Calvert Hall senior Luther Alexander, reading the option play perfectly, smacked down Poly tailback William Boyd at the 3-yard line on a two-point conversion try to provide No. 6 Calvert Hall with a 7-6 overtime victory over the No. 15 Engineers yesterday in Towson.
The victory for the Cardinals (9-1 overall) kept alive their hopes for a share of the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference championship.
Top-ranked City (9-0, 8-0), which defeated No. 4 Loyola on Friday, needs a victory over Poly (5-4, 4-4) on Thanksgiving Day to clinch the championship outright. But either Loyola (8-1-1 overall) or Calvert Hall, both with 7-1 conference records, could gain a share the title with a Thanksgiving morning victory combined with an upset win by Poly over City in the afternoon.
"It was a great game for us," said Alexander, who scored the game's first points on a quarterback sneak in overtime. "It means we're still in the race, and it's the first time in about nine years that we've beaten Poly."
In a game that featured solid defensive performances by both teams, Poly had the first serious scoring threat midway through the fourth quarter.
On a 13-play drive that started at its 20, Poly appeared ready to strike after a pass-interference call gave it a first-and-goal at the Calvert Hall 6 -- the only time either team moved inside the 20 during regulation time. But the Calvert Hall defense crunched quarterback Khary Tucker on a rollout, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Poly's Omar Nixon at the 10. Two incomplete passes into the end zone followed, and Poly was stopped with less than five minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
Alexander then marched Calvert Hall to the Poly 28 in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, but a 45-yard field-goal attempt by Evan Leos was blocked by Poly's Maurice Smith, setting up the overtime.
McDonogh 24, Gilman 17
Senior quarterback David Pitt completed 10 of 16 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns to J.J. Miller, including a 28-yarder in the final minute, as McDonogh (2-8, 2-7) stunned No. 13 Gilman (5-4, 5-4) in the MSA A Conference.
Yesterday's game marked the 76th meeting between the two schools. Gilman leads the series, 45-26-5.