For the last two years, Darius Jennings has been a living, breathing highlight reel and on his final day in a Gilman football uniform, the dazzling senior put on a farewell performance for Greyhound nation in leading top-ranked Gilman to a 42-6 win over No. 13 McDonogh, in the 95th renewal of this storied rivalry.
Jennings ran for two touchdowns, and threw for two more, and as the Gilman-McDonogh series inches towards the 100 year mark, he has carved his place as one of the greatest performers in the history of the rivalry.
With the victory, the Greyhounds concluded their 2010 campaign at 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the MIAA A Conference. They are assured of at least tying for first place, but must await the outcome of the final games for Loyola, Georgetown Prep and Calvert Hall, who all have just one league loss currently, to learn if they will claim their 10th league title or at least a share of it. The only way Gilman would not own piece of the title is if it would end up in a two-way tie with Calvert Hall. In that instance, Calvert Hall would be the outright champion, based on its head-to-head win over Gilman. Georgetown Prep and Loyola, both of which were defeated by Gilman, play next week at Loyola, prior to Loyola’s Thanksgiving game with Calvert Hall.
Jennings opened the scoring with an 18 yard TD pass to Henry Poggi late in the first quarter to give the the Greyhounds a 7-0 lead. During the drive Jennings and junior C.J. Jones chewed up chunks of yardage on the ground, setting up the play action score. Jennings took a shotgun snap, drew in the defense with a stride towards the line and then simply stepped back and lofted a beautiful spiral to a wide open Poggi, who gathered the catch and glided into the end zone.
McDonogh’s defense played tough in the first half, forcing a fumble and turning the Greyhounds over on downs deep in Eagle territory. Gilman’s defense also was making plays, coming up with two first half interceptions and, eventually, a back breaking touchdown. With less than two minutes to go in the half, McDonogh attempted what appeared to be a flanker screen, but the intended receiver slipped to the ground before the pass arrived. The ball, however, landed behind the line and was live. Gilman’s Linn Worthington was right on the spot, scooping the ball on a single hop and sprinting 35 yards to the end zone.
Gilman piled up 21 more points in the third quarter, as Jennings scored on runs of 33 and 49 yards, and he threw a 20-yard TD pas to Jones.
Jennings, who has yet to decide where he will play college football, finished with 185 yards on the ground on 17 carries, and he as 6-for-8 in the air for 72 yards. Jones picked up 50 yards on 8 carries, and 34 more receiving. He finished with two scores and also had a pair of interceptions on defense.
The post game emotion on the Gilman field upstaged the statistics.
Jennings, Worthington, Chris McMaster, Conner Doyle, Luca Simmons, Chad Copeland, John Henrich, Brian Zimmerman, Andrew Riina, Joe Spicer, Tre Lundy, Justin George, Michael Sorensen, David Greene, Adam Braverman, David Hoch, Perce Classen, Adam Barry and Hunter Goodwin, were among Biff Poggi’s seniors whose football career at the Roland Park school ended with the win.
“It’s a great group of seniors,” said Poggi. “They’ve been wonderful kids for four years; kids of high character, and of great faith. I’m so proud of these kids.”
Worthington said that his four years with coach Poggi have been an amazing ride and Jennings added, “Its been fun. I’m just trying to take it all in.”
Evan Grant had the only score of the game for McDonogh, going in from four yards out, in the third quarter.
Both schools turned out in mass for the contest, with an estimated crowd of nearly 3,000. McDonogh’s faithful matched across the Northern Parkway bridge connecting Bryn Mawr School and Gilman, while a sea of blue and grey lined the home sideline. Following the contest, both teams huddled together to honor the legacy of the rivalry with each headmaster addressing the players about the tradition shared by the schools.
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|No. 1 Gilman 42, No. 13 McDonogh 6|
|GIL-Poggi 18 pass from Jennings (Wey kick)|
|GIL-Jones 5 run (Wey kick)|
35 fumble return (Wey kick)
|GIL-Jennings 33 run (Wey kick)|
|GIL-Jennings 49 run (Wey kick)|
|McD-Grant 4 run (pass failed)|
|GIL-Jones 20 pass from Jennings (Wey kick)|