2/3 TC No. 5 Loyola marched 54 yards for a touchdown on its first possession, and the Dons defense made that score hold up in a 7-3 victory over No. 12 Gilman at Blakefield yesterday.
The win keeps Loyola (5-1-1) in a three-way tie for the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference lead at 5-0, the record that top-ranked Calvert Hall and No. 2 City achieved with wins Friday afternoon.
Gilman, the defending conference co-champion, dropped to 4-3 overall and 3-3 in the league. But the Greyhounds offense kept the pressure on Loyola for most of the game, forcing the Dons defense to come up with big plays in crucial situations.
"The last three quarters we played as well as we could offensively," said Gilman coach Sherm Bristow. "We just couldn't get the ball into the end zone, and that's to Loyola's credit."
Loyola scored on the ninth play of an impressive first-possession drive, as senior fullback Mark Lafferty ran in from 1 yard out midway through the first quarter. But then things got tough for the Dons offense.
The Greyhounds marched 94 yards in 16 plays during the second quarter, but a clipping penalty at the 2-yard line moved them back to the 18 and Dons junior defensive back Greg Hobelmann finished off the Gilman scoring chance by intercepting a Mark Cornes pass in the end zone.
Gilman used a good bit of the third quarter to march methodically 55 yards in 17 plays before being stopped at the Loyola 10. The Greyhounds settled for a 27-yard field goal by Mike Allan with 1 minute, 49 seconds left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Gilman had two more solid scoring threats that were stopped by the Loyola defense.
The first drive stalled on sacks by seniors Colin Brune on second down and Mike Boyle on fourth down.
Senior Jeff Zielinski's interception with a little more than two minutes left stopped the other drive.