Calvert Hall-Loyola football Turkey Bowl preview capsule

No. 1 Calvert Hall (10-1, 3-1 MIAA A Conference) vs. Loyola (6-4, 3-1)

What: 91st annual Turkey Bowl

When: Thursday, 10 a.m.

Where: M&T Bank Stadium

TV: Live on WMAR, Channel 2

Coaches: Donald Davis, Calvert Hall; Brian Abbott, Loyola

Series: Loyola, 48-34-8

Last meeting: Calvert Hall, 47-38, 2009 Turkey Bowl

Key players to watch

Calvert Hall — Thomas Stuart, Jr. QB (1,868 yards passing, 15 TDs); Brandon Neverdon, Jr., RB (700 yards rushing, six TDs); CJ Williams, Jr., RB (600 total yards from scrimmage, seven TDs); Dan Yarborough, Sr., DL (90 tackles, five sacks); Adrian Amos, Sr., WR/DB, (five TDs, four INTs)

Loyola — Ryan Black, Jr., RB (163 carries for 747 yards, six TDs); Deemer Class, Jr., WR (50 catches for 692 yards, nine TDs); Jordan Floyd, Jr., WR (42 catches for 658 yards, 11 TDs); Mike Fafaul, Sr., QB (117-for-200 passing for 1,736 yards, 22 TDs); Ryan Young, Sr., LB (101 tackles, 10 for loss, four fumble recoveries, two INTs)

Keys to victory

Getting off to a quick start seems to be critical in this rivalry. The team that has scored first has won the last 24 meetings. A year ago, Calvert Hall scored the first 34 points and its 47 were the most scored by one team since 1975 and the second-most in series history.

The Cardinals look strong on defense especially on the line and in the secondary as they allow only 10.2 points per game. Davis said his team will have to control the tempo and slow the game down against a Dons offense that, with Fafaul's passing ability, can move downfield in a hurry. The Cardinals, who have won eight games by scoring in the 20s, must put the brakes on the Dons, who have averaged 40.1 points in their last three games.

Turnovers helped doom the Dons last season after six straight Turkey Bowl wins, and Abbott said that's the area they will have to clean up this time. The Dons also want to get in a good rhythm on offense, where they average 33.1 points this season, have put up 31 or more seven times and have scored at least 21 on everyone except Gilman.

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