McDonogh rings up a solid A on big test, passing Loyola, 28-19 Eagles' Primm throws for 3 TDs, early lead


September 26, 1998|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

McDonogh, last year's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference champ, played host yesterday to last year's A Conference champ, Loyola.

For the third time this season in such inter-conference matchups, the usually weaker B Conference came out on top, No. 14-ranked McDonogh beating No. 13 Loyola, 28-19.

McDonogh scored on three of its four possessions in the first half, in which quarterback Matt Primm was 8-for-10 for 155 yards with scoring passes of 18, 5 and 44 yards and the Eagles had 265 of their 362 offensive yards.

Primm was 12-for-16 for 206 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions for the game. Anthony Esposito (113 yards, 25 carries) ran successfully behind under-sized linemen Jameel Day, Bryan McGregor, Jason Schwartzberg and Joe Rosenbaum the victory.

Defensively for McDonogh, Rosenbaum had a sack and broke up a short pass play, T.C. Crosby had a sack and a fumble recovery, and Day had another sack. Owen Daly had an interception to end Loyola's final drive and also caught three passes for 72 yards.

"People thought we'd get spanked," Daly said. "But we didn't want to blow an opportunity of a lifetime."

The Dons, led defensively by Joe Gagliardi (two sacks), Tony Delauney (one sack) and Derek Melchor (fumble recovery), were coming off a 17-6 win at Class 3A state runner-up Thomas Johnson. But after losing second-team All-Metro running back Kyle Bell to a second-quarter ankle injury, they struggled offensively.

After McDonogh took a 7-0 lead, Paul Daley returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, making the score 7-6. But McDonogh built a 21-12 halftime lead, despite Dan Fink's touchdown from 2 yards out after replacing Bell.

Primm, who rushed for the game-winning TD in a season-opening win over St. Paul's and last weekend beat Archbishop Curley with a 60-yard TD pass to Owen Daly, again showed no quit.

"My line gave me lots of time," Primm said. "I could find my third or fourth receiver, or I could run."

McDonogh's game-opening drive covered 66 yards in 11 plays, with Primm passing 18 yards to Bryan Leone in the end zone for a touchdown with 6: 26 left in the period.

Another Primm-to-Leone pass, this time on fourth-and-goal from the 5, made the score 15-6. Primm completed the two-point conversion pass to Brad Dumont, icing a 10-play, 75-yard drive with 2: 29 left in the first period.

A 44-yard pass from Primm to Dumont made it 21-6, ending a five-play, 69-yard drive with 3: 58 left in the half.

"Matt always knew he'd find his man," Leone said. "He was so calm."

Primm remained poised after the Dons pulled to 21-19 with 8: 55 left in the fourth period on Tom Melanson's 2-yard run.

He proceeded to take the Eagles 63 yards in 15 plays, with Esposito scoring the game-clinching touchdown on a 2-yard run with 2: 18 left.

Primm sustained that drive by hitting Leone on a 17-yarder on fourth-and-11 at Loyola's 31 and by running for a first down on fourth-and-1 at Loyola's 5.

Pub Date: 9/26/98

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