Calvert Hall's football team scored 84 points in its first two games this season, but the No. 2 Cardinals had a lot more trouble getting on the board Friday night against DeMatha.
Three Calvert Hall turnovers, penalties and a punt snapped over the Cardinals punter's head had a lot to do with that as the Stags took a 23-14 victory in the 9/11 Patriot Classic at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
The Cardinals (2-1) didn't score until the third quarter, but they pulled within 20-14 on Colar Kuhns' quarterback sneak with 9:07 left in the game. They stopped the Stags' next drive with a goal-line stand, but Siegfried Schmidt kicked a 20-yard field goal to boost DeMatha's lead to 23-14 with 2:14 to go.
"Our maturation continues," said Calvert Hall coach Donald Davis, whose team opened the season with wins over Maryland Christian, 54-7, and then-No. 5 Dunbar, 30-6.
"We have a young group that continues to come together. We made some mistakes and I believe what we learned tonight, particularly our young men, is you can't make these kinds of mistakes and beat a good football team."
Even though the Stags (2-0) ran up a 20-0 lead, the Cardinals' defense made a handful of big defensive stands, including two in the second quarter.
"I thought it was a gutsy performance by our defense," Davis said. "We made some mistakes on the defensive side of the ball, but from an effort standpoint, I couldn't ask for more. Our kids stepped in there in some rough spots, defending one yard, defending five yards, defending short fields on multiple occasions and we forced them into some fourth downs and stopped them and forced them into a field goal situation that looked like a sure touchdown."
The Cardinals moved the ball well at times early, but they couldn't convert until late in the third quarter. Junior quarterback Kuhns completed 18 of 35 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown, but the first score, on an 11-yard pass to Kyle Levere (six catches, 75 yards), didn't come until 4:44 remained in the third quarter.
The momentum picked up when Kevin Nickel intercepted a Lovett pass on the Stags' next possession. A 27-yard pass to Lawrence Cager and a pair of short runs by Cole Atkinson and Robbie Jones took the Cardinals to the Stags' 1-yard line where Kuhns sneaked it in to cut the lead to 20-14 with 9:07 to go.
"We made a lot of mistakes in the first half and that put us down," Cardinals senior safety Delando Johnson said. "When we went in the locker room, we made our minds up that were going to come out fired up. They got a quick score, we were down and we kept fighting our way back but time ran out. If we had five or 10 more minutes, I think we could win the game."
D 6 0 14 3 -- 23
CH 0 0 7 7 -- 14
D—Kleinrichert 3 pass from Lovett (kick failed)
D—Allen 4 pass from Lovett (Schmidt kick)
D—Soriano 1 run (Schmidt kick)
CH—Levere 11 pass from Kuhns (Soriano kick)
CH—Kuhns 1 run (Soriano kick)
D—Schmidt 20 FG