No. 3 Calvert Hall ventured to Bear, De., Friday evening, to challenge Red Lion Christian, which has made national headlines with eighth grade quarterback David Sills, who has already made a verbal commitment to the University of Southern California. The teams traded scores for much of the night, but the Cardinals were able to stay in front most of the way in claiming a 27-20 victory.
The Cardinals took the lead for good in the third quarter on a seven-yard touchdown run by sophomore Stephen Kelly, which capped a long sustain drive. They upped their lead to 27-14, early in the fourth quarter, when Garrett Keane plowed into the end zone from six yards out.
Red Lion battled back with a couple of big runs by Wendell Smallwood, who scored from three yards out with less than four minutes to play. Two minutes later, Red Lion was on the move once again, seeking a potential game-tying score, but the drive ended when Kelly and Da’Quan Davis broke up a Sills’ pass to clinch the victory for the Cardinals.
Earlier, Keane scored on a five-yard run in the first quarter, but Red Lion countered with a 16-yard TD run by Jhurell Pressley to tie the contest, 7-7, as the teams went to the half. Brandon Neverdon put the Cardinals back in front, with a two-yard scoring run, in the third quarter, but Red Lion countered with a 74-yard touchdown pass from Sills, which came off of a tipped ball.
Although he had no touchdown passes in the contest, Calvert Hall quarterback Thomas Stuart had an outstanding game, moving the Cardinal offense all night with a ball control passing game, often spreading passes to Trevor Williams, Garrett Flannery and Kelly.
The non-conference victory improves Calvert Hall’s record to 10-1, despite an extremely difficult schedule. The Cardinals will now remain idle for almost two weeks as they prepare for their Thanksgiving Day showdown with Loyola. With both teams currently still in the title race, the game will have added significance.
Calvert Hall is 3-1 in the MIAA A Conference, along with Gilman and Georgetown Prep, while Loyola is currently 2-1. Calvert Hall defeated Gilman, but suffered its only loss to Prep. Gilman, which defeated Georgetown Prep, closes its season on Saturday against McDonogh. The Greyhounds need to win and then wait out the Turkey Bowl to see if they will retain their conference title.
Loyola, which is playing at Wyoming Seminary (PA) on Saturday, will face Georgetown Prep next week. The winner of that game will remain in the title chase, while the loser would be eliminated.
Both Calvert Hall and Georgetown Prep are going for their first league championship. Gilman has won it or shared the title nine times, while Loyola has six titles. (See past MIAA football champions).
|No. 3 Calvert Hall 27, Red Lion Christian (DE) 20|
|CH-Keane 5 run (Levis kick)|
|RL-Pressley 16 run (T. Bradley kick)|
|CH-Neverdon 2 run (Levis kick)|
|RL-D. Bradley 74 pass from Sills (T. Bradley kick)|
|CH-Kelly 7 run (Kick failed)|
|CK-Keane 6 run (Levis kick)|
|RL-Smallwood 3 run (Pass failed)|