Loyola passes Hall for title No. 1 Dons' 19-7 victory secures 3rd straight MIAA A championship

Loyola's Hall leads attack

Triumph 9th in row in Thanksgiving game

November 28, 1997|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Brant Hall couldn't run. But No. 2 Calvert Hall couldn't hide from his passing attack either.

Though Calvert Hall's defense mostly contained Hall on the run, the senior quarterback passed his No. 1 Loyola Dons (9-1, 4-0) to a 19-7 victory and their third straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title yesterday at Memorial Stadium.

Hall went 11-for-17 for 222 yards and one touchdown, and managed a 4-yard run for his seventh rushing score of the year as Loyola won its ninth straight game of the season as well as its series-best ninth straight win in the 78th annual Thanksgiving Day matchup.

Hall got help, offensively, from top rushing junior Kyle Bell, who finished with 76 yards on 15 carries, and has 1,055 yards and 15 touchdown this year. Bell made it 6-0 with 7: 51 left in the first

period, scoring from 3 yards to finish off Loyola's first drive of the game -- a six-play, 50-yarder.

It was the first meeting in which the programs met as the metro area's top two teams, and also the 193rd victory in the 31-year career of Joe Brune, 64, whose personal record in the series is 16-15.

Loyola improved its overall lead in the nation's oldest Catholic football rivalry to 40-30-8 over the Cardinals (8-2, 2-2) and captured its first outright crown after sharing it with Mount St. Joseph in 1995 and Mount St. Joseph and St. Mary's last year.

"This is definitely the biggest win of my career," said Hall, the first Loyola quarterback to start three seasons and to win three championships.

Hall got up off the canvas, so to speak, after having his helmet knocked off in the first half by Greg Smoot (6 feet 3, 225), who leveled him. Hall, who acknowledged that the hit broke his chin strap, used five different receivers beautifully, including Brad Cook (four receptions, 127 yards), Rick Schultz (two, 40), A.J. Wright (three, 38) and Matt Urlock (two, 16). And his scoring run, for a 12-7 lead with 2: 36 left in the half, ended a nine-play, 85-yard drive.

"It [the running play] was supposed to be a belly to Kyle, but they stacked the line off-tackle over there," said Hall, who has 1,169 passing yards for 10 TDs. "Coach wasn't mad."

In fact, Brune said, "I'm just glad Brant's smarter than I am."

Calvert Hall's defense was effective against Loyola's ground game. It limited Hall to a net of minus-1 yard on seven carries, and Loyola to 100 rushing yards as a team. Most of the defensive damage was done by Smoot, Travis Glennon (two sacks), Reese Fair (one sack, one blocked punt), Loui Georgalas and Alan Maszarose.

"I was able to crash in [on Hall] a lot," said the 6-foot, 175-pound Glennon. "They weren't blocking me that well."

Calvert Hall had its only lead, 7-6, in the second period as Fair bowled over two defenders for a 1-yard score on fourth down, completing an eight-play, 75-yard drive. Mike Dison (13 carries, 45 yards) set up the play, taking Jason Bungori's screen pass 63 yards to Loyola's 6-yard line. Bungori kicked the extra point.

"We still had a good chance at halftime," said Fair, "because we had the will to win."

But Hall's 73-yard, third-quarter touchdown strike to Cook -- for a 19-7 lead 3: 47 before the final period -- all but sapped the Cardinals, emotionally.

On first down, and after Calvert Hall's 12-play, 51-yard drive ended on downs at Loyola's 27, Cook gained a couple of steps on the cover man with his post-pattern route. Hall's pass found Cook at the Loyola 40-yard line, and Cook used his 4.7-second, 40-yard dash speed from there to out-run the nearest defender ** to the end zone.

"They weren't showing a safety on that play. When I saw open field, I took off," said Cook, who picked the right game to score his first varsity touchdown.

Calvert Hall held the Dons, who averaged 27 points, to their lowest point total since a 15-13 win at Gilman. Loyola held the Cardinals, who averaged 31, to their lowest since a 21-13 win at St. Mary's.

The Dons were led by Keon Burley (two sacks, blocked punt), Blake Henry (pass deflection), Harry Fox, Pat Brannan and Dan Workmeister in an effort physically reminiscent of a 39-21 rout of Thomas Johnson. Against Thomas Johnson, Loyola knocked two key offensive players out of the game in the first period.

Yesterday, they hobbled wide receiver Avon Mack (two receptions, 41 yards) on the game-opening kickoff. Running back Chad Parsons (43 rushing yards), likewise, was limping after his second of 13 carries. Parsons (860 yards, 12 TDs on the year) and Mack (21 receptions, 501 yards, six TDs) played through their injuries, but Bungori (knee injury) left the game for good in the fourth period.

"Workmeister, Brannan, Fox, Henry, they really put the pinch on their backfield, took away the running game and pressured the quarterback," said Burley. "We were most concerned about their deep threat [Mack], but we stopped that too."

Loyola defensive backs Nick Barrett, Dan Fink and Adam Rohr shined defensively, as did Paul Daley -- the latter one year after his interception with under a minute left secured a 12-7 win.

Bungori (5-for-11, 112 yards) was as victimized as much by dropped passes as Loyola's pass rush, and lamented his missed, second-period 33-yard field goal attempt that carried under the crossbar.

"It was big," Bungori said. "But give credit to pass rush and pass coverage."

Pub Date: 11/28/97

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