In Loyola's first game this season, junior Kevin Kaiser was the Dons' second-string tight end.
In today's 72nd annual Thanksgiving Day meeting against Calvert Hall at 10 a.m. at Memorial Stadium, Kaiser will be Loyola's starting quarterback.
Kaiser was thrust into the starting lineup two weeks ago when second-string quarterback John Baer injured his knee in a 14-11 loss to top-ranked City.
Baer was playing his fifth game in place of three-year starter Bill Evans, who fractured his right wrist in October.
"When I saw John go down against City, I said, 'Uh oh,' " said Kaiser. "I never thought I'd be playing quarterback in this year's [Calvert Hall] game."
Kaiser, who was Loyola's junior varsity quarterback last season, will try to give the fourth-ranked Dons (8-2) their seventh win in their last eight games against the Cardinals (2-8).
Loyola leads the series 34-30. There have been eight ties.
"He's the kind of player who responds well to pressure," Loyola coach Joe Brune said of Kaiser. "He's gotten better in practice each day."
Kaiser said Evans, who played defensive back in Loyola's last two games and was also used as a wide receiver in the City game, has helped him adjust to his new role.
"It really helps having Bill in the offense," said Kaiser. "At halftime of the City game, he told me, 'If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.' "
Evans will start at defensive back today and be used some as a receiver. He will be wearing a soft cast on his injured arm, but Brune said there is a "very outside chance" that Evans will play quarterback.
"We're a real close team, and I'm just happy to be a part of it," said Evans. "[Kaiser] is a great athlete. I'm sure he'll do fine."
Calvert Hall coach Bill Mackley knows his team faces a tough challenge no matter who plays quarterback for the Dons.
"Loyola has one of its finest teams in years," said Mackley. "They're loaded. There are no two ways about it."
Calvert Hall also has suffered some key injuries and will be playing without five starters.
"We won't make excuses," said Mackley, who will be coaching his fifth Thanksgiving Day game. "We'll give them a good game."
Both teams figure to use run-dominated game plans.
Junior Kevin Tyler is Calvert Hall's top rusher with 1,202 yards on 219 carries and nine touchdowns. Junior tailback Adam Roberts has 548 yards on 78 carries and five touchdowns.
Loyola will use a three-back attack, with seniors Brian Perrier and Orlando Mayo and sophomore Reggie Boyce sharing the running duties. Boyce rushed for 121 yards on 21 carries against City.
"One of our strengths is our running backs," said Brune, who will be facing Calvert Hall for the 26th time. "We want to mix it up and give the ball to all our backs."
Although the contest has no bearing on the Maryland Scholastic Association's A Conference championship, both sides agree that this is the biggest game of their season.
"The Calvert Hall game makes or breaks your season," said Evans. "You never have trouble getting up for the Hall. I'm sure it will be a great game."
Mackley compares the game to another traditional football rivalry.
"Nobody remembers who Army beat last year," said Mackley. "But they remember that Navy beat Army.
"Anything can happen in this game."
Site: Memorial Stadium
Time: 10 a.m.
Series record: Loyola leads 34-30-8.
Outlook: Kevin Kaiser will make his first start at quarterback for the Dons (8-2), whose only losses this year were to top-ranked City and No. 8 Gilman. Calvert Hall (2-8) is a young team led by junior running back Kevin Tyler (1,202 yards, 9 TDs).