It took a little longer than usual, but Gilman is back on the winning track.
The Greyhounds posted a 13-6 victory over New Jersey powerhouse Don Bosco Prep at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Saturday night, snapping the Ironmen’s 46-game winning streak in the process.
Gilman lost its first two games to two nationally ranked teams, Archbishop Moeller of Ohio, and Our Lady of Good Counsel. By winning, Gilman avoided its worst start in 16 years under coach Biff Poggi.
“Our seniors played huge today,” Biff Poggi said. “Henry Poggi, Miles Norris and Micah Kiser were monsters today. They were unbelievable.”
Gilman limited the Ironmen to only 68 yards of total offense in the second half.
Poggi (3 1/2 sacks, 11 tackles), Norris (11 tackles) and Kiser (9 1/2 tackles) led the Greyhound defense.
On its first possession, Gilman was pinned inside its own 20-yard line and Don Bosco took advantage of a 25-yard punt, giving the Ironmen the ball on Gilman’s 43.
It didn’t take Don Bosco long to score. Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks' 1-yard plunge gave the Ironmen a 6-0 lead before the extra-point try failed.
Gilman didn’t look sharp early and came up empty on its first five possessions, including a missed 36-yard field goal by senior Trevor Wey on the Greyhounds’ second series.
Senior defensive end Alquadin Muhammad forced Gilman to punt on its fourth and fifth series when he sacked University of Maryland-bound quarterback Shane Cockerille (7-for-12 passing, 56 yards in first half) both times on third down.
A 70-yard interception return by University of Virginia recruit Kiser finally got Gilman on the board with 22 seconds remaining in the first half for a 6-6 deadlock.
The Greyhounds' big play to end the third quarter came when Norris intercepted Don Bosco quarterback Frank Nutile to give Gilman good field position until the Greyhounds moved only 11 yards in eight plays and ended up punting.
Matthew Tilley’s 35-yard punt return to the Don Bosco 30-yard line with 8:02 remaining in the final quarter sparked the go-ahead drive.
The Greyhounds rushed six straight times. Bijan Rhett gained 25 yards on three carries before Cockerille ran the last three, including a 1-yard touchdown up the middle with 4:27 left for a 13-6 advantage after Wey's point-after.
“Don Bosco was the toughest of all the teams we have played,” Poggi said. “We said, ‘We are going to try and play the hardest schedule in the country.’ A lot of people said it was the hardest schedule in the country. And we said, ‘Don’t be afraid to lose. Get up and swing. If we are 0-3, then we are 0-3.’ ”
No. 1 Gilman 13, Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) 6
G-0 6 0 7 - 13
DB-6 0 0 0 - 6
DB-Ibitokun-Hanks 1 run (kick failed)
G-Kiser 70 interception return (kick failed)
G-Cockerille 1 run (Wey kick)