Fifth-ranked Cavaliers stay perfect

Crusaders handed 1st MIAA B defeat

Archbishop Spalding 13 Cardinal Gibbons 0


October 14, 2006|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

Things did not start out well for Cardinal Gibbons in its visit to No. 5 Archbishop Spalding last night, as Crusaders starting quarterback Blake Thompson had to leave after the game's first series because of an illness.

The Cavaliers took advantage and forced three turnovers, while their high-powered running attack racked up 274 yards en route to a 13-0 win. The win helped Spalding remain in control of the South Division of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B conference, and Gibbons, the North Division leader, suffered its first conference loss.

"Gibbons has a very good football team, and this was a good football game," Spalding coach Mike Whittles said. "I don't know whether it was a statement game or not. Gibbons, St. Paul's, Boys' Latin, St. Mary's and ourselves are in the thick of things right now, so this was a good win. Our objective is to win that championship game, but we got to get there."

The two teams battled for field position early in the game. Spalding, however, was the first to capitalize on a mistake when it forced punter Barry Nowell to throw the ball from his own 11-yard line because he had no room to make the kick. Spalding scored on the ensuing possession on a 2-yard run by Sean Hatley with 6:29 left in the half.

The Cavaliers (7-0, 3-0) added to their lead five minutes later when Brian Rutland took a handoff from quarterback Kevin Moran, found a hole in the left side of the offensive line and ran 68 yards for a touchdown. Rutland finished with 86 yards on 10 carries.

"They were keying on our sweep because we were going outside a lot," Rutland said of his touchdown run. "We got them falling real hard to the right, but we came back and no one was there. Our offensive line did a great job. Gibbons came out real hard and this was a hard-fought win."

Justin Mullinex-Hughes led Spalding with 100 yards on 10 carries.

After Thompson was forced to leave the game, Nowell took over as quarterback. Gibbons, however, tried to run the ball and amassed 121 yards on 13 carries with most of the load going to Kiero Small. Small, who is recovering from a broken hand, finished with 65 yards on 12 carries.

But every time Gibbons (6-2, 2-1) came into Spalding territory, the Cavaliers' defense would not budge. Jake Trantan finished with a team-high 18 tackles and two pass deflections, and Mike Brandenburg finished with two interceptions. Neither team's quarterback completed a pass.

While Gibbons coach Donald Davis lamented the loss, he expects his team to rebound.

"My kids worked very hard today, but I was not what I needed to be for them," Davis said. "As a young coach, in these types of games, I need to do a better job. I am going to do everything I can for my guys, because I'll know they'll work, to hopefully see [Spalding] again."

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