Loyola Blakefield Dons defensive end Joshua Buck (left) and linebacker Kyle Powell celebrate their block of a Gilman Greyhounds punt at Alexander Sotir Stadium Sat., Aug. 31, 2019. Powell recovered the fumble to score a touchdown.
Loyola Blakefield Dons defensive end Joshua Buck (left) and linebacker Kyle Powell celebrate their block of a Gilman Greyhounds punt at Alexander Sotir Stadium Sat., Aug. 31, 2019. Powell recovered the fumble to score a touchdown. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Loyola Blakefield wanted to set a positive tone in its first football game of the season. The Dons did just that and more by routing Gilman, 56-0, in a non-conference matchup Saturday afternoon.

Loyola junior quarterback Jordan Moore rushed for three touchdowns and threw for one, capped by a 55-yard scamper with just a few minutes left.

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“It all starts with my line – my teammates. I couldn’t do anything without them,” Moore stated. “The downfield blocking that they do, all the work that we do in practice. When it comes to the game, everything just flows. It all just comes with trust. If I trust my teammates and they trust me to be able to play well.”

The first quarter was marked by strong defensive play by both teams. Gilman and Loyola traded possessions with a punt each, before Moore ran for 34-yard touchdown with 6:18 left in the first quarter. He scored once again in the second quarter to give Loyola a 13-0 lead with 5:40 left.

Though a close game at the half, Gilman began to lose top skill position players to injuries. Junior running back Jermaine Conyers and sophomore running back Ke’Yon Torrain went down in the first half. Freshman wide receiver Avery Jones-Allen, freshman quarterback Matthew Parker and junior running back Rayaun Lane all went were injured in the second half.

“You saw the depth come into play and a couple of our key guys at key positions went down and we had to put some guys in there that learned on the run,” Gilman coach Nick Bach said.

As the injuries mounted, so did the scoring by Loyola.

Moore threw a 60-yard screen pass to sophomore running back Micah Robinson for a touchdown on Loyola’s first possession of the third quarter.

On the ensuing Gilman drive, Loyola freshman linebacker Kyle Powell recovered his own blocked punt for a touchdown.

Loyola put up 29 more points on a 3-yard touchdown run by Kaire Umoja, a punt block for a return by Phillip Lorenzo, Moore’s third touchdown run and a 16-yard rush by Joshua Buck.

Loyola coach Anthony Zehyoue gave a good chunk of the credit to his defensive front.

“I was really proud of our defensive line because Gilman’s got some really big dudes on their offensive line and we’re a little bit undersized in those positions,” Zehyoue said. “But we had some good quickness and our guys really got after them today. So, I was really proud of that.”

Senior Cian Callahan and Buck anchored the defensive line. In the first half alone, Buck generated three sacks from defensive end – a position he just started playing.

“It is wonderful,” Buck said of his first-half performance. “I thank God for having a chance and I trust in my coaches and they gave me opportunities, so I just stepped up. I trust in my team and everybody behind me.”

Loyola’s hosts Georgetown Prep on Friday at 4:30 p.m, while Gilman hosts Episcopal (Va.) at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Boys soccer

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Gilman 3 Haverford (Pa.) 0: Sophomores Alden Booth and Jacob Muher each scored in the first half and freshman Devon Nixon scored in the second half as Gilman (1-0-1) beat Haverford, which is ranked No. 28 in the nation. Junior midfielder Johnny Melancon had two assists and junior keeper Grant Farley recorded his second shutout with four saves.

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