Sophomore quarterback Mike Cornes powered into the end zone on a quarterback sneak early in the fourth quarter to rally No. 14 Gilman past No. 15 Cardinal Gibbons, 17-14, in a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference game at Gibbons last night.
Gilman improved to 4-2 (overall and conference) while the Crusaders dropped to 3-3 (3-2 conference).
Cornes, who had been instrumental in the first half with his passing, started the Greyhounds on the way to the deciding 64-yard drive with a 44-yard pass to junior wide receiver Ronnie Crockett and climaxed the march behind the blocking of center David Shapiro for the winning touchdown, which snapped a two-game Gilman losing streak.
"It was a good gutsy win," said Gilman coach Sherm Bristow, "a real great performance for us in a short week of practice."
Gilman crammed six plays into the final one minute and five seconds of the first half on the way to a go-ahead 30-yard field goal by Mike Allan on the last play of the first half.
Finishing 9-for-11 for 134 yards, Cornes connected with Crockett on two pass plays covering 41 yards to key the time-consuming drive that put Gilman ahead 10-7 at halftime.
Gibbons stopped an early Gilman threat in the third quarter on a fumble recovery by Curtis Loggins and then the Crusaders marched 78 yards on 14 plays to regain the lead, 14-10, on a 3-yard touchdown run by Eugene Marshall (91 yards on 20 carries) on a fourth-and-goal situation.
But the Greyhounds took the lead back for good on the next drive. And an interception by Gilman's Bryan Smith set up a late time-consuming drive by the Greyhounds that enabled them to keep the ball away from Gibbons, with the clock finally running out as Gilman was at the Gibbons 1-yard line.
An interception by Keith Gucwa on a tipped pass at the Gilman 12-yard line set up Gibbons' opening score early in the first quarter.
Damon Fleary raced 15 yards on a counter play for the Crusaders touchdown and Robby Holderfield's extra point made it 7-0 midway in the first quarter.
Gilman managed to pull even after a Gibbons fumble was recovered by James Guyton at the Gibbons 28 near the end of the opening quarter.
The Greyhounds moved inside the 10-yard line on a juggling 20-yard reception by Crockett on a pass from Cornes. Then Cornes hit sophomore Dylan Schlott for a 7-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.
Allan's conversion kick tied the score just 11 seconds into the second quarter.
Bristow was especially pleased with the progress his young team is making. "We're really pleased with how they're coming around," he said. "We thought it would be a rebuilding situation, but they've been in every game."