After No. 2 Calvert Hall jumped out to a 10-0 lead over No. 5 Dunbar in the first quarter of the nightcap of the I-95 Kickoff Classic at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Friday night, the Cardinals found the going a lot more difficult.
For the Poets, however, things were even tougher.
Even though the Dunbar's quickness posed a threat on almost every play, putting Calvert Hall's defense on its heels several times, the Cardinals held the fleet Poets in check the rest of the way in a 30-6 victory.
"We had a couple of matchup situations that I thought were in our favor," said Calvert Hall coach Donald Davis, whose team opened the season with a 54-7 rout of Maryland Christian last weekend. "We had to win a couple of battles up front, and we did that."
Calvert Hall began the game by escaping from a dangerous situation after fumbling the opening kickoff to give Dunbar the ball on the Cardinals' 24-yard line.
However, the Calvert Hall defense held to force a punt and the offense drove 89 yards on its next possession to take a 7-0 lead.
On that series, junior quarterback Colar Kuhns connected with classmate Erik Evans for 34 yards to highlighted the five-play sequence that Kuhns finished with a 20-yard strike to junior Russell Neverdon.
Neverdon came down with the ball after taking it away from a Poet defensive back in the end zone.
"Honestly, he had picked the ball off," Neverdon said. "But I got it from him.,"
Later in the opening period, junior Jake Soriano kicked a 22-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.
Dunbar responded with a seven-play, 54-yard drive capped on a 1-yard plunge by junior quarterback William Crest. The try for points failed, and Calvert Hall led, 10-6, with 8:31 left in the first half.
The Cardinals struck back when Kuhns found senior wideout Kyle Levere on a 12-yard toss with 4:30 left in the third quarter before senior running back Robbie Jones rumbled in from the 9-yard line three minutes later for a 23-6 lead.
After a 67-yard interception by senior defensive back Stephen Kelly, senior Garrett Keene's 4-yard sweep gave the Cardinals their final touchdown with 1:18 left in the game.
Dunbar coach Lawrence Smith was miffed by his team's four turnovers, three of which contributed to or led directly to 16 enemy points.
"We just had too many mistakes," he said. "We knew exactly what they were going to do, but we just had too many turnovers. You can't beat a good team when you do that."
Dun 0 6 0 0 6
CH 10 0 13 7 30
CH-Kuhns 20 pass (Neverdon), Soriano kick
CH-Soriano, 22 FG
Dun-Crest 1 run, pass failed
CH-Kuhns 12 pass (Levere), kick failed
CH-Jones 9 run, Soriano kick
CH-Keene 4 run, Stachen kick