Loyola's defense pulls load, blanks Calvert Hall Two late TDs secure 21-0 Turkey Bowl win

November 24, 1995|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The final score was deceiving in yesterday's 76th Turkey Bowl at Memorial Stadium.

Loyola won the game, 21-0, earning its seventh straight victory ,, over archrival Calvert Hall and forcing Mount St. Joe and St. Mary's to share the MIAA A Conference title.

But it wasn't easy.

After scoring on their third play from scrimmage, the 15th-ranked Dons found themselves in a battle with a Calvert Hall team that refused to quit.

"Calvert Hall did a nice job of getting ready for us," said Loyola's veteran coach, Joe Brune. "Maybe we were a little anxious early on because we made a lot of mistakes. We tried to go back to some basic things that we usually do well, and once we stopped making mistakes we got some players to make some big plays."

One of those big plays came on the second play of the Dons' opening drive. Loyola quarterback Brant Hall connected with Art Price on a 41-yard pass and Hall scored from 5 yards out on the next play.

While unable to score, Calvert Hall's offense showed it could control the ball and keep the Dons' offense off the field.

"Calvert Hall had to keep the ball away from us and they did," said Brune, whose team ran only 11 plays in the first half. "When you don't have the ball, you start getting itchy."

Loyola turned the ball over on downs on its first possession of the second half and the Dons' next drive ended with an interception by Calvert Hall's Ryan Hartley.

The Dons (6-4) got on the scoreboard again in the fourth quarter on a seven-play, 60-yard drive. Junior running back Eddie Holman set up the score with a 43-yard run to the Cardinals 12 and three plays later he plunged into the end zone from the 2.

"We felt kind of shaky in the first half, but we turned it around in the second," said Holman. "Calvert Hall played hard. They're a good team and they'll be even better next year."

Hartley gave Calvert Hall fans something to cheer about in the fourth quarter when he returned a kickoff 58 yards. Calvert Hall managed to move the ball to the Dons' 7 but came away empty again.

"Our defense will give the offense a lot of plays but they don't give them the big play," said Brune. "This is one of the best defensive teams we've had in a long time."

Calvert Hall's final drive lasted only one play, thanks to an interception by Dale Graham.

Loyola's offense took over with under two minutes left and drove the ball 71 yards on six plays. Matt Smith scored from a yard out.

"The first half and the third quarter, I thought we did a good job. It was 7-0 and anybody's ballgame," said Calvert Hall's second-year coach, Lou Eckerl. "If we would have scored, I would have gone for two. But the fourth quarter, they did a number on us and we didn't mount any offense. Their height advantage in the secondary hurt us. We had guys 5-5 trying to defend guys 6-5 and that's tough to do."

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