Loyola scored quickly and often, using its varied football arsenal to dominate Calvert Hall yesterday at Memorial Stadium, 35-12.
"We wanted to use all our weapons and we did," said Loyola coach Joe Brune, celebrating his sixth Thanksgiving Day victory in the past seven years.
The victory enabled the Dons (8-2-1) to raise their career hold on this 72-year series to 34-30. There have been eight ties.
Loyola also ended its Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference season at 8-1, one game behind No. 1-ranked City (9-0, 10-0 overall), which secured the MSA championship with a 14-8 victory over Poly yesterday.
Loyola, ranked No. 3, needed only three plays in yesterday's first possession to grab the lead as senior halfback Brad Hoag broke loose for a 36-yard touchdown run. Chris Ginter kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
"We expected them to key on our running game," said Hoag, who rushed 11 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns. "I wasn't expecting it would be so easy at first, but they did make it pretty tough running the ball after that early score."
Calvert Hall stormed back, marching 41 yards in seven plays to score on Adam Roberts' 4-yard run, but the PAT kick was wide.
The teams exchanged punts on the next two possessions, giving Loyola the ball at the Calvert Hall 42 as the first quarter ended.
Brune decided to go to the air momentarily and was rewarded with a 24-yard completion from quarterback Billy Evans to Hoag. The running back went off tackle twice for 12 more yards before faking the same play and scooting around his right end for a 6-yard touchdown. Ginter's kick made it 14-6.
Later, Evans effectively used Hoag's runs to set up a 21-yard scoring pass to Hoag with 22 seconds remaining before the intermission. Ginter's kick made it 21-6.
"Going to the pass opened up the whole offense," said Evans, who completed five of 12 passes for 131 yards. "Brad made a great [diving] catch on one of my passes, and that only opened up the running game later. Pass or run, the offensive line gave us all the time we needed."
"Billy was right on target," said Hoag. "We felt after our loss to City [12-6] that maybe we should have passed more. We worked on the passing game a lot in practice and the timing was perfect."
Brune wanted no letdown in the second half and allowed Evans to roll out and throw deep. The junior quarterback responded with back-to-back 30-yard completions to Hoag and Brian Perrier for a first-and-goal at the Cardinals' 7-yard line. Two plays later, Hoag scored from 2 yards out and Evans found Ginter open for a two-point conversion.
The Dons' defense, led by monster back Mark Lafferty, stopped Calvert Hall on four downs and Evans needed only three plays to strike again as Ginter came open for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 5:23 remaining in the third quarter.
Calvert Hall's Ed Grant closed out the scoring, going 20 yards on a reverse to cap a nine-play, 79-yard drive.
Calvert Hall, ranked No. 5, ended its season at 9-2 for coach Bill Mackley, who watched helplessly as Hoag ran away with yet another Thanksgiving Day victory before a crowd of nearly 10,000.
Hoag --ed 81 yards for a touchdown in his sophomore season as the Dons won, 15-12, and he scored two touchdowns last year in the Dons' 29-12 victory.
"We'll miss Brad Hoag and all the seniors, but the future of Loyola football still looks bright," said Brune, knowing that Evans, a junior, returns to lead the Dons next season.
Loyola .. .. .. 7 .. 14 .. 14 .. 0 .. -- .. 35
Calvert Hall .. 6 .. 0 ... 6 ... 0 .. -- .. 12
L -- Hoag 36 run (Ginter kick)
C -- Roberts 4 run (kick failed)
L -- Evans 6 run (Ginter kick)
L -- Hoag 21 pass from Evans (Ginter kick)
L -- Hoag 2 run (Ginter pass from Evans)
L -- Ginter 26 pass from Evans (pass failed)
C -- Grant 20 run (pass failed)