Senior running back Biafra Okoronkwo had a strong game in Loyola's victory over Boys' Latin.
One game does not make a season, but Loyola Blakefield realized Friday's victory over a solid Boys' Latin football team was significant.
The Dons turned an eight-point halftime lead into a commanding 28-6 victory with a strong defense and an effective ground game in a non-league Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association game.
The win came one week after Loyola lost to John Carroll, 35-18, in its opener.
"We focused on doing things the right way and playing as a unit," said Loyola coach Brant Hall, whose team went 3-8 the past two seasons. "We did that better this week than we did last week. We have to learn to win. It was really great for us to be in a tough game and to execute the way we did."
On perhaps the biggest play of the game, Loyola boosted its lead to 20-6 with 2:37 remaining in the third quarter when Biafra Okoronkwo blocked Dom Maggio’s 35-yard field goal attempt and Dom Clark picked the ball up and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown.
After a drive stalled late in the third quarter, the Lakers desperately tried to rally in the final quarter.
They moved to the Loyola 16-yard line before senior quarterback Logan Wisnauskas hit wide receiver Davy Lizana near the right corner of the end zone, but he was out of bounds.
Loyola closed the first-half scoring on a 12-yard run on a quarterback draw by sophomore Will Koras, who played the entire second quarter.
Koras also threw two touchdown passes in the second half against John Carroll after replacing starting quarterback Alex Caltrider, who is out for a month because of a shoulder injury.
"Smith started today, played the first quarter and played very well," Hall said. "He kept the team on the field. The idea was to get Will Koras in the second quarter and see how he moved the team. He also scored a touchdown. It's still a competition between those guys, so we wanted to see both of them."
Other area football scores:
North Harford 41 Hereford 28 St. Paul's 58 Carver Vo Tech 0 John Carroll 28 Calvert Hall 21 Mount Carmel 20 Friends 19 Perry Hall 28 Aberdeen 16 Loch Raven 20 Chesapeake 8 Eastern Tech 49 Owings Mills 6 Parkville 32 Century 20