Loyola Blakefield Brian Abbott knows he will be get plenty of big plays out of junior quarterback Jake Clise over the next two seasons.
Clise, a transfer from Queen Anne's High on the Eastern Shore, made his Dons' debut Saturday in a 24-20 loss to DeMatha in the I-95 Kickoff Classic at Morgan State University, throwing two touchdowns passes and running for another score in the setback.
But DeMatha senior running back Charlie Jordan proved to be the best player on the field, rushing for 200 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries to lead the Stags in the season opener for both schools.
DeMatha jumped ahead, 14-0, in the first 10:15 as Jordan found the end zone on a 77-yard run and quarterback Jamal Robinson teamed up with wideout Chris King on a 21-yard score.
"We have to stop giving up those big plays," Abbott said. "But to go down, 14-0, show character, come back and get back in the game. We gave ourselves on opportunity. I think as this team plays together with a few new moving pieces, I just think they will get better and better."
After King's touchdown, Loyola put up 20 unanswered points.
Clise scored on an 58-yard run in the final minutes of the first quarter, then hit fleet-footed wideout Jordan Floyd on a slant for a 21-yard score.
Standout defensive plays set up the Dons' final first-half touchdown.
Lineman Jordan Horne sacked Robinson for a 14-yard loss and linebacker Alex Hunt recovered a fumble.
Clise needed only two plays to Kacy Kapinos for a 20-yard strike and 20-14 lead.
DeMatha closed the first half with another big play — a 65-yard Jordan TD run — to put the Stags ahead, 21-20, at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Jarriel Jordan's interception helped set up Jason Dillion's 32-yard field goal to put the Stags ahead, 24-20.
Loyola's best opportunity to score came with 7:18 remaining in the contest after a 79-yard, 10-play drive. The sequence ended when defensive end Michael Moore, a University of Virginia recruit, batted down Clise's pass on 4th-and-goal from the Stags' 2-yard line.