Yesterday, one of the better rivalries in the metro area continued. The both sides played well. The problem for Loyola was that both standout performances belonged to top-ranked Gilman.
The game progressed more into a competition between the Greyhounds' offense and defense as the host Dons fell 43-6 in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association game.
The Greyhounds offense rolled up 306 yards in the first half, en route to 402 for the game. The defense gave up its first touchdown in 16 quarters, but still held the Dons to just 79 yards for the half, and 134 for the game.
"I guess we do sort of have a rivalry with the defense," said Gilman quarterback Ryan Boyle, who was eight of 10 passing for 99 yards with one touchdown and an interception to lead the Greyhounds. "It seemed like last year they were a little ahead of us, but we seem to be catching up this season."
"Our practices are so intense," said Gilman coach Biff Poggi. "Our kids have an unbelieveable work ethic, and I think that showed today. We don't really coach during the games, we just send them out there and they do the rest."
The Greyhounds (7-0, 2-0) wasted little time getting started. On the opening kickoff, Nick Nocar returned the ball 44 yards to the Loyola 47. The Greyhounds chewed up 6: 21 on the clock before Michael Faust's 1-yard run made it 7-0.
After shutting out Loyola on its first drive, the Greyhounds got the ball back at their own 26. Five plays later, Boyle pitched to freshman Ambrose Wooden, who hit Nocar in perfect stride for a 55-yard touchdown to run the score to 14-0.
Loyola (3-4, 1-1) cut the margin to 14-6 on its next possession. Quarterback Brennan Creaney helped the Dons march 51 yards in seven plays, scoring on Brian Miller's 1-yard touchdown run.
The drive, aided by two personal-foul penalties against the Greyhounds, was the first points the defense has allowed in four weeks, against Landon.
After that, it was all Gilman. The Greyhounds scored three times before the half, twice on Malcolm Ruff touchdown runs and once on a Boyle pass to Nocar, to put the game out of reach.
"They have a very good team," said Loyola coach Joe Brune. "I thought we had a decent game plan, but it turned out to be a bust."
In his post-game speech, Poggi told his team that it was probably the best to ever play at Gilman, and may be the best in the state this year.
"I really feel that way," he said. "I feel like we play the best schedule and the best competition [in the state] right now. You tell me, who's better?"