McDonogh tops Loyola

No. 3 Eagles earn fourth straight win, end slide against No. 2 Dons


High Schools


Game day breakfast was "the usual," said Bryn Holmes: Four pancakes grilled by his mother, Erin.

But Holmes was hungry again when he stepped onto the McDonogh football field yesterday afternoon, so the 5-foot-8, 161-pounder feasted on visiting Loyola, a 14-9 loser in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference action.

Holmes often dipped his head and shoulders to engage would-be tacklers while rushing for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He made an interception as a defensive back. And as a linebacker on the third down of a goal-line stand during the last possession of the No. 2 Dons (6-1 overall, 2-1 league), Holmes tackled a runner for a 1-yard loss at his team's 3-yard line.

Holmes (33 carries) was in on 35 of 44 offensive plays for the No. 3 Eagles (5-1, 4-0), including 21 of 28 in the first half when he rushed for 104 yards. Holmes credited Kyle O'Brien, Steven Friedman, Kelley Cox, Lane Clelland and Tom Cooper for their blocking in McDonogh's fourth straight win.

"The seniors took this personally. We hadn't beaten Loyola [in three previous tries,]" Holmes said. "My legs felt as good in the fourth quarter as in the first."

After colliding with Loyola's Tony Hamlett (6 feet, 235 pounds) on his 29th carry, Holmes returned to his offensive huddle while Hamlett briefly was sidelined with an injured shoulder.

"Bryn's like a street fighter," said O'Brien, who wrestles and plays lacrosse on the same teams as Holmes. "He's the biggest competitor I've ever met."

Loyola senior Joe Lennon was 12-for-21 for 167 yards, passing to Devin Gordon (six receptions, 66 yards), Mike Horne (two, 58) and Aaron Slaughter (four, 45) among four receivers. Lennon gained 65 of the Dons' 85 rushing yards.

Lennon's 19-yard pass, on fourth-and-seven at McDonogh's 20-yard line, set up Duke Hatter's 1-yard scoring run on the next play. Akira Fitzgerald's extra point made it 7-7 with 6:54 left in the third quarter.

But it was 14-7 with 1:29 left in the third quarter after Holmes ended a 10-play, 80-yard drive, rushing seven times for 56 yards before surging past two larger players for a 3-yard

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