The No. 3 Loyola football team was familiar with what Gilman was capable of.
Every player knew how dangerous the Greyhounds were because none of them had ever defeated No. 14 Gilman. Thanks to a swarming defense and an efficient offense, the Dons won, 21-7, yesterday at St. Paul's field.
"The last time we beat them was 2003. I was in seventh grade," junior quarterback Leon Kinnard said. "That's a long time ago. It feels great to come out here and get a win."
Loyola shut down Gilman's offense. The Greyhounds (3-4) had seven three-and-outs, two turnovers, two turnovers on downs and just 166 yards of total offense.
Loyola (7-1) was ranked No. 1 before losing to No. 15 Mount St. Joseph on Oct. 19.
"We had to really buckle down and focus for this game," said linebacker Matt Heacock, who had three sacks, an interception and an offensive touchdown. "We knew they had a great running attack, and we came out and clogged the holes, and the coaches just put us in the right situations."
Loyola's defense set up its offense. Heacock intercepted Gilman quarterback Derrick Burnett on Gilman's 29-yard line on the Greyhounds' first possession, setting up Kinnard's 3-yard run for a touchdown.
Defensive back Charley Jones recovered a fumble on Gilman's 42-yard line on a Greyhounds punt return, leading to a nine-play, 42-yard drive right before halftime to put Loyola up 21-7.
"I thought our kids played hard, ran hard and hit hard," Gilman coach Biff Poggi said. "We're just not a good enough team to make two short-field mistakes."
Kinnard handled most of the Dons' offensive load even with a pulled hip muscle, which he suffered in the second quarter. He finished 11-for-17 for 82 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He ran the ball 21 times for 77 yards and a touchdown. Woody Williams had a 1-yard touchdown for Gilman.
Gilman's next game is Friday at home against Mount St. Joseph at 3 p.m. Loyola is off next week before playing Georgetown Prep at home on Nov. 10. At this point, every game is important.
"Our league, it's a playoff atmosphere from the middle of the season," Loyola coach Brian Abbott said.