A year ago, the week after beating Gilman in an emotional thriller, Calvert Hall suffered its only loss of an otherwise brilliant 11-1 campaignto Georgetown Prep.
Friday night at Paul Angelo Russo Stadium in Towson, a week after a deflating loss to the Greyhounds, the Cardinals (5-1) could have succumbed again to the Little Hoyas (3-5).
Instead, Calvert Hall overcame a slew of penalties, blown coverages and dropped passes to subdue the visitors from Bethesda, 22-13, in a key Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference battle.
The Cardinals dominated time of possession in the first half and out-gained the Little Hoyas, 220-60, but could only manage a modest 9-3 advantage at the intermission.
Calvert Hall scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper by senior Thomas Stuart with 1:36 remaining in the first quarter and added a 30-yard field goal by junior Austen Strachen to take a 9-0 advantage midway late in the second quarter.
The Little Hoyas (3-5) answered Strachen's kick with a 35-yard field goal by Ed Brennen with less than a minute left in the half.
Calvert Hall then drove to the enemy 11-yard line before being turned away as time expired.
The Cardinals stretched their lead to 15-3 early in the fourth quarter on another Stuart score, only to give the points back when Georgetown Prep retaliated on a 66-yard strike from quarterback Tre Johnson to a wide-open Mike DePaul on the next play from scrimmage.
"We made a lot of mistakes," Calvert Hall running back/linebacker CJ Williams said. "The outside linebacker blitzed on the play, and so did I (at middle linebacker). We thought we could get to the quarterback, and we didn't."
Williams made amends when he tallied the game-clinching touchdown with 2:54 to go on a 2-yard plunge. That drive was kept alive when Stuart connected with junior Logan Kurek for 18 yards on a crucial 4th-and-3 from the Little Hoya 29.
"We struggled," Calvert Hall coach Donald Davis said. "We had some miscommunications out there."