Surprising Gilman uses ground game to stifle Mt. St. Joe Sophomore QB Boyle accounts for four TDs in Greyhounds' 34-20 win

October 11, 1997|By Mark Hoeflich | Mark Hoeflich,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

It wasn't supposed to be like this for Gilman. Not after having won just six games in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference over the last two years and fielding more youth than experience this season.

Yet two games into league play, the No. 5-ranked Greyhounds (4-1, 2-0) find themselves a serious contender for a title, especially after their 34-20 win yesterday over visiting No. 8 Mount St. Joseph.

It wasn't supposed to be like this for the Gaels (3-3, 0-2) either, not after having at least shared three straight conference titles and having an abundance of talent retuning. But with its second straight lop-sided loss in the league, Mount St. Joseph has played itself out of any chance for another championship.

"This loss makes it a little bit tougher for us," Gaels coach Mike Working said. "But we'll figure it out and come back and finish strong."

In earning its third win this year over a ranked team, Gilman did many things well. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Boyle gave a gutsy effort in throwing for two touchdowns and running for two others. Also, the defense didn't wrinkle when the Gaels twice cut into two-touchdown deficits, and a versatile running game drilled the Mount St. Joseph defense for 329 yards.

The Greyhounds effectively took control of the game by scoring on each of their first two possessions, which featured a %o combined 11 running plays.

Boyle was at the center of each scoring drive. His 9-yard touchdown pass to Chisom Opara capped a nine-play drive to open the game, then his 31-yard gain and subsequent 15-yard pass to Opara on Gilman's next possession set up Opara's 4-yard run that put the Greyhounds ahead, 14-0.

"If we can wear teams down by the fourth quarter, we're a pretty good football team," said Greyhounds coach Biff Poggi. "Coach Working brings his team to another level each game and he deserves a lot of respect every time his team walks onto the field. Even with the lead, I was worried they would come back."

Mount St. Joseph did just that. The Gaels pulled within 14-13 just before halftime on Greg Jones' 8-yard run. They used an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown by Howard Randall to get within 26-20 and had momentum after an interception by Eric Zelik with 8: 06 left to play.

Then an offside penalty on fourth down forced the Gaels to punt and Gilman put the game away with a 10-play drive that lasted nearly four minutes and ended with a 3-yard run by Boyle.

"After the loss to Largo last week, we focused all week on this game being a steppingstone and the offensive line gave me time to do everything," Boyle said.

Said Poggi, "He [Boyle] amazes me with his poise and he is surrounded by so many good veterans."

Pub Date: 10/11/97

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