WASHINGTON -- Loyola coach Joe Brune's record against Gonzaga's Maus Collins is not very good," he said. "We've beaten them maybe three times."
But by playing through injuries, Loyola came away with career win No. 203 for Brune, its first over Gonzaga since 1992 and its third straight victory, 13-6, before more than 1,200 spectators.
"We've played a lot of close games, but Gonzaga's always pulled them out, said Brune, 66, in his 34th season. "The main thing is this gives us confidence. Our kids showed good spirit."
Ranked No. 13 by the Washington Post, Gonzaga (3-2) had out-scored its previous three opponents by a combined 87-6 with two shutouts, including a 15-0 victory over defending Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) champion Paul VI.
But Loyola (3 1) held Gonzaga to 11 total yards in the first half and 72 for the game.
Loyola's Ramses Cloud, a 6-foot-2, 200 pound defensive end, led the way with two sacks. Teammates Nick Loughlin, David Tamberrino, Kyle Taylor and Mike Waldron also had sacks.
The Purple Eagles' first two drives ended with interceptions by Brad Koehler and Mike Alfone. Marcus Frisby and Matt Suh had five tackles each.
Alfone also scored a touchdown and knocked a pass away from Gonzaga's Bakari McKenney as McKenney crossed into the end zone for what would have been Gonzaga's second score.
"We knew if we played our 'A' game, we'd win," said Cloud, who was still battling a stomach virus. "We gutted it out. Our coaches believed in us, and we believed in ourselves."
The victory was the third this fall by a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference team over one from the WCAC, with No. 1 Gilman's 14-0 shutout of DeMatha and Mount St. Joseph's 42-22 win over McNamara.
"They're coached better than most of the teams we've played" said Collins 69, who said he has 320 career wins and has won two of his 15 WCAC crowns at Gonzaga. "The credit goes to Joe and his staff. They came out with more determination."
Koehler's interception at the Gonzaga 34 set up a six-play scoring drive for the Dons. Conor Bell's 2-yard run and the subsequent conversion kick by Brian Neil gave Loyola a 7-0 lead with 6:12 left in the first period.
Koehler's fumble recovery on the first play of the third period set up Loyola's second scoring march.
That drive took eight plays and covered 24 yards before quarterback J.G. Guidera found Brett Mastropieri for a 17-yard scoring strike that pushed the lead to 13-0 with 8:47 left in the period. It was sustained by Guidera's 15-yard screen pass to Alfone on fourth-and-14 at Gonzaga's 29.
Loyola punter Brian Neil finished the game despite bruising a shin during a collision when his second extra-point attempt was blocked by a defender in the third period.
Facing fourth-and-five from his Own 17 with tour minutes to play, Neil scooped, then dropped a low-snapped ball that slipped behind him. He regrouped, however. eluded two defenders and got off a 37-yard punt.
"I kicked the guy's helmet who was diving in for the block," said Neil, who required assistance from trainers in leaving the field. "I got up because this was a big game and I had to do my part."
The Dons overcame the absence of two of their better players in 6-2, 250-pound guard Derrick Norgriff (foot injury) and 6-foot, 195-pound linebacker Joe Mead (shoulder).