Gilman runs past No. 1 Loyola

Greyhounds' fifth straight win clinches tie for conference championship

Gilman 18 Loyola 10

October 28, 2006|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun reporter

The white No. 1 on Ben Eaton's jersey was smeared with mud. Steam rose from his mouth and nostrils as his warm breath met the cold air. His muscular biceps bulged from exertion, even though the rain-hampered game had long ended.

The 5-foot-11, 225-pound All-Metro running back/linebacker had, 10 minutes earlier, completed the best offensive game of his four-year career, bulling his way for 70 yards and three first-half touchdowns to pace No. 4 Gilman's 18-10 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference victory over visiting No. 1 Loyola.

"We felt like we had something to prove," said Eaton, a senior who leaped over a crowd for two 1-yard touchdowns in the Greyhounds' fifth straight win. "Loyola was ranked No. 1 even though we're the champs, but we feel we're still the best team around [Baltimore]."

Chris Burnette, David Weckesser, Richard Young and Andrew Blomquist had sacks, Max Brown and John Pagliaro had interceptions, and Zach Parkinson and Joey Ehrmann had key tackles for lost yardage as the Greyhounds (5-2, 4-0) won their 13th consecutive league game to clinch at least a tie for their eighth conference title in coach Biff Poggi's 10 seasons.

The Greyhounds opened with losses to DeMatha and Bergen Catholic but can clinch the outright title with a season-ending win over McDonogh.

Neto Opara (93 yards) was the top rusher for Gilman, whose five ball carriers totaled 245 yards behind offensive linemen Burnette, Weckesser, Parkinson, Kadeem Rodgers, David Jablonski, Ned Lundvall and Matt McCarus.

The Greyhounds led 12-0 in the first quarter and 18-3 at halftime despite losing Pagliaro, who averaged 182 rushing yards and two touchdowns in his previous four games but played strictly on defense after a first-quarter ankle injury.

Last week, sophomore quarterback Leon Kinnard's 8-yard scoring pass to Omari Mobley lifted Loyola over McDonogh in overtime, 34-28. Kinnard (167 passing yards), who was sacked on his first play from scrimmage, nearly had the Dons (7-1, 2-1) in position to tie the game.

The Dons were within eight points with 6:41 to play after Mobley out-leaped a defender for Kinnard's 6-yard scoring pass. The extra point was kicked by Jeff Timmons, whose 33-yard field goal in the second quarter had the Dons within 12-3.

But on fourth-and-four at Gilman's 20-yard line with 1:14 to play, Kinnard was hit by Blomquist, and the quarterback's pass dropped harmlessly.

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