No. 8 Calvert Hall exploded for three touchdowns in the first quarter of a stunning 35-0 win Friday night over visiting No. 3 Mount Saint Joseph in the Ravens RISE High School Football Showdown.
The Cardinals struck early, if not quickly, to set the tone in the key Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference battle.
Calvert Hall’s opening possession, an 18-play, 81-yard drive, took nearly nine minutes off the clock and was finished on a 3-yard run by sophomore running back Sean Tucker.
Tucker carried most of the load during the sequence, rushing 10 times for 46 yards, including a clutch 21-yard scamper on fourth-and-20.
After Brandon Reynolds’ successful extra-point attempt, Calvert Hall led 7-0, with more points yet to come for the Cardinals (4-2, 1-1).
The surge continued when 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior linebacker Chance Campbell scooped up a fumble on the Gaels’ next play and returned it 12 yards to the Mount Saint Joseph 15-yard line.
Five plays later, senior running back Jordan McLaughlin bulled in from the 2 to give the Cardinals a 14-0 advantage with 40 seconds left in the opening period.
“The defense really set the tone for us,” said junior quarterback Mike Campbell, who is not related to Chance Campbell. “I mean, we can’t do anything without them. They got the great field position for us on the second touchdown and they got the third one for us.”
Chance Campbell, who has committed to play football at Maryland, was not through making big plays.
On the next pass attempt by Gaels freshman quarterback Billy Atkins, Campell jumped the route, snagged an interception in front of the intended receiver and rumbled 35 yards for a touchdown and 21-0 cushion.
“Our defensive line was getting a lot of pressure, and our [defensive backs] were locking them down,” he said. “It was a fun half.”
The second quarter had more of the same.
Senior defensive back Pierce Robinson was the next Calvert Hall player to pick off a pass by Atkins, returning the ball 51 yards to the Mount Saint Joseph 19.
Four plays later, Mike Campbell found junior wideout Cole Herbert for a 5-yard touchdown pass and 28-0 Calvert Hall lead with just under three minutes to go in the first half.
McLaughlin also had an interception to blunt another Gaels (4-2, 1-1) drive before halftime.
The Cardinals’ lead ballooned to 35-0 early in the fourth quarter on a 26-yard strike from Campbell to senior wideout Chris Cooper. A 42-yard completion to Herbert set up the score.
“The defense gave us a big cushion to work with, and that gave us a lot of opportunities to open the field up,” Mike Campbell said. “We had a big lead, so we could take some chances.”
Led by Chance Campbell, Calvert Hall’s defense played at a high level, with sacks by Anthony Anderson, Nate Harris and DaShawn Simon and a game-ending interception by Luke Firlie.
The Gaels “have a solid running game with talented backs,” Chance Campbell said. “A lot of credit goes to our coaches and our ‘D’ line. They did a good job of stuffing the gaps. They took care of most of the work up front.”
Mount Saint Joseph coach Rich Holzer credited Calvert Hall’s coaching staff with executing a well-constructed game plan. And he lamented that hardly anything, other than a 52-yard pass from senior quarterback Naite Reese to senior wideout Matt McDonald late in the fourth quarter, seemed to work for his Gaels.
“It was a total team meltdown,” Holzer said. “That’s about all you can say.”
No. 8 Calvert Hall 35, No. 3 Mount Saint Joseph 0
MSJ 0 0 0 0 — 0
CHC 21 7 0 7 — 35
CH—Tucker 3 run (Reynolds kick)
CH—McLaughlin 2 run (Reynolds kick)
CH—C. Campbell 35 interception (Reynolds kick)
CH—Herbert 5 pass from M. Campbell (Reynolds kick)
CH—Cooper 26 pass from M. Campbell (Reynolds kick)