Over the years, just the thought of facing Gilman's hard-hitting defense has led some offensive coordinators to revise their game plans.
This year is no exception. But as eighth-ranked St. Mary's found out yesterday, the No. 6 Greyhounds have worked long and hard of late to throw something new into the mix.
A little offense.
Host Gilman racked up 362 yards -- including nearly 300 in the first half -- en route to a 35-8 win over the Saints in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game.
Through four games this season, the usually defensive-minded Greyhounds (3-1, 1-0) have scored an average of 26 points -- a statistic that coach Sherm Bristow says can be attributed largely to the development of a big and physical offensive line.
"They've really come around," said Bristow of the offensive front that includes Ben Wilson, Lewis Applefeld, Travis Brown, David Payne, George Bealefeld and Alex Mueller, the latter three weighing an average of nearly 270 pounds.
The group dominated the Saints (4-1, 3-1), opening gaping holes for running backs R. C. Kauffman (22 carries, 139 yards, two touchdowns) and David Biddison (10 for 128, two touchdowns).
By halftime, each had rushed for more than 100 yards and scored two touchdowns.
"The offensive line deserves all the credit," said Biddison. "They do all the work and make our jobs easy."
Said St. Mary's coach Brad Best: "Their offensive line just dominated us. Our defense couldn't stop them."
Gilman wasted little time, marching 63 yards on 11 plays on the opening drive and taking a 7-0 lead on Biddison's 4-yard touchdown run.
The Greyhounds extended their lead to 14-0 by the end of the quarter and 28-8 by halftime.
St. Mary's got its only points of the game on Brad Davis' 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Burke, and his ensuing conversion pass to Matt Murphy late in the second quarter.
Saints running back Jason Lilly, who entered the game with over 700 yards rushing and eight touchdowns, ran for 116 yards on 17 carries. Two interceptions and a fumble, however, kept his team from capitalizing on his performance.
MA But the story of this game was Gilman's offensive domination.
Severn 48, Spalding 6
John Vereen rushed 10 times for 191 yards and four touchdowns as No. 11 Severn (4-1) defeated Spalding (2-3). Severn totaled 415 offensive yards. Dennard Melton had four carries for 67 yards and one touchdown. Jason Scott had five carries for 52 yards and a 10-yard interception return for touchdown.
Broadneck 20, Queen Anne's 0
Kevin Healy threw two touchdown passes, leading Broadneck (3-1) past visiting Queen Anne's (0-5). Healy threw a 25-yard pass to Jason Smith in the first quarter and a 56-yard pass to Casan Sattari in the third.
Meade 20, Old Mill 0
Danny Todd, Roman Harrison and Adam Butz each scored a touchdown to power visiting Meade (1-4) past Old Mill (1-4). Meade totaled 159 offensive yards, 80 more than Old Mill.
McDonogh 21, Mt. St. Joe 18
Bobby Sabelhaus passed for 158 yards and two second-half touchdowns to lead host and No. 3 McDonogh (4-1, 1-0) over No. 9 Mount St. Joseph (4-1, 0-1) in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association game.
The Eagles took their first lead at 14-10 on Sabelhaus' 39-yard pass to Jason Taylor with 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Dwayne Stukes rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries for McDonogh. Je'Von Norris ran for 123 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries to lead the Gaels.