Top-ranked Gilman completed a second straight unbeaten season with a 42-10 romp at No. 6 McDonogh yesterday. It was the 50th victory for Gilman (50-29-5) in the 84th meeting between the two schools, which won their respective conferences.
Gilman repeated as Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champion; McDonogh (8-1) is the B champ.
Senior quarterback Ryan Boyle closed a brilliant three-year career in which the Greyhounds went 26-3 (including 21 wins in a row) by completing 14 of 20 passes for 146 yards and was one of three Greyhounds to rush for 100 yards and a touchdown. Gilman had 466 yards of total offense.
"It was a great way to go out with a win over your archrival and finish with another 10-0 season, " said Boyle, who announced before the game that he will attend Princeton to play lacrosse and possibly football.
"We were a little shaky in the first half because I think a lot of us were lamenting before the game realizing that this was our last game together. At halftime, we realized if we were going to win this game at all, we had better step it up because the game was far from over."
Gilman erupted for 21 unanswered points in the third quarter after taking a 14-10 lead at halftime.
The visitors led 14-0 on an 89-yard opening kickoff return by Ambrose Wooden and the first of three touchdown runs by Mike Faust in the first quarter before McDonogh pulled up within four points just before the break.
Scott Dolch hit Walid Hajj with a 6-yard touchdown pass with 6: 29 left in the half, and Joe Benson's 31-yard field goal with two seconds remaining made it a 14-10 game.
Boyle, who calls his own plays, dissected the Eagles' defense in the second half, starting with a nine-play drive that covered 78 yards and was capped by a 3-yard plunge by Faust, and Tilghman Morton's extra point for a 21-10 lead. With McDonogh taking away the long ball, Boyle resorted to passing underneath and spreading the wealth on the ground.
"Ryan is a unique combination, is extremely bright [4.0 student with 1,400 SAT] and is a student of the game, " said Gilman coach Biff Poggi.
"And he's an outstanding athlete. But this is the key -- he has great character and is a wonderfully compassionate kid. He gets the ball around. If Princeton doesn't ask him to play quarterback, then they need their heads examined, and you can print that."
Howard 17, River Hill 7: Sparked by Gerald Smith's 79-yard touchdown run, the Lions rallied in the second half to defeat the Hawks and earn their first Howard county title since 1993.
No. 7 Howard (9-1 overall, 8-1 league) is county co-champs with Wilde Lake.
Here are unofficial pairings for the state high school football quarterfinal playoffs to be played Friday (7: 30 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m.). The game days are subject to change. Pairings will be officially announced today.
Friday No. 8 Elkton (7-3) at No. 1 North Garrett (10-0) No. 7 Cambridge-S.D. (7-3) at No. 2 Bohemia Manor (10-0)
Saturday No. 6 Pikesville (7-3) at No. 3 Forestville (8-2) No. 5 Brunswick (8-2) at No. 4 Hickey (7-2)
Friday No. 8 Northwest (9-1) at No. 1 Urbana (9-0) No. 5 Hereford (10-0) at No. 4 Queen Anne's (9-1)
Saturday No. 7 Dunbar (8-2) at No. 2 Edmondson (10-0) No. 6 Middletown (10-0) at No. 3 Howard (9-1)
Friday No. 8 Wilde Lake (9-1) at No. 1 Seneca Valley (10-0) No. 7 Randallstown (8-2) vs. No. 2 Milford Mill (10-0) (At CCBC-Catonsville) No. 6 Westlake (8-2) at No. 3 Thomas Stone (10-0) No. 5 Damascus (9-1) at. No. 4 Annapolis (9-1)
Friday No. 8 Old Mill (7-3) at No. 1 Gaithersburg (9-1) No. 7 Lake Clifton (7-3) vs. No. 2 Patterson (9-1) (at Utz Twardowicz) No. 5 Watkins Mill (9-1) at. No. 4 Severna Park (9-1)
Saturday No. 6 Suitland (8-2) at. No. 3 East Roosevelt (9-1)