No. 10 Mount St. Joseph couldn’t find a way to break through against No. 1 Gilman’s defense until the final minutes of Saturday afternoon’s Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference opener.
The host Gaels (3-2, 0-1 conference) managed only six first downs and 65 yards until gaining some yardage in the fourth quarter against the Greyhounds’ reserves as Gilman (3-2, 1-0) cruised to a 37-7 victory. The Greyhounds outgained Mount St. Joseph, 385-146, in the game.
Gilman senior linebackers Miles Norris (nine tackles, one sack) and Micah Kiser (eight tackles) led a defense that held Mount St. Joseph sophomore running back Nevone McCrimmon to 41 yards on 11 carries after he compiled 704 yards in the Gaels’ first four games.
“I thought our defense was stifling,” Gilman coach Biff Poggi said. “It was old-time Gilman football. We just shut them down. We have a very senior-laden defense. We have a bunch of guys on [defense] that are Division I players.”
Another Division I player, Gilman quarterback and Maryland recruit Shane Cockerille, rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and completed six of 10 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Gilman’s defense set up the first score when Norris intercepted a pass from Mount St. Joseph quarterback Bryan Jangro at the Gaels’ 24-yard line.
Five plays later, Greyhounds tailback Bijan Rhett scored on a 1-yard run with 4:26 remaining in the first quarter.
In the middle of the second quarter, Gilman was stuffed at Mount St. Joseph’s 11-yard line when Gaels middle linebacker Carey Wells-Jowers stopped Rhett for a 2-yard gain to end a 15-play, 78-yard drive.
Gilman’s Melvin Keihn, however, blocked a punt two minutes later for a safety and a 9-0 lead. The Greyhounds increased their advantage to 16-0 with 1:26 remaining in the first half on Cockerille’s 4-yard run.
On Gilman’s first possession of the second quarter, punter Trevor Wey ran for 9 yards to keep a drive alive.
“Of the last three years, that was the hardest we played against Gilman and especially on defense,” Mount St. Joseph coach Blake Henry said. “But we had some mistakes, a penalty, that fake punt. I told the team, ‘When you play a great team, you can’t have mistakes likes that.’”
Eleven plays after Wey’s trickery, Cockerille scored on a quarterback sneak from 1-yard out with 4:33 left in the third quarter to boost the margin to 23-0.
Later in the period, Cockerille teamed up with Troy Vincent on a 75-yard touchdown pass.
“We have a quarterback that can throw the ball down the field,” Poggi said. “If you load up the box, you will get in trouble, just like it happened today.”
Gilman 37, Mount St Joseph 7
G 7 9 14 7
MSJ 0 0 0 7
G-Rhett 1 run (Wey kick)
G-Cockerille 4 run (Wey kick)
G-Cockerille 1 run (Wey kick)
G-Troy Vincent Jr. 75 from Cockerille (Wey kick)
G-Mayo 4 run (Wey kick)
M-Alston 4 from Jangro (Nelson kick)