Third-ranked Gilman got a scare yesterday, but scored with 1:27 left in the game to pull out an 18-16 win against unranked St. Mary's in Maryland Scholastic Association Armstrong A Conference football action at Anne Arundel Community College.
The Greyhounds (4-0, 1-0) scored the game-winner after an eight-play drive. Using its strong inside running game, Gilman got the ball to the Saints' 16 after a 12-yard run by fullback R. C. Kauffman and a 6-yard pass from quarterback Mark Cornes to James McIntyre.
Gilman had been going almost exclusively with the run, but coach Sherm Bristow sent in another pass play. Cornes rolled to his right and hit a wide-open Jim Zimmerman to give the Greyhounds the lead.
"Their defense had been doing a pretty good job stopping the run when they had their back to the end zone," said Bristow. "There was less than two minutes so we decided to go with our two-minute drill and see how they would react. The pass opened up and it worked well for us."
But St. Mary's (3-2, 0-2) still had place-kicker Mark Kiefer, who has shown a range of anywhere inside 50 yards, and the Saints had enough time to get him close.
Quarterback Brad Davis completed a long pass to Matt Clune, but it was called back for a clipping call.
Davis went to Ryan Hughes for a 13-yard strike that became a 28-yard gain when a Greyhounds defender was called for a late hit. The ball was resting on the Gilman 42 and Kiefer was loosening up.
But he never got a chance. Davis' next four passes fell incomplete, including two dropped passes.
The Saints had been getting breaks all day, blocking a punt and having two Gilman touchdowns called back on penalties.
"We played as hard as we could for 48 minutes today against a very good football team," said St. Mary's coach Brad Best. "We got great games from guys like Joe Keenan and Jason Lilly, but we just came up a little short. But I think we proved that we belong in the same class as teams like Gilman."
Gilman had outscored its opponents 94-0 prior to yesterday.
Keifer hit a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter to pull the Saints within three at 6-3 after Gilman had taken the lead in the first quarter on a Jamie Biddison touchdown run.
The Greyhounds upped their lead on their next possession, going 81 yards in six plays for the touchdown. A 58-yard pass play form Cornes to Dylan Schlott took the ball to the Saints' 11. Two plays later, Cornes rolled left looking to pass, but finding no one open, he tucked the ball in and covered the 11 yards himself to give Gilman a 12-3 lead.
Defensive tackle Scott Pantall got the Saints back in it just before the half when he blocked a punt and gave his offense first down on the 6. Lilly covered the six yards in one play to pull the Saints within three at 12-9.
St. Mary's took its only lead when Davis scored on a 1-yard dive to give the Saints a 16-12 lead with 1:59 remaining in the third quarter.