Crowd helps Loyola earn a 14-0 upset over No. 2 Gilman

No. 14 Dons get victory in seniors' last home game

Football

High Schools

October 19, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Biff Poggi said "you could feel the emotion" coming from the opposite sideline throughout yesterday's game at Loyola.

The Gilman coach could barely hear himself speak, due mostly to the deafening screams and drum-banging of 300 or so students who "willed Loyola" from behind the bench to a 14-0 shutout of his No. 2 Greyhounds.

"Being the seniors' last home game, we were pumped up," said Dons senior linebacker Alex Thompson. "More than any game, we wanted this one."

The win gives 14th-ranked Loyola (4-3 overall, 2-0 league) an inside track to its first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown since 1997, when All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year Brant Hall, now an assistant to Loyola's Brian Abbott, led the 9-1 Dons to The Sun's No. 1 ranking.

The Greyhounds (3-3, 1-1), winners of five titles in Poggi's seven seasons, last suffered a league shutout by 7-0 in 2000 to McDonogh, which finished at 10-0 and No. 1 in The Sun.

Terry Breschi (two sacks), Doug Piper (one sack), Pat Fink (fumble recovery) and Ted Melanson (two tackles for lost yardage) all played well for Loyola, which held Gilman to 31 yards rushing and 64 yards passing.

Chris Gillyard (140 rushing yards), having recovered from a nagging ankle injury, "ran like a freight train," said Abbott, who watched the senior drag Gilman defenders along.

The Dons' defense set the tone on Gilman's first possession, which ended on fourth-and-6 at the Dons' 32 when Dan Wykoski sacked the Greyhounds' Alex Wharton.

After a scoreless first quarter, sophomore Van Brooks was in mid-stride when he beat his defender on an over-the-shoulder catch from All-Metro pick Brady Smith at the 25. Brooks was all alone as he ran the remaining distance for a 7-0 lead 8:52 before halftime.

"It was a go-route, and Brady put the ball right where he had to," said Brooks. "That play was huge."

Gilman nearly tied the score, however, driving for a second-and-goal at Loyola's 1. But then Wharton and Ben Eaton were stopped for no gain, the Greyhounds were flagged 5 yards for illegal procedure, and Grant Zimmerman - on fourth-and-goal from Loyola's 6-yard line - was dropped for a 4-yard loss by Alex Thompson.

And the defense wasn't done.

Smith dragged down Gilman's Sean Price at the Loyola 3 after Price had returned an interception 65 yards.

"I had an angle on him and [teammate] Tim Kaiser grabbed his jersey and slowed him down," Smith said. "Fortunately, I got him."

But Smith said Kaiser's interception in the end zone two plays later was equally crucial, ending Gilman's last serious scoring threat.

"That pretty much secured the victory," Kaiser said.

A desperate Gilman went for it on fourth-and-2 from its own 40 in the third quarter, but Loyola's Larry Strickland dropped Eaton a yard short. Eight plays later, Dons junior Ryan Hiss scored from 1 yard out, and Amir Karimiaa kicked his second extra point for a 14-0 lead with 6:24 left in the quarter.

"They played really hard," Poggi said. "We couldn't get anything going."

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