Georgetown Prep edges by Loyola Joyce's 31-yard field goal is difference in 10-7 game

November 03, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

ROCKVILLE -- A hard-hitting Loyola defense contained Georgetown Prep's J. R. Purnell on most of his 16 carries yesterday.

But give him an inch, and he'll run forever, or at least the 80 yards he needed to jump-start the Little Hoyas (8-1) of Montgomery County, ranked No. 20 by The Washington Post, in a 10-7 win over No. 9 Loyola (4-3).

Trailing 7-0 with 8: 51 to go in the first half, the 5-foot-9, 195-pound Purnell (127 yards) broke up the middle on first-and-10 at his own 20 and blew by the Dons' defense for a touchdown. Justin Hawkins' kick tied the game with 8: 36 left in the half.

"We'd been tackling him well, but we gave him space just that once," said Loyola defensive back-running back Tim Nicholas (18 carries, 90 yards). "I guess that's all he needed. It hurt us pretty badly to give that one up."

Purnell's score came just 14 seconds after Nicholas' 1-yard run had capped an 88-yard, 14-play drive by Loyola, which had 230 total yards of offense.

The sequence, set up by Blake Henry's fumble recovery at the Dons' 12, ended with Matt Hart's extra-point kick, and included Nicholas' four rushes for 40 yards, and quarterback Brant Hall's eight carries for 53 yards.

The Dons had another opportunity before the half ended, but the 11-play, 56-yard drive ended in controversy with 23 seconds left in the half. Officials ruled that Ed Holman, trying to score on fourth-and-inches from the goal line, had not broken the plane of the goal.

Holman, insisting his elbow and entire chest had been in the end zone, said, "I crossed the plane of the goal before I hit the ground. And when I did hit, the ball and my entire arm were over. The same thing happened in that earlier drive before Tim scored."

The Dons got no such opportunities in the second half, being held to 81 yards and never crossing midfield in four possessions.

Luke Joyce's uncontested 31-yard field goal with 11: 08 to play provided the winning points.

"Our defense stepped up repeatedly," said Loyola defensive back John Price, even with a key player, 6-4, 235-pound defensive tackle Ted Goloboski, out with a back injury.

On fourth-and-four at the Dons' 9 in the third period, Nicholas dropped Purnell for a 1-yard loss. During a long gain in the same period, quarterback Andrew Toussaint fumbled after being clobbered and had to leave the game permanently. Dons linebacker Jeff Brinsfield recovered at Loyola's 26.

In the last period, on third-and-four at the Dons' 12, Price sacked Toussaint's replacement, Scott Doyle, forcing Joyce's field goal. Loyola's Mike Plantholt and Keon Burley also had one sack each.

"I'm kind of bruised and sore," said Purnell, a Division I prospect with good grades and a 1,040 SAT score. "They were one of the hardest-hitting teams we've played."

Pub Date: 11/03/96

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