McDonogh School extended its recent streak of opening game victories, which dates back to 2004, by defeating Gonzaga (D.C.), 34-20, in the opening game of the I-95 Classic at Towson University’s Unitas Stadium Friday evening.
With McDonogh comfortably ahead 21-6 after senior quarterback Joel Jorgensen connected on a 4-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Allen Jackson with 2 minutes, 25 seconds left in the first half, they seemed poised to head into the locker room with a comfortable cushion.
But in the final first half minutes, Gonzaga quarterback Kevin Hogan showed why he’s one of the nation’s top quarterback recruits. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound senior, operating in a hurry-up/shotgun offense, sprayed passes to an array of receivers, marching the Eagles 80 yards down the field in less than two minutes.
Hogan, who’s committed to play at Stanford next year, culminated the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run, then throwing a bullet to senior running back D’Lonte Martino for the two-point conversion.
Gonzaga (1-1) recovered the ensuing onsides kickoff, sending Hogan went back to work. With less than 33 seconds on the clock, Hogan zipped a nine-yard completion to sophomore Brady Malone, followed by a 19-yard strike to senior Rajee Dunbar before scampering on his own for a 17-yard gain. The offense, however, could not punch the ball into the end zone on its final play of the half.
The Eagles continued its surge when Dunbar sprinted for an 85-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff return of the second half, pulling Gonzaga within one point of McDonogh at 21-20.
Jorgensen answered back with a 70-yard drive of his own, culminating in a 35-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Miles Crump.
After the McDonogh defense forced a punt on Gonzaga’s next possession, the Eagles from Owings Mills recovered the fumbled punt attempt, setting up Jorgensen’s fourth touchdown pass of the night, a 20-yarder to senior Denzell Walker.
Walker also hauled in the game’s opening touchdown. Sophomore running back Jabari Weems took a screen pass behind the line of scrimmage and proceeded to connect with a streaking Walker for a 55-yard score with 9:43 left in the first quarter.
McDonogh travels to Pennsylvania next Saturday to take on the Haverford School.
M–Walker 54-yard pass from Weems (Glaser kick)
G–Martino 2-yard run (kick failed)
M–Crump 6-yard pass from Jorgensen (Glaser kick)
M–Jackson 4-yard pass from Jorgensen (Glaser kick)
G–Hogan 7-yard run (Martino pass from Hogan)
G–Dunbar 85-yard kickoff return (kick failed)
M–Crump 35-yard pass from Jorgensen (kick failed)
M–Walker 15-yard pass from Jorgensen (Glaser kick)