Had network or cable television trucks been on campus at Paul Angelo Russo Stadium in Towson on Friday night, the overflow crowd of more than 4,000 would have thought they were part of a made for TV movie as No. 3 Calvert Hall came from behind to stun No. 1 Gilman, 26-21, under the lights.
Calvert Hall linebacker Delando Johnson delivered the evening’s most dramatic play when he picked up a an errant long snap, on a Gilman punt attempt, and raced 16 yards to the end zone with 26 seconds left in the contest to give the Cardinals the win.
Gilman had taken a 21-7 lead at intermission on three first half touchdowns runs from Darius Jennings, who rolled up 200 yards on 28 carries on the night. Jennings bolted 46 yards from scrimmage on a third and two on the Greyhounds’ first possession and scampered 65 yards on the next series to put Gilman up 14-0 with 6:29 to go in the first quarter. He then added a two-yard run in the second quarter to put the Greyhounds up, 21-7. They would not score again.
Calvert Hall’s first TD came on a 65 yard pass from gutsy quarterback Thomas Stuart, who connected with Adrian Amos over the middle on the first play of the second quarter.
Stuart hit for two more scores in the fourth quarter when coach Donald Davis’ squad staged their dramatic comeback. Stuart hit Joe Carroll on a stop and go for a 22 yard touchdown, and he found Trevor Williams on a 24 yard TD strike.
Gilman maintained a 21-19 lead with 1:39 to go in the game, but they were not able to run out the clock. The stubborn Hall defense, which held Jennings to 32 yards in the second half, forced the Greyhounds to punt on fourth and 17 on their own 47 with 26 seconds left. The snap sailed over the head of punter Matt Collins and Calvert Hall’s Johnson grabbed the loose ball and darted to pay dirt.
Gilman attempted a dramatic comeback of its own, as the Hounds drove to the Hall 18 with two seconds left, but a Jennings’ pass to the goal line was broken up by Trevor Williams.
Davis said, “We just played as good a football team as there is. Our kids never gave up. Stuart was lights out tonight. We played fast, we played hard, and we played smart.”
Calvert Hall pulled out the win despite losing CJ Williams early in the first quarter when he hurt his knee. The Hall running back, who rushed for 204 yards against Gilman last year, watched the drama unfold on crutces after he left the game.
“I think God was with us again tonight,” said Stuart. “Delando getting that punt as just incredible, and our defense held them scoreless in the second half. Our line held their own, and our running backs did a good job blocking.”
Johnson said he was running as fast as he could when he saw the loose ball on the Gilman punt attempt. “The ball popped out, and I got it.”
Calvert Hall (7-0, 2-0) faces Georgtown Prep next Saturday in Bethesda, as it attempts to take another step towards the MIAA A Conference crown. Gilman, which rebounded from a loss to the Cardinals last year to win the league, will look to rebound at home, next Saturday, when it hosts Loyola.
To view videos, click on the Related Videos link above. Note: the last four videos are our complete game broadcast of each quarter with play-by-play by Booker Corrigan.
|No. 3 Calvert Hall 26, No. 1 Gilman 21|
|GIL-Jennings 46 run (Wey kick)|
|GIL-Jennings 65 run (Wey kick)|
|GIL-Jennings 2 run (Wey kick)|
|CH-Amos 65 pass from Stuart (Levis kick)|
|CH-Carroll 22 pass from Stuart (kick failed)|
|CH-T. Williams 24 pass from Stuart (pass failed)|
|CH-Johnson 16 fumble return (Levis kick)|