The whole world was watching. Well, maybe not the world, but at least a good portion of the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference.
As Loyola played at Gibbons last night, included in the crowd were City coach George Petrides and about a dozen spectators wearing Calvert Hall jackets.
They saw the Dons defeat the Crusaders, 23-6. With the win, No. 5 Loyola (7-1-1) improves to 7-0 in the conference, tied with City, which crushed Lake Clifton, 56-0, earlier in the day. Calvert Hall, in third place with a 5-1 conference record, plays McDonogh at 1 p.m. today.
"At times we played well and at times we were sloppy," Loyola coach Joe Brune said. "I was just glad to get this game out of the way."
Loyola will meet No. 1 City next week at City. Brune said the game with Gibbons (4-5, 4-4) was a good warm-up.
"I think we did a lot of good things out there," he said.
The Dons started the scoring early, when Brad Hoag scored on a 25-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Hoag, who is among the area rushing leaders with 1,117 yards, ran for 138 last night.
"He's the spark that makes us go," Brune said. "I didn't think he had one of his best games, but it was a good game."
After the 2-point conversion and a safety by Karl Zeller, which was Loyola's third of the year, the Dons led, 10-0.
Gibbons threatened to get back into the game early in the second quarter, but Loyola stopped the Crusaders on a fourth-and-one at the Dons' 16.
Later in the quarter, quarterback Bill Evans turned a sweep inside and ran 45 yards untouched into the end zone for another score, giving Loyola a 16-0 lead, which they took into halftime.
Evans finished the game with 94 yards on six carries.
Early in the second half, the Dons appeared to let down. Evans fumbled at his 15 and Gibbons' Eugene Marshall scored on the next play to pull the Crusaders within 16-6.
But, early in the fourth quarter, Loyola ended all hopes of a Gibbons comeback, when senior Jeff Zielinski capped a long drive with a 7-yard touchdown run.