Calvert Hall senior quarterback Thomas Stuart releases a pass… (Photo by Brendan Cavanaugh )
Calvert Hall's ability to win close games survived another stiff test Friday night when the Cardinals edged Delaware's Red Lion Christian Academy, 28-27, in front of an estimated 3,500 fans at Paul Angelo Russo Stadium.
The Cardinals (3-0) broke on top a 10-yard interception return by senior Will Johnson, who jumped a Red Lion route and streaked untouched into the end zone for a 6-0 lead with 37 seconds left in the opening period. The extra-point try was no good.
Red Lion stormed back, however, taking a 7-6 advantage on a nine-play, 62-yard drive finished on a 6-yard swing pass from freshman quarterback Davis Sills to junior Dakiel Shorts with 9:34 remaining in the half.
Calvert Hall's retort — a 79-yard sequence culminated by a 14-yard strike from senior quarterback Thomas Stuart to junior Stephen Kelly before a conversion pass to senior Trevor Williams — vaulted the Cardinals back in the lead, 14-7, with 3:47 to go until halftime.
The Cardinals added another touchdown after a knock-down by defensive back Brandon Neverdon stopped the Red Lions on fourth down.
In just five plays, Stuart drove his team to the Red Lion 34, from where he rolled out and found Trevor Williams for a touchdown. Austin Strachen's conversion kick stretched the Cardinal bulge to 21-7 at halftime.
The second half was a different story, as Red Lion appeared to wear down the Cardinals with a hurry-up offense, Sills' strong arm and running backs Devon Russell and Wendell Smallwood.
After knotting the score late in the third period, a Red Lion fumble gave Calvert Hall an opportunity to regain the lead. The Cardinals took advantage of the miscue when Stuart, on a fourth-and-four, found junior wideout Kyle Levere open down the middle for a 15-yard score with 4:22 to go in the fourth quarter.
That still gave Red Lion enough time to march down the field for a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Smallwood with 1:49 left in regulation.
That's when senior defensive back Da'Quan Davis blocked the ensuing extra-point try, giving the Cards another close-call victory.
"I was thinking about a block," Davis said. "We needed somebody to step up. It just came down to one play, and we made it."