It's safe to say that Loyola quarterback Brant Hall can be a magician on the football field. St. Mary's players and coaches won't argue.
Hall's magical ball handling led Loyola to a convincing 35-8 victory over St. Mary's at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold last night. In what was the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference opener for both teams, the No. 4-ranked Dons (3-1) laid claim to St. Mary's (3-2) top billing.
St. Mary's eight-man defensive front was in disarray because of Hall's ball handling. Hall (3-for-10 passing, 59 yards) ran for 120 yards, including touchdown runs of 16 and 50 yards, and threw a 42-yard scoring pass to Paul Daley.
When he didn't keep the ball, Hall dazzled all onlookers by giving it to junior running back Kyle Bell, who rambled for a game-high 170 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
After a scoreless first period, the Dons erupted for 21 points in the second period and added a touchdown on their initial drive (nine plays, 72 yards) of the second half for an insurmountable 28-0 lead.
Loyola's offensive line of Blake Henry, Pat Brannan, Bryan Shockney and Keon Burley is the Dons' "strength," according to veteran coach Joe Brune, and it opened gaping holes in the Saints' eight-man front all night long. It didn't help the home team to lose All-Metro lineman Rob Hoffman to possible ligament damage in his right knee midway through the first period.
It was the top-ranked Saints' second straight defeat, coming on the heels of a 34-28 loss to Georgetown Prep. It also marks the second straight year the Saints have lost to the same two teams at this stage of the season.
Loyola took last year's meeting by 29-21 for the Saints' only MIAA A Conference loss and the two teams shared the conference title along with Mount St. Joseph.
Hall said his team had to "play hard" to get the Saints' eight-man front blocked.
"We didn't know if our play action would work because they bring eight people, but our line did a great job," said Hall, who could be headed to Wake Forest. "After they started biting on the fakes, the outside was wide open and I could either run or pass."
St. Mary's really started biting as Hall drove the Dons 64 yards in eight plays for the game's first score early in the second period. Hall took it in by leaping over Saints back Eric Pickett in the right corner.
A three-yard TD run by Bell capped an 8-play, 66-yard drive and Daley's interception at the Loyola 22 set up the Dons' final score of the half. Loyola went the distance on nine plays with Daley taking Hall's lofted pass down the sideline 42 yards. Matt Hart's kick made it 21-0 with 47 seconds left in the first half.
Trailing 28-0 in the final period, the Saints got on the board on Ryan Metzbower's seven-yard pass to Pickett. Metzbower completed 18 of 35 passes for 204 yards, but was sacked three times, intercepted twice and had several passes batted away by the Dons' big and swift defensive line.
Hall capped the scoring by going 50 yards untouched up the middle to the end zone on a quarterback sneak right after the St. Mary's score.
No. 12 Calvert Hall 28, No. 2 Mount St. Joseph 21: Chad Parsons had two touchdowns and 111 of the Cardinals' 195 rushing yards, and Jason Bungori (6-for-12, 125) threw for two other scores to receiver Avon Mack, whose five receptions for 117 yards came as the Cardinals (5-0, 1-0) built a 21-7 halftime lead on the two-time defending MIAA champion Gaels (3-2, 0-1).
Calvert Hall routed by a combined 100-16 in its previous two games against the Gaels, was led defensively by Lou Georgalas (two sacks, one blocked punt), Alan Maszarose (one sack), Matt Harlan (fumble recovery), Chris Liberto (fumble recovery) and Greg Smoot.
Greg Jones gained 107 yards and scored a touchdown for the Gaels. Receiver Shaz Brown caught a 51-yard scoring pass from Andrew Michalowicz (6-for-12, 90 yards). Sean Jones' end zone recovery of a blocked punt accounted for the Gaels' other score.
Pub Date: 10/05/97