Loyola crushes top-rated Saints Dons shred St. Mary's 8-man front for 35-8 win

October 05, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Quarterback Brant Hall's magical ball handling led No. 4 Loyola (3-1) to a convincing 35-8 victory over top-ranked St. Mary's (3-2) at Anne Arundel Community College last night in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference opener for both teams.

St. Mary's eight-man defensive front was in disarray because of Hall's fakes and ball handling. Hall (3-for-10 passing, 59 yards) ran for 120 yards, including touchdown runs of 16 and 50 yards, and threw a 42-yard scoring pass to Paul Daley.

When he didn't keep the ball, Hall dazzled all onlookers by giving it to junior running back Kyle Bell, who rambled for a game-high 170 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.

"It was definitely one of my better games. I hadn't played well against this team at all, " said Hall, a 5-11, 190-pound three-year starter. "It's my last year and I wanted to play as well as I could. We want to win the MIAA by ourselves [tri-champs with St. Mary's and St. Joe the last two seasons] this year. Last year we were holding on at the end after scoring 21 points in the first period."

After a scoreless first period, the Dons erupted for 21 points in the second period and added a touchdown on their initial drive (nine plays, 72 yards) of the second half for a 28-0 lead.

Loyola's offensive line of Blake Henry, Pat Brannan, Bryan Shockney and Keon Burley is the Dons' "strength," according to veteran coach Joe Brune, and it opened gaping holes in the Saints' eight-man front all night long.

St. Mary's lost All-Metro lineman Rob Hoffman to possible ligament damage in his right knee midway through the first period.

It was the top-ranked Saints' second straight defeat, coming on the heels of a 34-28 loss to Georgetown Prep. It also marks the second straight year the Saints have lost to the same two teams at this stage of the season.

Loyola took last year's meeting by 29-21 for the Saints' only MIAA A Conference loss and the two teams shared the conference title along with Mount St. Joseph.

Hall said his team had to "play hard" to get the Saints' eight-man front blocked.

"We didn't know if our play action would work because they bring eight people, but our line did a great job," said Hall, who could be headed to Wake Forest. "After they started biting on the fakes, the outside was wide open and I could either run or pass."

Trailing 28-0 in the final period, the Saints got on the board on Ryan Metzbower's seven-yard pass to Eric Pickett.

Metzbower completed 18 of 35 passes for 204 yards, but was sacked three times, intercepted twice and had several passes batted away by the Dons' big and swift defensive line.

Hall capped the scoring by going 50 yards untouched up the middle to the end zone on a quarterback sneak right after the St. Mary's score.

Pub Date: 10/05/97

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