It took a little longer than usual, but No. 1 Gilman is back on the winning track.
The Greyhounds posted a 13-6 victory over New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Saturday night, ending the Ironmen's 46-game winning streak.
Gilman lost its first two games to two nationally ranked teams, Archbishop Moeller of Ohio, and 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 Greyhounds' defense.
In its first possession, Gilman was pinned back inside its own 20-yard line and Don Bosco took advantage of a 25-yard punt by the Greyhounds' Trevor Wey, giving the Ironmen the ball on Gilman's 43.
It didn't take Don Bosco long to score. Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks dove into the end zone from 1-yard out to give his team a 6-0 lead. Cameron Baels missed the extra point for the Ironmen.
Gilman didn't look sharp early and came up empty on its first five possessions, including a missed 36-yard field goal by Wey on the Greyhounds' second series.
Senior defensive end Alquadin Muhammad forced Gilman to punt on its fourth and fifth series when he sacked Maryland-bound Shane Cockerille (7-for-12 passing, 56 yards in first half) both times on third down.
A 70-yard interception return by Virginia recruit Kiser finally got Gilman on the board with 22 seconds remaining in the first half. Wey missed the extra point.
The Greyhounds got a big play to end the third quarter when Norris intercepted Don Bosco quarterback Frank Nutile to give Gilman its best second-half field position. But the Greyhounds moved only 11 yards in eight plays and ended up punting.
Gilman got a spark on Matthew Tilley's 35-yard punt return down to the Don Bosco 30-yard line with 8:02 remaining in the final quarter.
The Greyhounds rushed six straight times. Bijan Rhett gained 25 yards on three carries. Then Cockerille ran the last three, including a 1-yard touchdown up the middle with 4:27 left to put the Greyhounds ahead 12-6. Wey added the extra point for the final margin.
"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)Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun