Standing on the sideline during the third period of yesterday's 54-0 rout of league rival Archbishop Spalding, eighth-ranked McDonogh's Anthony Esposito was asked how fired up the Eagles were for the visiting Cavaliers.
"Just a little bit," said the 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back, squeezing his right thumb and forefinger together for emphasis.
The victory improved the Eagles' record to 8-0 overall (7-0 league), ran McDonogh's two-year league record to 14-0, and clinched its second straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference crown.
And it was impressive.
Bryan Leone's 13-yard scoring reception from Matt Primm zTC (4-for-6, 70 yards) was followed by Owen Daly's consecutive interception returns of 38 and 31 yards, putting McDonogh up 26-0 after one period.
Then came Pat Bydume's scoring runs of 11 and 6 yards, followed by Esposito (six carries, 117 yards), whose ninth rushing touchdown of the season from 83 yards gave McDonogh a 40-0 8: 47 before the intermission.
Things didn't get much better for the Cavaliers (5-4, 4-2) against McDonogh's reserves, whose QB Scott Dolch rushed for another score and was 5-for-5 for 67 yards and a TD to Taylor Callinan. Cap Poklemba was 6-for-7 on extra points and booted every kickoff out of the end zone.
"Every practice, every game, we've gotten better and better," said 6-foot, 220-pound junior linebacker T. C. Cosby. "Our defense is one of the best around."
The Eagles now focus on next week's annual rivalry with top-ranked Gilman (9-0), which beat St. Mary's, 37-15, yesterday.
McDonogh coach Dom Damico took the quiet approach, saying, "We want to lay it on the line" against Gilman. But Esposito, one of 17 returning players from last year's 35-21 loss to Gilman, said: "They're supposed to be one of the top teams in the country. We'll find out next week."
"We've read about Gilman all week, every week, almost every day," said defensive lineman Joe Rosenbaum, who has seven sacks.
Added Daly about Gilman, which leads the series, 48-29-5: "I'm looking forward to humbling them."
Spalding came off last week's 35-21 loss to 11th-ranked league rival St. Paul's. Spalding needed a win to secure at least a tie for the title.
But Spalding running ace Darren Johnson (1,029 yards, 14 touchdowns) had 73 yards, and All-Anne Arundel County teammate Sam Creveling had 21.
Pub Date: 10/31/98