Dons' Bruns and Garvin help carve up Cardinals

Football 89th Turkey Bowl

November 28, 2008|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Baltimore Sun

A recent transplant from North Dakota, Loyola quarterback Connor Bruns didn't know quite what to expect in his first start against archrival Calvert Hall in yesterday's 89th Turkey Bowl.

He didn't need long to find out.

The strong-armed junior threw fourth-down touchdown passes on his team's first two possessions, and teammate Terence Garvin added a career-high 190 rushing yards as the No. 2 Dons polished off a perfect season with a 35-0 win before an announced 12,347 at M&T Bank Stadium.

"I was more anxious than nervous," said Bruns, who replaced injured starter Leon Kinnard - one of the top quarterbacks in the metro area - in mid-October. "I just wanted to get out here and get that first series out of the way. After that, I didn't feel any nerves."

Loyola (11-0) has won six straight and 20 of 24 in the series, which it leads 48-33-8. It was the largest margin of victory for either team since Calvert Hall won by the same score in 1976.

The Dons also clinched the outright championship in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference with a 5-0 league mark and finished their first unbeaten season since 1960.

"The way they worked, they deserve it," Loyola coach Brian Abbott said.

Loyola dominated this one from start to finish, out-gaining Calvert Hall 396 yards to 97 and succeeding on all four of its fourth-down attempts.

The first, on fourth-and-goal from the Calvert Hall 5-yard line less than six minutes into the game, set the tone. After two straight incomplete passes, Bruns fired a pass over the middle to Brandon Floyd, who beat defensive back Shane Ryan to the inside to put the Dons ahead.

"That young man had surgery on his arm and had a plate and two screws put in 24 days ago," Abbott said of Floyd, who had four catches for 48 yards. "Talk about a football player."

Loyola extended the lead to 14-0 on its very next possession, again on a clutch fourth-down pass by Bruns. Facing fourth-and-10 at the Calvert Hall 13, Bruns rolled right and threw across his body to running back Vince Snarski in the end zone with 1:02 left in the quarter.

By the end of that drive, Loyola had out-gained Calvert Hall 114 yards to minus-6, with the Cardinals (4-7) losing a total of 3 yards on three drives that started at or near midfield.

They then lost what would have been their lone touchdown when a block in the back wiped out Ryan Gutowski's 88-yard kickoff return.

Garvin, who will play football for West Virginia, took over from there, consistently gaining large chunks of yardage and scoring his first Thanksgiving touchdown on a 19-yard run midway through the third quarter. The importance of a rivalry that predates the NFL wasn't lost on him.

"Yesterday we watched Ohio State and Michigan. We know that's a big rivalry, and this, too," Garvin said. "We know that it's bragging rights for the whole year."

Calvert Hall, which was led by running back P.J. Quarrie (13 carries, 49 yards), managed just seven first downs while also allowing its highest point total of the season.

"As the game wore on, I think some of our youth showed," Cardinals coach Donald Davis said. "They have great players who are used to playing in big games. Today, those guys found a way to create some big plays."

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