yard scoring drive. Miller put Gilman on top, 6-0, with a 6-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal, as he rolled wide to the right and slipped into the corner of the end zone with six minutes left in the first quarter.
"Our line keyed the play," Miller said. "They did a great job all day."
Gilman built its lead to 12-0 in the second quarter, as Miller directed a 10-play, 57-yard drive. Kormanik capped the march with a 10-yard reverse 3 minutes, 14 seconds before halftime.
Chances for a McDonogh second-half comeback were hindered at the start of the third quarter when Jermaine Johnson fumbled the second-half kickoff and Victor Carter-Bey recovered for Gilman at the McDonogh 43.
Six plays later it was Miller and Kormanik combining for the third Gilman touchdown, on a 24-yard pass over the middle on which Kormanik caught the ball at the 2 and broke a tackle to score. "I saw the end zone when I caught the ball and thrust myself in," Kormanik said.
Randallstown 34, Woodlawn 0
Larry Washington rushed for 188 yards and five touchdowns, as No. 1 Randallstown (10-0, 3-0) routed Woodlawn (3-7, 0-3) in a Baltimore County 4A League game played at Catonsville Community College.
Calvert Hall 29, City 8
Brian Healy threw for one touchdown and ran 56 yards for another, as host Calvert Hall (4-5, 3-4) upset No. 11 City (5-4, 3-4) in a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference game.
Severn 45, Southwestern 6
Daniel Wu rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns, as Severn (8-2, 6-1) routed visiting Southwestern (4-4, 4-3) in an MSA C Conference contest to gain a three-way tie for the conference title with St. Mary's and St. Paul's.