Calvert Hall's 56-22 rout at sixth-ranked Mount St. Joseph yesterday was about as complete a performance as you're likely to see out of a high school football team.
The Cardinals effectively mixed the pass and run in totaling 590 yards of offense, and they used a swarming defense and the big foot of kicker Ben Pardew to control All-Metro performer Keon Lattimore as much as the spectacular athlete can be controlled.
The third-ranked Cardinals improved to 5-0 overall, 2-0 in their league, and moved one step closer to challenging four-time Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champion Gilman, a team ranked No. 1 in The Sun, and No. 17 by USA Today.
"Our goal is to be the most fundamentally sound team in Maryland," defensive lineman Frank Curreri said. "It's little things like reading plays and breaking down on tackles. We knew if we did those things, we'd come out on top."
Down 6-0 in a game played before 2,000 homecoming fans, the Cardinals took a 21-6 lead 9:34 before halftime. The Gaels (3-3, 0-2) were within 28-22 with 5:50 left in the third quarter, but Calvert Hall closed with a 28-0 run - including 21 points in the fourth quarter.
Calvert Hall's Marques Thompson had 191 yards and two touchdowns. Nick Williams had 159 yards and two scores of 34 yards, one score of 9 and another of 74 yards. Andrew Goldbeck (176 passing yards) continually found Daniel Spriggs (five receptions, 121 yards), and threw a touchdown pass to Lamar Williams.
"We try to wear down our opponents to the end," Thompson said. "We established our running game and just pounded it down the field."
Defensively, linemen Curreri, Devon Douglass, Jason Jones and Matt Beitman and defensive backs Matt Eckerl and linebacker Brooks Lopez all took solid shots at Lattimore.
Lattimore scored the game's first touchdown on a spectacular 40-yard run, darting off tackle 20 yards near Calvert Hall's sideline, then completely reversing field and crossing the goal line in the left corner.
From there, however, he had to work for every bit of his 107 rushing yards and two touchdowns, along with 83 receiving yards.
"They were gang-tackling me, leaving other receivers wide open. They kicked the ball in the end zone so I only had one or two returns," Lattimore said. "We played the No. 1 team [Gilman] last week and gave them a better run [a 48-45 loss]."