Calvert Hall rolls Loyola in 91st Turkey Bowl

Cardinals clinch MIAA A Conference title with rout

November 25, 2010|By Rich Scherr | Special to The Baltimore Sun

It took less than 10 minutes in Thursday's 91st Turkey Bowl for top-ranked Calvert Hall to cement its place in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference history.

Down by a touchdown early, the Cardinals reeled off 34 straight points over a span of just 9:50, taking command of their annual Thanksgiving matchup with archrival Loyola and securing their first-ever MIAA title with a 41-13 win before an announced 10,967 at M&T Bank Stadium.

"We've been down a lot before, so we knew we could come back," Cardinals quarterback Thomas Stuart said. "We had confidence that we could do anything against them. We've got a really great offense, and today it finally showed."

The win gave Calvert Hall (11-1) the edge over Gilman, which also finished 4-1 in the conference but lost to the Cardinals earlier this season. It marks the school's first championship since winning the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference title in 1982.

The Cardinals now have beaten Loyola (6-5, 4-2) in back-to-back years for the first time since 2001-2002 but still trail the all-time series, 48-35-8.

Loyola looked poised for a strong performance on its opening possession, driving 65 yards on 10 plays, with Mike Fafaul's 38-yard pass to Jordan Floyd setting up a 1-yard scoring run by junior Deemer Class.

That's when the Cardinals took over.

"We looked at their first series and said: 'One big play aided their score. Let's just keep on chopping away. Let's not hit the panic button,'" Calvert Hall coach Donald Davis said.

On the Cardinals' first play from scrimmage, running back Brandon Neverdon took a screen pass 50 yards, beginning a string of events that surely will go down in the annals of Calvert Hall football history.

Three plays later, sophomore Stephen Kelly darted around the right side on a fake reverse, scoring from the 27 to give his team the lead.

Calvert Hall then quickly got the ball back at the Loyola 26 when the Dons came up well short on a fake punt, and five plays later the Cardinals went ahead on Stuart's sneak from the 1.

After getting the ball back on a 15-yard punt, the Cardinals extended their lead to 19-6 when Neverdon took off up the seam for a 58-yard touchdown, and the rout was on.

By the time Trevor Williams scored on a 41-yard interception return and C.J. Williams -- seeing his first action since suffering a torn medial collateral ligament against Gilman last month -- followed with a 12-yard scoring run, the Cardinals' lead had ballooned to 34-6 with 8:13 left in the half.

"We just hurt ourselves a lot," said Loyola coach Brian Abbott, whose roster includes just nine seniors. "You don't have anyone to turn to. The people you turn to have inexperience, so they're going to make a mistake in the flat or miss a tackle or miss a block."

Stuart finished 6-for-11 for 111 yards passing, as well as another 33 yards rushing with a touchdown, to help the Cardinals score more than 40 points for just the third time in series history. They won last year's meeting in similar fashion, 47-28.

All told, Calvert Hall racked up 278 yards on the ground, led by Kelly (seven carries, 82 yards), Neverdon (4-65) and Adrian Amos (3-43).

Class led the Dons with 98 yards receiving and had a pair of short touchdown runs.

Senior lineman Stefan Janik led a defense that held Loyola to 215 yards of total offense, including just 54 yards rushing on 37 attempts.

Janik didn't mince words when asked which was more important -- beating Loyola or winning an A Conference championship.

"I like the conference championship better, because we haven't won one since 1982," Janik said. "It means a lot to the entire Calvert Hall community."

Loyola 6 0 0 7 -- 13
Calvert Hall 19 15 0 7 -- 41
L-Class 1 run (kick failed)
CH-Kelly 27 run (Levis kick)
CH-Stuart 1 run (kick failed)
CH-Neverdon 58 run (kick failed)
CH-T. Williams 41 interception retun (Amos pass from Stuart)
CH-C. Williams 12 run (Levis kick)
CH-Keene 5 run (Levis kick)
L- Class 2 run (Dubyoski kick)

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