After Poly escaped with a four-point victory over McDonogh on Oct. 19, Engineers coach Augie Waibel said it was just a matter of time before the Eagles upset one of the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference powers.
Unfortunately for No. 13 Gilman, Waibel was right. McDonogh brought a 1-8 record to its game against the Greyhounds on Saturday but came away with a stunning, 24-17 victory.
"It was one of the most exciting games that I've been around," said first-year McDonogh coach Mike Working, a former college coach who also spent three years as wide receivers coach for the Detroit Lions. "It made a lot of hard work and effort seem worthwhile."
McDonogh's win ended an eight-game losing streak, although three of those defeats were by four points or less, and a 12-point loss to No. 4 Loyola was tied after three quarters. Six of McDonogh's losses have been to teams that spent at least one week in The Baltimore Sun's top 20.
After four consecutive close games, however, the Eagles
seemed to take a few steps backward with lopsided losses to Mount St. Joseph and Calvert Hall during the past two weeks, making the upset of Gilman all the more surprising.
"With all the tight games and the rugged schedule, we were beat up," said Working, a former McDonogh player. "But anything can happen in a Gilman-McDonogh game. I've been around too many of them not to expect that."
Records, streaks, milestones
* No. 2 Wilde Lake extended the area's longest winning streak to 24 with a 43-7 rout of Easton in a Class 1A quarterfinal game Saturday.
* No. 16 North County made its first appearance in the state playoffs in the school's two-year existence Saturday. The Knights were routed, 39-0, by Oxon Hill in a Class 4A quarterfinal game.
* No. 5 Overlea, which defeated No. 12 Edgewood, 24-20, in a Class 2A quarterfinal game Friday, is making its sixth consecutive appearance in the state playoffs, the longest streak among area teams.
All in the family
Milford Mill wide receiver Dennis Badham doesn't get many opportunities to perform in front of his father. That's because his father is Northwestern coach Lynn Badham, whose games usually coincide with his son's.
But Lynn Badham was in attendance on Saturday, when Dennis' 12-yard touchdown reception and two-point conversion catch with 6 minutes, 50 seconds remaining gave Milford Mill an 8-7 victory over Perryville in a Class 1A quarterfinal game. Dennis Badham finished with five receptions for 93 yards.
"I was very proud," the elder Badham said. "This is only the second time this season that I've watched him play."
He said he tries "not to be an armchair quarterback" when discussing football with his son.
"I try to help him when he doesn't understand why a coach makes some decisions," he said. "I try to explain it from a coach's standpoint. Then I talk to him as a father."
8 teams out, 4 play on
Eight of the 12 area teams in the state playoffs were eliminated over the weekend.
There are no area teams remaining in Class 4A or 3A, and Overlea, seeking its first state title in its seventh playoff appearance, is the area's only remaining 2A team.
At least one area team is guaranteed to reach the Class 1A championship game because Wilde Lake and Milford Mill will meet in a semifinal. Joppatowne plays Washington County's Smithsburg in the other 1A semifinal.
One Joe's perspective
As the annual Thanksgiving matchup between top-ranked City and No. 15 Poly nears, one question abounds: Do the Engineers stand a chance?
Loyola coach Joe Brune, whose Dons lost, 12-6, to City on Friday, gave his analysis of the City-Poly game.
"You always have a chance, but they've [the Engineers] got a tough game," said Brune, whose team defeated Poly, 14-6, on Oct. 5. "Poly doesn't have the kind of quickness they've had in the past. They'd have to play a heck of a game.
"[City] is quick, but they hit hard, too, and they don't make a lot of mistakes."
* Most TDs: Paul Banks, Dunbar, 4.
* Longest TD rushing: Andre Martin, Wilde Lake, 74 yards.
* Longest TD passing: Sean Robinson, Edmondson, 73 yards, to Clarence Amos.
* Longest interception return for a TD: Victor Carter-Bey, Gilman, 56 yards.
* Longest fumble recovery and return for a TD: Shane Allen, Wilde Lake, 33 yards.
G; * Longest field goal: Steve Oliver, Old Mill, 38 yards.
* Paul Banks, Dunbar, 24 carries, 282 yards, 4 TDs.
* Hari Lymon, City, 30 carries, 190 yards, 2 TDs.
NB * Lawrence Worthington, Edgewood, 19 carries, 153 yards, 1 TD.
* Jerome Dennis, Milford Mill, 13-for-22, 199 yards, 1 TD.
* David Pitt, McDonogh, 10-for-16, 166 yards, 2 TDs.
D8 * Jeff Hawk, C.M. Wright, 8-for-14, 154 yards, 1 TD.
* Mike Weichert, C.M. Wright, 7 catches, 121 yards, 1 TD.
I= * Dennis Badham, Milford Mill, 5 catches, 93 yards, 1 TD.
Note: Top performances are based on statistics reported to The Sun.